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Another "Century Training" Question

Old 03-10-10, 08:45 AM
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Another "Century Training" Question

I'm tying to ramp up my miles for my first century in a few weeks. I'm just doing it so I can say I've done one. I'll be tackling a 75 to 80 mile loop with a couple of good climbs this Friday. I've already done a couple of 60 milers without a problem. My question is, is it really nessesary to get in rides that are over 90 miles as a part of the training. I ride mostly solo and it is difficult to find the time and the patience to get these distances done every week. I think I can do the full 100 miles without a problem, but this century ( https://cheahachallenge.com/ ) also has the added element of 7600' of climbing in the middle section of the ride. The climbing shouldn't be a problem as I have done that much climbing in my 60 mile loops.

So what you guys think, should I force myself to do a couple of 100 milers before the century on April 18th or do you think that I can get away with a 60 to 70 mile loop each week?
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Old 03-10-10, 08:50 AM
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Best to do one.

The last 10 miles is much harder then you can imagine.

The key is to PACE yourself.

27 of them last year.
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Old 03-10-10, 08:55 AM
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If my experience is any guide, your loops with serious climbing will do the trick if you are willing to take it easy on your 18 April rider.

As 10Wheels suggests, pacing is crucial. For me that means doing long rides at an entirely leisurely pace.

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Old 03-10-10, 09:03 AM
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I think your plan is good. Friday will tell you if you have the endurance to finish after the climbing section. One thing you may consider for your Friday ride is to ride the hills as you would do so in the century by "leaving something in the tank" for the rest of the ride. The event profile suggest that once you get past 80 miles it is mostly flat the rest of the way.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:05 AM
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I'd try for one 100 miler, maybe without the climbing, just to get over the mental aspect.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet
I think your plan is good. Friday will tell you if you have the endurance to finish after the climbing section. One thing you may consider for your Friday ride is to ride the hills as you would do so in the century by "leaving something in the tank" for the rest of the ride. The event profile suggest that once you get past 80 miles it is mostly flat the rest of the way.
Your are right. It is an out and back with the first 25 miles flat. That means the 50 miles in the middle will mostly climbing. I have been doing hill repeats a couple of times during the week with 5000' of total climbing to get ready for that section. I'm assuming that I should be able to hook up with a group going out to maitain my speed without wearing down the legs before the hills start. I just want to make sure that when I get to the turn-around that I have enough gas left to coast back home.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by spoke50
Your are right. It is an out and back with the first 25 miles flat. That means the 50 miles in the middle will mostly climbing. I have been doing hill repeats a couple of times during the week with 5000' of total climbing to get ready for that section. I'm assuming that I should be able to hook up with a group going out to maitain my speed without wearing down the legs before the hills start. I just want to make sure that when I get to the turn-around that I have enough gas left to coast back home.
If I was riding the event, I would watch my HR early on and keep it in Z2 on the way to the hills. If I were riding @ Z3 average early on in a 6+ hour effort I would back off some and ride with others while using calories from fat and food in order save muscle fuel for later. If you have resonable fitness the issue will be what fuel is still available and what your needs are over the last 20 miles.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Best to do one.

The last 10 miles is much harder then you can imagine.

The key is to PACE yourself.

27 of them last year.
Interesting. I've got nowhere near 27 centuries under my belt, so I defer to greater experience; but I've always had a lot of fun over the last 10-20 miles of the centuries/double metrics I've done. (Maybe I start out too easy?)

For me, it's miles 60-80 that are usually the hardest, mentally: the legs start to feel sore and you're not close to the finish yet.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by palookabutt
Interesting. I've got nowhere near 27 centuries under my belt, so I defer to greater experience; but I've always had a lot of fun over the last 10-20 miles of the centuries/double metrics I've done. (Maybe I start out too easy?)

For me, it's miles 60-80 that are usually the hardest, mentally: the legs start to feel sore and you're not close to the finish yet.
And your 67 y/o with bad lungs
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Old 03-10-10, 10:27 AM
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If you do a 100 mile ride in preparation for your first century ride, it won't be your first century ride. If you can comfortably ride 60 - 70 miles, you can ride a century. Don't overthink it, it's just riding 100 miles on a bicycle. Be sure to eat and drink plenty during the ride and to pace yourself.
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Old 03-10-10, 11:31 AM
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My BIG Hard 100 milers took 12 hours and I never did 100 miles training to do it-- but my training was harder than normal century pace to enable me to do it.

You have done 80 miles in training- but How many hills? How hard did you push? And how long in the saddle as a non-stop ride?

10 wheels is right- that last 10 miles is going to be hard. In fact as it is your first one- it is the last 30 that will get you.

On a 100 miler there is the "Bonk" spot that most newcomers come across at around the 70 mile mark. I normally do the first 60 to 65 non-stop except for water and Comfort stops. They do not last long. But at the 65 mark- I stop- eat something more substantial than the "Energy" food I have beem snacking on- drink an extra bottle of water and stretch. Takes about 4 or 5 minutes and then I carry on to the finish.

But my training is rides of around 4 hours non stop. Take in some of the steepest hills around- get some faster than normal speed in on some sections and do it in any weather. In fact they are the organised Metrics that abound within 100 miles of where I live.
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Old 03-10-10, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
My BIG Hard 100 milers took 12 hours and I never did 100 miles training to do it-- but my training was harder than normal century pace to enable me to do it.

You have done 80 miles in training- but How many hills? How hard did you push? And how long in the saddle as a non-stop ride?

10 wheels is right- that last 10 miles is going to be hard. In fact as it is your first one- it is the last 30 that will get you.

On a 100 miler there is the "Bonk" spot that most newcomers come across at around the 70 mile mark. I normally do the first 60 to 65 non-stop except for water and Comfort stops. They do not last long. But at the 65 mark- I stop- eat something more substantial than the "Energy" food I have beem snacking on- drink an extra bottle of water and stretch. Takes about 4 or 5 minutes and then I carry on to the finish.

But my training is rides of around 4 hours non stop. Take in some of the steepest hills around- get some faster than normal speed in on some sections and do it in any weather. In fact they are the organised Metrics that abound within 100 miles of where I live.
I did 63 miles last week in 3.5 hours with 4300' of climbing (16.5 avg ). I usually average 17-18 MPH with more climbing on my regular weekly rides, so I definately tried to pace myself. I think I'll take the advice here and do a mild paced century in the next couple of weeks just to see how my body reacts to 5+ hours on the bike.
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Old 03-10-10, 12:09 PM
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It sounds to me as if your training should be adequate for a century. Doing 60 milers and 70 milers should do well for you as long as they are of comparable difficulty. The trick with a century is not pushing too hard. As for the last 10 miles being the hardest, that is not always the case. The last century I did, I had the most trouble at the 60-70 mile stretch which was one of the flatter sections.
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Old 03-10-10, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
If you can comfortably ride 60 - 70 miles, you can ride a century. Don't overthink it, it's just riding 100 miles on a bicycle. Be sure to eat and drink plenty during the ride and to pace yourself.

+1 Don't turn it into a "race" in the first 30 miles (the temptation is greater than you think) and you'll be fine.
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Old 03-10-10, 01:50 PM
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re: "is it really nessesary to get in rides that are over 90 miles as a part of the training"

No, not in my opinion. Not at all.

you'll do fine - just keep reminding yourself to lay off the gas; stand every now and then while coasting; and take actual rest stops where you walk around a little.

plan more of your nutrition and hydration needs
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Old 03-10-10, 01:51 PM
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10 wheels! you did 27 centuries last year!? seriously!? DANG Bro!
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Old 03-10-10, 02:07 PM
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I do double centuries and never train over a 100 miles. Most of my training rides during the week are in the 1-2 hour range and on the weekend 2-4 hour range, both with interval work thrown in. Everyone trains differently and mine works for me. I've already done one double and three centuries this year. I've planned 9 doubles (with some having upwards of 15,000' of climbing), 1 triple and a bunch of centuries for the year, I'll see if I can get them done. I think you are ready to go, do a little tapering the week before the ride and have fun.
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Old 03-10-10, 02:29 PM
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I bonked about 85 - 90 mi on my first cent last Dec. I think it was partly starting too fast, and partly nutrition and that muscle energy thing that Allegheny Jet mentioned.

I was with a group that was doing 21+ and I wanted to finish under 5 hrs ride time. I ended up finishing at 5:15 but that last 15 mi or so was kinda tough.

I did another century this past weekend. Ate better, started slower, and finished with lots of energy to spare. And under 5 hrs!
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Old 03-10-10, 02:32 PM
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you guys are animals!
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Old 03-10-10, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by spoke50
I did 63 miles last week in 3.5 hours with 4300' of climbing (16.5 avg ). I usually average 17-18 MPH with more climbing on my regular weekly rides, so I definately tried to pace myself. I think I'll take the advice here and do a mild paced century in the next couple of weeks just to see how my body reacts to 5+ hours on the bike.
That milage in that time- And the ride in a couple of weeks.

Start coming off the milage to save enough energy for the 100 miles. Pointless burning out before the event. Start eating a bit more pasta and rice for carbo-hydrates and throw the scales away. Any weight gain will go on the ride. 2 or 3 rides of say 20 to 30 miles in the week and a 40 to 50 milers at the weekends will keep you in trim for a good few weeks.

With the milage you are doing and the speed- you can do a double century so don't bother about any "Extra" training. And when you do the ride- Come down from your normal pace. This will be your first one and it is new to you- Break the records on the second one.
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Old 03-10-10, 04:01 PM
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I think carb loading only works if you eat within a certain numbers of hours of the event. otherwise you're just storing fat and fat doesn't get burned during an event
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Old 03-10-10, 05:03 PM
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So you want to do a couple of 100 milers before you do your first century? Okay.

I think you do not need to train just do what you do and don't push too hard at first and you will be fine. Some good advice on rest and food so far so have fun and ride safe.
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Old 03-10-10, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by spoke50
I think I'll take the advice here and do a mild paced century in the next couple of weeks just to see how my body reacts to 5+ hours on the bike.
I must be missing something here. You are asking how to prepare for your first 100 mile ride and your solution is to ride a 100 mile ride before you try the 100 mile ride. Huh?
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Old 03-10-10, 08:18 PM
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"My question is, is it really nessesary to get in rides that are over 90 miles as a part of the training."

If you can do 50 - and half the climbing - you can do 100. Over the course of several centuries each March, I never rode more than 30 miles and managed to complete the ride.

"I'm just doing it so I can say I've done one."

I can think of some other, better reasons.
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Old 03-10-10, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
I must be missing something here. You are asking how to prepare for your first 100 mile ride and your solution is to ride a 100 mile ride before you try the 100 mile ride. Huh?
That was based on the advise of another poster. If I post this over in the Training forum, those guys will suggest that I do a 120 mile ride before the event. I'm sure I can complete the ride, but I'd also like to do it inside of 6 minutes. That's not to say I want enjoy the ride anyway.

I'll make a point to post my result next month.
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