Riding a century! By our very own John Flanagan.

 
Riding a century
Riding a century
Riding a century

 
Overview
 

Workout Length: As long as it takes.
 
Equipment Required: A half decent road bike, a couple of water bottles, cycling mitts, a helmet and as many energy goodies as you wish.
 
Submitted by: John Flanagan
 
Activity:
 
Intensity
 
 
 
 
 


 
Variety
 
 
 
 
 


 
Difficulty
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


User Rating
102 total ratings

 

Positives


Gives you a good base fitness to keep on riding big distances without feeling too stretched! keep the longer rides to 65-70 miles each weekend and riding 100 will never feel daunting again.

Negatives


If you are a speed demon, this might be a bit of a slow schedule.


Bottom Line

To ride a 100 miles is a major accomplishment for any amateur cyclist, and may seem daunting to a new cyclist.  It’s actually surprisingly easy.  Our Cycling Editor, John Flanagan, outlines his method of achieving the distance, and includes a straightforward training plan to help you get there. The idea Let’s not muck around here.  […]

0
Posted October 24, 2012 by

 
Full Article
 
 

To ride a 100 miles is a major accomplishment for any amateur cyclist, and may seem daunting to a new cyclist.  It’s actually surprisingly easy.  Our Cycling Editor, John Flanagan, outlines his method of achieving the distance, and includes a straightforward training plan to help you get there.

The idea

Let’s not muck around here.  100 miles is quite a long way.  If you set off from Central London with the aim of doing 100 miles, you would get to just north of Coventry.  And when you watch the final weather forecast before you set off on the morning of your ride, you realise you are doing more than a third of the length of England…… so how did I do it?

The Training Plan

If you like riding your bike, then training is a lot easier than you think.  The trick it to start small and build up distance gradually so you don’t burn out on a ride, completely destroy yourself (and your morale) early on and most importantly you don’t injure yourself.  Realising I could already ride 20 miles quite easily on my long ride, and that a few days commuting a week would give me an extra 35 miles, I set upon my start goal of 55 miles in the first week.  Looking at most training literature pointed me in the idea of increasing my exertion (distance) by around 20% a week, and having spoken with a couple of strange friends who like running marathons they advised me of the need for tapering.  With a calendar and a calculator I looked at when I would like to ride the century and did some basic calculations.  This is what I came up with:

Week

Length of Long Ride

Total Miles/Week

1

25

55

2

30

65

3

35

73

4

40

81

5

45

90

6

50

99

7

57

110

8

65

122

9

50

75

10

100

100

Actually Training

Writing the distances down on paper was the easy bit, as was the weekend ride – it was the commutes during the week I struggled with.  I was lugging a heavy rucksack with smart office clothing, spare cycling kit, hair gel, food and my laptop around on each ride, and I really struggled on the first couple of weeks.  Afterwards it became normal.  The other thing I had to consider was getting enough energy in me on the longer rides when they began to creep up…. Bananas, Mars Bars, energy drinks and energy gels all came in useful when out, as did a good carbohydrate meal the night before.  Breakfast had to be porridge.  My target speed for the rides was 12-13 miles an hour.  Not exactly Bradley Wiggins territory but the idea is to complete the distance.

The Ride

Having worked up to 65 miles in one ride on week 8, I knew I had a fair way to go to do the extra 35 miles, but I found it remarkably easy.  I had a wobble at about 80 miles where I thought I couldn’t finish (what cyclists call “bonk”), which I overcame with a Snickers and a cup of tea from an Esso Service Station I happened across.  I did the last bit of the ride with some mates too for moral support.  When I hit 100 I was ecstatic….. so much so I pushed on to 110!  What was my next objective?  Same distance, just a little bit quicker.

Fancy trying my method?  Then please let me know how you got on below, I would love to hear your thoughts.


John

 
John
John describes himself as an enthusiastic amateur at any sport which does not involve a ball. Based in Cheshire, he is only a couple of hours away from some of the most challenging mountaineering routes in England and Wales, as well as having hundreds of miles of quiet lanes on his doorstep which he regularly covers on his beloved road bike. Confident on Grade 4 scrambling and VDiff rock routes, he has led a number of expeditions throughout the UK and Europe, and is eyeing the Himalayas as his next major objective. He lives with his long suffering wife Suzy and his Jack Russell terrier Ned.


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