I ride in rolling hills terrain where there aren't really any monster long climbs but I'm constantly climbing and descending. I thought I was ready for my first century yesterday after doing lots of 60 milers where I felt pretty good afterwards. I failed miserably and now it aches just to stand up.
Usually when I push myself too far the culprit was poor food and drink intake thus bonking or just general lack of energy towards the end but this time (and the first time) it was purely muscle fatigue. I got the food and drink right. I felt alert and there was no cramping. The legs just gave out on me at about 80 miles when I stupidly went up the steepest and longest climb on my usual route which I usually tackle at about 40 miles. When I got to the top I wasn't gasping for air but my legs were so full of lactic acid I had to stop for a while but the muscles never fully recovered so I limped home reaching only 91 miles.
What do those of you riding in hilly terrain do to prepare your muscles in hilly centuries? I would use a higher cadence if I could but I'm climbing much of the time and the cadence and speed drop massively just to heave myself up.
I'm so disappointed. Until the legs gave way I was on scedule to do the century in about 6 hours. Instead I limped home doing 91 miles in 7 hours. I'll try again next weekend.