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First Metric Century

Old 08-07-17, 10:36 AM
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sdmc530
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First Metric Century

So we started doing the Bike MS for a coworker who has MS. last year we did the short route, 20 miles. Been training like mad and last Saturday I did the metric Century, 63 miles. Was pretty proud of myself actually. Anyways the long term plan was to do the century next year but after doing the 63 I am not sure I want to try the century. Although I finished the 63 with no issues or next day pain or soreness I would have to train much more for the century and I am not sure it would be enjoyable.


What big folks have done a century and was it worth it?


thanks!
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Old 08-07-17, 01:10 PM
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I've done a few centuries over the years. Keep training and building the resistance that you need to. Be it saddle sores, foot pain or arm positions, you can avoid a real shock to your body with the requisite amount of time in the saddle and varied terrain, if possible. Yes, I totally enjoyed training for and riding the century.

Congratulations on your metric century!
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Old 08-07-17, 01:18 PM
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I've done two ... aiming to do more now that I'm back into cycling.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.

Sounds cliche but you find out a lot about yourself on a ride like that. The two I did were part of an organized ride, so there were lots of people riding that day, but I did them both solo, without riding along side or along with anyone else. There are highs and lows on a century. The second one I did I was hot, it was humid and my fitness wasn't quite where it was for the first one I did. I wanted to quit at 75 miles in but I was encouraged to continue and I was glad I did.

And you really shouldn't have to do too much more training to go from 63 to 100 miles. I think the longest ride I had done prior to each century was around 50 miles. The most you'd have to really do is 70-75 miles. As crazy as it sounds, another 25 miles on top of that is easy when you get right down to it.

A century is a cool accomplishment ... I would encourage you to go for it
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Old 08-07-17, 01:35 PM
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I did a few a long time ago. One one of them, I got to ride with a couple of competitor's in that year's Race Across America. Nice guys, just like me, except they could ride ride a lot farther than I could.

Depends on your goals. At this point, I look no farther than a half century or metric - I'm a lot slower now than I was 30 years ago, and I just don't want to spend as much time as a century would take me.

But it's a nice challenge to go after. Thinking about it, since you've done a metric, I recommend going for the full century. I think you'll be glad you did.

I agree with ill.clyde, especially if you're young. A good 70-75 ride, finishing with energy left, is all you need to do a century. In fact, the metric may be all you need.
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Old 08-07-17, 01:43 PM
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Thank you for the advice all!


I guess I will give it a whirl. I have a full year to train for it so I have the time to get ready. I think it is probably more mental than physical, I am a Clyde but I don't have any issues in the saddle for 4+ hours so training will just be the key. Just seems so daunting really


Although it would be cool to say I have done a century just for bragging.
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Old 08-07-17, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
I agree with ill.clyde, especially if you're young. A good 70-75 ride, finishing with energy left, is all you need to do a century. In fact, the metric may be all you need.


I was hoping to do this before I turned 40 being I know it will be harder after I turn the big 40. I have two years left.....
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Old 08-07-17, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I was hoping to do this before I turned 40 being I know it will be harder after I turn the big 40. I have two years left.....
I'm 45 and I think you'll be just fine. Being a consistent rider and having that goal will get you through.
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Old 08-08-17, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by hotwheels View Post
I'm 45 and I think you'll be just fine. Being a consistent rider and having that goal will get you through.



thanks
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Old 08-08-17, 10:38 AM
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I'd suggest doing more metrics until they feel regular then do a full century. The metrics are plenty of training no matter how flat or hilly your routes vary. Just stay on top of the nutrition/water game so you don't feel like crap at mile 90 something.

It's easier to do it with someone as you can share the wind load but solo is fine too. Most of my rides are solo
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Old 08-08-17, 08:03 PM
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Congratulations. I just recently did my first metric century and still plan on doing a full century later this year. I feel like I need to do quite a bit of training before I can ride a full 100 miles. It just takes time which sometimes seems like I don't have.
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Old 08-08-17, 08:19 PM
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I agree with some of the other comments. If you can do a metric and feel good, it's not much of a leap to do a full century. I did my first metric on my 56th birthday and did my first century 5 months later. I did a lot of 40-50 miles rides in between, and a 70 and an 80 miler.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by hotwheels View Post
I'm 45 and I think you'll be just fine. Being a consistent rider and having that goal will get you through.
47.

100KM is just a number.
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Old 08-13-17, 12:34 PM
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Clyde and Century - no problem. You'd be surprised how many clydes / athenas are randonneurs.

You can totally do it with the proper preparation. (Although, loosing weight does help. I really need to loose weight to make it easier on my self.)
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Old 08-14-17, 04:46 PM
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What? You think there's a quantum drop-off in capability on your 40th birthday?

That's not the way it works. If you keep riding in good healt, and I certainly hope you do, you'll probably be able to do more at 40 than you can now. I said good-bye to my 40s some years ago, and I stopped riding from '96-'01 and '04-'13. I'm not going to get back to the way I performed 30 years ago, but if I had kept riding, I expect I'd be closer than I am.
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Old 08-14-17, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I was hoping to do this before I turned 40 being I know it will be harder after I turn the big 40. I have two years left.....
I did my first metric ton a couple of months ago after about 2 months back on a bike after a 30 year layoff, I'm 58 and 40-50 Lbs overweight..

So at 38 you should not have too much trouble with a hundred miles, choose your rout carefully, stay on flat or gentle slopes, choose a cool part of the year, and just go for it.. its all in the mind.

most important is to be having fun, a ton will never be all fun, but the sense of achievement after will make it worth while. Good luck.
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Old 08-14-17, 08:42 PM
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Go for the Century!


At 49, it took me a year to do my first half century-- on my 50th birthday. Then it took another six months to do my first metric century. I had a minor injury that delayed that goal. About a year after my first half century, I did my first century ride. It felt great! We had a 25 mph headwind for the middle 35 miles, and I considered quitting. I finally decided that they'll have to scrape me off the street rather than me quitting. It really was great.


I attempted my second century about five months later, but it was a 93 degree day and I hadn't trained well enough. I went into heat exhaustion and stopped at mile 86, knowing I was close to heat stroke. It took about three months to feel comfortable during a long (50 + mile) ride again.


Next month will be my first of two or three centuries for this fall season. It will be about 18 months after my first century. I feel a lot more confident about this coming season with a 25 pound weight loss and with the help of a coach.


Go for it!
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Old 08-15-17, 01:10 PM
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If you can ride a metric without much trouble then go for it. Maybe get a few metrics under your belt and determine you can ride a metric rather easily, or very easily ride 50+ miles. After about mile 80 it's all mental, at least for me, there's nothing left in the tank. Your mind will give you 100 reasons to quit. Take it easy early on, don't push when you're strong, you'll need that energy later. Take a few breaks along the way. Don't worry about speed & time, just focus on finishing. Just keep going, keep intaking fuel/fluids. The feeling of accomplishment is awesome. I did my first two centuries at age 55.
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Old 08-15-17, 08:47 PM
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Thank you all for the encouragement. Am training and going to try it by yeats end
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Old 08-16-17, 07:28 AM
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I've done more centuries than I care to remember. I generally get bored after about 85 miles so I avoid doing them now. One exception is out club's annual ride to Brooklyn, NY. That comes out to be about 94 miles.


If you decide to do an organized one make sure you stay frosty after the 85 mile point. Over the years I have seen an inordinate number of crashes after that point. I suspect many resulted from people being mentally and/or physically fatigued.
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Old 08-16-17, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If you decide to do an organized one make sure you stay frosty after the 85 mile point. Over the years I have seen an inordinate number of crashes after that point. I suspect many resulted from people being mentally and/or physically fatigued.
This^^^. I noticed this, near the end, getting sloppy, not paying attention to traffic like I normally would, feeling dull mentally to my surroundings and what's happening around me, only superficially aware of what I'm doing. Like a marathon runner, you can kind of get "zoned out" those last few miles just trying to concentrate on finishing.
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Old 08-16-17, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
This^^^. I noticed this, near the end, getting sloppy, not paying attention to traffic like I normally would, feeling dull mentally to my surroundings and what's happening around me, only superficially aware of what I'm doing.
And it can happen to anyone, regardless of experience. Many years ago, a local guy was on a group cross country tour. At the end of a long day he looked across the road and saw that he had just passed his motel. Without thinking to look first, he turned into the road to backtrack and found himself in the path of a semi. He was badly injured but survived. IIRC, the low speed limit in the area where the accident occurred likely meant the difference between life and death.


My worst tired moment came after my '99 Seattle to Bar Harbor, ME self contained group tour. When the tour concluded I was riding home to Philly solo. Not far from the PA/NY/NJ border I got caught in Hurricane Floyd and had to hole up in a motel. Wanting to make up the lost day so I could spend a few nights at a friend's house before riding home on the final day, I planned a monster day. Somewhere after the 100 mile mark I was riding on a rail-trail a few miles north of my planned campground. I was pretty spent and started slowly drifting off the trail. My eyes saw what was happening, and my mind knew what was happening, but it couldn't form the thought to take corrective action quickly enough. I ended up in the brush 5' off he trail. After collecting myself and slapping myself in the face a few times I continued on, only to reach the campground and find it closed due to flooding. Ended up riding a total of 135 miles and getting a motel room, but I made it to my friend's house on schedule.
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Old 08-16-17, 12:51 PM
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Congrats on the metric century! It's a great feeling, right? Good luck on the imperial. I'll get there someday.
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