The long-term plan is to do a century bike ride. That’s a 100-mile ride. There. I said it.

This isn’t going to happen this year, or next. Possibly not for several years. But it will happen, or at least that is what my biking seasons are going to be keeping an eye on.

There are two things that need to happen before I can do a century: I need to get faster and 35-mile rides need to become my norm.

  • 35-mile rides

    The general wisdom is that you can train for a ride that is about 3-times your comfortable long-ride. That means that if you can comfortably do 10 miles, then you should be able to train, in about 12 weeks, for a 30-mile ride. So, to do a century ride, I need to first be comfortable with a 33.3-mile ride.

    This one I’ve almost got down. Last year we became very comfortable with 30 miles. 33-miles? Not so much. Anything above 30 was a lot of work. But I have hope, because in 2009 even a 30 mile ride was a lot of work, so we can bring up our comfortable long ride to 33, or even 35 this year.

  • faster rides

    This one is harder, but absolutely necessary. If I were to do a century ride at the same speed I did our half-century, it would take 14 hours. Now, that would make me a total badass for pedaling for 14 hours, but it’s just not practical. So, I must get faster.

    My one worry about this is that I am already pushing my body and heart about as much as it should be pushed (possibly a bit more). So, how do I pedal faster or harder? My husband and I have been looking into this, and found several resources. We’ll be setting up a training schedule this month for the year, with the goal of a half-century ride mid-summer, done faster than last year’s ride (I don’t care how much faster.).

    Of course, one thing that would make this whole thing easier would be if I were carrying around less weight. That is certainly a goal of mine. On the other hand, I would like to make progress without putting all of my success on the scale – that always fails miserably for me. So, we’ll be trying the sprinting and interval training on the one side, and I’ll be working on my nutrition and continued exercise on the other side.

    I won’t consider doing a century ride until my average biking speed is at least 15 mph.


  1. xj said,

    January 10, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    You can do it!!!

  2. Brooke said,

    January 10, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    you are a badass.

    you know that right?

    m’kay good. just checking. you will never know just how much your encouragement means to me.

  3. Heather A. said,

    January 13, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    Wow! A century ride? Awesome! I’m new to cycling. To be honest as long as I am safely stationed on our basement Schwinn, I actually really like it. Haven’t been on a “real” bike since I was 12. I was a runner, overtrained, then tried cycling. I scheduled a 35 mile “long” ride for myself this weekend and I have to say I’m a bit scared! Good luck with your upcoming training! The longest I’ve gone so far is 23. Focusing on those non-scale goals will make it far easier to lose the weight too!

RSS feed for comments on this post