So you did it. You signed up for a century. It sounded easy. You’ve biked sixty miles training before, so what’s another 40? And 100 miles sounds like such an accomplishment (it is!) and there will be some awesome bragging rights that go with that. You will have to prepare, physically and mentally, to go the distance of a century. This guide will help you do that.
- Find a Partner
If at all possible – do your first century with a friend. This is one of the best things you can do. Riding with a friend makes the miles go faster, and you can be each other’s motivators. Plus, since most distance training will involve many miles of lonely road, it is much safer to ride in pairs. If you cannot find a consistent riding partner, look into joining a riding club or group.
- Don’t Overtrain
You may feel overwhelmed having to train for 100 miles. Learn to put the trust in your training. Be smart about how you go about it – just like you would any other race. Give yourself several months, and each week do one long ride and 2 or 3 shorter rides. Each week add 5 or 10 miles to your long ride, but understand there really isn’t a need to go over 80 miles. The shorter rides should stay under 30 miles but should have some intensity to them. (Don’t forget your strength training at the gym at least once a week.) Then take your recovery week just prior to the Century, then you will be rested and ready to ride!
- Have the Right Gear
You should always have these essentials with you during your ride: pump, multi-tool, tube, patch kit, lube, windbreaker, water and food.However, travel as light as possible. Make sure your bike is tuned up during your recovery week so there won’t be any problems during the race. Also, keep in mind this isn’t the time to wear new shoes, gloves or try a new saddle. Those items should be things you have used and known to work for other, shorter rides.
- Watch the Weather
Keep a close eye on the weather right up until ride time. Because of the length of the ride, not only will it be a long ride, but you may be going through different climates so the weather conditions may change dramatically. Also, pay close attention to the wind conditions. Check which direction and speed it will be along your route so you can plan accordingly.
Preparing your bike and body will help make this Century adventure a great experience. Maybe it will be your only one, or maybe it will be the first of many. Either way, good luck! If you’d like additional one-on-one or group training, please contact me.