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  1. #1
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    Jul 2010
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    Century training plan

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    I'm looking for recommendations for a good century training plan for this summer. I'm doing a MS bike ride in September (110 miles the first day and 50 miles the second day), so I have lots of time to build up strength. I also plan on running a half marathon a month before the ride, so would love a training plan that maybe somehow incorporates both.
    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I know this is pretty far in advanced but I would love to start figuring out a training schedule!

    On a side note...not doing any riding right now because I'm waiting for the snow to melt, definitely a beginner as far as road biking is concerned.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyrc View Post
    I'm looking for recommendations for a good century training plan for this summer.

    Thanks!
    I read the thread title as "century training pain" several times, I'm still seeing pain instead of plan.
    http://www.ultracycling.com/training/century.html
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  3. #3
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    Jun 2010
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    Two days in a row of hard riding would be difficult for any conditioned, experienced cyclist.

    Perhaps modify your planned participation?

    Also, that isn't really a lot of time to train for something that large. I think you'd need to start earlier, and have some years behind you in cycling.

    JMTC

    Don't mean to discourage; sounds dangerous, that's all.

    Welcome to TE

    Edit: keep in mind that the training plan is designed for an experienced cyclist. Perhaps a challenging goal could be a half century one day, and 25 miles the second. Believe me. That would be extremely challenging, and a worthwhile accomplishment.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-20-2011 at 03:41 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Jul 2010
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    Thanks for the input! The ultra cycling website has some very useful information which I haven't seen before.
    Muirenn - I guess maybe to explain my beginner status a little more: I've done two summers of some road biking, just not long distances (typically my rides were between 15 and 20 miles). I finally upgraded my bike the end of last summer, so I think a bike with a proper fit will make a big difference. (I upgraded from an 80's trek with down tube shifters to a bottom line Madone)
    I've also done some spinning, etc at the gym. I think within the first week of riding, I'll easily be doing 20 miles, including hills, etc.
    So by beginner, I'm not just figuring out how to bike, clip in, etc, I have been doing that for a while, I just haven't done the distance yet.
    Does this give you a little more hope for me? Just want some input on whether this goal of mine is really that out of reach, or something that is possible as long as I'm willing to put in the time...
    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Atlanta
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    Don't get discouraged! I only started training for a century the last week in January and I'm already up to 65 miles. Since everything I've read says you only need to have done 70 miles or so as a long ride before a century, I'm practically done with the necessary training.

    The second day of those MS rides is the tricky part, so you definitely need to train two days in a row, doing half of the first day's mileage on the second day, and maybe training at a bit slower of an increase each week than I've been. I think I've seen training schedules included as part of the MS event literature, so you might check those out.

    I haven't done anything like what you're trying to do, but I'd say you can definitely start working toward it. Just listen to your body and if you don't make it, there are always other achievements you can make instead like Muirenn says.

    Also, you didn't really say if you are pretty new to cycling or not (just road biking). What's the longest distance you've done in a day to date?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    4,556
    I have nothing to add on the running/riding front, and how to combine the 2. Maybe look to a tri training plan for a half iron, and sub extra biking for swimming?

    However, I wanted to chime in and say that I think the ride is *completely* do-able from where you are, if you put in the base miles and train smart. It won't be easy, but I think it's a good challenge goal.
    Last edited by Blueberry; 04-20-2011 at 04:24 PM. Reason: Clarification
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  7. #7
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    Mar 2011
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    Here's a link to one of the MS training plans I mentioned http://209.237.160.150/docs/BikeMS20...iningGuide.pdf

    pgs 12-14

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    Two days in a row of hard riding would be difficult for any conditioned, experienced cyclist.

    Perhaps modify your planned participation?

    Also, that isn't really a lot of time to train for something that large. I think you'd need to start earlier, and have some years behind you in cycling.

    JMTC

    Don't mean to discourage; sounds dangerous, that's all.

    Welcome to TE

    Edit: keep in mind that the training plan is designed for an experienced cyclist. Perhaps a challenging goal could be a half century one day, and 25 miles the second. Believe me. That would be extremely challenging, and a worthwhile accomplishment.
    I think it's challenging but doable, depending in part on how well conditioned she otherwise is. My first full year of cycling, I did a 160-mile ride in one day at a 19-mph pace, another two-day ride of 175 miles, and a 6-day, 400-mile tour in Tennessee. I rode 5200 miles that year, total. Now I busted my butt to do those things, but I did them, and I can't say that I was in perfect shape when I started, nor was I 20 years old. So, ya never know. The harder thing that I see is that she's going to be training for the ride while also training for a half marathon. That strikes me as a lot of stress to put on her body.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
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    1,473
    Jenny,

    Maybe this article will help. It was recently posted in the womens cycling newsletter I receive. Good luck, have fun and you will do fine.

    http://www.womenscycling.ca/blog/cyc...cycling-event/
    Marcie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Espresso View Post
    Don't get discouraged! I only started training for a century the last week in January and I'm already up to 65 miles. Since everything I've read says you only need to have done 70 miles or so as a long ride before a century, I'm practically done with the necessary training.
    Be careful with this, how our bodies handle mileage base building is highly individual. Last summer I thought I had plenty of time to build to a century - I had over 4 months in which to do it. I had also just learned how to ride a bike (key point, that). I followed the "guidelines", and was fine until I hit that 70 mile barrier. I started "training" when I could do 20 mile rides.

    Ultimately I wound up with a series of over-use injuries that took me completely off the bike for something like 4 months and I was unable to ride in the event I had worked so hard to train for. Granted, if I hadn't been so stubborn it would not have been so bad - perhaps. I will note that I felt fine, until I wasn't...

    The point I am making is to listen to your body. Some people can build very quickly and stay there without any trouble, for others it takes longer to do so safely. There is a huge difference between a 70 mile and a 100 mile ride - just remember that. There ARE plateaus when you are building your base and for many of us there is a significant one at 70-75 miles (for me it was 35 and 70 miles). The critical thing is to listen to your body and pay close attention to it, I've learned the hard way that is the most important thing you can do. We have to learn when to know that we need to keep pushing, and when to rest.

    Your age, fitness and other things all combine in endurance cycling - and the additional stress of preparing for a marathon just raises things to another level.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2006
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    Central Indiana
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    Quote Originally Posted by jennyrc View Post
    Thanks for the input! The ultra cycling website has some very useful information which I haven't seen before.
    Muirenn - I guess maybe to explain my beginner status a little more: I've done two summers of some road biking, just not long distances (typically my rides were between 15 and 20 miles). I finally upgraded my bike the end of last summer, so I think a bike with a proper fit will make a big difference. (I upgraded from an 80's trek with down tube shifters to a bottom line Madone)
    I've also done some spinning, etc at the gym. I think within the first week of riding, I'll easily be doing 20 miles, including hills, etc.
    So by beginner, I'm not just figuring out how to bike, clip in, etc, I have been doing that for a while, I just haven't done the distance yet.
    Does this give you a little more hope for me? Just want some input on whether this goal of mine is really that out of reach, or something that is possible as long as I'm willing to put in the time...
    Thanks!
    Based on this, I'd just reiterate my previous post. I think Catrin raises some good points, but I still think the MS ride is doable if you train smart. I had fewer problems with aches and pains my first few years of riding than I've had since; our bodies are dynamic so we always need to pay close attention to what they're telling us. But that caveat aside, I tend to think that a 160-mile two day ride is a doable goal for a motivated recreational cyclist, especially if you're not intent on setting a speed record. Certainly making sure your bike fit is spot on and that you stay on top of rest, recovery, hydration and nutrition are all important.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,449
    Another point:

    It often takes awhile to get the bike fit adjusted perfectly so you can ride without pain. It often takes even longer to find a pain-free saddle. (Or at least mostly Shoes: ditto. Too small? Too large? How about cleats, are they the best kind for your body? What about float?

    Are they very well adjusted for you?

    Chamois? Right kind for your anatomy?

    Handlebars?

    Gloves?

    Any signs of pain already? (Neck, back, knee, hand, arm, hip pain. Soft-tissue pain related to saddle issues. Sit-bone pain, feet, toes).

    And on...just check through the forums.

    You may or may not have had a good bike fitting, but even with one, it takes time to work through everything.

    Anyway. That much training on all new gear without a lot of trial and error time makes me picture overuse and equipment-related injuries. And that excludes any form issues in your riding-style or knowledge of things like shifting, cadence, and pedal stroke that could lead to the same thing.

    Okay. Mother-Hen time is over.

    Last edited by Muirenn; 04-21-2011 at 08:54 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    Lordy, it's a wonder any of us get past hour long rides for as many perils that could befall us.

    I do understand what you and Catrin are getting out, Muirenn, but honestly, I know far more people have have successfully completed pretty long and/or challenging rides than have gotten disabling overuse injuries from riding a bike. You wouldn't see so many charity centuries and multi-day tours if they were truly THAT hard. I mean how many people complete a ride like RAGBRAI every year?

    I'm not saying it'll be easy, but I doubt it'll be a recipe for abject disaster either. It would seem the OP has ridden a bike before now and has some concept of what she's getting herself into. So long as she's smart about it and stays on top of any pain, injury of persistent fatigue, my guess is that she'll be fine, or she'll figure out she doesn't have enough time to train for it and will scale down her ambitions. Either way, it'll likely be okay. She can always get advice here if she starts to encounter any roadblocks.

    Certainly, I'm not advocating that she train through pain, injury or persistent fatigue. But if she sets herself up right and doesn't get any glaring warning signs as she trains, then why not just go for it? Again, the biggest caveat I offer is that a half marathon training plan on top of this is an awful lot of stress, but in saying that, I gotta keep in mind that many of the ladies here on TE do tris, so again, it IS doable. You just gotta be smart about it.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    47
    Thank you so much everyone for all the advice and encouragement!

    One thing I really like about this MS ride is the flexibility they have this year (previously it was 60 miles each day, no options). My goal will be 110, but I'm not going to push myself to the point where I can't walk or need surgery, etc. (I'm committed to this ride, but I will not have a problem if I have to tell people down the road that instead of the 110 I did 50 (or even just 25) - no one's going to care, their money will still go to a good cause)

    As far as the running, I should clarify a little more - I plan on doing a half marathon if I'm able to train the amount I feel is necessary. After all, we all need cross training to go with our biking! The half marathon half an hour from where I llive, and on a flat course, so I won't have any travel plans, etc, invested in this and I plan on making biking the priority for the summer. The run is supposed to be an easy half marathon, no intense Equinox (one of the more intense Alaskan marathons), so I don't think it will be a problem.

    Thanks again for the encouragement. I'm excited to get this started

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Jenny - it all sounds great and I think you will have an awesome time! I wasn't trying to pull you back, just trying to say how important it is to listen to our bodies. They can do amazing things

    I am shooting for a century in September myself, and am also learning how to mountain bike this summer so we can cheer each other on!

 

 

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