A Century Ride is approximately 100 miles long. Almost anyone can complete a century, depending on the route and their conditioning. If you haven’t done one before this guide can help you prepare!
Before the Ride
Miles, miles, miles!
- Build up to riding 100-120 miles a week
- Track your progress with Strava
- Interval training to increase performance
- Take two days off before the century
- No long rides within 10 days of the century
- Include the hills in your training rides
- Strengthen your core (stomach)
- Plenty of veggies, fruits, nuts, and water!
- Lean protein (fish, chicken, eggs)
- Natural, unprocessed (Whole Foods or Sprouts)
- Oatmeal, fruit, nuts 3 hr. before the ride
- 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: http://www.hammernutrition.com/downloads/hammer-nutrition-cookbook.pdf
- Recovery drink: chocolate milk! Seriously, it’s great!
- Cramping: Endurolytes Fizz
- Human/bike interface pain points (hands, feet, butt). Maybe OK for 40 mi, but NOT 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 sufficiently (40 mi.) after making any changes or adjustments just prior to the ride. Make sure that whatever changes you’ve made haven’t adversely affected the quality of your ride.
- Get your bike tuned up 2-3 weeks before the ride
- Carry in your seat bag:
- Tube, patch kit, boot, tire lever(s), 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, top of your head?, too)!
During the Ride
Hydration (two cages and bottles)
- Drink often, consider adding supplements
- Refill your bottles at every opportunity
- 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’re good 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.
- Get familiar with the course and expected weather months before the ride.
- Get off the saddle every so often
- 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.