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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Houston
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    Possible to train for a century when you can only ride 2 or 3 days a week

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    I'd like to build myself up to a century, but the fact is with my schedule I can only ride any length on Saturday and Sunday and occasional Fridays. The other days of the week I go to the gym and spend an hour there either on the elliptical, treadmill and/or lifting weights. I go to Planet Fitness so there isn't a pool or any classes, which is too bad. I'd like to try a spin class.

    Are there things at the gym I can do that would help my goal or would it be better to invest in a trainer and live with the boredom of that during the week

    So far my furthest distance is 40 miles at an average of 13.8 mph and I felt pretty good on that ride. We did have about 20 minutes worth of stops in there where we regrouped and one bathroom/food break.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
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    461
    I can only say that I did "train for a century" by riding only 3 times per week. But, I got lucky with the weather and people let me draft them and it was a flattish century (only 2400 feet total elevation change). Boy, was I tired after the century. Those last 30 miles seemed to take forever.

    I would advise increasing your speed a little bit more and to do at least 40miles 2-3 times per week including hills. because otherwise the century will take you too long.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    1,227
    40 miles at 13.8 and feeling good IS a good beginning point!!!

    For the gym: doing some elliptical endurance workouts, seated leg extensions, leg presses, curls, hip flexor cable pulls and lunges with weights during the week will help greatly. That and progressively longer rides on Sat (aiming for a 75 to 85 mile ride two weekends before the century and on the same kind of terrain) with a recovery ride on Sun should easily give you what you need for a century in the middle of the summer or maybe even sooner. You didnít say when you were thinking of doing the century. Could you go for a harder interval ride one of those weekdays for an hour instead of the gym? After either a demanding elliptical interval day or a hard hour interval ride day during the week take a recovery day the next day.

    Eat healthy, stay hydrated, enjoy being on your bike and finishing your century goal!!!!!
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 06-04-2013 at 05:15 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    1,301

    Re: Possible to train for a century when you can only ride 2 or 3 days a week

    I really don't have a time frame planned for a century. That's just my ultimate goal. For sure I'd like to be able to do the MS 150 next April.

    The problem with riding during the week is by the time I get out to an area that's decent to ride, go for 20, 25 miles, then fight traffic home it's usually about a 3 hour adventure. On weeknights I do the cooking (my partner doesn't get home from work until 7. She cooks Friday, Sat, Sun.) Is not impossible to schedule one day during the week, just tough.

    I really appreciate the suggestions. I'll work on it!
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
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    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    The problem with riding during the week is by the time I get out to an area that's decent to ride, go for 20, 25 miles, then fight traffic home it's usually about a 3 hour adventure.
    That suggestion was more about getting more time on the bike....well that and my preference is being outside You can get a lot done in the gym during the week and rides on the weekend. You have the time to learn about training plans and putting one together for the MS 150. Your gym time and progressively longer rides on the weekends can easily build a great base for a plan for any ride you want to do!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Sure, it can be done. I rarely get to ride more than 3 days a week. Building up time in the saddle and developing the mental state to slog through the tough parts are as important as the fitness. For me, regardless of the ride length, my brain gets in the way when I'm ~80% done with the ride. I think I did my first century when I was routinely riding ~65 miles on weekends without too much stopping and feeling tired but not destroyed at the end.

    Can you swap a gym day for a day on the trainer and do some interval work? That "butt time" can't be replicated in the gym, and I find that the trainer is harder on my butt than riding outside.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    248
    You probably want to take this with a grain of salt, given that I got my backside cooked on my century attempt, but I still think that to a certain extent, it was a matter of not selecting the right century and factors otherwise beyond my control.

    I did a spin class on Monday (or did DIY spin on Tuesday), tried to get an outside ride on Thursday (20-25 miles), and then I had the long training ride on Saturday. Others did something similar, and they DID finish their planned centuries. The advice given was to push it as hard as you could on the short rides during the week.

    And you can cook something in a crock pot for your mid-week ride day.
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmyguys View Post
    You probably want to take this with a grain of salt, given that I got my backside cooked on my century attempt, but I still think that to a certain extent, it was a matter of not selecting the right century and factors otherwise beyond my control.

    I did a spin class on Monday (or did DIY spin on Tuesday), tried to get an outside ride on Thursday (20-25 miles), and then I had the long training ride on Saturday. Others did something similar, and they DID finish their planned centuries. The advice given was to push it as hard as you could on the short rides during the week.

    And you can cook something in a crock pot for your mid-week ride day.
    I definitely do agree that choosing a flatter century and having good weather helps A LOT!!!!
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    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
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  9. #9
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    Re: Possible to train for a century when you can only ride 2 or 3 days a week

    Hotter N Hell is flat luvmyguys. Come join us! :-) J/K I'm only shooting for 50 on that ride.

    I appreciate everyone's advice.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    248
    Quote Originally Posted by TigerMom View Post
    I definitely do agree that choosing a flatter century and having good weather helps A LOT!!!!
    In my case, the 20 mph winds were a factor, as well as a time frame that made the century more realistic for faster, more seasoned riders. I had to push myself too hard too early, and once I hit the wind, I was toast. The hills weren't as much of an issue as the wind was. If anything, there were a few uphills that were easier because the hill blocked the wind! (Can't believe I just said that!)

    Quote Originally Posted by thekarens View Post
    Hotter N Hell is flat luvmyguys. Come join us! :-) J/K I'm only shooting for 50 on that ride.
    HA! You're FUNNNNNYYYYYYY! I think I've had enough of North Texas for a while!
    "Susie" - 2012 Specialized Ruby Apex, not pink/Selle SMP Lite 209

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
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    5,897
    I usually one ride twice a week, with one long ride on the weekend and one shorter ride mid-week, usually Wednesdays after work. The mid-week ride is generally only 15-18 miles long but it's hilly.

    I would seriously consider a mid-week trainer workout if I could only ride outside on weekends.

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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    I used to do a lot of back-to-back long rides most Saturdays and Sundays. That was the bulk of my endurance event training--and I mostly did just fine during those events. While I did ride during the week, those rides were mostly shorter and faster. Regardless, you should ideally get to a point where you can ride 75-80 miles comfortably before doing a century.

    But choosing the right century helps as others have said. Make sure there isn't a time limit that you can't easily meet. If the century is likely to be hilly and/or windy; that's fine, but you have to train for those conditions. My first century was hilly. It was challenging, but I did it. Heat is a factor, too. Doing a 100 miles on a 90-degree day with high humidity is tough, even for seasoned people.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    329
    Add intensity if you don't have time for length! I had a blast on the Cap to Cap Century (flat) with so little time to "train" it was borderline crazy. In the 2 months before I did follow Chris Carmichael's idea (not his actual training plan) from "Time Crunched Cyclist" to do intense intervals, hill repeats etc to make the most of the few hours I had to ride. I was pleasantly surprised with my time and how fun/easy it was...in retrospect I probably over did the hill repeats but I am now having some super fun pay off mountain biking ease in Charlottesville (:

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    Re: Possible to train for a century when you can only ride 2 or 3 days a week

    I truly appreciate all the advice given. It's been great.
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    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    5,203
    reviving an old thread...

    I completed a century ride on Saturday. While I rode every day (20-40 miles, sometimes less, but consistently every day) all summer long, I only managed to ride one 15-mile ride and one 34-mile ride in September for various reasons. However, the century was fine, no problems other than a bit of boredom in the middle. I ate bites of powerbars and granola bars, and drank gatorade throughout the entire ride, stopped at each of the four rest stops for bananas, gatorade, oranges, turkey wraps and pb sandwiches. I've been famished for the last few days, and I'm pretty much eating whatever I want (but good stuff, not junk).

    I had a good base, which I think made a difference. The weather was also perfect - overcast and 70s (but a bit windy) - and the terrain was relatively flat.

 

 

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