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  1. #1
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    Local Century Training - Relative Difficulty

    I've never done a century before, and I'm looking to do a pretty flat metric century (Montauk) in a month.

    I just got back this morning from doing 5 laps in Central Park, and I almost averaged 14 mph. (Ran into a NYRR run at the end.) I felt like I probably could've kept going but my rear end was hurting a bit & I was just out of time.

    For those w/more local experience: Does 5 relatively painless CP laps (30mi) mean I can do a flat metric (65mi) with no problem? In the case of Montauk, should I just experiment w/my seat position for the next couple weeks, finally buy a pair of cycling shorts, and aim for the 100?

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Get the bike shorts now.

    You never want to try any new items on a 100 mile ride.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  3. #3
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    Get the bike shorts now.

    You never want to try any new items on a 100 mile ride.
    Or even on a 100 km one.

    Should be no problem with a 100 km ride (especially an organized one with other riders pulling you along and a SAG vehicle just in case) if you can pull 30 easily now. Whether it's "pain free" depends on how much your rear end likes your present saddle. You didn't say how long you've been riding, or how long your average ride is/base weekly mileage and so on.

  4. #4
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    Sorry, I've been on the bike for a couple years. Avg 5-10 miles @ 14mph as daily as I can. Usually comes out to 25-50mi / wk. Never got into clipless pedals or cycling shorts, I'm just out there to burn some calories and enjoy the scenery. I'll adjust the saddle before my 30 mi ride next weekend & see if that helps. If not I guess I'll definitely get the cycling shorts.

    And yeah, I'd definitely wouldn't do a long ride on any new equipment / apparel. Gotta have everything broken in (including myself).

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    I suggest that you get some longer days in before trying even a flat century. Most suggest at least one 65-75 mile day before the century day. Work your way up a few miles each week. here's a link to some suggestions for training for a century in a month.

    http://www.bicycling.com/training-nu...ntury-training

  6. #6
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Most people can do 45 minutes to an hour on almost any saddle. As you found out, upping the ante to 2+ hours is when you find out that a) shorts make a difference and b) perhaps the saddle isn't the best for your anatomy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link: I wish I could get that kind of riding in. But I've got a 4 month old & can only do a couple hours on weekend mornings (if the car doesn't need fixing, or errands don't need to be done). And 45 mins after work. The best I'm gonna do is 40 mi or so. But this goes to the first question in my post: If I can do 30 mi in (locally) bumpy/hilly Central Park with no problems, am I in decent enough shape to do a flat 65 / 100 mi in Montauk? (Aside from a little bit of butt pain.)

  8. #8
    Senior Member dendawg's Avatar
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    If you can do 30+ miles in Central park you could probably handle a flat century. I suggest you might try training on the North County Rail Trail in Westchester. It is fairly flat and long. I started riding 7 years ago after my brother in law asked us if we wanted to come out to Indiana and ride the Hilly Hundred Weekend with him. At that time most of my training was on the west side greenway and CP. On my first loop of CP I had to walk the Harlem hill. My longest ride was 35 miles on the North County rail trail, and a couple of very hilly rides on river road. These were all done on my hybrid which I loaned to my wife for the hilly weekend. I rode my old mtn bike for that. I managed to finish the first 50 mile day, and a shorter 40 mile ride on the second though I did wind up walking a lot of the hills. Definitely go for the padded bike shorts, and go for better ones. You may have to adjust your seat a little to compensate for the thickness of the padding. If you don't feel comfortable in spandex you can get mtn biking shorts.Bike jerseys are nice too, you can jam a lot into the back pockets, and they wick sweat so you stay cooler. Carry plenty of water so you stay hydrated and some pocket food to get you to the rest stops. Also make sure you carry tools and are comfortable changing a flat. Carry at least 2 spare tubes, tire irons and a pump or CO2 inflator. You also don't say what kind of bike you are on. I can tell you that after doing a few longer distance rides on mountain and hybrid bikes I bought my first road bike and it made a world of difference.
    Last edited by dendawg; 05-01-12 at 10:22 AM.

  9. #9
    Because I thought I could ks1g's Avatar
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    I've ridden the North Fork Century (same promoter), so you can expect Montauk to be very well-supported. Good advice in the posts above. Ride your own pace, hope for nice weather and tailwinds, remember to have fun!

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    Ok let me help as I just did the Ride to Montauk century last year and had a great time. I think you're talking however about the 5bbc one that's on the 20th. That one is actually a LOOP rather than the "Ride to Montauk" which is straight-ish west to east (on June 16th). Different promoters but I hear good things about both.

    Either way, both are SUPER DUPER flat - in fact I couldn't believe how flat it was and how much harder it is to ride w/ hills in comparison (I'm on North shore LI). That's good for you. The organizers SAY that this year there's a hill or two, but I can't imagine its anything to worry about. What you may run into however is the wind. On the RTM, the wind usually goes west to east which could help you (I think that's why they go TO montauk rather than FROM montauk). On the 5bbc one, you're going to have to deal with it at some point if it's really gusty (and it probably will be). So there's no hills, but much more wind which can tire you out more than you think over 65 miles.

    To put that in perspective, if you are averaging the same thing (14mph) know that it will take you around 4.5 - 5 hours to go 65 miles. Now if you can fit in another ride or two around 45 miles (50 is better) between now and then I'm sure you will be able to finish as they have good food, etc. on these rides to keep you going. But if your butt is hurting NOW at 30 miles, understand that you will most likely have trouble towards the end (pun intended). So put in some extra training between now and then and go for it. You will be very happy you did.

    I HIGHLY recommend that you don't try the century until you do at least one 4 hour ride. There is a world of difference between a 2 hour ride and a 4 hour ride. And at 14mph you will be riding for 7 hours. That's a long long long day. Some people will still say just go and do it, but I can't see how that would be any fun.

    To me, your saddle issue is your number 1 issue. GET padded shorts. THINK about getting Chamois Cream for the long rides ESPECIALLY if it turns hot and humid which it certainly can. There's a reason why we wear the spandex (there's other options of course). Long miles + hot sweaty ass + rocking on a saddle for hours = pain.

    People know what to wear & bring camping. Not many people learn what to wear cycling long distances. Until they learn the hard way. So be one of the smart ones and get/bring the basics:

    - Padded shorts
    - Chamois cream (just in case you need it). I've never needed it because I always use it.
    - A proper bike fitting would be great if you can swing it. Maybe work out some deal where they can at least take a look at you on your bike if you buy a pair of shorts and some other stuff from them.
    - Extra tube (or 2) and pump (if you don't know how to use em, learn now not later). LOTS more glass on the roads out there than in central park.
    - Sun screen
    - 2 water bottles

    SERIOUSLY THINK ABOUT GETTING
    - clipless pedals and shoes - lots of people don't have these on that ride and it's fine. But if you're doing 65 miles, you will want them. I wouldn't think about 100 without them.

    Again, the goal of these rides is to have fun. The more work training you do now the more fun it will be. Padded shorts will definitely help. Same w/ clipless pedals if you can swing it. 65miles is DEFINITELY within your reach and if you pace yourself you should be ok. Let's hope for a sunny day!

  11. #11
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    As a general rule, you want to be comfortable doing at least 75% of the distance you are aiming for. That's 75 miles for the 100 and 47 for the metric. The big difference between a 3-4 hour 50 miler in CP and longer road rides is that you will have to learn how to feed and hydrate yourself during the ride.

    The 5 mile loop in CP comes out to about 52 ft/mile, which is hiller than the Montauk course. What doing loops in CP will not prepare you for is going against the wind for long distances. You really want to do an out and back to get the feel for what it's like to go against the wind for a long distance. For training purposes, you will want to come back against the wind to build up your reserve.

    This year's 5BBC Montauk Century http://www.5bbc.org/montauk/ breaks with tradition and is an out and back from Hampton Bays to Montauk and return. Long range weather forecasts call for a headwind on the return. That means you want to be able to go 25 miles into the wind (distance between rest stops) before calling SAG.

    This year's Ride to Montauk http://ridetomontauk.com/Ride_to_Mon...Home_Page.html is a traditional point-to-point but ending at the Point. The ride's difficulty depends almost entirely on wind direction. The prevailing wind is a tailwind. However, there have been years when there was a nasty headwind from NYC all the way out to Montauk.

    As others have stated, you want to test all your equipment (including clothing) before the ride. It will be no fun to find out that a final tweak lands you in the SAG wagon for a good portion of the ride.

    There's also a belief that one can accelerate training by going faster rather than longer. Your 14 mph time in CP is meaningless because your time will be slower on the road. There are stop lights and many turns that will reduce your overall speed. You want to learn to think like a tortoise rather than a hare as part of your training.

  12. #12
    Senior Member FattyArbuckle's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks all for the great advice. Didn't really consider the wind factor, that'll probably eat up any benefit from doing a slightly more hilly training course. Don't know how much time I'll have to get in a longer ride between now and then but we'll see how it goes.

    Thanks again, all-

  13. #13
    TortoiseNotHare BridgeNotTunnel's Avatar
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    I'm doing this as my first century.

    I've rode in all conditions weather wise, but never gone further then 60 miles in a day.

    I found this relatively new stickie thread in the long distance section of this forum.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ding-a-Century

    I've just put myself on a diet before this as well.

    To ride so much, and maintain this weight is silly. I did 400+ miles in the month of March.

    For me, I felt it was ludicrous to want to ride 100 miles while being 5' 11" 260lbs.

    Next stop 225. :|

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