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Training for century at 56

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Training for century at 56

Old 01-19-14, 02:38 PM
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Training for century at 56

Hi to all. 56 years old. Been riding about ten years, although just the last 3 or 4 steady. Before then, ride awhile, put bike up, get back out several months later. Have not been riding much this winter due to a combination of short days, busy schedule and unusally crappy weather for South Arkansas. I also follow a pretty rigid resistance training routine. (2 to 4 times a week)
Normally I will make a 30 to 50 plus mile ride once a week. Try to get in 2 or 3 more rides of 30 or less. Usually around 20. This year I am setting a goal of doing a century ride.
So, here I am looking for advice from fellow over 50 riders. All advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-19-14, 02:55 PM
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There are really good articles, posts and programs available here. Be dog steady in the process of getting those base miles under you. When you are able to ride 75-80mi without a problem you are ready. I did my first century 3yrs ago when I was 53.
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Old 01-19-14, 03:40 PM
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Riding 100mi isn't so very different from riding 100km. Really. The trick is knowing how much and what to eat and drink. Hint: Lots and often, but not junk food. You must maintain your blood sugar. You must be comfortable on the bike. You must pace yourself instead of racing off too hard early. If you can do this for 50mi or 100km or whatever, you can do it indefinitely.

For me the prime challenge is that my knees will eventually get sore if I push too hard. At the end of really long day that's what I feel most. Base miles help spve this. Otherwise, just stay in shape and experiment with your replenishing until you find what works.
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Old 01-19-14, 04:38 PM
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I went through that last spring (@54). I'd been doing 50 mile rides every sunday (only about 80-100 total commuting the prior weekdays), so I upped that to 60-80 miles for a few weekends. Since those were flat and the century hilly, I put that on pause the last 3 weeks and did some hilly miles on the weekends instead, not really targeting distance but long enough to be difficult and increasing. The last weekend was about 75 miles, mostly hills but some resting segments more flat. The next week the century was a piece of cake.
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Old 01-19-14, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
Riding 100mi isn't so very different from riding 100km. Really. The trick is knowing how much and what to eat and drink. Hint: Lots and often, but not junk food. You must maintain your blood sugar. You must be comfortable on the bike. You must pace yourself instead of racing off too hard early. If you can do this for 50mi or 100km or whatever, you can do it indefinitely.

For me the prime challenge is that my knees will eventually get sore if I push too hard. At the end of really long day that's what I feel most. Base miles help spve this. Otherwise, just stay in shape and experiment with your replenishing until you find what works.
I experimented some last year with riding in a fasted state. 30 or so miles was ok. But around mile 50 the gas tank would start getting empty. Pushed it to 62 miles one day. Discovered what hitting the wall meant. Not the smartest thing to do, but I learned a lot.
What about preloading with carbs? Help or not?
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Old 01-19-14, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaChuck View Post
I experimented some last year with riding in a fasted state. 30 or so miles was ok. But around mile 50 the gas tank would start getting empty. Pushed it to 62 miles one day. Discovered what hitting the wall meant. Not the smartest thing to do, but I learned a lot.
What about preloading with carbs? Help or not?
The various literature can be confusing about details but the bottom line is pretty clear. You need glucose for muscles and brain activity and you have only so much available in the muscles, blood, and liver. That might good for 45min to 2hrs depending on your activity level. You can replenish it only so fast so you must eat small amounts continuously. Also when you ride anaerobically you are burning reserves that can't be replaced easily in the short term. To go longer you MUST replenish your blood sugar in real time. Digestion processes food fairly slowly so you must eat early. If you wait until you are hungry it is too late. Of course all this explains hitting the wall when you try fasting while riding.

Carbo-loading is a different issue. There are techniques for getting more glucose in your muscles than would be normal. It involves starting early with blah blah blah...perhaps a week early. It is more than just eating a bigger plate of pasta the night before. I can't speak to it other than to say I wouldn't go through the trouble. YMMV.

Just eat, and drink water, and on hot sweaty days keep your salt level up too.
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Old 01-19-14, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
The various literature can be confusing about details but the bottom line is pretty clear. You need glucose for muscles and brain activity and you have only so much available in the muscles, blood, and liver. That might good for 45min to 2hrs depending on your activity level. You can replenish it only so fast so you must eat small amounts continuously. Also when you ride anaerobically you are burning reserves that can't be replaced easily in the short term. To go longer you MUST replenish your blood sugar in real time. Digestion processes food fairly slowly so you must eat early. If you wait until you are hungry it is too late. Of course all this explains hitting the wall when you try fasting while riding.

Carbo-loading is a different issue. There are techniques for getting more glucose in your muscles than would be normal. It involves starting early with blah blah blah...perhaps a week early. It is more than just eating a bigger plate of pasta the night before. I can't speak to it other than to say I wouldn't go through the trouble. YMMV.

Just eat, and drink water, and on hot sweaty days keep your salt level up too.
Thanks Jim. That makes more sense than anything I have ever read!
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Old 01-19-14, 06:26 PM
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If you can do 50-60 consistently you'll be able to do 100 as a stretch. For nutrition I would assume you are doing an organized ride, so find out what they offer for food, and eat at each stop. Grab some pocket food too and eat that in between. Don't think that you're OK and can skip a rest stop, just stop and grab something and then get going again.

On my last century I was still going strong, and I mean really strong, at the end of the ride. I think I ate at all the right times.

Also, find someone to ride with during the ride, someone that is riding at a similar pace. I start my centuries by myself and never end them that way. You'll see the same people all day long.

Last edited by zacster; 01-19-14 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 01-19-14, 06:30 PM
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Preferred foods for ride?
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Old 01-19-14, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaChuck View Post
Preferred foods for ride?
Well, a banana is the king of replenishment food! I like snack-type stuff too. Almonds, power bars (like Larabars, Kind Bars), maybe raisins or dates or figs or even prunes, cheese stick, maybe even good dark chocolate if you have something else to go with it. A key feature is convenience, something you can carry and eat quickly. Something salty is good on hot days. Stop for ice cream! (I don't eat ice cream as a rule, but I wouldn't rule it out if that was all there was.)
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Old 01-19-14, 07:34 PM
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Welcome to the 50+ DeltaChuck, I'll just say that getting and reading Joe Friel's, Cycling Past 50, if you don't already have a copy, is a good way to make your training plan for a century ride. My copy gets regular use by me just to keep things adjusted for me. Hope this helps some, best of luck.

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Old 01-19-14, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaChuck View Post
Preferred foods for ride?
What works for me on rides over twenty miles is Clif Crunchy Peanut Butter bars. I open several at the top, pull them out and use a knife to cut them almost all the way through in eight sections then slip them back into the pack. I eat one section at about fifteen miles, then every 7-10 miles after. I've done one century and several metrics and this works pretty well. The challenge is not over eating at the SAG's. Resist the urge. Lots of water, and on hot weather rides, sports drinks.

(1st metric 16, then redo at 57, 1st C at 58)
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Old 01-19-14, 09:31 PM
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Based on your weekly miles you could probably ride a century now, but you might not enjoy the last hour or two. Bike fit, hydration, fueling, and pacing are the critical elements. 100 miles isn't so long everything must be perfect, but the better you are at each of these, the more likely to have an enjoyable ride.

Try to get these sorted out so you can finish a 50 fully hydrated, fully fueled, and having no discomfort other than tired muscles. Keep eating and drinking all the way to the finish.

Good luck.
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Old 01-19-14, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by DeltaChuck View Post
Preferred foods for ride?
I like these rice cakes for early in the ride as the protein in the bacon/Canadian bacon will take a little longer to digest:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UiuqIWGe_s

I like these for late in the ride:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwt-DUpKPYA

The potatoes especially will leak olive oil so I pack this aluminum foil wraps in a plastic bag and just eat them off the bike. Both are easy on my acid reflux but I like 10 minutes after eating them to get back onto the drops anyway. I like raisins for potassium but I take potassium supplements too.

Don't run out of water and don't start out too fast and burn out.
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Old 01-20-14, 06:30 AM
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Parellel thread with some good stuff: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...8#post16424878
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Old 01-20-14, 09:35 AM
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Delta, this is what has worked for me in terms of nutrition
EATING FOR A CENTURY RIDE

2 DAYS BEFORE
LOAD UP ON CARBS: MEALS INCLUDING PASTAS, WHOLE GRAIN CEREALS, OAT BRAN, COUSCOUS, BROWN RICE, WHOLE GRAIN BREAD, BEANS BANANAS, SWEET POTATOES.

NIGHT BEFORE
EAT AN EASILY DIGESTED PASTA MEAL THAT YOUĎVE HAD A MILLION TIMES. DONíT EXPERIMENT WITH NEW STUFF OR SPICY FOOD. FINISH BY 9.00PM.

MORNING OF THE RIDE
TWO HOURS BEFORE THE START, EAT A BOWL OF OATMEAL WITH A BANANA AND SOME ORANGE JUICE.

REST STOP #1 , 20 MILES
HALF AN ENERGY BAR AND SPORTS DRINK. KEEP SPARE BARS WITH YOU.

REST STOP #2 , LUNCH, 45 MILES
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH WITH CHIPS, FIG BARS AND JUICE, TO REPLENISH GLYCOGEN. ALSO GOOD ARE TURKEY SUB, HUMMUS WRAPS AND BAGEL SANDWICHES.

REST STOP #3 , 65 MILES
NO-MANíS LAND! PSYCHOLOGICAL TIREDNESS! EAT CHOCOLATE. A MILKY WAY IS GOOD. FREEZE IT THE NIGHT BEFORE.

REST STOP # 4, 85 MILES
HYDRATION IS YOUR PRIORITY. PACK SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ENERGY DRINK POWDER IN A ZIPLOC BAG AND MIX IT AT THIS STOP. THIS WILL REPLENISH YOU FOR THE FINAL MILES.

FINISH, 100 MILES
STRETCH OUT. WITHIN 20 MINUTES OF FINISHING, EAT CHICKEN WITH LINGUINI TO RESTOCK YOUR GLYCOGEN STORES WHILE YOUR MUSCLES ARE AT THEIR HUNGRIEST.

Good luck - it'll be a breeze, but at 80 or so miles you might wonder why you are doing this to yourself!

p.s. didn't mean to SHOUT, but I cut and pasted from something I've had for along time

Last edited by Artmo; 01-20-14 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Afterthought
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Old 01-20-14, 09:39 AM
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Or do a century like Seagull. The mile 83 rest stop has pie with ice cream.
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Old 01-20-14, 09:57 AM
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http://www.bikenewyork.org/advice/tr...tury-training/

The members in my club come in every age and experience bracket.
But with consistent training; almost everyone was able to do a century.
In this club ride from last year; some riders were new cyclists but everybody
finished the ride up Bear Mountain from New York City - over 100 miles and
over 7,000 feet of climbing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqxnk...6zPoymgKaIoDLA
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Old 01-20-14, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by DeltaChuck View Post
Preferred foods for ride?
I don't have advice so much on what to eat, but how.

Eat early and often. Depending on the heat and other factors, you may lose your appetite as the day rolls on, and if that happens, it's bonk time. Bonking sucks big time, so eat as much as you can, while you can, and you'll have the energy to get through.

My general rule is that if you can do X distance comfortably, you can do 2X with reasonable discomfort. My bet is that you could run out and do that century now if you wanted to.
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Old 01-20-14, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I don't have advice so much on what to eat, but how.

Eat early and often. Depending on the heat and other factors, you may lose your appetite as the day rolls on, and if that happens, it's bonk time. Bonking sucks big time, so eat as much as you can, while you can, and you'll have the energy to get through.

My general rule is that if you can do X distance comfortably, you can do 2X with reasonable discomfort. My bet is that you could run out and do that century now if you wanted to.
Good advice, Biker395. I would add to try different foods on your 50 mile rides. I would also suggest trying sports drinks. For centuries, 300k, and double century rides I wear a camelbak and carry two 20 oz bottles, one with Hammer Perpetuem, and one with Hammer Heed. It is also a good idea to carry gels with you, for a quick boost to get you to the next sag stop.
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Old 01-20-14, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
Good advice, Biker395. I would add to try different foods on your 50 mile rides. I would also suggest trying sports drinks. For centuries, 300k, and double century rides I wear a camelbak and carry two 20 oz bottles, one with Hammer Perpetuem, and one with Hammer Heed. It is also a good idea to carry gels with you, for a quick boost to get you to the next sag stop.
I did an entire century on Perpetuem once. My total consumption was about 70 oz of Perpetuem, 5 doses of gel, and two plain waterbottles. It worked great -- got to the end and felt great. But the taste! Haven't been able to drink it ever since!

This may be the year I go back and do Horsey Hundred again. For a northerner, it's pretty early in the year and it's usually my first 50+ mile ride of the year. Jumping from 30-35 flat miles to 100 rolling-to-steep miles gets me a little tired; but I always have fun.
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Old 01-20-14, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
I did an entire century on Perpetuem once. My total consumption was about 70 oz of Perpetuem, 5 doses of gel, and two plain waterbottles. It worked great -- got to the end and felt great. But the taste! Haven't been able to drink it ever since!

This may be the year I go back and do Horsey Hundred again. For a northerner, it's pretty early in the year and it's usually my first 50+ mile ride of the year. Jumping from 30-35 flat miles to 100 rolling-to-steep miles gets me a little tired; but I always have fun.
Never liked the taste of Perpetuem, either. But I tried these on the Trona 353:

http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/ou...um-solids.html

It was unexpectedly COLD (below freezing) coming back through the Antelope Valley, and I didn't want to stop, so I kept popping and chewing on those pups. They're not cheap, but they are effective, and I found them very palatable and easy to eat while riding.
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Old 01-20-14, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Never liked the taste of Perpetuem, either. But I tried these on the Trona 353:

http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/ou...um-solids.html

It was unexpectedly COLD (below freezing) coming back through the Antelope Valley, and I didn't want to stop, so I kept popping and chewing on those pups. They're not cheap, but they are effective, and I found them very palatable and easy to eat while riding.
Strangely enough, the orange vanilla flavor of perpetuem doesnt have much taste.
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Old 01-20-14, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by 1nterceptor View Post
http://www.bikenewyork.org/advice/tr...tury-training/

The members in my club come in every age and experience bracket.
But with consistent training; almost everyone was able to do a century.
In this club ride from last year; some riders were new cyclists but everybody
finished the ride up Bear Mountain from New York City - over 100 miles and
over 7,000 feet of climbing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqxnk...6zPoymgKaIoDLA
7000' of climbing to Bear Mountain? The mountain itself is only around 1500', where is the rest? I did the ride from Nyack to the top, and while there are some hills along the way, there is no way that it adds up to 7000', and it isn't that hilly from the city to Nyack even if you look for hills.
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Old 01-20-14, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
7000' of climbing to Bear Mountain? The mountain itself is only around 1500', where is the rest?
You do it five times? ;]
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