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FIRESTARTER
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72 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First a bit about me, I came off my mountain bike a year ago (non-racer/trail rider) and decided to devote my efforts to road centuries. For the past couple of months I've been building an endurance base (I'm at about 800 miles) with at least 1 long weekly ride between 60-75 miles. I change routes weekly and vary between flats and mountains. I'm 5' 8" and 150 lbs (for whatever it's worth).

I completed my first scheduled century (of 11) this past weekend. With only 3 hours of sleep (nerves) and no experience in racing, I averaged 16MPH over hilly terrain (about 4000 ft total climbing). I completed most of the race on my own, but at times on the flats, I linked up with a group going at my pace (except in the climbs and descents, which seem to be my strengths, I would lose them).

My question is how do I train on increasing my speed over "long" distances?:confused: From what I've read, riding long distances in training just trains you to be able to...ride a long distance. I've also read a bit about intervals and can't seem to tell if they are designed for short stage races or if they work in general for all types of racing? If so, what type (1 min, 2X 20 min, attack/vo2,etc.). Perhaps somebody can recommend something that I might be overlooking (I read something about "tempo rides", but not enough to fully understand the concept).

My long term goal is to complete similar races at a 20MPH average speed. This is the speed of the average riders in my cycling team. Some might say try and train with them, but I have been. The problem is I do not want to take away from their training. Short group rides are one thing (usually we all stick together, spin, get comfortable riding in a group, etc). I've been out with them on training rides that include 60-80 mile training days and could not keep up. I hated having some one always drop back to pull me back in to the group or have them wait on me. The distance was not the problem, it was the tempo. So, for the most part, I've been training solo lately.

I understand it's my first year and the others in my squad have been doing centuries for a while. I'm just wondering if there are some things I'm overlooking in my training that I could use to build on for the rest of the racing year and years to come? Thanks in advance...
 

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Impulse Athletic Coaching
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5,576 Posts
Ever read Friel's Training Bible?

Great read, answers all of the questions you have, some you will want to know, and more you don't care for. Either way, I would read it and start at base 2 or 3, and then start the build process. 1000 miles isn't a "magic" number where you will all-of-a-sudden start riding well, and the build phase will especially help you speed up. Even if you do not peak ( "A" races) until August, September, or even later (which is doubtful with the base you have), you can be ready and better than the rest for next year.

The first year is an experience year, anyways. Go to the library and pick the book up.

GL
 

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For president!
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7,802 Posts
A century ride is not really a race. You don't have to worry about riders attacking, tactics, or your finishing sprint.

That being said, the main basic requirement is the same. You want to have a high sustainable power output for the duration of the event. In this case, you need to be able to do 5 hours at 20 mph. Not easy by any means!

I would prescribe you train in 3 main phases. Start out by easing into riding with some super easy adjustment time. Two weeks of zone one and two for an hour 3-4 times a week. Then move into a bigger base period. Get as many rides as you can over 3 hours around zone 2. A tempo pace, where you can feel the effort, but it's sustainable for a long time. After 2 months, start working in some serious interval training. Do 2 hour rides, with three 20 minute all out intervals, with 10 minutes of rest between them. Get some recovery days in as well. After 2 months of this, do a month of long rides with 4-5 20 minute intervals. The 4th week of every month should be easy. One hard ride, the rest active recovery or days off. When you can keep up with your buddies, start riding with them to practice drafting and pacelining.

You should hit your target with no problem. If I went over your head with the zone stuff, do a quick google search for heart rate zones. A HR monitor would help, but you can go by perceived effort as well.

Silas
 
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