So you’ve checked out our training guide, you’ve bought a bicycle and now you are ready for the big event.
Don’t underestimate the impact a consistent training schedule will have on your ride. I like to be riding 80-100 miles per week in the 6 weeks leading up to the event. At 12miles per hour, that is a 7-hour commitment every week – twice the minimum recommended time.
But I can tell you that a century, while doable, is much more fun when you are in shape for it.
We all carry a little extra weight, but around the 80 mile mark, you will be cursing every donut you have ever eaten (and simultaneously be craving a dozen donut holes).
Even dropping 10 pounds can make a night or day difference on the average rider. Drop 20 or 30 pounds and your event will be unrecognizably better.
Sustainable weight loss is key. Eat your veggies, reduce sugars and overall calories… you know the drill. I’ve been skinny, and I’ve been fat, and the only secret to weight loss I’ve found is that it comes off faster when I’m eating five servings of raw veggies a day (head of lettuce, anyone?)
Get used to being hydrated. Get used to listening to your body while working out and drinking frequently.
I just set a timer. Every 40 minutes I drink 20 ounces. This guarantees that my body stays hydrated on even the hottest days.
If my timer goes off and I haven’t drunk enough, I just guzzle an entire bottle right then and there. Hydration fuels your system and whether you finish your century on a bike or in an ambulance depends entirely on your ability to stay hydrated.
On longer events, I also drink 1 Gatorade for every one bottle of water to keep my electrolytes up.
Your body needs energy. Just not too much of it, or it can slow your digestive system down. I like to use a gel packet every hour to keep a steady stream of energy.
On a supported ride, you can take advantage of the bananas and the cookies. Keeping your energy up makes all of the difference