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Old 02-28-08, 11:18 AM   #1
nachomc
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Question About Training For A Century

Hi, all. After reading the thread about the Wine Country Century, I would like to sign up. I haven't ever entered a century before, and so I have been looking at some training options online.

This page seems to match what I've read elsewhere, and is easy to follow. I already have a decent set of base miles down; I have been riding 15 or so miles on my mountain bike each Saturday (high-intensity), followed by 30-40 miles on my road bike Sunday morning. I don't see a problem with picking it up to 50-60 miles and get myself to 75+ within the next four weeks or so, which would leave four weeks to ride 75+ each Sunday prior to the event on May 3.

Does this seem reasonable? Those with experience, will this actually give me the miles I need to finish the century?

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:24 PM   #2
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Ride hills. Sacramento miles are very easy because they're flat, and if you don't get out of town you won't be prepared for even moderately varying terrain.

Also, check these out:

Preparing for your first century http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...-324-1,00.html
Crash course century training http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6...9843-1,00.html
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Old 02-28-08, 12:44 PM   #3
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With what you're doing already I don't think you'd have any problem completing a century. If you ever want to do a self-supported one to just prove it to yourself, I'd be more than happy to join you. Unhookt is right about the hills though. I don't hit them nearly enough myself and the Sierra Century is going to kick my arse if I don't practice em' more.
You live in Natomas right? We could ride from there out toward Berryessa and turn around at 50.0 or make a loop. Just a thought.
And you might want to think about joining a cycling club. The Wheelmen have long rides about every day of the week. http://www.sacwheelmen.org/08mar.htm . Just make sure you're going to a flexible and not a training ride.
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Old 02-28-08, 12:49 PM   #4
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You could also head east up the ARBT, to Folsom and make a loop of the lake. It would be about 100 miles door-to-door. Make sure you have the gears though.
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Old 02-28-08, 01:20 PM   #5
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Thanks, all. I have been planning to ride ARBT out to Folsom to pack in those miles. That would get some climbing in too, if I rode up to Beal's or something.

redspoke: Maybe in a few weeks that would be awesome. I need to get some miles down on my own first to see if I can do it. I wouldn't want to get out to do a long ride and bonk out ruining your day .

What is a good overall time for the century? I typically average 16-17mph when I'm riding 30 miles or so, but not sure how that would hold up over 100 miles.

Thanks.
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Old 02-28-08, 02:14 PM   #6
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Do your long rides on AR trail; head up to Camino (Apple Hill to all y'all flatlanders) on saturdays and hit the hills. There's NO TRAFFIC AT ALL on anything not called Carson Rd. Check out mapmyride.com; as I've posted some great rides around P'ville and Camino. You can ride ten thousand miles on the bike trail, even in the usual wind and not come close to the challenge (and joys!) of climbing. Also: when you're getting up around 150-200 miles/week in your training, I hope you're not gonna try to do this on just saturday-sundays...
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Old 02-28-08, 02:26 PM   #7
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Last year I was training for my first century. I did the Folsom Lake loop a few times. It was great preparation for the Chico Wildflower. Check it out here: http://www.beautifulvista.com/Bike_R..._lake_loop.htm

If you want more climbing and miles, you can throw in Prospector and ride to the town of Georgetown. This will add about 30 miles to the ride and close to 3000' more feet of climbing. This loop can be seen here: http://www.beautifulvista.com/Bike_R..._cool_loop.htm

If you can combine the rides and complete the journey you'll be ready for almost any century.

Last edited by rydaddy; 02-28-08 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 02-28-08, 02:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
Thanks, all. I have been planning to ride ARBT out to Folsom to pack in those miles. That would get some climbing in too, if I rode up to Beal's or something.

redspoke: Maybe in a few weeks that would be awesome. I need to get some miles down on my own first to see if I can do it. I wouldn't want to get out to do a long ride and bonk out ruining your day .

What is a good overall time for the century? I typically average 16-17mph when I'm riding 30 miles or so, but not sure how that would hold up over 100 miles.

Thanks.
Eat a big, huge breakfast an hour before, pack a PBJ, 2 powerbars and 2 gels in your jersey + 2-24oz waterbottles and you won't bonk. I guarantee.
No pressure, whenever you're ready drop me a line.

As for the pace. When you ride 16-17 for 30 miles, how are you feeling at the end of the ride? If you are hating life then I don't think you're ready. I think that's a good pace for the whole century. At that pace you would probably finish in 7 hours if you stop (stretch, eat/drink, evacuate) a couple of times.
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Old 02-28-08, 03:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by humboldt'sroads View Post
Also: when you're getting up around 150-200 miles/week in your training, I hope you're not gonna try to do this on just saturday-sundays...
Sadly, especially with how early it gets dark, I only have time to ride on the weekends. I am working on finishing a degree at CSU, Sacramento, so on either end of work, I'm in class or at home writing papers, studying, whatever. It's usually dark when I get home (and leave) anyway.

Maybe I should consider riding a century later in the summer. Last year, as soon as the semester ended, I started commuting to work (23-miles one way) two to three times per week, in addition to all of the mountain biking I did. Maybe I should consider getting back there first. I'm trying to ignore the fact that my injury kept me off the bike for seven months and I've only been riding again for about five weeks :\
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Old 02-28-08, 03:09 PM   #10
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Also, wanted to add, I know I'm new here, but everyone on this regional seems very friendly and helpful. Thanks a ton.
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Old 02-28-08, 05:47 PM   #11
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Get that commute started. Do that and you're golden. Spend money on lights, and a blinkie. You'll be really happy you did. Commuting rocks and gets you in shape.
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Old 02-29-08, 10:12 AM   #12
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I'm trying to ignore the fact that my injury kept me off the bike for seven months and I've only been riding again for about five weeks :\
Careful! Train hard, but don't over do it. Do you have access to a gym with a good stationary/spin?
If you can do your weekend rides, a little commuting, and put in miles after dark indoors at the gym or at home on rollers, you're set. Daylight savings is just around the corner, working much to your advantage as well...

If you're worried about a century, ride the metric, and hit up a century a couple weeks later (seems like they're every week here in nor cal).
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Old 02-29-08, 10:51 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
I already have a decent set of base miles down; I have been riding 15 or so miles on my mountain bike each Saturday (high-intensity), followed by 30-40 miles on my road bike Sunday morning. I don't see a problem with picking it up to 50-60 miles and get myself to 75+ within the next four weeks or so, which would leave four weeks to ride 75+ each Sunday prior to the event on May 3.

Does this seem reasonable? Those with experience, will this actually give me the miles I need to finish the century?
That seems totally reasonable to me, for a goal of "finishing". I think the biggest issue for new century riders is simply getting that extended time in the saddle...not necessarily developing the high-end systems.

Now, if you want to hang with the faster riders, you would probably want to have completed a few centuries (or longer distances) comfortably. But that's an unrealistic goal for your first century. Don't worry about chasing those rabbits. For just plain finishing, sure...if you can do 75+, you can certainly complete a century.

The nice thing about century rides as opposed to something more competitive* is that if you are not having a great day, chances are very good that you'll be able to find plenty of people to ride with and keep you company and still have a very enjoyable ride.

Go for it, have fun! That should be a beautiful ride.



*not to suggest that centuries aren't competitive; many are...but not anything like an actual race
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Old 02-29-08, 01:29 PM   #14
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Build slowly, 10% additional mileage per week, and you should be fine. If you can work in one or two midweek rides, you'll improve that much faster. Bring the bike to school, ride at lunch, something easy, and it will make a big difference.
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Old 02-29-08, 01:33 PM   #15
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nachomc, I hope you signed up already. There's only 17 spots left now.
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Old 02-29-08, 02:29 PM   #16
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nachomc, I hope you signed up already. There's only 17 spots left now.
Nah, I think I'm going to wait. Looking at the calendar, I have a lot of stuff coming up and wouldn't be able to do the training right. If I commit to it I refuse to fail .

Next year I suppose, when I'm not trying to simultaneously train for something and get my strength/fitness back from seven months off th bike.

Thanks for all of your help, everyone. I appreciate it.
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