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First Post- Contemplating Century in 6 Weeks

tomandjerry00tomandjerry00 Posts: 2
edited June 2017 in Road beginners
First post!

Been a rider for a long time, but just getting into the road game. I am a grad student intern at a hospital which is hosting a (flat) century ride at the end of July. My longest ride to date was 60 miles (about 10 years ago on a mountain bike...) but I spin 2-3 days a week (45 min @ 315 watts) and go on 25-30 miles rides on the weekends @ ~18.5 mph. Only major issue on my rides is hand numbness after an hour or two even when I make an effort to keep more weight on the saddle.

I ride a Schwinn Fastback RX cyclocross with full Sora components and aluminum frame/fork. Not the best road bike, but does great for my commute and weekend rides. I am hoping to ride this for the century as cash is quite tight. I'm hoping with some decent slicks it will be a usable machine. Plan on spending cash on better bike shorts, new saddle, gloves, etc.

I've been looking at this training schedule: ... -a-century

So what do you think? Doable? Thoughts on training?

Thanks for all your help in advance!


  • grenwgrenw Posts: 803
    I managed a century fairly easily on my 4th road ride after riding mountain bikes for 4 or 5 years (4-6 hours a week). Started at 25 miles and added another 25 every ride. No training necessary unless you're aiming for a particular time. I just rode for a bit longer.

    Not a problem to be honest as I took things at my own pace and made sure I ate something every hour. Took around 8 hours including stops so was hardly going to set the world on fire. Still one of my favourite rides - a sunny day in the New Forest with lunch by the sea helped quite a bit!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 28,028
    I think your main issue is pacing yourself. If you are used to short intense training, you might start too hard and run out of juice after 2-3 hours. My advice is to retrain your brain... Try and do 2-3 hours at a steady pace... something like 25 km/h on a rolling terrain will do. The rest is easy.

    Hand numbness is either because you work too hard or because your bars are too low
    left the forum March 2023
  • Jerry185Jerry185 Posts: 143
    You might want to think about refuelling enroute. All sorts of threads on that, but you won't go a 100 without the necessary intake
  • burnthesheepburnthesheep Posts: 675
    The math doesn't quite add up here. 45 min at 315w is well up there on the ftp chart of racing classifications.

    Anyone doing that 3 days a week and 30 mile rides otherwise has the fitness and knowledge to ride 100 miles.

    Either the meter/gym equipment is broken on those 45 min sessions, or we have a troll on our hands.

    The training necessary to achieve 315w for 45min straight OR 315w at 45min while doing intervals over a few hours is still incredible. Anyone who can do that could spin 180 to 200 watts for the length of time for a 6 hour flat century ride.

    I can't really take it serious that you're asking this question if that is actually true. While it may be true, I can't imagine you could do that but not make it 100 mi and be able to eat/fuel for that.
  • stevie63stevie63 Posts: 481
    Has our friend Jay returned?
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd ignore the watts thing. If it's a spin bike then I doubt it's accurate.

    100 isn't that hard. You have a few weeks so just extend your ride each week and as has been said practice your pacing and nutrition. You need to have a drink or eat every 20 minutes or so. Nice and steady rather than a big feed.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    yep, some very good advice, including the "ignore the numbers" bit as it means chaff all. One of the biggest hurdles for long rides is a very simple one, long rides! Most folks will do a 100 in 5-6 hours, less for really flat ones, so you need to get to the position where you have spent 4-5 hours on a bike prior to the day in question. The distance covered and speed for that long ride are irrelevant (to some degree) and learning to focus on time spent in the saddle will help you to refocus too. So, nice combination of short/hard rides, longer/steadier rides and then, if training goes well and time permits, move to longer/harder rides but be careful as the risk is that a simple injury from over-training could rule you out altogether.

    The target should be finishing the ride and enjoying it, next year you can come back and smash the time!
  • lakesludditelakesluddite Posts: 1,337
    You seem to have a good level of fitness, so I don't think you should be that overawed by 100m. As has been said above, get your fueling right (right for you, not for others - some people just don't need as much as others), a very good pair of bib-shorts (you'll be spending more time in the saddle than you're used to) and perhaps knock the pace down a bit.

    Re hand numbness - all depends on what's causing it, but you'll need to do trial-and-error experiments to see what works. Better mitts perhaps, thicker bar-tape? Use different hand positions more often? Bike fit might be good as well.
  • cld531ccld531c Posts: 517
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    Most folks will do a 100 in 5-6 hours, less for really flat ones,

    Most folks will average 20mph plus for 100 miles - Really??
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    cld531c wrote:
    Bobbinogs wrote:
    Most folks will do a 100 in 5-6 hours, less for really flat ones,

    Most folks will average 20mph plus for 100 miles - Really??

    OK, fair enough. Should probably read "most folks (as in riders) I know" then. 100 miles in 6 hours is ~16.5mph so we are talking about a speed range of 20mph - 16.5mph, which many club riders are capable of, given that the OP stated the parcours is "flat".
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