just another gosling
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
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Besides what the previous comments have said (all good) it's a matter of developing the mileage, to which Brontide alludes. In general, a rider can accomplish a single ride equal in length to their total weekly mileage for the previous few weeks, not counting the taper week before the big ride. So for a 150 mile ride, one would want to have done maybe three 150 mile weeks. That's just to finish, even though it might not be pretty. To have a strong ride, a little more mileage is necessary. Your first year, I wouldn't try to exceed 200 mile weeks. That's a lot of riding. It should be spread out like Eric says. Conventional wisdom says not to increase the length of your longest ride nor your total weekly mileage more than 10%. Since that's compound interest it adds up quite quickly.
After you google the Bicycling century training plan and google century training plan, you'll have a good idea what these things look like. Then devise your own plan around the days you can ride, using the training plans' ideas and possibly the mileage estimates I've made here. You should probably ride a century or two in training, just to get your nutrition and hydration figured out. Those two things are much the hardest. The strength and endurance aren't much of a problem, really. It's staying fed and hydrated that cause the biggest problems for most people.
Two equipment problems people have are not being able to do that much saddle time and bike fit. Riding sometimes fixes the saddle problem, but frequently it's necessary to find the magic saddle that fits your anatomy. The second equipment problem is getting the bicycle adjusted so that the rider is comfortable enough to stay on it the required length of time without developing some sort of repetitive stress injury (RSI). A bike shop and/or other experienced riders can help with both these things.