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How long to train for a Century?

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How long to train for a Century?

Old 10-09-12, 04:05 PM
  #1  
Shellyrides
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How long to train for a Century?

To give you a idea where I am at right now I did a 16.5 mile in 1:20. This was fairly flat with slight up hill for half.

I really want to do at least one Century next year....I really want to do this one https://shastasummitcentury.com/
It may be to much, that is a really big hill.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:10 PM
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It took me 1200 miles in 4 months and then the first century.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:26 PM
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Here is something my club leader posted once:





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Old 10-09-12, 04:28 PM
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10 Wheels, that guy up above this post once told me to get several 4hour+ rides in. It prepares your body and really gets your legs stronger. I had a pretty good base of short mountain bike riding in. But it took me 4 months of @500 miles a month to get ready for the VivabikeVegas. About 80 miles in I was asking myself what the point of this was-it was kicking my rear. But I finished all 115 miles. You can do it. I was whooped, but the thrill of the finish is unbelievable.

But it took me so long that all the food was picked over and dry. The Outback had prepared the after meal, that bummed me out.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:31 PM
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Those are good guidelines, assuming you can do the 'longer saturday distances' comfortably. (starting at 30 or 40).

If you find yourself sore or dragging at the end of a week, you can just back off and repeat a week or two till you end up
feeling stronger - let your body be the judge.

Also, as you get to the longer rides, ride nutrition becomes an important factor - you need to eat as you go or else you'll hit
the wall. Look around the training forum for some ideas.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:39 PM
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I had the near same experience on my first 100.
My friend had taught me how to ride long distance

The First One:

Overcast to start, then Sun with 92*F Temp and 18 mph headwind.

I carried 5 bottles. Snacked and sipped as I rode.

Columbus Hill Challenge. Found out later it was for experienced riders yuk.

42 miles stopped for a 20 minute break, Friend helped a rider with a flat.
Next 42 miles stopped 10 minutes.

Then came the Sun, Headwinds and Heat 92* and hills. Riding directly into The Sun.

Had a SAG truck give me Ice and water. Poured it on my head and neck.
SAG driver said there would be food for me if I finished.

No food when I finished. Everyone had left.
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Old 10-09-12, 04:41 PM
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Thanks guys!
@ Beachgrad I could hug you for posting that!
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Old 10-09-12, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellyrides View Post
Thanks guys!
@ Beachgrad I could hug you for posting that!
Train up to 75 mile rides.
if you can ride 75 miles, you will be able to finish the 100.

You don't really need a structured training plan.

Ride as much as you can....rest take days off when you need them.
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Old 10-09-12, 05:13 PM
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that's a HILL at mile 70. That's mile marker is where most people will hit their wall, none the less having that large of a climb for 15 miles or so.

IMO if that is your goal event, then I'd throw all normal advice out the window and start climbing, and allot. You need to make it comfy 50-60mile ride with 5-6k feet of climbing feel normal and do it once or twice a week. Which might be hard pending where you live. If not then the hill/elevation will beat you. With climbing and distance riding, your butt literally will be yelling at you. Get some good bibs and a saddle that fits your sit bones.

Learn to eat on the ride, you will expend 600-900 cals per hour but can only digest 300-350cals per hour back into energy. Everyone's body is different, but at about the 6-7hr riding point your body will deplete the reserve calories.
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Old 10-09-12, 05:14 PM
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Thank you 10. I know I really don't need a chart to follow, but they are so shinny.

I have a Autistic son and charts have become my life. If he is having a bad day but he sees a chart that says I am too do XYZ he will make sure he gives me the space and time to do it. In his world if its not on a calendar or written down it will/can not happen.
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Old 10-09-12, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Train up to 75 mile rides.
if you can ride 75 miles, you will be able to finish the 100.

You don't really need a structured training plan.

Ride as much as you can....rest take days off when you need them.
Agree...I posted the training plan as a "guide"...I doubt I will follow it as I am not so good at that kind of structure. LOL
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Old 10-09-12, 06:04 PM
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This is excellent advice. I wish I had actually followed a strict, regimented plan before doing my centuries this year. For my first one of 115 miles, I had only 20 base miles per day, 5 days a week from commuting. Almost ZERO weekend riding. I ended up hurting my knees and ankle. Told myself that I'd train better for the century ride later in the year (10 weeks from then.)

That went out the window. I got lazy again and didn't train at all. To make matters worse, I contracted whooping cough and an ear infection 10 days before the century. I felt so crappy, I didn't even ride once until the actual ride. I made it through in OK time, but my ankle and knees are messed up yet again. My stupidity means trips to the physical therapist now.

The moral of the story - train well enough that when properly hydrated and fed, your body will not be shocked when you throw 100+ miles at it. I'm promising myself that next year, I will force myself to ride actual distances on the weekends and be as close to 100 mile as I can before the ride.
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Old 10-09-12, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post

IMO if that is your goal event, then I'd throw all normal advice out the window and start climbing, and allot. You need to make it comfy 50-60mile ride with 5-6k feet of climbing feel normal and do it once or twice a week. Which might be hard pending where you live. If not then the hill/elevation will beat you. With climbing and distance riding, your butt literally will be yelling at you. Get some good bibs and a saddle that fits your sit bones.
That kind of climb is any any 3 directions and 20 min or less from where I live. Mt Shasta is only 45 miles away. I thought I would start diving up there (until the snow gets to bad) at least once a month and see how far up I can go.
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Old 10-09-12, 07:33 PM
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It's fairly quick & easy to ride a century. A couple months training. And those plans are well established and reliable in helping you get there.

However, not trying to dampen your enthusiasm, but to be realistic and help you achieve your goal: the Shasta Summit Century is totally another beast. I would say, don't attempt that ride until you've got a couple years riding under your belt. And that at 5,000+ miles per year. And lots of climbing.

A 10,000 foot century is incredibly difficult. Moreso for us clydes/athenas. I've ranked the Shasta Super Century as Hors Categorie and the regular Shasta Century as a Cat 1. These are tough rides.

Find a flatter century, say around 3,000 feet or less, for your first one. The mileage is hard enough. You don't need the climbing to kill you too.
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Old 10-09-12, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellyrides View Post
That kind of climb is any any 3 directions and 20 min or less from where I live.
LOL don't drive there...RIDE there
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Old 10-09-12, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
LOL don't drive there...RIDE there
LOL I have been going over Google maps all day working out routes.
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Old 10-09-12, 10:20 PM
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I say dream big and go prepared. You have a year to get ready so get going. Hills will need to become your friend. The dedication required IMHO to comfortably be able to complete such a century is significant. Long hilly rides every weekend for months leading up to the ride. You can do it. I just completed my third century and it was a hilly one at 6500' it was not easy by any stretch but I finished it strong in spite of having to do most of it solo. 4,000 + miles this year before that century and lots of hills with a mix of long steady climbs of 1-2% and more substantial longer climbs averaging 3.5% and higher over from one to several miles.

IMHO you should shoot for completing the Shasta Century but you might want to also do a flatter one before next late spring/ early summer. I have found it is the hours on the bike more than the distance that makes it hard.
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Old 10-09-12, 11:09 PM
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You're conquering two goals here... a ton of miles and a ton of climbing. Your first century should probably just be a ton of miles. Other have said it but if you can ride 75 miles you can ride 100 (assuming the elevation profile is similar.) Find a flatter century and THEN tackle Shasta.
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Old 10-10-12, 12:46 AM
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I'm going to be trying my first century in three weeks. I haven't had a plan except to ride as much as I can over the past 5 months. I have ridden several 50's and a few 60s interspersed with riding at least 25 - 5 days a week. To be honest I've missed a few days here and there. The hills that I used to ride miles to avoid are no longer owning me.

I sincerely appreciate this forum. It has lead me to a much healthier lifestyle. I started about six months ago at 259lbs - I'm now at 224lbs and even got down to 218. Heading to 210.

Thanks again for all the inspiration and solid information.
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Old 10-10-12, 02:12 AM
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This sounds suspiciously like my wife...
Originally Posted by Shellyrides View Post
In his world if its not on a calendar or written down it will/can not happen.
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Old 10-10-12, 08:27 AM
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I'll just jump on the ... ride a lot and climb a lot starting today bit. Get many 50-75 mile rides in your jersey pocket and some of these should be with the same kind of climbing the Shasta century has.

At 100'/mile that's a lot of climbing in a Century for someone that's not done one. It can be tackled with base miles as well as climbing miles but be ready for a long day in the saddle. Figure out your nutrition needs well in advance.

I completed three hilly centuries and a hilly metric (~132'/mile) this year and all I've done is climb.. to the tune of about 270,000' and 4700 miles this year. Climbing can, and should be, your friend if you are set on that century.
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Old 10-10-12, 09:56 AM
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Shasta century is nice. My wife and I did it years ago. As another poster said plan on riding 1 or 2 centuries spring/summer. The 2nd climb is the toughest. the 1st just flows up the creek. The last is long but the grade is even and the pavement super smooth. The descent is awesome.
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Old 10-10-12, 01:27 PM
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Thanks every one. I am putting the finishing pieces I need to put together on my bike. So I will jump into the training and see how I am doing early summer of next year. I am looking at doing some century type rides and see how I do . ( really can't afford to do more then one may be two a year so I am looking at doing it on my own with a couple friends on speed dial if I get into trouble)
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Old 10-16-12, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Train up to 75 mile rides.
if you can ride 75 miles, you will be able to finish the 100.

You don't really need a structured training plan.

Ride as much as you can....rest take days off when you need them.
This.

Then just pace yourself, keep fuel in the tank, and stay hydrated. You'll be fine.
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Old 10-16-12, 06:50 PM
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Do the lake almanor century in the spring..it's a little over 100 miles, has about 3000 feet of climbing and is close enough to you.

its a nice ride. I did the metric this spring and was going to do the century this fall till the fire cancelled the ride.

take a look at ibowhunts training record...that's what's required to ride those kinds of centuries...don't kid yourself about the work, or the pain. It's doable, but will you put in the work required to make it. That's the question you need to ask yourself.
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