A century experience — a bicycle experience of 100 miles — is to a bike owner as a marathon has to a runner: a very long ample distance to be a tremendous obstacle, whilst still an attainable goal for a committed athlete.
Still, preparing is important. So how do you practice for a century experience to enhance your performance? Down below, you will discover how to prepare in the months in advance of your 100-miler, how to prepare on the working day of, and how to try to eat to fuel your experience.
Preparing is vital with a significant stamina celebration these types of as this.
The greatest reward you can give you is time. Even with a very good foundation health and fitness amount, a 16-week training system is rather realistic.
If you absence endurance, kicking that time up to 6 months could be a fantastic thought. Plan on building stamina normally with a variety of functions for a few months right before launching into a dedicated biking software.
To style a schooling software for your century trip, it’s significant to request by yourself a several thoughts:
Do you have the suitable type of bicycle?
Depending on your party, you could possibly fare far better with a road bike (narrow tires), a hybrid bicycle (a combination among street and mountain bicycle), a mountain bike (heavier than a street bicycle, but equipped with a suspension technique to accommodate more rugged terrain), or a gravel bicycle (with broader tires and a lessen center of gravity, made for more unstable circumstances).
Exactly where is your journey having spot?
What will the climate be like? Is there altitude? Do your exploration to get a great concept of what to be expecting from the features on the day of your celebration, and teach accordingly. If you are instruction at sea stage indoors, and the experience is outdoors in the mountains, for instance, climate and cardiovascular stamina will be crucial criteria.
Get the ideal gear
You may possibly feel you are going to be cycling outdoor on your road bike for all of your coaching, but consider what you will do when situations never make it possible for you to journey outside. Rain, snow, ice, or smoky circumstances may possibly preserve you inside. Think about investing in a effectively-proportioned stationary cycle or an indoor bicycle coach.
There are many highly regarded trainers obtainable to mount your highway bike to for indoor use. You can even join your coach to an application these types of as Zwift to give you an immersive digital ride, competing with and riding with other true cyclists.
Additionally, think about the other gear you could possibly want. Not only do you will need a very good bicycle for the century, but you will want to make investments in some very good biking footwear, some padded shorts, and a coronary heart price check. Feel about storage on your bicycle for gas, and water bottle holders for hydration.
Have a restore kit on your bike for mishaps on the road. Get a excellent helmet and make a considerate selection about clips as opposed to cages or system pedals.
Clips can be overwhelming for a new bicycle owner, but can present a far smoother ride. Cages, conversely, can be a little bit cumbersome with out feeling as locked in as a clip. Platforms let any sneakers to be worn, but never give the clean ride or secure footing of the previous two.
After you are organized for your century, have the correct gear, and are completely ready to journey, you will need to have to actually do the perform. A very good teaching prepare will include things like several factors, this sort of as a extended distance journey, pace intervals, hill climbs, cross coaching, and some heart fee coaching.
At the time you are a seasoned century rider, you can use a extra personalized and subtle schooling system. For your very first shot, just getting the miles in with a selection of stressors (pace, resistance, hills, etc) will get ready you perfectly.
Right here is a fundamental prepare:
Nourishment is an critical element in any stamina function, and your good results can experience (pun intended) on your interest to this crucial factor. Your intake of energy and macronutrients will vary in coaching and on race working day, and recognizing just how and when to consume can make a big difference.
In the course of teaching
Make positive you are consuming common healthful meals and not likely into any exercise session depleted of electricity. A hefty meal of protein and fats can gradual you down a bit, but as extensive as you are eating a variety of meals that are mainly healthy, no major planning is necessary.
For rides or other endurance workout routines of under 90 minutes, no added energy or cabohydrates are needed. Fueling with h2o, or in intense disorders this sort of as heat, a reduced- or no-calorie electrolyte consume is ample to assistance the perform.
If your work out is in excess of 90 minutes but below 2.5 hours, you will want to get in 30–60 grams of carbohydates just about every hour (
Keeping the flow of carbs into the entire body helps the blood stay flush with glycogen, delivering electrical power for the tough do the job of riding. Skipping this phase can deliver your blood and liver of glycogen, leading to the human body to fall short in its output of the muscular fuel adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and hence producing thoughts of tiredness and decline of electrical power (
It does not matter how hard you feel you are — when your human body lacks the chemical components to create operate, your perform fails.
Experiment with what performs for you. If extra human body pounds is a problem for you, enjoy close to with the minimal conclusion of that equation (30 grams per hour) and see if you practical experience “the bonk”. If you locate your vitality dips even with 30 grams of carbs every single hour, incorporate a very little bit and see if your overall performance increases.
For rides of about 2.5 hours, you require to get in 60–70 grams of carbs per hour. If that looks like a whole lot of ingesting, opt for calorie-dense selections so you never have to consume frequently.
Seem for sports activities-unique solutions (this sort of as Hammer Nutrition’s Perpetuem), but take into consideration sandwiches this kind of as a peanut butter and jelly (55 grams of carbs) and dried fruit (10 dried apricots have 44 grams of carbs, though 6 items of dried mango have 60 carbs, so do your homework).
Two or a few compact, salted crimson potatoes will also deliver close to 60 carbs and can be a nice break from all the sweet foods. There is great investigation to counsel that incorporating protein into your fueling plan for exercise routines about 2.5 hours can also support overall performance and support in restoration (
Irrespective of whether or not you opt for to follow carb loading (which is not just a large bowl of pasta right before bedtime the night before the race, but in truth a multi-day dietary planning), it’s a good notion to hold your diet program fairly bland and carb-abundant the working day in advance of your occasion.
You really don’t want to invite gastrointestinal distress into a tummy that may already be working with pre-race butterflies. Keeping your diet reduced in fat and fiber as very well as higher in carbs and electrolytes will start out your race day with a bit of an edge.
The hrs ahead of the race are crucial. You want to have a carbohydrate-prosperous breakfast, this sort of as a smoothie, bagel, banana or raisin bread, watching out for just about anything that could possibly upset the stomach or slow digestion (
This food can be eaten any where from 4 hrs to 1 hour prior to the begin of the race, and can fit your digestion timeline. The glycogen retailers will nevertheless be filled if it is 4 hours right before the start of your journey, though you may want an extra shot of carbs at the start out if that is your technique.
Maintaining hydrated is also crucial. Consuming an electrolyte-loaded drink the day prior to and early morning of your race can perform to your advantage. A lot of get salt tablets, but sodium is only one electolyte.
Discover a resource that has also potassium and magnesium, chemical substances that also do the job in muscle mass contraction. Using a much more balanced supply can assist you avoid muscle mass fatigue and cramping (
Throughout the ride
During the century trip, you want to make confident you are getting enough carbohydrate power to not develop into glycogen depleted — comparable to education, but for race day, you may perhaps want to err on the side of a bit far more carbs.
Assuming the journey will just take around 2.5 hrs, you will want to acquire in at the very least the approved 60–70 grams of carbohydrate for each hour, or even up to 90 grams for each hour if it is tolerable for your program (
Begin your ride with an energy gel or some straightforward carb, and make sure you strike your hourly target to maintain your stores prepared for your bigger initiatives through the experience.
A lot like getting ready bodily, getting ready mentally will give you the most effective shot at accomplishment.
Be arranged. Approach the do the job so that you can get the job done the system.
Know the route. The world wide web provides us untold treasures of information and facts. You can perspective the route, the terrain, the range of turns and hills in the program.
You can learn way in advance the common temperature of the ride locale on trip date. The weeks before the race you can stalk the weather forecast and program your wardrobe.
Plan your clothes. Pack your gear. Are you touring? Program how and when to get to the race area. Know what it will just take to get your bicycle to your spot town. Possessing these quite a few inquiries answered way in progress can cut down your panic.
You could still have nerves — you are carrying out one thing massive! Put together to feel unprepared. Know that this will happen, but know that you have finished the function. For most people today, ending is the target. Get your worry about finishing properly out of the equation and aim on just finishing the experience.
Start off sluggish. The additional you around-journey in the early miles, the more issues you give oneself in the last miles. Know what a constant pace will glance like for you at the fifty percent, at 25 miles, and at 75 miles.
You really do not have to be ideal about it — the hill profile of the training course can mess with your head a bit if it’s a extremely textured trip, but tuning into that vibe of steadiness can bring you some peace.
Visualize. Photo oneself on the route, particularly if you have witnessed it. But if not, go in advance and picture it. See on your own using confidently and having fun with your energy.
Photograph yourself using solid uphill. Come to feel the burn up in your thighs and experience that as energy alternatively than agony. Get started a practice through your instruction of viewing your self confidently having on these troubles and finishing your race powerful, tired, and entire of accomplishment. If you can see it in your mind’s eye, you can obtain it.
- Give on your own further time. Superior to be calmly bored than waste your adrenaline on attempting to get to the start.
- Pack plenty of gasoline. Pack a range of solids and liquids.
- Use the gasoline. If you’re sensation rather excellent and additional than an hour goes by, you might miss your window to prevent glycogen depletion.
- Sip fluid usually. Ready for thirst to arrive can operate from you, not only for the risk of dehydration, but also if you get way too thirsty and gulp far too considerably fluid, you may perhaps be fighting a sloshy tummy afterwards in the race.
- Have a mantra. Think of something nice to say about on your own, like “you’re strong and confident”, or anything intense, like “you are dominating this course”, or a thing otherwise catchy to your own brain, like “I try to eat hills for breakfast”. It can be whatever lights that fire within of you.
- Mind above issue. When you start to listen to detrimental self-chat in your head, refer to your perfectly-practiced mantra. It can pull you out of a dim area.
- Have enjoyable! This is some thing great you will do for oneself. At the complete line, you will be capable to say “I rode a 100-mile bicycle experience.” Though men and women may want to listen to about the trials and tribulations you satisfied alongside the way, the story you tell will be 1 of perseverance and toughness. You are an athlete!
Riding a century is a problem and accomplishment that couple of choose on, and much less finish. If your head and coronary heart are committed, you can produce a stronger overall body, a satisfaction in your soul, and a story you can notify for daily life. Very good luck!