Get Ready Your Next Century Ride
Get Ready Your Next Century Ride
By Cameron Hoffman
Bio: Cameron Hoffman is a multi-time winner of numerous 100+ mile events, including four time Pro 1,2, 3 champion of LOTOJA and races with Team Endurance360. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Century rides and events are just around the corner! This time of year is exciting with warm weather, more daylight hours and enthusiasm among clubs and teams. It’s also time to get ready for your century, specifically your equipment, nutrition and training.
Dial in your Equipment
I recently had a teammate who rode a ~200 mile ride/race from Logan, Utah to Jackson Hole, WY (LOTOJA). He was very meticulous in his preparation. He wore a heart rate monitor, did necessary training, competed in local races and ensured his equipment was ready. He also purchased and mounted new tubular tires, updated a few components, tried out different food and gel options and purchased new cycling shoes. It appeared like he was dialed in and ready to roll. But, properly adjusting new shoes (which was also a different brand) required more trial and error than just a few days of riding. In the end, he had everything dialed in, except for his shoe and cleat position. My teammate ended up riding LOTOJA entirely with knee pain, where a simple cleat adjustment would have made all the difference and eliminated the pain.
The point of this story is that dialing equipment, training and nutrition is required, but avoid any drastic changes within a month before your event. Ensure your equipment is ready, with any adjustments made well in advance. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Here are a few equipment recommendations:
1. Be sure to have newer tires to hedge against flats. You can also inject tire sealant to protect against common thorns and some sharp road debris.
2. Get a proper bike fit. A bike fit can ensure you are comfortable and maximizing power out-put.
3. Tune up your bike with a new chain and install new shoe cleats
Nutrition is Key
Proper nutrition is pivotal for every endurance athlete. It’s said that we only have enough carbo-hydrates in our system to last us about 90 minutes. That means we have to replenish our car-bohydrate stores during our ride. If you haven’t already found gels and bars that work for you, now is a good time to start. I’ve always been a proponent of real food. Check out The FeedZone Cookbook for some great on the road pocket food ideas. These days, I only ride with rice cakes in my back pocket and a couple of caffeinated gels during long rides. Here are my nutritional recommendations:
1. Practice in advance with different food and gels to dial in your nutrition.
2. During your century ride eat something every 20 minutes. That could be a gel or a couple bites of food.
3. Drink every 15-20 minutes.
4. Keep a well rounded diet and focus your daily meals with real food.
5. Consider adding an endurance specific supplement like Endurance 360 to your daily routine to reduce cramps and improve your overall endurance.
While 100 miles is a long way, most riders, even weekend warriors can adequately prepare and ac-complish a century with enough training. The num-ber one rule to training and getting into shape is con-sistency. That’s the secret! Consistency! Some-times life gets in the way and consistency is not al-ways going to happen. When preparing for a cen-tury, I would recommend training 5-6 days a week for 4 weeks straight. Here are some training tips:
1. Be consistent with your training
2. If you can ride 65-75 miles during one ride, you can absolutely accomplish 100 miles. Go out for at least two to three 60+ mile rides three to four
weeks before your century
3. Mixing your rides with mileage and intensity will enhance your preparation
4. Try to become proficient with drafting. Drafting offers approximately 30% energy savings, which is a HUGE amount of energy savings over a 100 mile span
Cycling is a beautiful sport that can take you along beautiful roads and gorgeous scenery. We can meet friends and gain incredible fitness. Take it all in while you are training for your next century. Be sure to hone in your equipment to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride. Dial in your nutrition to keep your energy stores up and build up to tackle that 100 mile ride.
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