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  1. #1
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    Prepping for 1st and 2nd century

    Hello all. I've been reading a fair amount on this forum trying to get my head around some long distance tips and tricks. I've got my first ever full century coming up on 8/4. It's pretty flat since it's on a mix of MUP's and roads in the local area. It's just a small group ride that some friends are putting on. We won't ever really be away from the city by more than 10 or so miles at a time so I'm not too worried about water or food stops. I'd just like to have you guys review my training and plan to see if there's anything I'm missing.

    Training: I just started riding the middle of April, but I've logged over 1700 miles including 600+ in July. Longest rides to date are back to back 75 mile days with about 2000' of climbing each day (pretty flat). Typical rides are 40-60 miles twice a week and two 25-35 mile rides twice a week with most of them at a medium to hard pace. I usually pack one water bottle and one bottle of sports drink to start along with a clif bar and a couple gels. I usually consume the bar and one gel on the longer rides along with a breakfast burrito or something similar at the end of the ride. I drink about 1-1.25 of my 24 oz bottles per hour of time out when the temps are in the high 80's to low 90's. Only issue I have is the saddle tends to get uncomfortable after 60-70 miles, but that is on my training rides where I'm spending little time off the bike. I try to get out of the saddle on a regular basis while riding though. It's not a killer, but I'll probably start my search for a long distance saddle sometime in the near future if I decide I like these rides.

    Plan: It's a group ride so the pace should be pretty relaxed and I'm usually one of the faster riders in the group rides. I'll up my food taken along to 3 bars and 3 gels. I'll probably start with both bottles of sports drink and then refill with water on the route. We'll be taking a lunch break around the 60 mile mark so I'll have a decent meal in there as well. Pobably opt for a turkey sandwich with chips and water along with a cookie or something else sweet.

    Equipment: 2005 Giant OCR C3 with stock components including saddle. Good pair of bibs (hammer nutrition) and Assos chamois cream. Carry 1 tube, patch kit, CO2 filler with 3 cartridges, ziploc baggy, cash, credit card, ID, front light and rear blinky (it's a daytime ride), HRM, and computer.

    I think that's about everything. Do you see any holes in my prep, plan, or equipment that I should try to fill in before next weekend? I also have my second century coming up on 8/19, but this one is fully supported with SAG and service along the route as well, but it will be a bit more climbing (don't know the total elevation).

    Thanks,
    Rick

  2. #2
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    If you've done 75 miles back to back, then you can do a century without much difficulty. Go have a good time.

    Plan to eat more than you listed.

  3. #3
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    I did a hilly 81 mile ride today and ate 2 clif bars and 2 gels for the ride along with a king size payday bar to help with some salt. On the century rides we'll be doing actual lunch stops. Should I look into anything beyond that? I still had one more energy bar with me in case I needed it, but didn't eat it.

    Does the lack of additional suggestions mean I'm pretty much good to go on hitting the centuries?

    Thanks,
    Rick

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot77 View Post
    Hello all. I've been reading a fair amount on this forum trying to get my head around some long distance tips and tricks. I've got my first ever full century coming up on 8/4. It's pretty flat since it's on a mix of MUP's and roads in the local area. It's just a small group ride that some friends are putting on. We won't ever really be away from the city by more than 10 or so miles at a time so I'm not too worried about water or food stops. I'd just like to have you guys review my training and plan to see if there's anything I'm missing.

    Training: I just started riding the middle of April, but I've logged over 1700 miles including 600+ in July. Longest rides to date are back to back 75 mile days with about 2000' of climbing each day (pretty flat). Typical rides are 40-60 miles twice a week and two 25-35 mile rides twice a week with most of them at a medium to hard pace. I usually pack one water bottle and one bottle of sports drink to start along with a clif bar and a couple gels. I usually consume the bar and one gel on the longer rides along with a breakfast burrito or something similar at the end of the ride. I drink about 1-1.25 of my 24 oz bottles per hour of time out when the temps are in the high 80's to low 90's. Only issue I have is the saddle tends to get uncomfortable after 60-70 miles, but that is on my training rides where I'm spending little time off the bike. I try to get out of the saddle on a regular basis while riding though. It's not a killer, but I'll probably start my search for a long distance saddle sometime in the near future if I decide I like these rides.

    Plan: It's a group ride so the pace should be pretty relaxed and I'm usually one of the faster riders in the group rides. I'll up my food taken along to 3 bars and 3 gels. I'll probably start with both bottles of sports drink and then refill with water on the route. We'll be taking a lunch break around the 60 mile mark so I'll have a decent meal in there as well. Pobably opt for a turkey sandwich with chips and water along with a cookie or something else sweet.

    Equipment: 2005 Giant OCR C3 with stock components including saddle. Good pair of bibs (hammer nutrition) and Assos chamois cream. Carry 1 tube, patch kit, CO2 filler with 3 cartridges, ziploc baggy, cash, credit card, ID, front light and rear blinky (it's a daytime ride), HRM, and computer.

    I think that's about everything. Do you see any holes in my prep, plan, or equipment that I should try to fill in before next weekend? I also have my second century coming up on 8/19, but this one is fully supported with SAG and service along the route as well, but it will be a bit more climbing (don't know the total elevation).

    Thanks,
    Rick
    It sounds to me like you are well prepared. My only advice is to make sure that you pull back a couple of miles per hour on first the first couple hours or so.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
    Like climbing? Goto http://www.bicycleclimbs.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice. The group I'm riding with should be going a little slower than my usual average so I'll be sure to hang back with them instead of running off the front.

    Rick

  6. #6
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    Doesn't look like you should have much trouble. I'd be inclined to think you'd want to eat more myself, but if what you're doing is working for you, then keep doing it!

  7. #7
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    I probably will eat more as I tend to do when I'm off the bike on a stop, but I don't eat too well while I'm moving which was mostly the case on the 80 miler as I only had about 20-30 minutes of total off time during that ride.

    Thanks,
    Rick

  8. #8
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    Well I went to attempt my first century today...... I was prepped, I was ready, I was excited. Alas, it wasn't to be. Due to this being a trail "tour" ride along with an open invite to anyone that wanted to come nad having loops of 50-70-100 miles, we ended up with a few very slow riders. For the first three hours we averaged less than 10 mph including stop time and only 13.4 ride time. That set us/me up for failure. I've read a lot on this forum about not going out too fast or too hard, but I think a good caveat to have would be don't go too slow either. Typically I average mid/low 17's for distances up to 80 miles and going this slowly was a lot more work.

    On top of averaging such a slow pace, I didn't know several sections of the trails that made up the 50 mile base loop where I could take off and ride at my own pace. By the time we finished that loop, we had killed off 5.5 hours total time and were still in the 13.7 mph average range and my knee had begun to hurt which it hadn't done in the past 1000 miles of hard/faster riding including back to back 75 mile days and an 80 mile single day followed by a fast 40 just at the beginning of this week. I'm not sure if the knee pain was a result of riding so slowly and not pushing very hard or if it had something to do with feeling like I had a slight pull during volleyball on Wednesday night even though it felt fine during a time trial on Thursday night. I'm leaning towards slow riding.

    All in all due to the late start time of 9:30AM, not completing the first 52 miles until 3 PM, and my knee hurting, we opted to do one additional 18 mile road loop and finish with 70 miles at 4:15. I'm a bit disappointed knowing that I could have easily made the ride on my own if I'd known the directions better, but I did enjoy riding and talking with old and new friends. I've got my second try coming up in 2 weeks which is a ride your own pace, organized chairty ride with sag support, so I'll definitely be keeping my pace a little higher for that ride and taking it easy on my knee until then.

    Rick

  9. #9
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    Update to include ride report

    Well, after the complete screw up that was my first century attempt, I hit two milestones for the price of one yesterday.

    There was a century ride yesterday I had signed up for with full sag support and rest stops locally (www.trackandback.com). I felt pretty good about being able to complete this one as we could ride our own pace and I'd be with riders who were faster than me. The ride was pretty hilly for around here with over 4000' of elevation gain over the 100 mile out and back route. We absolutely flew through the first 50 miles at an 18.8 average. I know we had a bit of a tailwind even though it didn't really feel like it. I stopped at all 3 of the water stops and filled up on water since the humidity was way up yesterday and the heat was in the mid 80's in the morning. We hit the lunch stop around 11 after starting at 8. I greabbed lunch and hung out for about an hour while we all did some laps on the race track that was our stopping point (www.iowspeedway.com)

    The way back was a bit of a killer as the seemingly slight tail wind on the way out turned into either a nasty headwind or almost as bad complete crosswind (complete with having to lean the bike into the wind). At one point I was pedalling downhill at a pretty good effort just to maintin 15-16 mph into the headwind! My saving grace was a paceline that came by about that time being led by one of our local racers which I gladly wheel sucked the last few miles into the next town/stop. I recouped there and headed off to tackle the next section under overcast skies which had been around pretty much all day.

    Somewhere around mile 80 I noticed the skies were threatening rain and about that time I started getting pelted by huge rain drops along with massive crosswinds. It was just enough to raise the slick film on the roadway so I didn't feel comfortable going much over 20 on the descents so I was stuck trudging along again. I cleared those rain drops thinking I was in good shape and had outrun the rain. I was looking for the next water stop at mile 85 only to get there and find nobody at the stop and no refreshments. As it would turn out, we got there before the workers figured we'd be there and hence no water. Now I was into rationing mode at this point due to guzzling the water just before the stop thinking I'd be able to fill up shortly. To make things worse, now the sky did open up and soaked me thoroughly for the next 15 minutes. At least it was nice to cool down though as the humidity was still on the 80%+ range at that point.

    Around mile 90 out came the sun to dry things off and really start cooking me. The temp jumped up to 90+ and luckily I only had a few big hills left to climb. I looked in my mirror briefly starting up one hill and noticed a biker about 100 yards back. I figured it was the guy I had passed a few miles back slowly gaining on me since I'd been recouping for a bit. As I was about 2/3 up the hill, here comes the same racer that had pulled us on the paceline earlier shooting past me up a 7% grade at 20+ MPH! He passed me like I was going backwards..... It was a bit demoralizing, but all I could do was laugh at the obsurdity of it after 90 miles. I eased my way back into the start/finish area with 101 miles and riding time of 5:42 which I felt pretty good about for my first century.

    I slunk off into the bar that was sponsoring the event and joined some friends in a booth. We were some of the very first riders to make it back in that hadn't sagged in. It was about all I could do at that point to nurse some water down as I'd finally run out of water with a mile or so to go. I'd joked earlier in the day with these friends that I was considering adding another 25 miles to the ride to get my first double metric AKA 200K in as well. They immediately started giving me a hard time about it after looking at me drag into the bar. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen at that point either. Then we had our post race dinner of BBQ, chips, and slaw as part of the ride and a miraculous thing happened. I felt immensely better and decided it was now or never to go for my 200K.

    I bid my friends goodbye and took off on my own out one of the bike paths. Somehow, some way I made that 25 miles on willpower. I felt good for about 5 miles and then it was nothing but struggle and strain to get done. That last 25 miles felt like the first time I rode 25. My original plan was to ride out and then back home to get the mileage in, but that would involve more hills and I had zero leg strength left at that point. So, I modified my plan and road out and back on the trail and had my wife come get me at the trail head.

    I ended the ride with 125.8 miles and an overall average of 17.4 mph. 4700' of climb and I'd say I road without drafting for 75-80% of the total ride and completely by myself for 50%+ of the ride. I bested my previous long ride of 85 miles that I did back in 2000 by a huge margin. Even getting back into riding this year I had only ridden 81 miles on one previous ride. While I can't say I am ready to hop back on and ride again tonight, I at least don't hate my bike at this point! My equipment is a 2005 Giant OCRC3, look style pedals, Specialized pro carbon shoes, Hammer bibs, fizik carbon/titanium alliante seat, FSA carbon k-wing handlebar, thomson seat post, michelin 700x23 pro2 race tires (balance is stock including 105 triple 9 speed groupset), and used Assos chamois creme re-applied at 50 miles. I lost count of the water I consumed (estimated 170-200 oz) and even though I felt it was adequate if not bordering excessive I lost 4 lbs between yesterday and today. I did consume some endurolyte caps, 2 packs of HEED powder, 2 packs of Perpetuem, 2 or 3 clif bars, 3 gels, light breakfast (OJ, donut, and muffin), lunch (6" sub, chips, coke), and dinner (BBQ sandwich, chips, coleslaw), plus a half banana in there somewhere.

    Thanks for reading,
    Rick

  10. #10
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    Good job, mate. Looks like you got the full treatment! Time to start training for the 300 k now, eh?

  11. #11
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    I'm not so sure about a 300K for this year. Definitely on the horizon for next year though. Actually after this week, I'll be off the bike for close to 2 weeks due to vacation. I'll be on a bike a little during that time, but just enough to pedal around camp. I've actually got my eye on a 200K down in Arkansas in mid-October that looks like a lot of fun, but we'll see what the wife has to say about that one as it would kill off a day in the middle of our vacation.

    Rick

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