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Thinking about a century

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Thinking about a century

Old 09-17-21, 09:32 AM
  #26  
donm1967
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Originally Posted by ChamoisDavisJr View Post
Centuries are overrated. Unless you’re trying to impress non-cycling people by telling them you did a “Century”?
Nobody actually cares at all. I mean people at my work are impressed by an 18 mile commute. They’re dumbfounded if I take the long way to work at 32 miles.
Ride what you’re comfortable riding. If it’s a personal goal then sure, have at it.
With your riding experience you can do one no problem.
But really, why would you.
Yes it's a personal goal. I'm not an athlete, Had bad asthma as a kid, back problems as an adult. At age 54 feeling the best I have in a long time after my 2nd lumbar surgery in 2020. So for me it would be a major accomplishment.
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Old 09-17-21, 09:33 AM
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As somebody who rides a solo century once a week during New England bike season, I think you'll be in a better position to answer whether you should do the full 100 miles when you see what the winds are like and how your legs feel at mile 48 on the 3rd.

If you've already ridden 50, you almost certainly can do 60 or 68, and I find the biggest variables on how much a century is going to tire me are hills and winds. Presumably, you already know how hilly it is, so you'll get the rest of the needed data during the first 48 miles. The intervening 60 mile ride might be a good idea from the standpoint of building confidence.

The good news is you probably can't screw up this decision because getting a little over-tired is not a horrible consequence, and if you decide to bail at 68, that's fine too. I've had days when I'm just not feeling it, and I'm doing this for me because I like it. If I'm not liking it, I'm cutting it short.
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Old 09-17-21, 09:42 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
You can ride in a day what you normally ride in a week...
this is an interesting rule of thumb. It’s definitely not true for me, i do 125-150 a week and have found my limit for a day without extreme duress/pain/regret (or a new level of preparation?) is around 80 miles. to do a century I’d have to REALLY want to, or basically break it up into a 60 and a 40 with a long break in between.
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Old 09-17-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
this is an interesting rule of thumb. It’s definitely not true for me, i do 125-150 a week and have found my limit for a day without extreme duress/pain/regret (or a new level of preparation?) is around 80 miles. to do a century I’d have to REALLY want to, or basically break it up into a 60 and a 40 with a long break in between.
Yeah, I never got that either. I ride anywhere from 150-220 a week, commuting mostly, and there is no way I could do that in one ride.
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Old 09-17-21, 09:55 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
The good news is you probably can't screw up this decision because getting a little over-tired is not a horrible consequence, and if you decide to bail at 68, that's fine too. I've had days when I'm just not feeling it, and I'm doing this for me because I like it. If I'm not liking it, I'm cutting it short.
Quoted for emphasis.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:09 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I would go for the 68 mile option, and see how that goes. If you're tired the last 10 miles of 60, imagine how tired you be 40 miles later!
+1. Success builds on success. If you go for the century option and fail, you'll probably be discouraged for your next attempt, if there is one. But once you have a 68-miler under your belt, you'll be able to go into a full century with a lot more confidence. And so much of this thing is mental.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:17 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by mschwett View Post
this is an interesting rule of thumb. It’s definitely not true for me, i do 125-150 a week and have found my limit for a day without extreme duress/pain/regret (or a new level of preparation?) is around 80 miles. to do a century I’d have to REALLY want to, or basically break it up into a 60 and a 40 with a long break in between.
Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Yeah, I never got that either. I ride anywhere from 150-220 a week, commuting mostly, and there is no way I could do that in one ride.

I have no idea where this rule of thumb comes from, and I'm not sure I even understand it. Does it mean you could do all that riding in one day plus the additional miles you do in a routine week during the rest of the week? Or does it mean do all of iit one day and take part or all of the rest of the week off? That's a huge difference in the total number of miles in the space of a few days and I don't know about anyone else, but I do find there's some carry-over in tiredness from day to day when I get into really long ride situations (130 miles or more in a day).

Also, as bargo's example shows, there's got to be a point in routine daily mileage where the one day long ride distance involved becomes preposterous. But even worse--if you're already riding 250 per week, are you really going to be able to double that total in a week even if you spread the extra miles over a couple or three days? That doesn't seem obvious to me.

I actually ride between 200 and 225 miles a week, but that includes 100 miles on Saturday, and 50 miles on Sunday, plus 50-75 miles during the work week. I have no idea how that fits into this rule of thumb--does it just mean that I can increase my Saturday ride to 125 (I have from time to time), or is it telling me I can do 225 miles in a day in addition to what I'm already doing? I'm pretty sure I can't.

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Old 09-17-21, 10:27 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have no idea where this rule of thumb comes from, and I'm not sure I even understand it. Does it mean you could do all that riding in one day plus the additional miles you do in a routine week during the rest of the week? Or does it mean do all of iit one day and take part or all of the rest of the week off? That's a huge difference in the total number of miles in the space of a few days and I don't know about anyone else, but I do find there's some carry-over in tiredness from day to day when I get into really long ride situations (130 miles or more in a day).

Also, as bargo's example shows, there's got to be a point in routine daily mileage where the one day long ride distance involved becomes preposterous. But even worse--if you're already riding 250 per week, are you really going to be able to double that total in a week even if you spread the extra miles over a couple or three days? That doesn't seem obvious to me.

I actually ride between 200 and 225 miles a week, but that includes 100 miles on Saturday, and 50 miles on Sunday, plus 50-75 miles during the work week. I have no idea how that fits into this rule of thumb--does it just mean that I can increase my Saturday ride to 125 (I have from time to time), or is it telling me I can do 225 miles in a day in addition to what I'm already doing? I'm pretty sure I can't.
I take it to mean that if I routinely ride 150-200 a week, then I should be able to do 150-200 in one ride. Ain't gonna happen as my fitness stands today.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:29 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by donm1967 View Post
Yes it's a personal goal. I'm not an athlete, Had bad asthma as a kid, back problems as an adult. At age 54 feeling the best I have in a long time after my 2nd lumbar surgery in 2020. So for me it would be a major accomplishment.

So basically, this is a "this year or next year" thing for you, cuz I think you're definitely going to do it. I think you'll know by mile 48 the day of the century whether it's this year.

Good luck to you! I think I was about a year older than you when I rode my first measured century.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:40 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I have no idea where this rule of thumb comes from, and I'm not sure I even understand it. Does it mean you could do all that riding in one day plus the additional miles you do in a routine week during the rest of the week? Or does it mean do all of iit one day and take part or all of the rest of the week off? That's a huge difference in the total number of miles in the space of a few days and I don't know about anyone else, but I do find there's some carry-over in tiredness from day to day when I get into really long ride situations (130 miles or more in a day).

Also, as bargo's example shows, there's got to be a point in routine daily mileage where the one day long ride distance involved becomes preposterous. But even worse--if you're already riding 250 per week, are you really going to be able to double that total in a week even if you spread the extra miles over a couple or three days? That doesn't seem obvious to me.

I actually ride between 200 and 225 miles a week, but that includes 100 miles on Saturday, and 50 miles on Sunday, plus 50-75 miles during the work week. I have no idea how that fits into this rule of thumb--does it just mean that I can increase my Saturday ride to 125 (I have from time to time), or is it telling me I can do 225 miles in a day in addition to what I'm already doing? I'm pretty sure I can't.
Rules of thumb are imprecise by nature. This one is likely as much psychological/motivational as it is physiological. All but a small percentage of people on BikeForums could ride a century tomorrow if sufficiently motivated, but rules of thumb like this and the "you can ride 50% longer than your last long ride" help to rein that into something easier to plan around.

Tapering can be assumed for these rules of thumb...
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Old 09-17-21, 10:43 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
I take it to mean that if I routinely ride 150-200 a week, then I should be able to do 150-200 in one ride. Ain't gonna happen as my fitness stands today.

No, I get that part, I just don't get whether it means you do that 150-200 ride in addition to your routine weekly riding that week.

I guess where I'm going with this is that there's a point at which you're probably hitting your maximum realistic weekly mileage already, and this is suggesting you could double that. In your case, the one day total is absurd, but a little less weekly mileage, and the "you can double that" might be almost as absurd. And in my case, my weekly routine already includes a century, so I don't think the rule of thumb makes any sense, I'm going to do that century plus all of the other miles that week in a single day?

Also, I don't know why it follows that if you ride 20 miles 5 days a week, you can therefore jump right to riding a century. I do lots of 25 mile rides, it's just a totally different animal than a century.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
No, I get that part, I just don't get whether it means you do that 150-200 ride in addition to your routine weekly riding that week.

I guess where I'm going with this is that there's a point at which you're probably hitting your maximum realistic weekly mileage already, and this is suggesting you could double that. In your case, the one day total is absurd, but a little less weekly mileage, and the "you can double that" might be almost as absurd. And in my case, my weekly routine already includes a century, so I don't think the rule of thumb makes any sense, I'm going to do that century plus all of the other miles that week in a single day?

Also, I don't know why it follows that if you ride 20 miles 5 days a week, you can therefore jump right to riding a century. I do lots of 25 mile rides, it's just a totally different animal than a century.
Ah, yeah, gotcha.
No, I think it generally means that if you have trained your body to go that much in a week, you could summon that amount of energy for one ride if your body was not taxed by an average week's miles.
If I'm mistaken about this, then I'm going to have to recalibrate what it means to go out on a 'long ride'.
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Old 09-17-21, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Rules of thumb are imprecise by nature. This one is likely as much psychological/motivational as it is physiological. All but a small percentage of people on BikeForums could ride a century tomorrow if sufficiently motivated, but rules of thumb like this and the "you can ride 50% longer than your last long ride" help to rein that into something easier to plan around.

Tapering can be assumed for these rules of thumb...

I have no idea if people can do it and aren't sufficiently motivated, or if they can't. I'm under the impression that the vast majority of people on BF aren't particularly interested in the endeavor. It's easy for us who do them to say it's just a matter of motivation, but I don't want to assume that.

Yeah, I'll go with the "rule of thumbs" being more of a psychological motivator for people working up to a century than any reasonable estimation, because anything beyond that, and these numbers start to be absurd very fast. I did a 132 mile ride earlier this year, I guarantee I don't think 196 miles in a day is in the offing for me anytime soon.
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Old 09-17-21, 11:01 AM
  #39  
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I think a century is too long. Start by riding for a decade and see how you feel.

I have been riding for a lot of years and I still haven't ridden a century.
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Old 09-17-21, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bargo68 View Post
Ah, yeah, gotcha.
No, I think it generally means that if you have trained your body to go that much in a week, you could summon that amount of energy for one ride if your body was not taxed by an average week's miles.
If I'm mistaken about this, then I'm going to have to recalibrate what it means to go out on a 'long ride'.

Either way, I'm going to join you in NOT riding 200 miles in a day. I know there are people who do that (one of whom posts regularly on BF), but I don't intend to become one of them.
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Old 09-17-21, 11:11 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by ChamoisDavisJr View Post
Centuries are overrated. Unless you’re trying to impress non-cycling people by telling them you did a “Century”?

Nobody actually cares at all.
There are a lot of "serious cyclists" out there who actually believe that a person is not a " real cyclist" unless they have ridden a 100 mile century in around 5 hours
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Old 09-17-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are a lot of "serious cyclists" out there who actually believe that a person is not a " real cyclist" unless they have ridden a 100 mile century in around 5 hours
Are there? As in, people who have said this to you? Sounds more like one of your strawmen to me.
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Old 09-17-21, 11:41 AM
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I'm 58 now but when I was 54 I was in almost the same boat with a group ride. At the 42 mile mark you had to decide between a 64 mile or 102 mile finish. I went for the 64 and don't regret it for a minute. At the time it was the longest I had went in a single ride despite doing around 100-130 miles a week. I still have not done a full century although I am considering doing the Seattle to Portland next year if they actually have it. I also live right at the half way point so I'd be able to sleep in my own bed and get a good meal before day 2. We will see how the training goes....
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Old 09-17-21, 11:47 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Are there? As in, people who have said this to you? Sounds more like one of your strawmen to me.
Definitely a strawman, but that isn't to say some of us don't use that metric as a fun goal to achieve. I did it in June after a couple of prior attempts, next milestone is 4:45. But yeah, there isn't this secret society of "serious cyclists" saying that a sub 5 century is the key to entry.
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Old 09-17-21, 12:55 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Digger6255 View Post
I'm 58 now but when I was 54 I was in almost the same boat with a group ride. At the 42 mile mark you had to decide between a 64 mile or 102 mile finish. I went for the 64 and don't regret it for a minute. At the time it was the longest I had went in a single ride despite doing around 100-130 miles a week. I still have not done a full century although I am considering doing the Seattle to Portland next year if they actually have it. I also live right at the half way point so I'd be able to sleep in my own bed and get a good meal before day 2. We will see how the training goes....
I did it once. I had three "requests" for the ride. No heat, no headwinds and no rain. Lost on all three. The first day was in the 90's. Woke up the second day in our slummy Castle Rock motel early and announced to the group (six managed in a room for three), that it was raining. No one believed me. It was RAINING. A delayed start did not help. Head winds and side winds over the Longview Bridge. Rained most of the way into Portland as well as thumbtacks strewn along Hwy 30. Our group lucked with no flats. Changed into dry clothes for the Amtrak back to Seattle. Rained on the way to the station! Downtown was torn up for the Metro bus tunnel and there was a funny car/truck event exiting at the Kingdome. All in all - well.... I did it once!

But have a great time.
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Old 09-17-21, 01:04 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Are there? As in, people who have said this to you? Sounds more like one of your strawmen to me.
"A lot of people are saying...."
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Old 09-17-21, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by donm1967 View Post
Yes it's a personal goal. I'm not an athlete, Had bad asthma as a kid, back problems as an adult. At age 54 feeling the best I have in a long time after my 2nd lumbar surgery in 2020. So for me it would be a major accomplishment.
Well there you go, a personal goal is always worthwhile. I hope you enjoy the experience and it brings you great joy to see a goal set, and then completed.

Good luck!
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Old 09-17-21, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Wow! What a b!tch face.
Sheesh, that seems a bit harsh...particularly for nothing more than a difference of opinion.

Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
It means that he's being an a$$hat.
In addition to calling names (twice) you're now inferring meaning that I did not expressly state. Perhaps, in light of your calling me names in 2 different posts, your ability to communicate effectively might be somewhat degraded based on your lower level of understanding 7th grade levels of written word?

The OP originally said he "was thinking about a century". He seemed to be a bit leery and said he "might enjoy" the 68 mile ride instead of "struggling to complete" the 100.

Which is why I replied with basically "do the length of ride you enjoy" and that you don't need to do the Century. In light of his reticence in going for the 100 mile ride (and indicating he'd enjoy the 68'er much better) my advice (and he asked for advice) was to not even bother with it since he appeared apprehensive. His question was "should I go for it?" My reply is that Centuries are overrated and to just ride what you're comfortable riding. I also added that "If it's a personal goal...have at it". Meaning if it means something to him then he should just do it.

Anyway...the OP came back and stated that this was a personal goal and he would view it as a major accomplishment. Which is of course a worthy endeavor, for him. And as you can see he has my full encouragement and well wishes for success.
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Old 09-17-21, 01:50 PM
  #49  
livedarklions
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There are a lot of "serious cyclists" out there who actually believe that a person is not a " real cyclist" unless they have ridden a 100 mile century in around 5 hours
And?

Who cares.
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Old 09-17-21, 02:02 PM
  #50  
wolfchild
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And?

Who cares.
Personally I don't care what others think....When I used to ride centuries I took a lot longer then most., because I would stop along the way to eat and enjoy the scenery out in the country.
Why rush it ??
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