View Full Version : Century Training

05-05-2008, 11:27 AM
Hey ladies! I am new to cycling and LOVE it! I have posted on here before (about clipless pedals) and found the information wonderful, so I have decided to post again!

I have decided to work towards riding a century ride (not a race) on Sept 6th. Right now, I can bike about 20 miles in 90-120 minutes, depending on the terrain and wind speed/direction. As a novice cyclist looking to complete a HUGE cycling feat in 4 months time, I would appreciate any advice regarding proper training schedules and/or goals, pre-, post- and on-bike nutrition, etc etc. I'd love to hear about others' century rides and training. Any wisdom you can give me would be great! Any help finding books or websites regarding century training would be great too!

Also, I wanted to know if anyone in MN (specifically the twin cities area) is training for endurance rides like a century and if they would like to train together occasionally or just motivate one another? OR, does anyone in MN know of some good, safe, long training ride routes?

I hope to hear from some of you soon! Thanks!


05-05-2008, 11:51 AM
So, training for a century is like any other training. Your first century, you will not be trying for great speed, but endurance, so you probably just want to train your endurance, first and foremost. So if you are riding 20 miles now and you have 4 months to train May June July August and September, what you want to do is gradually up your mileage on the weekend and various days in succession. How many days a week do you ride now and how far?

So if you ride 20 miles on the weekend and a couple of times during the week, what you want to do is this:

Gradually, up your mileage and time in the saddle.
Up next week to 20 miles on weekend, and three other times during the week go for a ride - 20 miles if you can, if not get what you can in during the week.
The second week, do the same during the week and then try for 25-30 miles on the weekend.
The third week, do one ride during the week that is a little longer than you have been doing, do a 30-35 mile ride on the weekend.
The fourth week, take a little breather - i.e. do 3 smaller rides during the week and a 20 miler on the weekend. Do these rides as slowly as you would like. This is your rest week.

The next month
Do one ride during the week that is a little longer than you have been doing, do the rest shorter, and do a 40-45 mile ride on the weekend
Second week Try to add hills or harder efforts on one of your weekday rides; do 45-50 ride on weekend
Third week, do regular rides on the week and do 50-55 mile ride on the weekend
Fourth week is your rest week again. do regular rides and an easy flat and at your leisure 30 miler on the weekend.

The next month
First week: Do one ride harder and longer in the week, do a 55-60 miler on the weekend
Second Week - Do one ride harder and longer in the week, do a 60-65 miler on the weekend.
Third Week - Do as much as you feel you can during the week and do a 65-70 miler on the weekend.
Fourth week - is a rest week, take it easy, ride if you want a little, don't go too far on the weekend. YOU ARE ALMOST THERE

If you can ride 70, you can ride 100. NO doubt about it!

So you can see that you are now into August - If this schedule is a little too much ramping up for you, slow your increases down a little. Rest is the key in getting better. This schedule will have you off on say a friday, Sunday and a wednesday so you will have rest. and make sure the 4th week in the training in each month is at an easy pace and your are not going too far so that your body has a chance to recuperate and get stronger.

You can see, that this type of schedule (which is called periodization) has some very basic attributes. You slowly increase your workload for three weeks in a row (Gradually do not do too much at once); then you have a 4th week which is what you call and active rest week. Then, you go back into your build phase again, three weeks of gradually building on the base and a fourth week of easy going riding to rest and let your body build on the gains it has made. Take an easy week right before the century, don't stop riding but just taper it off and take it easy.

Again, you do not have to ride 100 miles before the century. If you can ride 70-75, you can ride 100. Your neck might be a little stiff, but YOU WILL MAKE IT and your WILL BE VERY HAPPY!

05-10-2008, 07:12 PM
PM sent.

Also, there are weekly group rides out of most every bike shop in town - try a few out and put some miles on! There are also several local bike clubs that you can join and thereby have regular rides to head out on. That's probably the safest way of heading out for a long ride...safety in numbers.

Grab a copy of Twin Cities Sports magazine (the uptown YWCA always has copies in their lobby) - pick a few cycling events and have fun! I'm doing the century on the same date as you and (if I'm not working) hope to do the Tour de Tonka..the 65 mile option. I'd encourage you to do it. The timing of it would be a great marker for you to know where your training is at. The information you'd gain from that event would help you to better prepare for the 6th.

Erik's Bike Shop carries a few different books on Minnesota bike trails - and all reputable bike shops have a copy of the latest Twin Cities bike trail map, which you should undoubtedly have a copy of. With that map, you can easily plan new training routes with ease. It's a great way of discovering new trails and seeing different parts of town.

You're in one of the most cycling-loving communities in the country! Your options are endless.

See you on the road!