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First Century
#1
I have set a goal to complete my FIRST 100 mile ride this spring. This will give me something to look forward to over winter. Background about me: I'm 40, fit/healthy, no chronic pains. In addition to typical 30 mile rides I enjoy jogging, calisthenics, and light weight training. I'd say I'm a fitness enthusiast, but not a fanatic. I've been researching century topics like training plans, nutrition, hydration, route planning, etc. I have potential routes planned on Komoot. I'll be riding a combo of roads and cycling paths on relatively flat ground.

I'd love to hear from the community. Any tips or advice? How did your first century go? Do you recommend ramping up to 75 mile plus rides prior to my scheduled 100 miler? If I can do 50 miles with ease, can I do 100? Please share your thoughts. Also - I'm an open book. Fire away with any questions you might have.
Justin Schultz
2020 Scott Scale 970
2021 Felt Breed 30
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#2
(12-28-2021, 10:06 AM)J_R_Schultz Wrote:  I have set a goal to complete my FIRST 100 mile ride this spring. This will give me something to look forward to over winter. Background about me: I'm 40, fit/healthy, no chronic pains. In addition to typical 30 mile rides I enjoy jogging, calisthenics, and light weight training. I'd say I'm a fitness enthusiast, but not a fanatic. I've been researching century topics like training plans, nutrition, hydration, route planning, etc. I have potential routes planned on Komoot. I'll be riding a combo of roads and cycling paths on relatively flat ground.

I'd love to hear from the community. Any tips or advice? How did your first century go? Do you recommend ramping up to 75 mile plus rides prior to my scheduled 100 miler? If I can do 50 miles with ease, can I do 100? Please share your thoughts. Also - I'm an open book. Fire away with any questions you might have.

My only advice is to do your long training rides with a substantial amount of the roughest type of terrain you expect near the end of the ride. That also holds true for any expected climbs; do long rides with the climbs towards the end. Both of these conditions will not only give you an idea of where your body comfort is considering wear and tear on your arms, wrists, and butt; as well as your leg conditioning. It doesn't mean your aren't in proper physical condition; it just means that certain parts of your body may not be used to those same conditions after being in the saddle for 6-6.5 hours (for me). It may just be an equipment issue that needs to be rectified for a longer ride; be it saddle, gloves, bar grip, tires, etc. I would definitely schedule one, two, or three stops (or as many as is required): rest, food/water, and/or sightseeing; unless you are dead set on doing a non-stop ride. I personally look at anything being over 30 miles as a completely different ride for me; I have about 20 years on you and possibly 20 injuries also. I tend to feel it after about 25 miles if I haven't been riding regularly whether doing longer mileage or not. Just getting on the bike on a daily to every other day basis makes a big difference in how I feel on longer rides. It's probably why I enjoy blasting out 20-25 miles as hard as I can, as opposed to my 40 mile commute to work which to me just feels Sisyphean because I know I still have 9 hours to work and a 40 mile return trip (in the dark!); no time to rest (2 minute water break only) and nothing worth looking at if I did. I keep pace at about 17-18mph, but it just feels like I'm getting nowhere fast. If I do an actual century, I know I can keep the same or higher pace and be psychologically more in tune and thus enjoy the ride. I tend to run a lot of music through my head on really long rides to keep the passage of time out of mind; the miles just fly by. I do not wear any headphones/earbuds as I consider it dangerous if on roads with motorized traffic.
One last thing, give yourself an alternative route to get back to your destination at a reduced mileage just in case the body doesn't feel right after being on the road a bit. I have a habit of shooting out 20 miles or more, but the only way back is to repeat the same mileage I just did so having an emergency shortcut is not a bad idea; especially if it cuts out any major climbs or rough terrain. That being said, a short cut with a climb or gravel still saves a lot of time and wear and tear. That also applies to mechanical failures which I learned the hard way doing an mtb ride with road cleats/pedals. Busted a cleat with no spare, and had to get back to the car without be able to stay clipped in during any climb; a lot of walking up hills which sucked big time! That was on a first time ride on that trail and I actually started heading out my state in an attempt to get back by a shorter route, and actually added miles much to my dismay!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#3
Great advice Jesper. Thank you sir.
Justin Schultz
2020 Scott Scale 970
2021 Felt Breed 30
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#4
I'm not going to describe any amazing technical training plan that will get you over the 100 mile mark in a day, but I will share a little success that I still apply today when doing century rides.

I completed my first century when I was 15 years old. The mindset then is the same mindset that will help you finish a Century. As a 15-year-old we rode bikes everywhere, every day, but we had no clue what it meant to train. We rode our bikes ten or 15 miles at a clip and knew if we multiplied that effort by ten we would be at a century mark. The morning of the Century ride we showed up being dropped off by my friend's Mom, as we didn't have cars or a drivers licenses yet! The even organizers sized us up and asked if we had trained for the ride. We said not really, we just ride a lot. So, then he asked if we had a plan and we promptly told him we planned on riding ten miles per hour for ten hours. We bought money to buy candy bars and Yuhoo Chocolate Soda Pop. He shook his head and said have at it. We actually finished that ride in less than ten hours with no sag support. But we enjoyed every minute of the ride at our own pace doing our own thing.

Moral of this story is to make a plan, break it into manageable chunks and enjoy the ride!
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#5
I would advise you to pick as flat a course as possible! Hopefully you have a posse of other riders to draft with as that makes a big difference. We rode 2 consecutive century courses on back to back days. It was tough but we had a good pack both days. Be sure to preplan rest stops - it helps to break up the ride and give you a series of goals. Of course hydration and fueling all the time is critical.
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#6
Seattle to Portland classic ride has a wonderful training schedule. I have done this 200 mile event 5 times, and it has been a lot of fun, but my one day ride was a bit much for this old guy. The weather here in Vegas is far too hot to ride during July. But in the Northwest it was grand perfect weather on all my STP events. However last year there was no event because of Covid, and that was good as the Northwest had a heat wave and some days Portland was hotter than our temps in Las Vegas...

I have used this chart most years to prepare for my STP rides. A couple of years we had strange early hot weather, and I had to modify the preparation plan. This is for 200 mile ride, but it will easily prepare you for a hundred mile ride.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1A6e_wg80fLb3ihqhTEQHJ4UHtCjPpYxWKsMaxvsXZA8/edit#gid=0

JR
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#7
To be frank, there is nothing that will prepare you for sitting in the saddle for 6-10 hours other than sitting in the saddle for 6-10 hours.
What that means is to do what Eddy recommended decades ago. Ride a lot. I like the idea of building up to the distance you desire. The first almost 100 miler I did was by accident and without training for it. On a tour down south my buddy and I took several wrong turns and got lost. By the end of the day we had 90 miles in. Previous to that, 50 miles was our top mileage day. That day was 12 hours in the saddle. OUCH!
Working your way up to 100 miles by including a longer distance ride each week up to the event is the way to go. If you can do 80 in one day, then you can do 100. Not sure I am being clear, but if you look at the spreadsheet JR Namida provided a link to, and look at the Saturday/Sunday miles, you will see each weekend they are increased by10 miles. Eventually an 80 miler will be in the schedule, then after that the 100 miler can be achieved.
Food and water along the route will be needed so plan the route accordingly.
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#8
Buy very good shorts, then ride till you puke and keep going!
The real estate between 50 and 100 is huge so like this whole business you should work into it a few miles at a time.
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#9
Thanks for the replies and advice. At this point I'm more concerned about my butt than I am my fitness level. LOL.
Justin Schultz
2020 Scott Scale 970
2021 Felt Breed 30
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#10
The century ride is intriguing.

I can't really say there's huge opportunity for it.

I would be satisfied with 100km instead—62 miles.

The most I've done in one day is 38 miles, and it was done on a black/blue Mongoose Spectra with Bell Roundabout tires.

Or may have actually been Kenda Kross tires.
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#11
@JR Namida thanks for sharing your training chart. I wish there were more road events in my area to be able include them as training days and break up the routine of riding my same trails/roads. A very good idea to allow for rest days in between. I am not always afforded the opportunity due to being on call so I try to do at least a hard 10-15 miles on what should be off days just to avoid losing any gains. Plus, since I'm riding at a difference pace (>20mph, and sometimes on a Lo-pro frame) so it works the body in a different manner and in a different posture.
I have the opportunity to due a century quite often since my closest friend is a 50 mile (48 to be exact) one way trip. I always get a nice 4 hr break on that ride so I can have a decent meal/hydration in between two 3.5hr rides. It also provides good interval training since there is about a 25 mile stretch where I have to deal with over 50 traffic lights; always makes for a hard long ride if I catch many of those lights, but I equate that to having to climb hills; only 1 tame hill excluding the bridge. Now that I consider those rides it seems I'd be on the saddle about 6.5 hrs with about 30 min. break time on a century (didn't time myself on the last century I did). I do wear padded shorts on those rides where often anything 30 miles or less is without padding. Also, depends on if I am riding a more forgiving frame or not (not!).
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#12
@J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?
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#13
(03-28-2022, 04:52 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  @J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?

Hey Dom,
How is your Spring up there? Snow thawing out yet? My last holiday in April (Northern Massachusetts) gave me a snowfall and kept me from riding; putting it off 'til May this year. Hope you are well; be safe!
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
  Reply
#14
(03-28-2022, 04:52 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  @J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?

Sorry late reply. Spring in Wisconsin has been interesting. 60 degrees one day, followed by rain/snow the next day. I have decided to accomplish a metric century (100 Km) instead of 100 miles. Two reasons - 1) Time. 2) Enjoyment. I think I'll enjoy 62 miles much more than 100!
Justin Schultz
2020 Scott Scale 970
2021 Felt Breed 30
  Reply
#15
(04-11-2022, 07:06 PM)J_R_Schultz Wrote:  
(03-28-2022, 04:52 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  @J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?

Sorry late reply. Spring in Wisconsin has been interesting. 60 degrees one day, followed by rain/snow the next day. I have decided to accomplish a metric century (100 Km) instead of 100 miles. Two reasons - 1) Time. 2) Enjoyment. I think I'll enjoy 62 miles much more than 100!

i feel ya! keep us posted about your attempt. often you have to take a more rational way and be honest to yourself - 62 miles is a heck of a challenge! actually, i am also planning on doing one this season here in Vermont. my left leg has been a pain over the past few years and it prevented me from enjoying 50+ mile rides anymore. physio sessions might have done some wonders.

(03-29-2022, 04:02 AM)Jesper Wrote:  
(03-28-2022, 04:52 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  @J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?

Hey Dom,
How is your Spring up there? Snow thawing out yet? My last holiday in April (Northern Massachusetts) gave me a snowfall and kept me from riding; putting it off 'til May this year. Hope you are well; be safe!

hi Jesper! i hope you are doing well!
we had fool's spring back in February mixed up with a new product launch at work this spring (busy times) but the weather forecast looks promising for bike rides this week with up to 85 F (say what??). luckily, i was forced to take a week off Big Grin
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#16
Looking forward to hear this report.

100 miles is going to be a crucible.

If you haven't yet, I can't stress enough the importance of carbs, omegas, EAA aminos, b-vitamins, and electrolytes.

You'll want to top off every 20m at least. Any endurance supplements (like for bodybuilding) will help also. Just be mindful of the caffeine content. You don't want to be consuming more than 300g of that.
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#17
(04-11-2022, 07:06 PM)J_R_Schultz Wrote:  
(03-28-2022, 04:52 PM)Papa Dom Wrote:  @J_R_Schultz how is your spring going? have you already made an attempt?

Sorry late reply. Spring in Wisconsin has been interesting. 60 degrees one day, followed by rain/snow the next day. I have decided to accomplish a metric century (100 Km) instead of 100 miles. Two reasons - 1) Time. 2) Enjoyment. I think I'll enjoy 62 miles much more than 100!

good call and good luck with the metric century! send some photos or screenshots from the Strava ride once you are done.
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#18
A lot of good advice from the community here. I have done many hundred plus mile days while touring. For me the main impetus was to reach a certain destination (or civilization) before nightfall. I still rode at night, but it is dangerous in the day or night even with all the safety precautions being taken (which I did none of; no lights, reflectors, or helmet). I never competed in anything over 100 miles so I cannot comment on the training required to that end, but putting in the miles on a daily basis and having adequate time in the saddle (>4hrs regularly) is what worked for me. Even just solid twenty five mile days will get you there without you even realizing it, still if you do not know what you will feel like after 4 hours or more in the saddle it can make a ride seem interminable even if your leg strength is good. A comfortable saddle, as well as properly configuring your bike set-up will make any ride more enjoyable, but especially on any longer rides over a couple hours.


(05-12-2022, 05:21 PM)ReapThaWhirlwind Wrote:  If you haven't yet, I can't stress enough the importance of carbs, omegas, EAA aminos, b-vitamins, and electrolytes. You'll want to top off every 20m at least. Any endurance supplements (like for bodybuilding) will help also. Just be mindful of the caffeine content. You don't want to be consuming more than 300g of that.

I do not know if you are a dietician or nutritionist, but if you are you should state it openly. Conversely, it you are not a specialist you should give a disclaimer stating as such. I do work in the health industry, and deal with many patients who have sensitivities and allergies to foods and supplements (nothing to do with age or physical condition). Many supplements (or food items) should not be taken without consulting your doctor or a specialist. It is best just to stick to the advice of keeping oneself hydrated since that can affect you much quicker than not having a proper meal. I have gone days without eating and still performed at a high athletic level, but never got very far without adequate consumption of water.
I would presume that most people know what their diet needs to be to in order to conduct their lives as required, and if they did not they would probably not be in a proper health condition to the point of even considering an hour on a bike nevermind half a day.
Ride Fast, Be Safe!
Howard
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