Before the Ride

Almost anyone can complete a century ride (100 mi.), depending on the route and their conditioning. If you haven’t done one before we can help you prepare!

Miles, miles, miles!

  • Build up to riding 100-120 miles a week
  • Track your progress with Strava (free phone app)
  • Interval training to increase performance
  • Take two days off before the century
  • No long rides within 10 days of the century
  • Include hills in your training rides
  • Strengthen your core (stomach)


  • Plenty of veggies, fruits, nuts, and water!
  • Lean protein (fish, chicken, eggs)
  • Natural, unprocessed foods (Whole Foods or Sprouts)
  • Salad: kale mix, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, pine nuts, avocado, green onions, celery, crumbled blue cheese or oil and vinegar
  • Healthy cooking tips – Hammer Nutrition Cookbook:
  • Recovery drink: chocolate milk! Seriously, it’s great!
  • Cramping: Endurolytes Fizz


  • Human/bike interface pain points (hands, feet, butt). What might be OK for 40 mi, may NOT be for 100 mi.
  • Butt/Saddle—make sure it fits!
  • Feet/Shoes—fit? Footbeds? Hotspots? If you’re not going “clipless,” then you’re missing huge benefits!
  • Hands/Gloves—Numbness: Change position, pad bars
  • Does anything hurt when you ride? Consider alterations in gear or get a bike fitting to resolve these issues.


  • No changes within a week before the ride
  • Ride the bike at least 40 mi. after making any changes or adjustments prior to the ride. Make sure that whatever changes you’ve made haven’t adversely affected the quality of your ride. You don’t want to find out the hard way (halfway through your century) that your recent changes have made things WORSE!
  • Get your bike tuned up 2-3 weeks before the ride
  • Carry in your seat bag:
  • Tube, patch kit, boot, tire levers, CO2 (+ rubber sleeve) or pump, multi-tool
  • Phone, route map, sunscreen, GPS (in your phone), cash (use as boot), CDL, insurance card.
  • More about sunscreen:
    • Try it out before the ride. How long does it last?
    • Carry small travel size or extra small plastic jar from Container Store
    • Make sure it doesn’t get in your eyes or doesn’t sting if it does!
    • Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your forehead, ears, neck, bald spot, too!

During the Ride

Hydration (two cages and bottles)

  • Drink often, consider adding supplements
  • Refill your bottles at every opportunity (you’re never really sure when you’ll be able to get more)
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink
  • 20-25 oz. of water per hour


  • Take in more carbs every hour (Hammer Gels)
  • Try to keep rest stops down to 10-15 min. Any longer and you’ll cool down too much.
  • Primary intake: liquid supplements (gels and Perpetuem)
  • No new foods or nutritional products without trying them out weeks before the ride (make sure that they work for you).


  • Check the average temperature for ride area. Dress appropriately. Removable layers are good.
  • Check the weather the day before and the morning of the ride
  • If necessary, dress warm: arm and leg warmers, rain gear, long-fingered gloves?


  • Ride with someone who knows the course, if possible.
  • Get familiar with the course and expected weather months before the ride.
  • Get off the saddle every so often during the ride.
  • Catch a draft to save energy!
  • Keep “loose.” Keep your arms slightly bent.
  • Make sure your tires are fully inflated! Many prefer to inflate their tires to 90 Psi. 110 Psi might make the ride too harsh.