Before embarking on an event such as a century, there are two things that you have to keep in mimd:
- Premise #1: Anyone can do a century. It takes determination, preparation and consistency.
- Premise # 2: You have access to a bike in good working condition for training and riding on the day of the event.
Start with these two premises, get in the right mindset and remember to enjoy the entire journey to your first (or more-than-first) century!
Preparing for the ride
- Whether you are already able to ride 100 miles or you have a long way to go, keep a log or riding diary. This will help start your training and stay on track with your goals. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet or one of a variety of training diaries available that track info, like route, speed, temperature, moods, heart rate, etc.
- If you currently ride less than 100 miles per week, increase that mileage gradually in the weeks prior to the event, trying to ride at least 30 miles during the week, and 70 on the weekend. Commuting to work or lunch time rides can help you meet that midweek mileage goal.
- If you do not have time during the week you can do moderate length rides on weekends and still complete the tour de Steamboat. Ideally you should try to get out a couple of times during the week to keep the muscles loose and in shape. Any form of exercise, even walking is advisable, however riding is the best way to get in shape for riding! The more you ride before the century, the better your ride experience will be!
- Begin to increase the length of your longest ride toward the century mark gradually. Don’t increase your longest ride from 25 miles to 70 in one week. Do try to do at least a 70 mile ride prior to doing the actual century. Your overall pace on the 70 mile ride should be a good indication of your pace on the century.
- The tour de Steamboat has A LOT of climbing. Find hills and ride them, especially if you hate hills!
- Get your friends involved. Its more fun to ride with others, so find people to ride with. Make plans to ride with others and stick to it. It’s harder to not go riding if someone is expecting you. The ride will go quicker if you have someone to talk to and you can help each other by drafting when it’s windy.
- Ask about group rides at the local bike shops. Many clubs have organized rides of varying lengths, for various abilities, at various paces. A bike club is a valuable resource. You will meet many like-minded people. It can also serve as a great source of information about routes, shops, equipment, fit, etc.
- Riding with a club will also prepare you for riding in crowds. If you normally ride alone, it can be rather unnerving to be passed by a large peloton doing 30+ mph, or finding yourself in a pack of riders pointing out potholes and glass and such.
- Learn to eat and drink while you are riding! It is a skill to manage intake while exercising. Figure out what foods you like and dislike while biking ahead of time. Check out our website for a list items available at each aid station.
- Recognize what it is to “bonk” and know how to come back from bonking while riding. You can recover, you simply need to eat. Just because you “bonk” does not mean your ride is over, it’s just a phase…
Remember to keep it fun, be prepared and enjoy the big event! If you have other questions about your training or the ride, email us at contact us and we’ll get right back to you.