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Old 03-04-08, 04:33 PM   #1
rt1965
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Need Help w/ Century Training...

After several years off from cycling, I have decided to get back into it. I am in okay shape, but I need some serious work. I plan on working on a good base first, but my long term goal is to do the Best Buddies Challenge in September in Califorina. I would like to ride the 100 mile ride and I am looking for some good advice on Century Training. I basically have 6 months to do it. I have already made changes to my diet to work on some minor health issues, and weight is an issue. So, with that in mind, my short term goal is to get into bike riding shape and loose some weight. Long term is of course the BB Challenge. I don't expect to loose all the weight in 6 months, although I suppose it's possible. I need to drop about 50 lbs. I think the Century Ride would be a great way to celebrate reaching my goal.

So, again, I am looking forward to some good advice on Century Training, and for that matter on basic training to set a good base and get swtarted on the weight loss. One other issue is that I live in Arizona so much of my training heading into the summer will be indoors on a trainer. I have a good bike and a good training stand, as well as a heart rate monitor.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 03-04-08, 05:44 PM   #2
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Do a long ride every weekend. Ride a little further every weekend until you can do at least 75 miles comfortably. Don't ride fast, ride long. Ride shorter faster rides on weekdays.

Good luck.
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Old 03-04-08, 10:25 PM   #3
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Have a look at my website in the signature line below. Specifically, take a look at the Century Tips page: http://www.machka.net/century.htm
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Old 03-05-08, 09:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tips, and the website! I feel pretty good about this Century as a goal, but I am concerned about the heat here in Arizona and how it will effect my training. It certainly wont make for very fun long rides at that time of the year. The good news is that I have a very flexible work schedule and can probably drive somewhere out of the heat for my longer rides.
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Old 03-05-08, 12:21 PM   #5
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I am sure that Machka's training advice on her website will be good. From her posts, she is obviously quite knowledgeable & articulate about training for longer rides.

I am a bit concerned about your doing the training on an indoor trainer. There is nothing wrong with that per se. I have found personally that training on an indoor trainer is terribly boring and it is very hard to sustain in door workouts for long enough to really build endurance (the 2+ hour area). In my talks with other cyclists, I have found that other cyclists have the same experience.

The training could be a good way to develop a base and build up the requisite muscles. But if you can, try to get out on the road on some sort of regular basis during your training.
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Old 03-05-08, 12:42 PM   #6
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The more excess weight you lose, the easier the ride will be, especially on the hills. From my experience, the only way to lose that weight rapidly is to put in regular distance hours on the bike and watch the intake. I suppose you can do it on the trainer if you can ride 3-6 hours on it but much better on the bike. Actually riding the bike will also make you streetwise and get you used to the physical road itself.

While a century is not that long of a ride if your in shape for it, it can be a very unpleasant experience if your not in shape.
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Old 03-05-08, 03:04 PM   #7
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Pat and Knotty, I will have to do some of the training on an indoor trainer, but not all. Here in the Phoenix area, I am good for 1-2 hours if I ride early, but the longer rides is where it gets a bit difficult in the heat. I can travel north and train once or twice a week, but probably not every week due to my job. And the good news is that the heat isn't here yet, so training in the near future looks good. It's the issue with training closer to the dates of the event that have me worried.

I'm thinking that if my base is solid, I can do one or two longer rides up north and do the rest inside at home. That way, I can keep my training plan and still get out on the real road. To head north, it only takes an hour or two to get out of the really bad heat in the summer.
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Old 03-05-08, 03:39 PM   #8
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If you're purely looking to drop the weight I suggest mixing it up. There is a lot of truth to muscle confusion. Do your bike workouts, but also get out and simply walk. You'll be amazed at how this in addition to eating healthy will make you shed the pounds. I'm talking from experience. I dropped 171 lbs in 9 months, so I know the body is capable of doing some amazing things. Train with light weights and lots of reps. Shoot for the long lean look, not bulkiness. A pound of muscle will burn 70-100 calories a day just being there. Good luck and go kick some butt on that century ride 6 months from now.
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Old 03-05-08, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rt1965 View Post
After several years off from cycling, I have decided to get back into it. I am in okay shape, but I need some serious work. I plan on working on a good base first, but my long term goal is to do the Best Buddies Challenge in September in Califorina. I would like to ride the 100 mile ride and I am looking for some good advice on Century Training. I basically have 6 months to do it. I have already made changes to my diet to work on some minor health issues, and weight is an issue. So, with that in mind, my short term goal is to get into bike riding shape and loose some weight. Long term is of course the BB Challenge. I don't expect to loose all the weight in 6 months, although I suppose it's possible. I need to drop about 50 lbs. I think the Century Ride would be a great way to celebrate reaching my goal.

So, again, I am looking forward to some good advice on Century Training, and for that matter on basic training to set a good base and get swtarted on the weight loss. One other issue is that I live in Arizona so much of my training heading into the summer will be indoors on a trainer. I have a good bike and a good training stand, as well as a heart rate monitor.

Thanks for any advice!
A few thoughts:

First, you can do a lot of training in 6 months. Initially, I think you should focus more on duration than on intensity - start to work up to 3 or 4 hours of riding at a comfortable pace. That something that you really need to do outside, and you need to be able to get those rides in to do well on a century - both to figure out your pace and to figure out what you can eat on the ride.

I went and took a look at the ride profile.

Flat centuries generally have perhaps 1500' of elevation gain over the route.
Hilly centuries generally have perhaps 3000' of elevation gain over the route.

The BB challenge has 6000' of elevation gain over the route, including two 300' climbs, a 600' climb, and 700' climb.

That's really hilly. And while you can ratchet down your speed to ride longer distances, there's not much change you can do in riding style to make yourself tolerate hills better. I've done a couple of 100+ mile days with 6-8K of climbing, and that's a huge amount of work. That's after a few years of base, hard climbing training, and with me being pretty light (165 lbs, 73" tall).

Now, if you tell me that you've ridden big rides with lots of hills before and know what you are getting into, then great. If you've never done those sort of rides, I think you should consider the 100K @ 4000 feet of elevation gain instead, or consider a different century before this one. I think that's especially true if you have to do a fair bit of training inside, as it's really hard to simulate climbing on a trainer.

If you have your heart set on it, you're going to have to work a lot on your climbing. If you can get up to doing, say 60 miles during a week with, say, 4000' of climbing in it and feel pretty strong, then you can probably finish the century, but even with that sort of base, it's going to be a challenge.

Just a note - any ride that says "rolling" or "rolling hills" is to be viewed with caution. "Rolling hills" are what the serious riders call the short hills to differentiate them from the big hills. Less experienced riders just call those "hills", and "rolling" means that the course doesn't have many flat spots.

I'm not trying to scare you - just hoping you understand how hard the ride is likely to be.
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Old 03-07-08, 04:16 PM   #10
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Eric's point about climbing is a good one.

You should make sure that your rides include climbing. A weekday short climbing ride done at a faster pace, and a long weekend climbing ride to get used to doing a long ride with significant climbs, would be ideal.

As far as heat goes, if you acclimatize yourself gradually you can get used to riding in weather that's a lot hotter than you think. You have to be careful about it of course, you can't rush things, and you may not be able to get used to as high a temp as someone else. The more fat you lose the better you'll withstand high temperatures- less insulation means better cooling. Another thing that helps is not runing the air-conditioning so hard. Unfortunately if you work in an office you don't get much choice, but in your car and home you can adjust the temp so the AC just makes it bearable, not frigid. And of couse you can get up early in the morning and ride when it's coolest. Being able to ride all week, even if it's only an hour or two, will greatly help your training.

The ride itself won't be too hot, as it is usually cool on the coast.
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