I am new to the Bike Forums... I have done some short distance triathlons in the past but the bike has always been my weak leg and I've never considered myself a cyclist. I am a runner, and I also do martial arts (Tae Kwon Do & Krav Maga). A cyclist friend has convinced me to enter a century ride with him (we were planning on doing the Ojai century in June). Which means I have to start riding my bike again! Since I am trying to squeeze in my training around other stuff, I decided a trainer (the thing, not the person, although that would be helpful!) would be useful and I just got one set up last week. It's a Cycleops Fluid2 and my bike is a Cannondale R1000 Feminine road bike (2007).
I have a Garmin 305 that I use for running, which has a HR monitor. My bike has a computer (a cateye Astrale 8 which measures cadence, speed, and distance) that seems to work fine with the trainer.
So my questions:
What parameters should I be using for training on the trainer? I plan for MOST of my rides to be on the trainer (I know most of you would not want to do it that way). Do I need to try to do a 30 minute TT and get my max HR? Or should I focus on cadence and speed from the bike computer? Really any advice about trainers would be helpful, actually.
My friend has had to bail on the century so I think I'm going to be riding it alone! I am a bit apprehensive. I mean, I do my running races alone, but that is different. I'm a lot less comfortable with cycling, and I worry about mechanical problems too! I can change a flat but I'm not fabulous at it and anything beyond that would be problematic. But I want to do this!
Are there any beginner training plans available for getting through a century that's 5 mos out? I know for half marathons and marathons there are abundant online training plans, and didn't know if anything similar was available for the bike.
And one final question - something that has nagged me ever since I started biking (as an adult I mean) about 6 years ago... My left elbow gets sore/ stiff when I ride. I try to change up my hand positions often, but still, even after 20-30 minutes it's bothering me and I find myself taking my hand off the bars to flex it and shake it out. The longer the rides, the more it bugs. I don't have any known problem with my arm, and it doesn't bother me doing anything else - swimming, pushups, Tae Kwon Do, etc. My cycling friend has looked at my bike and he thinks the fit is good. I also had the bike fitted professionally when I got it. If anyone has any ideas on this I would really appreciate it.
I'm a 34 year old woman if that makes a difference. And if you want to reply and just say that I'm crazy for trying to do a century as a beginner then that's okay too.
Oh, I forgot to add - I take propranolol (a beta blocker that lowers my BP and heart rate) to prevent migraines. I don't know how that will affect HR training. I don't really use HR zones for running training. I only take it once a day so timing might also be a factor.