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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 11-13-17, 09:03 PM   #1
jcliszewski
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Training for my first near century ride?

Hi everyone,
I'm planning on riding 92 miles next summer on a rail trail near my home (White Pine Trail in Michigan). The trail is about 60% asphalt and 40% gravel, dirt. The longest ride I have ever been on is 65 miles, all on asphalt.

A few questions (if these questions can be answered elsewhere, please feel free to link me to another forum, I'm having trouble navigating and finding the answers I need)

When should I start training? (I live in cold climate but have access to a indoor bike trainer)

How should my training go? (Again, a link to another thread or website would suffice)

Any nutritional tips for a beginner for on the bike?

I'm 19, in pretty good physical shape, so I think the only thing that will stop me from achieving my goal would be improper training and or nutrition. Really trying to beef up my knowledge on the subject.

I really appreciate any help!
Jack
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Old 11-13-17, 09:25 PM   #2
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Check out the Tips for Riding a Century thread in Long Distance ...

https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dist...g-century.html
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Old 11-13-17, 10:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcliszewski View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm planning on riding 92 miles next summer on a rail trail near my home (White Pine Trail in Michigan). The trail is about 60% asphalt and 40% gravel, dirt. The longest ride I have ever been on is 65 miles, all on asphalt.

A few questions (if these questions can be answered elsewhere, please feel free to link me to another forum, I'm having trouble navigating and finding the answers I need)

When should I start training? (I live in cold climate but have access to a indoor bike trainer)

How should my training go? (Again, a link to another thread or website would suffice)

Any nutritional tips for a beginner for on the bike?

I'm 19, in pretty good physical shape, so I think the only thing that will stop me from achieving my goal would be improper training and or nutrition. Really trying to beef up my knowledge on the subject.

I really appreciate any help!
Jack
You're young and have already done 2/3 of a century. There is pretty much nothing stopping you from doing a century tomorrow except for the stuff between your ears.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 11-14-17, 04:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
You're young and have already done 2/3 of a century. There is pretty much nothing stopping you from doing a century tomorrow except for the stuff between your ears.
I was thinking along the same lines. If the 65 absolutely killed you, maybe you should take a 75 or 80 mile ride this week, then the 92 the next week. But if you rode 65 and could walk after it, you are ready for 92. Any additional training would be to help you ride faster.

One other suggestion -- at some point on the ride, you should take an 8 mile detour. If there are no good detour options, turn around for 4 miles, then complete the ride. A "near-century" isn't really a thing, so why not make it a century?
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Old 11-14-17, 06:20 PM   #5
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Gravel miles are a lot longer than paved miles. Maybe a mile and a half per. What I mean is it takes more energy to move the bike on dirt, and you go slower. Either plan for that, or see if there's a paved alternative for that part of the route.

You should start training tomorrow. Why wait?

Do you have a Garmin? They have a free training plan for centuries on their site if you. If not, add mileage slowly.
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Old 11-16-17, 11:23 AM   #6
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Start now. If you're not riding regularly, figure out how to do so. Don't worry yet about how long the rides are. Just try to be on the bike as many days per week as possible while the weather gets crappy.
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Old 11-19-17, 09:16 PM   #7
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When should I start training? (I live in cold climate but have access to a indoor bike trainer)

How should my training go? (Again, a link to another thread or website would suffice)

Any nutritional tips for a beginner for on the bike?

I'm 19, in pretty good physical shape, so I think the only thing that will stop me from achieving my goal would be improper training and or nutrition. Really trying to beef up my knowledge on the subject.

As other have said, no time like the present to start . In cycling, there is no substitute for time spent riding.

That said, if you aren't able to ride through the winter and you will be starting pretty much from zero in terms of riding fitness in the spring, I would say that you need two months (8-10 weeks) to build up to a century distance and be able to complete it comfortably.
  • three of four rides a week, with one being your "long ride" for the week
  • start your long ride at 20 miles and increase by approx 20% to 25% per week
  • other two rides will be shorter - 1 to 2 hours, although at least one should be at a higher intensity
    don't do a long ride the week before the event; cut mileage back to about 50% to allow your body rest/recover going into the event

If the century is going to be on gravel, make sure you are riding gravel. It is different (somewhat harder) that riding pavement so you need to be used to it and prepared for the effort.

Learn about the route for the century. Is it hilly? If so, you need to be riding hills as you build up.

As far as nutrition on the bike, for longer rides you do need to eat/drink during the ride. You can't replace all the calories you are burning but you do need to replace some of them. Many riders take one water bottle with just water and the other with a form of Gatorade. In terms of solid foods, try different things during your training rides to see what agrees with you while riding. Could be sports nutrition like gels, sports beans, or energy bars. Could also be a peanut butter sandwich, granola, cookies.

If you don't eat/drink enough during a ride you could well experience a "bonk". Essentially depleting your body to the point that you experience a drastic, rapid, and very unpleasant loss of energy. Just do a search for cycling and bonk and you will find lots of information. Even if a ride is supported with water/food stops I always carry some food of my own with me just in case.

Also chocolate milk makes a great post ride recovery drink. Contains calories to start replacing what you have burned and protein to help repair/build muscles.
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