I've done a bit of searching through old posts on here but am not quite finding what I'm looking for. I used to cycle a lot but I never did enduro rides. Lots of 20-30 mile road rides when I lived in Georgia along with 10+ mile mountain bike rides over very hilly terrain. Now I live in Chicago where everything is flat, and to top that off I've barely ridden in the last 10+ years. For the past month or so I've been riding again with the goal of doing a century ride on September 18 from Evanston, IL to Kenosha, WI. The ride is put on by the Evanston cycling club and is fully supported with options to do shorter rides or bail completely if necessary.
I've been riding roughly 3-4 times per week riding typically about 16 miles over the course of an hour. My goal has been simply to get out and ride our lake front path as far as I can go in a half an hour then turn around and head back.
I set the century ride as a goal to strive for and as motivation to get back into the habit of riding for fun and health. I'm going to be 42 in a couple weeks and I'd like to get from my current 190lb back down to around 170lb or so. My wife and I already eat fairly healthy and have a balanced diet. Now, as far as the training goes, I've notice that I am usually able to ride a bit farther in the same amount of time every few rides, provided I don't experience super nasty headwinds, which unfortunately have been a pretty common occurrence recently. I've been riding mainly after work but I'm wanting to attempt to work in a longer ride each weekend of at least 25-30 miles, increasing gradually.
I have a HRM that is a basic Timex unit and it includes some training tips utilizing a "points" system whereby you attempt to accumulate more points in order to train for a specific goal. For riding a 100 miles in one day, they say you should attempt to achieve 1200-1400 points weekly, although it doesn't suggest for how long your should be training at this level before attempting a century. Accumulating this many points amounts to a training schedule like this:
All rides are done at Zone 3 which is 130-148 BPM, or roughly 70-80% of my max HR.
2 rides 90 minutes each
2 rides 60 minutes each
1 ride 120 minutes
So, that gives me a couple days off a week to rest and recuperate and doesn't appear to take up too much time over the course of the week. That amounts to 7 hours of riding per week which I'm sure would go a long ways towards helping my general cardiovascular health as well as lowering my cholesterol, along with good diet of course. So, am I being realistic with this schedule? Can I hope to achieve a sufficient level of fitness by mid September so I can achieve my goal of riding a century?
Is the HRM a suitable tool along with the points system and zone training, or should I be less picky and just try to ride however many miles feel comfortable? I can tell you right now that most days I get back from my one hour ride and I am not wiped out by any means but I can certainly tell that I've exerted myself pretty well. My HRM also tells me that I seem to be burning about 983 calories per approximately 1 hour ride.
My wife seems to think I may be over thinking this whole thing and that I should just be trying to ride a distance that feels good. I figure I have roughly 90 days to get into shape for the century so I'm wanting to do what I can to train as effectively as possible without over-training or burning myself out.