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· Registered
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A friend and I are new to cycling, been riding 30 miles here and there on our new road bikes and need a focus, so we decided to try a century ride.

Any suggestions on a good 'newbie' century ride in Northern California in late August- October?

Any suggestions on a training plan/schedule?

Thanks for any advice, we're clueless! :D
 

· Squirrel Hunter
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Eat, Drink and Be Merry

One key to riding a century is learning how to keep your body fueled and hydrated. Make this part of your training process, learning what works for you and more importantly what does not work for your body.

cjb011 said:
Any suggestions on a training plan/schedule?
Here is one short article that recommends distances for your long, weekend rides combined with some shorter weekday rides.

http://www.hellweek.com/training.html

Lot's of people ride a 100 miles, some finish with them with enough training and nutrition to have actually enjoyed themselves.
 

· Registered
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Here is what I followed to prep for my first century:

http://www.maccfund.org/docs/trek100/riders/train.pdf

I agree with Keeping up with Junior that proper eating and drinking will make you feel much better. I just did the Horribly Hilly Hundreds 200k and eating at every stop (25 miles apart) and taking a gel in between surely helped. You cannot eat too much. I have heard "Eat like you are trying to get fat". Remember to drink plenty as well. A sport drink with electrolytes is better than water, but plain water is nice once in a while to clean the mouth.

Post ride be sure to consume some carbs and protein to help your body recover.
 

· Infinite pursuit of speed
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I was in your shoes at the top of the season. I just completed my 1st century ride this past Saturday. I agree with the points that were made by the previous posters. About 3 weeks ago, I rode my 1st 80 mile ride. A week before that, I rode my first 65 mile ride. Prior to this year, I had never ridden more than 50 miles, and I had only done that once. I'm generally a 15 - 40 mile guy. So, I certainly agree with what jsedlak said about working backwards. Set a date, you've got your distance goal and work backwards from there. Additionally, you have to learn how to ride longer rides if you are used to riding 30 miles or so. I would ride 30 miles without getting out of my seat. That won't happen on a century ride.

I also went with a friend who planned our stops. We stopped at 15, 25, 40, 55, 75, & 85 miles. At each stop we would eat energy bars (which we brought) and we had lunch at mile 55. We also planned to ride a couple of different routes. It's brutal to ride home after 50 or so miles with 10 - 15 mph winds in your face. So we planned different routes based on the wind strength and direction for the date that we were riding.

Last but not least, + another 1 on the post by Keeping up with Junior. There are plenty of other threads where you can find the whole Gatorade vs. Water debate. I'll leave that choice up to you, but I have 1 bottle of Gatorade, and 1 water. My riding partner carries only water, but he purchased a gatorade at mile 40, and then again at mile 75. You need the electrolytes and hydration. It's not like you can load up on water before you ride, then think your 2 water bottles will carry you through. We refilled our bottles at each stop. That was ESSENTIAL.

I hope I didn't ramble to much for you. I see you currently have 6 posts to rbr.com so let me welcome you. Please by all means let us know how your training is going, and eventually how your ride goes. BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!
 

· Registered
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Last November I got my first road bike. In March I did my first century. My training plan was easy. Tuesdays and Thursdays 15-20 miles fast, Saturdays long distance each Saturday 10% longer. My longest ride before century was 68 miles. Good luck!
 

· Premium Member
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Hopefully you don't get sick just before your century ride, like I did last week...

Gatorade vs. Water vs? Try Nuun tabs. It is an electrolyte supplement you add to the water.

The ride I did last week (while still recovering from my cold/asthma attack---though in a already weakened state, finished only 75 miles...and still recovering in the lungs today from the cold/asthma attack)...the gatorade made me feel really bad...so I went back to the Nuun tabs. Some people cut the Gatorade with water. For energy, other than food, I have Hammer Gels.
 

· I Can Quit Any Time
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"Any suggestions on a training plan/schedule?"

The plan that I've seen recommended most often, and which has worked phenomenally well for me, is to increase both your total mileage and your long ride by 10% per week, provided you have time, then taper off in the final week so you can store some glycogen and rest your muscles. So if your total mileage in week one was 50 miles, with a long ride of 40 miles, the next week, you'll want to shoot for 55 miles total with a long ride of 44 miles. The following week, you'd shoot for 60.5 miles total, with 48.4 miles for the long ride (I usually just round up and ride a little extra, though -- makes the math easier, LOL).

I think a couple people have probably already noted this, but generally, if you can ride 50-60 miles, from what I've heard, you can probably handle a century. Thus, if you don't have enough time to work up to a long training ride of around 100 miles, you can probably still do a century ride pretty readily.

It will also help to train on terrain similar to that which you'll ride in your century -- if it's hilly, ride tons of hills. If it's hot where you'll be riding, acclimate yourself to the heat (and plan accordingly, and maybe hire one of those water tanker trucks to roll along with you :D).

Nutrition-wise, a fellow on bikeforums.net pointed me to this article:
http://www.ultracycling.com/nutrition/centurynutrition.html

After reading it I realized I was not eating anywhere near enough.

I was afraid I would gain a ton of weight if I started eating 3,000+ calories a day, but I've only trimmed down this year — when I got back into riding seriously last winter, I was wearing a size 36 waist, now I'm down to a 32. YMMV, but I think a lot of people make the mistake of undereating when they get into serious athletic pursuits.

I'm convinced that eating like a horse is the main reason I've stayed healthy through a couple thousand miles of riding this year (well, 'healthy' except for the part where I crashed my bike into a lamp-post and dang nigh broke a leg, but that had nothing to do with nutrition and everything to do with me being an idiot :)).
 

· The Thread Killer....
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yeah this is a great thread:thumbsup: im training for 1st century ride in Oct. and ive got my 1st 37 miler in three weeks and i did 40 mi. yesterday for the 1st time so im pretty pumped that I can do these rides and Finish!:D
 
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