How to Train For a 100 Mile Bike Ride – Tips to Get Prepared For A Century Ride!
It’s one thing to ride your bike in the local park, but it’s another thing to participate in a cycling race. The goal of all professional and novice cyclists is the Century ride. Among cyclists, it is an honor to handle a 100-mile ride. But you should be ready to suffer muscle pain while observing the greatest view of nature, but in the end, you will deserve a great celebration of your achievement. Well, to make it all happen, read our article, which provides the 100-mile cycle training plan.
How to train for a 100-mile bike ride?
The first thing we want to do is give you a health warning. Ask any enthusiastic cyclist what he or she cares most about, and they will tell you: their knees. Our knee joints are unsuited to the cyclic load we put on the pedals.
Almost all beginners repeat the same mistake – pedaling slowly, with a lot of load on the legs. Some do it unconsciously, some do it for “pumping muscles”. If you ride around the yard, you won’t have any problems. However, the problem starts when a person wants to ride long distances and does not care about his knee joints. We won’t dwell on the theoretical part now, anyone interested can google “arthritis and cycling”. Therefore, make sure your health allows you to participate in the ride and continue reading our century ride training plan.
When should you start training for a century bicycle ride?
This is very individual – it all depends on the initial basic skills. Someone has been riding a bike all his childhood, and once he gets on a road bike, he will ride it immediately. Such a person needs only 3-4 pieces of training on technique, and you can go on a tour. But someone has their first bike in life – a road bike, and then you need to start with the basics: how to keep the balance, and how to enter the corners, and how to pedal correctly. If that’s the case, we would talk about several months of regular training for a 100-mile bike ride.
How much time should you devote to cycling per day?
We advise you to ride every day, without breaks, for one or two hours at a moderate pace, it hardens both body and psyche. Very soon you will notice that you come home after a two-hour ride with no exhaust. The speed in the case of training for a century ride does not matter, the main thing is to prepare the muscles and ligaments for the cycling load. Just ride, diversify your routes, don’t hang around in the same area. Surely, even in your hometown, there are quite a few things that slip away from the car window. It is time to explore them with a bike!
Now 30-40 km is quite an accessible distance, you need to keep training for a century ride and move on. Arrange a long-distance ride on a day off. Plan an interesting route. If you live in a big city, you can use the train to take your bike further away. Count on 70-80 km, you don’t need more than that yet. Try to make sure that this ride is not just about the distance, but is about enjoying the ride. Include interesting points and sightseeings on the route.
What else should you do in preparation?
The most important thing is still to practice on the bike. Because during the race, the bike is your friend, comrade, and brother, and you have to understand how it will behave, when making a turn, or when shifting gears on a hill. Add this point while making a 100-mile training plan. If we talk about additional training, it’s like everywhere else: you should add physical exercises to strengthen the muscles, which will help to increase endurance. It’s like in building a house, if the foundation is prepared well, the house will last a long time – so it’s the same here.
A good way to go is to ride your bike for an hour, then get off, and walk for ten minutes. It’s just great to relieve fatigue from the neck and back. Your legs will rest as well, as you will change the type of exercise. By swathing between those two ways, you can go very far and not get tired at all. The next point in our century training plan is time for rest while cycling. You have to stop as often as your body wants. The main principle is to stop not when you are tired, but a little earlier.
In the very first stage, there is no need for athletic activities, struggling and overcoming oneself. Now the most important thing is to convince the consciousness that cycling a long distance is pleasant and not difficult at all.
What to do on the eve of the race?
What you definitely shouldn’t do for 100-mile bike ride training is to do a hard workout the day before. There are amateurs who out of fear want to test and ride the entire racecourse – then for them, the next day’s race will come very hard. You can easily ride the day before, stretch your legs, and, of course, try to get a good night’s sleep. At this point, we are done with training for a century bike ride, the next point- the ride itself!
Nutrition on the day of the bike ride
For breakfast, choose foods rich in protein and slow carbohydrates. Oat or buckwheat porridge, cottage cheese with fresh berries and fruit, or scrambled eggs with fresh seasonal vegetables are good choices. Avoid dishes with a high-fat content – they will cause a feeling of heaviness and laziness. It is desirable to have breakfast 1.5-2 hours before the start, then the food will have time to be digested before the beginning of the physical activity.
Hydration during a bike ride
Losing as little as 2% of fluid can significantly reduce your exercise capacity. During physical activity, we lose fluid through sweat, and these stores need to be replenished. You should drink at least a liter of water in a two-hour drive to keep your blood from getting thick and to let it be a good transport for oxygen.
The most important thing in century ride training is to be patient. You can never get everything all at once: both the physical form and technique of owning a bicycle are gained gradually, step by step. There is nothing difficult about riding a hundred miles in one day. If you can accustom yourself to this kind of workload, you can go cycling without fear. And that is a whole new world. Train, ride, don’t be afraid, everything is possible!
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