So I've got my first two centuries of 2008 behind me, and I have a few more I'm registered for. These were my first two centuries in nearly 15 years, but I have done other long (70-80 mile) rides previous to them recently.
Now I'm working on building up past the century mark, and I've got some questions about training and how other people go about it...
I'm set up comfortably on the bike, so fit isn't an issue. My saddle seems to dissappear while spending half the day on my bike, so I'm good in that respect.
I'm mostly curious about things like intensity training vs. slow endurance. I tend to pick moderately hilly courses (5000+ elevation gain for a century), but I don't feel that my current routine of a 30 mile r/t commute with 3 - 4 big hills is really preparing me for what I might encounter if I attempt a 200km or 300km brevet.
I don't have a problem building up mileage on less hilly terrain, but what sort of routines does anyone use for *really* increasing hill climbing endurance? So far I've geared down my bike, I practice cadence drills so I can keep a rapid and smooth spin in the lower gears, and I'm still dropping some weight (but that's not a huge concern regarding my climbing endurance.) Does anyone just go out and do repeated steep hill climb drills or cross train by doing steep hill hiking?