The Week Before Your First Century Ride

Well, my training is wrapping up this week as my first century bicycle ride draws near. Today I wanted to share with you what I’ll be doing this last week before the big ride. Stuff like press conferences, sponsorship signings, and pics with perspective podium girls. Ha, ha! Just kidding. Lots of things have gone into me getting ready for this event. First and foremost has been the training. Lots of it. As of this morning I’ve ridden 1152 miles this year in preparation for this first century of my cycling career. I’ve changed the way I eat and worked hard on my hydration habits. I’ve learned how to fuel my body while on the bike in order to have the energy to complete the long training rides I did. I’ve managed to raise money for a great charity. I’ve worked with two very good people in Darryl and Kelli who have guided me through the last 12 weeks providing both inspiration and knowledge. It all leads up to these final five days before the Tour de Cure on May 21, 2011. Boy I’m excited! So, these final five days I have a lot of things to think about and do. They are: Continue tapering. The last two weeks of the training schedule taper down on the riding so my body can recover from some of the suffering I’ve put it through the last few weeks. Those long 60-70 mile rides took a lot out of my fat body so it’s been good to start recovering as the century ride draws near. Hydrate. Next to eating right, hydration has...

Tour de Cure Training Plan

I’ve been absent as of late but I have been busy. Most importantly, I’ve begun my training for the Tour de Cure in earnest as of this past Monday. See, I should have written this post on Monday but now it’s Wednesday. Busy I tell you. That’s right, on Monday I started my 12-week Tour de Cure Century Training Plan as provided to me by Darryl over at Loving the Bike. Over the next 12 weeks I’ll be riding per that plan or as close as I can get. It’s setup as a six days on and one day off cycle. Monday’s are typically an easy pace ride, with Wednesdays a brisk pace, and Thursdays designated as the day off for rest. Mileage during the weeks and on the weekends will slowly build throughout the 12 weeks so I build up my endurance. In order to make it easy on myself to look up what I’m supposed to do when, I created a Training Calendar page. Click on over there to check it out so you can see what I’ll be doing over the next 12 weeks. The Training Calendar page gives me a visual aid to reinforce what I’m doing and why. I really felt like I’ve been missing that in my cycling and my lack of progress last year is a great example. I rode, off and on, but with no plan or vision I didn’t make any gains or lose any weight. Big surprise. Anyway, I’m hoping the Training Calendar page will help. Coincidentally, this Saturday is the first training group ride for the Tour de...

Century Training Series: Days 44, 45 and 46

Day 44 – 4×6 Intervals at RPE9 All my interval sessions up to this point had been 4×8 (four intervals at 8 minute duration) so I was looking forward to something new and to see just how hard I could push for 6 minutes. It was hot when I started the ride with a stiff wind out of the Northeast which made the second and fourth intervals particularly difficult. After my warm up I waited until I had a slight downhill section to start the first interval. I shifted up a couple of gears and quickly got up to 21 mph. My speed varied between 18.5 to 21 mph during the six minutes and it actually felt pretty good. I wasn’t all out but probably couldn’t have given it much more. After the interval I had to slow it way down to recover. This was repeated for the other three intervals but the two into the wind were very tough and my speed did suffer some in areas where I had a direct head wind. The last interval was particularly hard because it was the last of the day and was into the wind. I think I gutted it out pretty good though and gave it a good effort. Even though these intervals were 2 minutes less than my normal intervals they were very hard due to the effort expended. I wasn’t all out but almost. Here are the days numbers: Time (h:m): 1:13 Distance: 18.62 miles Avg Speed: 15.3 mph Day 45 – 1 Hour Endurance Pace Recovery I was really feeling the hard interval workout from the...

Century Training Series: Days 40, 41, 42 & 43 (Week 6 Re-Cap)

Today marks the end of six weeks of training for my first century. Last week was a somewhat lighter load as far as mileage goes but I still managed over 100 miles for the week thanks to the 63 mile ride on Saturday. Here’s the breakdown and re-cap. Day 40 – Off Day Day 41 – 4 Hour Endurance Pace Ride I was a little nervous going into this ride because I had not ridden this long at one time in a very, very long time. If ever. I did 3 hours last Saturday so I knew I could do that. If I maintained my century pace of 15 mph I should be right at the metric century mark for the ride. I arrived at the White Rock Trail at about 7:45 AM and set off for my warm up. The temperature was pretty nice in the low 80s and there were already quite a few folks on the trail both running and riding. I finished my 15 minute warm up in the same spot I always do, reset my computer, and settled in for a long morning. After about 1.5 hours the wind really started to pick up out of the South and got steadily worse throughout the ride. I still managed to maintain at, or above, century pace into the headwind but it was very hard to do so in the fourth hour. My biggest worry for this long a ride was fueling during it. I brought six fig newton bars and a cliff bar for use during the ride. After two hours had elapsed (32 miles)...

Century Training Series: Days 37, 38 and 39

This week in the Century Training Plan is basically a recovery week so in addition to having Monday as a normal rest day I also had Tuesday off with Wednesday as an easy spin day. I believe this week was positioned this way to give riders a chance to recover some after having put in three hard weeks prior to this week. I can tell you that I needed it. Here’s the daily breakdown: Day 37 – Rest Day – not much to say here Day 38 – .5 Hour Easy Spin – I mentioned this ride a yesterday when I posted my rant about weatherchannel.com and horse dung. This was truly an easy spin for 30 minutes that felt pretty good. My legs were actually still a little sore from the weekends rides. Having this easy spin helped to loosen them and they felt pretty good for last nights ride. Here are the numbers: Time (h:m): 0:30 Distance: 7.57 miles Avg Speed: 15.14 mph Day 39 – 1.5 Hour Endurance with 4×8 Intervals – I had been eagerly awaiting this ride because I wanted to really hammer the intervals. The wind hurt me on intervals 2 and 4 but I road them very hard regardless. On interval 1 and 3 I was able to maintain some good stretches at 19+ mph with some over 21 mph. That’s huge for me. I find it funny that while I’m doing these intervals upwards of 20 mph that I’m still getting passed by other folks. It just tells me that I have a long, long way to go to get back...

Century Training Series: Days 33, 34, 35 & 36 (Week 5 Re-Cap)

Day 33 – Rest Day Not much to be said about that. I considered riding anyway because I had missed a day earlier in the week due to rain but decided against it so I didn’t compromise my Saturday morning ride. Day 34 – 3 Hour Endurance Pace Ride I woke up a little before 7 AM and headed on down to White Rock Lake to get this ride in. The morning was just beautiful and the temp was still in the lower 80s when I started. There were a lot of folks out this morning doing their riding, running, rollerblading and walking. There even looked to be some kind of running race going on but I missed most of it because it looked like it had started early. This ride was fairly simple – ride at endurance pace (15 mph) for 3 hours. I’d done this same length of ride just a couple of weeks earlier so I knew I could do it. After a 15 minute warm up I settled into a good rhythm and went to it. Everything went really good but after about an hour the wind started to pick up from the South and that made my Southbound leg around the lake a little difficult on some of the exposed points. I was really happy with the way I attacked the three or four hills that I see in each loop. I did notice that after several laps I couldn’t maintain the same speed I did initially but I can tell I’m getting better at riding them. I brought a cliff bar with me...
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