I'm running into a problem with training for an upcoming century. While I ride almost every day, the combined forces of weather, family, and work have severely limited my chances to ride 75+ miles. I've only done one true century and a handful of 50-70 mile rides over the entire spring. Compounding the problem is that we have had an inordinate amount of wind for the past few weeks 15-20 mph sustained with gusts well over 30 mph has been the rule and a number of times it has been even windier. Yesterday I planned to ride 100 miles with the forecast of 10-15 mph NNW winds. I headed north a couple miles and then west. 15 mph my spandex-clad arse. The sustained wind was easily 20 mph with gusts shoving me all over as the quartered me from the front/right. 22 miles later I was spent at an average speed of 13 mph on the flat. I plotted a new route home that gave me 30 miles with the wind mostly from the side or quartering from the back. Much better time coming back but crap, my knees are still sore. The last two 20+ mile group rides I was on have also been into 20 mph headwinds for extended periods.
Now that I've gotten that whining out of my system, my question is: Do shorter but harder rides provide conditioning that will cross over on a longer endurance rides? I'm really hoping to get some longer rides in but the event date is fast approaching (June 16) and I only have one more three day weekend and a couple of weekdays free. BTW, I'm a paramedic and work 24-hour shifts so endurance training on duty is not an option as I must be clean, fresh, and in uniform in the truck within 5 minutes of the first page.