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Training for a 100 mile ride.

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Training for a 100 mile ride.

Old 03-02-16, 10:01 AM
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Training for a 100 mile ride.

I signed up for a 100 mile ride to benefit Alzheimer's research, and I have until August to get ready.

Can anyone point me towards some info on a training program for a ride of this length?

I have a couple of vintage 12 speeds -- a Bridgestone RB-3 and a restored 72 Super Course. I'm guessing I'll need a newer / better bike than what I have-- better gearing, etc... for a ride of that length.

Thanks
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Old 03-02-16, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
I'm guessing I'll need a newer / better bike than what I have-- better gearing, etc... for a ride of that length.

Thanks
Why, especially the "better gearing," whatever that means, part?

I did my first century on a early to mid-80s Trek 660 12 speed. IIRC, my girlfriend, who rode with me, was riding an RB-3. It was definitely a Bridgestone. The gearing was fine for the terrain. People do centuries on single speed bikes.
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Old 03-02-16, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Why, especially the "better gearing," whatever that means, part?

I did my first century on a early to mid-80s Trek 660 12 speed. IIRC, my girlfriend, who rode with me, was riding an RB-3. It was definitely a Bridgestone. The gearing was fine for the terrain. People do centuries on single speed bikes.

I was thinking if the course has steep climbs, I may need the better gearing, but from what you said-- maybe not. I don't want to invest in another bike unless it's really needed. I could always replace the freewheel on the RB-3 with one that has more teeth on the lower gears.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:09 AM
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Work your miles up to 50 - 75 and you will be OK for a 100.

Complete REST Two or Three days before the 100 will be great help.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:17 AM
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Training for a 100 mile ride.

Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
I signed up for a 100 mile ride to benefit Alzheimer's research, and I have until August to get ready.

Can anyone point me towards some info on a training program for a ride of this length?

I have a couple of vintage 12 speeds -- a Bridgestone RB-3...
See these two recent, nearly concurrent threads on the General Cycling Discussion Forum.

100 miles ride

Training for my first century, or more laconically

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Work you miles up to 50 - 75 and you will be OK for a 100.
Nearly all of my several Centuries were on a Bridgestone RB1.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-02-16 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:19 AM
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Saddle time - the more of it you get the better you'll be able to stand sitting on a saddle for 6-7 hours. Like 10 Wheels said, work your way up to 50-75 mile rides and you'll be OK with doing a century.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
Saddle time - the more of it you get the better you'll be able to stand sitting on a saddle for 6-7 hours. Like 10 Wheels said, work your way up to 50-75 mile rides and you'll be OK with doing a century.
Practice standing to pedal in a big gear, it will give your butt a rest and a chance to stretch your back and legs.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:34 AM
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Look in the long distance forum. There's a sticky giving tips for your first century.

"Training" isn't really relevant unless you're aiming to do it in a fast time. Just build up your time on the bike. If by August you're riding a couple of hundred miles per week including one ride of > 60 miles, you're ready.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:42 AM
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I make it a point to ride the first part of the one long training ride per week as hard as I can. I'll usually start to feel pretty tired 2/3 of the way through, then just slug the rest of it out. The objective is to finish exhausted. That gives a huge training impulse for long endurance rides. I do most of the rest of my weekly mileage at a moderate pace, keeping my breathing deep but below the point where it starts to become more rapid, which means gearing down for the hills.
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Old 03-02-16, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
I have a couple of vintage 12 speeds -- a Bridgestone RB-3 and a restored 72 Super Course. I'm guessing I'll need a newer / better bike than what I have-- better gearing, etc... for a ride of that length.
Either bicycle should be fine for a century ride.

You could certainly choose some upgrades such as adding your favorite hill climbing freewheel.

Not that doing "upgrades" may not be fun, but certainly isn't necessary.

How hilly is the course?
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Old 03-02-16, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Either bicycle should be fine for a century ride.

You could certainly choose some upgrades such as adding your favorite hill climbing freewheel.

Not that doing "upgrades" may not be fun, but certainly isn't necessary.

How hilly is the course?

The course hasn't been set yet, but I think it starts in Rye, NH, goes over to the Merrimack River and down to Northeastern MA. I'll have to check for some elevations in that area to get an idea or wait until they post the course.
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Old 03-02-16, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
I signed up for a 100 mile ride to benefit Alzheimer's research, and I have until August to get ready.
Please provide a link to the ride/event so we can look at the elevation profile. 100 miles on a bicycle really isn't that difficult if the route is flat or mostly flat. Throw in several hour-long climbs and it can be a completely different ordeal. If there is a lot of climbing involved then climbing should make up a significant part of your training plan.

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Old 03-02-16, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
I signed up for a 100 mile ride to benefit Alzheimer's research, and I have until August to get ready.

Can anyone point me towards some info on a training program for a ride of this length?

I have a couple of vintage 12 speeds -- a Bridgestone RB-3 and a restored 72 Super Course. I'm guessing I'll need a newer / better bike than what I have-- better gearing, etc... for a ride of that length.

Thanks
If you want to get something new, that is fine. I would suggest though that if you do, get it sooner rather than later so you are used to it by the time of the big ride.
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Old 03-02-16, 01:11 PM
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I did plenty of centuries on old 2x5 bikes. You may enjoy a newer, lighter bike with more gears, but it's not a necessity. The biggest help will be to get lots of saddle time. Buycycling Magazine (sic) puts out a guide every year for training for your first century. August is plenty of time; in fact, by August I'll have gone from no-miles-since-November to having done several centuries.
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Old 03-02-16, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
The course hasn't been set yet, but I think it starts in Rye, NH, goes over to the Merrimack River and down to Northeastern MA. I'll have to check for some elevations in that area to get an idea or wait until they post the course.
Hey @rickrob, I just noted you live in Metrowest Boston. I’m in Kenmore Square in Boston. You may be interested in this active thread on the Northeast Regional Cycling Discussion Forum, "Metro Boston, good ride today?” with the link to the most recent post. Most of the subscribers ride in Metrowest.

Originally Posted by Rick@OCRR View Post
Please provide a link to the ride/event so we can look at the elevation profile. 100 miles on a bicycle really isn't that difficult if the route is flat or mostly flat. Throw in several hour-long climbs and it can be a completely different ordeal. If there is a lot of climbing involved then climbing should make up a significant part of your training plan.

Rick / OCRR
Rest assured, @Rick@OCRR, that along the Atlantic seaboard you won’t find any arduous climbs. The tallest point in metro Boston is Great Blue Hill at 635 feet, the highest point within 10 miles of the Atlantic coast south of Maine (Wikipedia).

I’ve read about your climbs in California.

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Old 03-02-16, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
The course hasn't been set yet, but I think it starts in Rye, NH, goes over to the Merrimack River and down to Northeastern MA. I'll have to check for some elevations in that area to get an idea or wait until they post the course.
Can you also double (triple) check the dates for that ride?

You might find some folks who have good information at North Shore Cyclists. (My doctor actually recommended them, thought that doesn't mean they are "doctor recommended.") They often have members training for charity rides, including the ALZ ride, and they know the territory up to NH. Obviously, the seacoast routes are quite flat, and inland routes are more hilly. Suspect you'll have a mix.

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Old 03-02-16, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Can you also double (triple) check the dates for that ride?

You might find some folks who have good information at North Shore Cyclists. They often have members training for rides, including the ALZ ride, know the territory up to Rye/Portsmouth. Obviously, the seacoast routes are quite flat, and inland routes are more hilly. Suspect you'll have a mix.

-mr. bill
Good thing you mentioned that-- It's actually June 11th, 2016. Hope I can get ready by then.
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Old 03-02-16, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
Good thing you mentioned that-- It's actually June 11th, 2016. Hope I can get ready by then.
Unless you're very unfit, three months is loads of time. Increase your weekly mileage by 10% - 20% per week. No sweat.
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Old 03-02-16, 02:09 PM
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I completed my first century last summer on a hybrid, so see no reason why your existing bikes should not get you to completion.

My thoughts based on my limited experience:
~ get lots and lots of time in the saddle, just building stamina (for me the objective was 'completion' - if you have a different objective you may need to think in terms of a more structured training program)
~ build up your distance slowly, but get some longer (say 75mile) rides in towards the event date;
~ consider what cycling shorts / 'butter' you may need. This topic alone can generate a wide variety of views - find what works for you. (I did not think about this until my training rides got to over 4 hrs and I started getting a little sore. I ended up buying lycra shorts with more padding+ using Vaseline of all things. Anyway, worked for me fine on the day).
~ consider if you want any electronic aids (I used the ride as an excuse to buy a reconditioned Garmin Edge. This helped with navigation, but also enabled me to monitor my cadence / heart rate . The latter aspect helped me judge how my training was progressing + the heart rate monitor relaxed my wife.
~ consider whether you need new tires - either existing ones worn and/or they are not something you have given much thought to re width/tread. Again a topic with a variety of views. (I put on new reasonable quality tires - I was hoping to avoid delays due to puncture - and ignored advice from local LBS to go to a narrower tire at higher pressure. Right or wrong I wanted the cushion of a wider tire at lower pressure).
~ consider whether bike needs a tune-up (not an issue for me - the bike was still in its warranty phase from the LBS and they gave it a free tune-up and declared it 'good-to-go')
~ very little cycling in the 5 days before the event
~ as far as possible (and especially food / drink / major equipment) only use items you have experience with;
~ Consider whether you should get a professional bike fitting. Again a topic on which there are different views. (I did - no major changes, but I regarded it as money/time well spent - it gave me re-assurance that I was less likely to end up with a problem);
~ do lots of stretching while training, and also warm up before the event starts (I am over 6', late 60's and too much time at a desk. For me that has resulted in poor flexibility. I saw a trainer at my gym - she helped me work on my (lack of) flexibility, which I think has really helped me both cycling and more generally
~ start slow and finish strong (I intended to do this myself but everyone started fast and I joined in - next time I will try to resist that temptation as I really struggled the last 5 miles - partly due to getting a little de-hydrated)
~ drink lots and lots of water - both on the day but also while training
~ don't spend longer than necessary at the refreshment stops every minute stopped is a minute longer before you finish

Good luck

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Old 03-02-16, 02:39 PM
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I regularly complete century rides on vintage bikes. As long as the bike is truly comfortable for 6 hours and in excellent condition, a vintage bike can do the job.

My 1986ish Serotta has newer wheels and some gearing updates. It has done many longer rides;

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Old 03-02-16, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by rickrob View Post
Good thing you mentioned that-- It's actually June 11th, 2016. Hope I can get ready by then.
Yes, you can. (I'm getting ready for the Bike MS a couple of weeks later. But two days from UMASS Boston to Provincetown. Actually, from my house to Provincetown.)


Are you going with anyone who has done the ride before?


So, about your bikes. Do you love riding any of your existing bikes? If you do, that's your answer. Going from an hour in the saddle, to two hours, to four hours, to....

You'll know in your heart early this spring if any are the bike for you. If you can't stand spending the time in any of your saddles, I mean, some folks find self-flagellation a spiritual practice, but I don't.

You don't have to do a century to prepare for a century. Frankly, if you do a 100 km ride unsupported in the weeks before the ALZ ride, you'll probably be able to do the 100 mile supported ALZ ride just fine. (But not the week of the ALZ ride, that week is just have some fun on your bike.)

Also the day of the ride there will be energy bars and energy drinks and energy powder and energy goo that folks will give away. If you've never used *that* particular one, either resist, or grab it and stash it for another day. Not the day to experiment.

At the rest stops, PB&J, bananas, oranges and water will never, ever, taste so good as on that day.

You'll likely finish with a S.E.G. (Urban dictionary it.)

-mr. bill

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Old 03-02-16, 03:39 PM
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Long rides are mostly mental. The main physical challenge is butt conditioning. August leaves plenty of prep time.

Try long rides with one or more friends. Years ago I found long rides with my bike club helped motivate me and pass the time. We did event rides of 75-250 miles and it always seemed more like fun than a chore. On my own I might ride 20-50 miles in a day before I got bored.
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Old 03-02-16, 07:01 PM
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@mr_bill - Yes, I'm riding with someone who has ridden the course. I've done 25 miles in one ride on my Super Course and the same on the RB3, and I would probably choose the RB3 for the ride. I think I'd be most comfortable on that as the frame is a little smaller.


Thanks for your advice and opinions everyone-- I really appreciate it. I'm going to start training and I'll complete that ride...

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Old 03-02-16, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Rest assured, @Rick@OCRR, that along the Atlantic seaboard you won’t find any arduous climbs. The tallest point in metro Boston is Great Blue Hill at 635 feet, the highest point within 10 miles of the Atlantic coast south of Maine (Wikipedia).
I’ve read about your climbs in California.
Yes, we have some climbs out here in SoCal and they have some excellent ones in NorCal too. Ride Around the Bear century has 9,400 ft. of climbing and Breathless Agony Century has over 12,000. Several of the climbs out here take an hour, plus or minus.

So yes, I will now retract the advice on climbing training due to the low altitude of climbs in the OP's area!

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Old 03-03-16, 07:31 AM
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Training for a Century is most of the fun. Getting a new bike is even more fun. Then after the Century there's all that story telling and the feeling that you did it.
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