Completing a Century Ride: Tips and Training Plan – Healthline

A century ride — a bicycle trip of 100 miles — is to the cyclist as a marathon has to a runner: a long enough distance to be a tremendous challenge, while still an attainable goal for a dedicated athlete.

Still, preparation is key. So how do you train for the century ride to optimize your performance? Below, you’ll learn how to prepare in the weeks ahead of your 100-miler, how to prepare on the day of, and how to eat in order to fuel your ride.

Preparation is key with a major endurance event such as this.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is time. Even with the good base fitness level, a 16-week training plan is pretty reasonable.

If you lack endurance, kicking that period up to 6 months might be a good idea. Plan on building stamina generally with a variety of activities for a couple months before launching into a dedicated cycling program.

To design a training program with regard to your century ride, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you have the particular right kind of bicycle?

Depending on your event, you might fare better with a road bike (narrow tires), the hybrid bike (a combination between road and mountain bike), a mountain bicycle (heavier than a road bike, but equipped with a suspension system in order to accommodate more rugged terrain), or the gravel bicycle (with wider tires and a lower center associated with gravity, designed for more unstable conditions).

Where is your ride taking place?

What will the weather be like? Is there altitude? Do your research to get a good idea of what to expect from the elements on the day of your event, plus train accordingly. If you are training at sea level indoors , and the ride is outdoors in the mountains, for instance, weather and cardiovascular endurance will become key considerations.

Get the right gear

You may think you’ll end up being cycling outdoors on your street bike regarding all of the training, but consider what you will do when conditions don’t allow you to trip outside. Rain, snow, ice, or smoky conditions might keep a person inside. Consider investing in a well-proportioned stationary cycle or an indoor bike trainer.

There are many reputable trainers available to mount your own road bicycle to intended for indoor use. You can even connect your trainer to an app such as Zwift to give you a good immersive virtual ride, competing with plus riding along with other actual cyclists.

Furthermore, think about the other gear you might need. Not only do you need a good bicycle for the particular century, yet you will want to invest in some good biking shoes, some padded shorts, and a heart rate monitor . Think about storage on the bike to get fuel, and water bottle holders pertaining to hydration.

Have a repair kit in your bike for mishaps on the road. Get a great helmet plus make a thoughtful choice regarding clips versus cages or platform pedals.

Clips can be intimidating for a new cyclist, but can offer the far smoother ride. Cages, conversely, may be a bit cumbersome without feeling as locked in because a clip. Platforms allow any shoes to be worn, yet don’t offer the smooth ride or even secure footing of the previous two.

Once you are prepared for your hundred years, have the proper gear, and are ready to ride, you’ll need in order to actually do the particular work. A good training plan will include various components, such as a long distance ride, speed intervals, hill climbs, cross coaching , and some heart rate training.

When you are the seasoned millennium rider, you can use a more personalized and sophisticated teaching program. For your first shot, just getting the miles in with a variety of stressors (speed, resistance, hills, etc) will get ready you well.

Here is a basic strategy:

Nutrition is an important factor within any stamina event, plus your success can trip (pun intended) on your attention to this particular vital element. Your intake of calories and macronutrients will differ in education and on race day, and knowing just how and when to eat can make a difference.

During instruction

Make sure you are eating regular healthy meals and not going into any workout depleted associated with energy. A heavy meal of protein plus fats can slow you down a bit, but as long as you are eating a variety associated with foods that are mostly healthy, no major planning is necessary.

For rides or other endurance workouts of under 90 minutes, simply no additional calorie consumption or cabohydrates are necessary. Fueling with water, or in extreme conditions like heat, a low- or no-calorie electrolyte drink is sufficient to support the work.

If your workout will be over ninety minutes but under 2. 5 hours, you will want to take in 30–60 grams associated with carbohydates every hour ( 1 ). This is usually the equivalent of one half serving to one helping of a carbohydrate/electrolyte drink this kind of as Hammer Nutrition HEED (27 grams), 10 peanut butter pretzels (15 grams), and 10 gummy bears (22 grams)… per hour!

Keeping the flow of carbs into the body helps the blood stay flush with glycogen, providing energy meant for the hard work of riding. Skipping this step can provide your blood and liver of glycogen, causing the entire body to fail in its production of the muscular fuel adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and therefore causing feelings of fatigue and loss of energy ( two ).

It doesn’t matter exactly how tough a person think you are — when your body lacks the chemical components to create work, your own work fails.

Experiment with what works for you. In case excess body weight is a concern for you personally, play around with the low end of that equation (30 grams per hour) and see if you experience “the bonk”. When you find your energy dips even with 30 grams associated with carbs each hour, add a little bit plus see if your performance improves.

With regard to rides of over 2 . 5 hrs, you need to take in 60–70 grams of carbohydrates per hr. If that seems like the lot associated with eating, choose calorie-dense options so you do not have to eat constantly.

Look designed for sports-specific choices (such since Hammer Nutrition’s Perpetuem), yet consider sandwiches such as a peanut butter and jelly (55 grams of carbs) plus dried fruit (10 dried apricots have 44 grms of carbs, while six pieces of dried out mango possess 60 carbohydrates, so do your homework).

Two or three small, salted red potatoes will certainly also offer around 60 carbs and can be a nice break from all the sweet foods. There is good research to suggest that adding protein into your own fueling program for workouts over second . 5 hours can also help performance and aid in recovery ( 3 ).

Whether or not you select to practice carb loading (which is not just a giant bowl of pasta before bedtime the night prior to the competition, but within fact the multi-day nutritional preparation), it is a good idea to keep your diet pretty bland and carb-rich the day before your event.

You don’t want to invite gastrointestinal distress into a tummy that might already be dealing with pre-race butterflies. Maintaining your diet plan low in fat and fiber as well as high in carbs and electrolytes will start your race day along with a bit of an advantage.

The hrs before the particular race are important. You want to have a carbohydrate-rich breakfast, such as a smoothie, bagel, banana or raisin bread, watching out for anything that may upset the stomach or even slow digestion ( 4 , 5 ).

This meal can become eaten anywhere from 4 hours to 1 hour prior to the particular start of the competition, and may suit your digestive function timeline. The particular glycogen stores will still be filled if it is four hours before the start of your ride, although you may want an additional shot associated with carbs at the start if that is your strategy.

Keeping hydrated is also important. Drinking an electrolyte-rich drink the day before and morning of the race can work to your own advantage. Many take salt pills, but sodium is only one electolyte.

Find a source that contains also potassium and magnesium, chemicals that will also work in muscle contraction. Taking a lot more balanced source can help you avoid muscle fatigue and cramping ( 6 ).

During the ride

Throughout the century ride, you want to make sure you are getting sufficient carbohydrate power to not become glycogen depleted — similar to exercising, but for race day, a person may would like to err on the side of slightly a lot more carbohydrates.

Assuming the particular ride may take over 2. five hours, you will need to take in at least the prescribed 60–70 grams associated with carbohydrate for each hour, or even up in order to 90 grams per hour if it is definitely tolerable just for your system ( 7 ). You will have tried this out within training when the stakes were lower, plus century trip day is the day to make sure you are usually adequately fueled.

Start your vehicle with an energy gel or some simple carb, and make sure you hit your hourly target to keep your shops prepared for the higher efforts during the particular ride.

Much like preparing physically, planning mentally will give you the best shot at success.

Be organized. Plan the task so that you can function the plan.

Know the route. The internet offers us untold treasures of information. A person can view the route, the terrain, the particular number of turns plus hills in the course.

You can learn way within advance the average temperature of the particular ride location on ride date. The weeks just before the competition you may stalk the weather forecast and strategy your wardrobe.

Strategy your clothing. Pack your gear. Are you traveling? Program how so when to obtain to the particular race area. Know what it will take to get your own bike in order to your destination city. Having these many questions answered way in advance can reduce your anxiety.

You may still have got nerves — you are doing something huge! Prepare to feel unprepared. Understand that this will happen, yet know that you have done the job. Regarding most people, finishing can be the goal. Take your own stress about finishing nicely out of the equation and focus on simply finishing the ride.

Begin slow. The more you over-ride in the particular early miles, the more difficulty you give yourself within the final miles. Know what a steady pace can look like to suit your needs in the half, at 25 miles, and at 75 kilometers.

You don’t have to end up being perfect regarding it — the hill profile from the course may mess along with your head the bit in case it’s a highly textured trip, but tuning into that will vibe associated with steadiness can bring you a few peace.

Visualize. Picture yourself on the route, especially when you have seen it. But if not, go ahead and imagine it. See yourself riding confidently and enjoying your effort.

Image yourself driving strong uphill. Feel the burn in your thighs and really feel that as power rather than pain. Start a practice during your training of seeing your self confidently taking on these challenges and finishing your race strong, tired, and full of accomplishment. If you can see this within your mind’s eye, a person can achieve it.

  • Give yourself extra time. Better to be calmly bored than waste your adrenaline upon trying to get in order to the begin.
  • Pack enough fuel. Pack a range of solids and liquids.
  • Use the fuel. If you’re feeling pretty great and more than an hour goes by, you may miss your window to avoid glycogen depletion.
  • Sip fluid frequently. Waiting for thirst to arrive can work against you, not only for the risk associated with dehydration, but also if you get too thirsty and gulp too much fluid, you may be fighting a sloshy tummy later within the race.
  • Have the mantra. Think of some thing nice to say about yourself, like “you’re strong plus confident”, or even something fierce, like “you are dominating this course”, or something otherwise catchy to your own mind, like “I eat hills for breakfast”. It can be whatever lights that fire inside of you.
  • Mind more than matter. When you start to hear negative self-talk in your mind, refer to your well-practiced mantra. It may pull a person out of a dark place.
  • Have fun! This is some thing wonderful you will do for yourself. At the particular finish line, you will be able to say “I rode the 100-mile bicycle ride. ” While individuals may need to hear about the trials and tribulations you met along the way, the story you tell will be one of perseverance and strength. You are a good athlete!

Riding a century is a challenge and accomplishment that few take on, and fewer complete. In the event that your head and heart are committed, you can create a stronger body, the satisfaction in your soul, and a story you can inform for life. Good luck!

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