Any tips for my first century ride??
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  1. #1

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    Any tips for my first century ride??

    I'm goint to ride the Sovang Century on March 13....... I'm looking for training, hydrateing and eating tips to complete my first century ride...... I've been gradually working my way up on the distance.... Last weekend I did 70 miles with some aches and pains but not to many problems.....Has anyone ridden this ride? How hilly is it? Is the first 50 tougher than the last...etc.
    I'd apprecitate any and all input.
    Thanks,
    G-dub

  2. #2
    Strained coccyx etc etc
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    Wink shhh...century secrets

    don't tell anybody...

    a century is a 70-mile ride with an extra 30 at the end. there is really no difference, no magical number, no point on the clock where you'll turn into a pumpkin. keep up the pacing, eating, drinking, and positive thoughts, enjoy yourself, and don't push beyond your abilities (especially early in the ride).

    big changes occur between 125 and 250 miles, IMHO. between 65 and 125 miles, no worries--so long as you keep that "steady state" of fuel, hydration, and effort.

    i realize "100 miles" is oft considered a "rite of passage"--it holds little, if any difference (between 70 and 100) beyond this distinction.

    good luck, and post a ride report!
    One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I'll never know.

  3. #3

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    This is strictly my experience, so it may or may not be relevant to anyone else: When I was building up to my first century, I was doing rides of 70-80 miles. By the end of the rides I would be really dragging. Since this was my first time at these distances, I thought I was just getting tired. It turns out I wasn't eating enough, and I was running out of fuel. When I started eating more, I felt stronger after 100 miles than I had after 70.

    Later,
    Curt

  4. #4
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    J is right, except I would add that you will probably be happier if you eat and drink more on your 100 mile day than you did on your 70 mile day. That means eating and drinking more EARLY in the ride, as opposed to during the last 20-30 miles.

    I just rode my first century this year last weekend. I KNOW I need to eat & drink, and I still ate less than I meant to. I finished fine, but I was deeper into my energy reserves than I meant to be. Maybe it was the 40-50 degree weather and extra 3000' of climbing that threw me off. If I had ridden an additional 20 miles like I had thought of doing, I might have come up short. I ate 2 PB&J sandwiches, 4 bottles of energy drink, a package of Donettes, and a chicken teriyaki stick.

    We're all different. For me, I'm thinking I should take in at least 200-300 calories every 60-90 minutes (on average) to keep from depleting my energy stores too quickly, based on a solo flat riding speed of 18+ mph.

    I burn more than 200-300 calories per 60-90 minutes, but the replacement rate is enough to keep me from completely depleting my reserves over that 100 mile distance. Slower riding would require fewer calories per unit time, but maybe the calories per unit distance might be comparable to the lower calorie range. (That's just a bare-faced guess-stimate.) I drink enough water that I need to make a couple relief stops along the way. All of this works best with snacking along the way rather than a 4-course lunch mid-way through.

    For longer rides (150+ miles), I think my energy intake should be at least 300 calories/hour (average), and likely more, because my starting reserve will need to last longer.

    Finally, start eating and drinking in the first hour, and keep it up throughout the ride. Finishing with extra energy is lots better than riding 10 miles through a bonk.

  5. #5
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    My thoughts . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by G-dub
    I'm goint to ride the Sovang Century on March 13....... I'm looking for training, hydrateing and eating tips to complete my first century ride...... I've been gradually working my way up on the distance.... Last weekend I did 70 miles with some aches and pains but not to many problems.....Has anyone ridden this ride? How hilly is it? Is the first 50 tougher than the last...etc.
    I'd apprecitate any and all input.
    Thanks,
    G-dub
    First, and most importantly, do not make any significant changes in your eating habits or bike set up -- a first century is not the time to experiment with a new drink, energy bar or equipment. Insofar as food and drink are concerned, just eat and drink more.

    Second, hydrating and eating do not begin at mile 1. Make sure that you have a decent meal the night before the ride and eat breakfast on the morning of the ride. If possible, try to eat breakfast an hour or two before the ride.

    Third, take it easy for the first 50-60 miles -- don't worry if everyone is passing you by. When you hit the 60 mile mark, assess how you feel. If you are feeling good, they go all out. If you are beginning to feel the ride, continue to take it easy.

    Finally, have fun.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  6. #6
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    Start slowly, eat and drink regularly, take short breaks.

    Nobody remembers what the first 20 miles feel like. Relax and enjoy them.

    Start drinking right away and continur throughout the ride. Carry stuff that you like to eat and wait no more than 90 minutes to start eating it.

    When you stop at rest stops, grab some food, fill your water bottles, put your feet up, stretch any part of you that's stiff and get back on your bike. The longer you hang out, the slower you'll resume riding and the longer it will take to get back up to speed.
    We have nothing to lube but our chains.

  7. #7
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    Solvang

    Great ride. SCOR does a fine job with organization and support. If they're using the same route as they have in the past, the hardest climbing will be in the second half of the ride. At about mile 80, you'll be climbing Foxen Canyon Road and, a few miles afterward, the Wall. The Wall isn't that bad, actually - steep but short. Foxen Canyon Road is tougher, because it's a long grinder leading up to a short steep section.

    Follow the other posters' advice regarding eating and drinking. Don't get sucked into riding a pace you're not comfortable with. You'll feel fantastic starting out and the temptation will be to hook onto a 30 mph paceline. Don't do it -- you'll want that extra glycogen when you hit Foxen Canyon Road.

    Have fun and enjoy!

  8. #8
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    There are two halves to a century -- the first half of 80 miles, and the second half of 20 miles.
    Those last twenty are the ones that can get to you. You hit eighty (or thereabouts), and you think, man this is in the bag, and then, when you realize that you still have a good hour, give or take, to go, somehow that last twenty can seem like an insult.
    It's all mental. I think that, if you can handle, like, thirty gracefully, without thinking it's a big deal, you physically can handle 100. It may hurt, but you can do it. 70? phftt. 100 should be a breeze, as long as you eat and drink. Just be prepared for that wall. The other trick is not to think in terms of how much of the 100 you did or have to go. Just pedal away and enjoy the ride.
    Haven't done one in a while. They're fun.

  9. #9
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    Getting over the second "half"

    Quote Originally Posted by bill
    There are two halves to a century -- the first half of 80 miles, and the second half of 20 miles.
    Those last twenty are the ones that can get to you. You hit eighty (or thereabouts), and you think, man this is in the bag, and then, when you realize that you still have a good hour, give or take, to go, somehow that last twenty can seem like an insult.
    It's all mental. I think that, if you can handle, like, thirty gracefully, without thinking it's a big deal, you physically can handle 100. It may hurt, but you can do it. 70? phftt. 100 should be a breeze, as long as you eat and drink. Just be prepared for that wall. The other trick is not to think in terms of how much of the 100 you did or have to go. Just pedal away and enjoy the ride.
    Haven't done one in a while. They're fun.

    When I have 15 miles to go on a century or longer ride and I am beginning to flag, I just pretend that I am doing my 15 mile ride from work to home at the end of the day -- a ride where I usually am tired but one in which I always make it to the finish. Bill is right, it's all mental.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  10. #10

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    My advice for your 1st Century..

    If this is your first time doing this, relax and have fun with it. Don't try to keep up with anyone who is riding much faster than you. Stop at all the rest stops and eat and socialize. Take in the sights and talk to people if they or you are the talkative type on the bike. It makes the miles go by faster than just pedalling silently (IMO.) But don't try to set any time goals. Your goal for your 1st century should simply be to do it. Not to do it fast, but to just get it done. Stop at all the rest stops and eat, eat, eat. Drink lots of fluids too. I like fruit juices on long rides, but I water them down a little bit.

    Find a group you like and can keep pace with, and have fun with this. It's a century, not a race. Some will ride it that way, but I wouldn't recommend you do until you have a little more experience at that distance.

    Just my simple advice...

    Russ

  11. #11
    merckxman
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    Ride at your own pace; in other words don't get carried away with what is going on around you.

  12. #12
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    Prince Mongo?

    Is that Prince Mongo as the "Moderator", or is he still in Mempho stirring things up?

  13. #13
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    Solvang's a big one

    Whatever your speed, you'll always find people to ride with. Just don't go with a group that goes too fast. In particular if it goes Foxen canyon. I've not done that particular ride, but I've ridden around there. Nice area, not many cars.

    Pierre

  14. #14

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    Trying to relax is sooooo hard to do.

    You know you've pushed to hard if you have bloodshot eyes. After my first century I looked and felt like a stoner. It is so hard not to get carried away. I swore to myself that I would take it easy, but the excitemet got to me and I slowly got the mindset I needed to beat everybody. Passing people is highly addictive so be careful. I was proud because I finished better than I ever thought I could, but unfortunately I felt like crap.

    Also, Bill is right! The half way mark is closer to 80 than it is to 50. The last 20 seemed almost as long as the 80. Or possibly I was losing so many brain cells that my perception of reality was a little skewed.

    One other thing I wished I would have done, but didn't. Take a break at every rest stop, only to grab a quick bite and fill your water bottles. Make it fairly quick. The reason is if you break your sweat your body thinks its done for the day and tries to rest. Getting back into rhythm is a real pain.

    Thanks John

  15. #15
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    Great ride to doo

    Quote Originally Posted by G-dub
    I'm goint to ride the Sovang Century on March 13....... I'm looking for training, hydrateing and eating tips to complete my first century ride...... I've been gradually working my way up on the distance.... Last weekend I did 70 miles with some aches and pains but not to many problems.....Has anyone ridden this ride? How hilly is it? Is the first 50 tougher than the last...etc.
    I'd apprecitate any and all input.
    Thanks,
    G-dub
    I did this ride about 5 years ago. Excellent support, alots of riders to meet and ride with.Just follow all the advice from the excellent members here. Remember it's a ride
    not a race Good luck
    Rick

  16. #16
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    Solvang Century!

    I did my first century at Palm Springs and I heard from fellow riders that this century ride is pretty tough? It climbs several 1000 feet? But its definately doable! In training, if you can do 70 miles with no problem than you should be able to do the 100 miles. But the last 10 miles will be VERY HARD on your body. Make sure you have your bike fit correctly!

    Wear a jacket and layer your clothing. As far as hydration 2 water bottle should be OK. With food bring snacks like fug newtons, cookies and sandwich. Nothing big.

    Good Luck!





    Quote Originally Posted by G-dub
    I'm goint to ride the Sovang Century on March 13....... I'm looking for training, hydrateing and eating tips to complete my first century ride...... I've been gradually working my way up on the distance.... Last weekend I did 70 miles with some aches and pains but not to many problems.....Has anyone ridden this ride? How hilly is it? Is the first 50 tougher than the last...etc.
    I'd apprecitate any and all input.
    Thanks,
    G-dub

  17. #17

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    I did not have the same problem Jonnycat had, but a few friends of mine have had it. You feel so good early on you get very excited, and the temptation to race ahead is very strong. If you are alone, ride at your own pace, but if you are with friends do not waste your energy racing to the next resting/snack stop because you will just have to wait for them. That can get old.

    Extremely important to hydrate more than you normally do. Do not drink Ensure (that one was for Doug )

    Here is a trick I do: In the camelback get Cytomax, water, and a complex carbohydrate liquid additive. Very helpful to have about 1000 calories of complex carbs in your Camelback... Pour some of the carb powder mix into a plastic bag and stuff it in your camelback. You can mix it with juice or water at the stops...

    Well ok, my problem in the centuries is that a fast peloton of riders will fly by me at about 3-5 miles per hour faster than me. I jump in with them. That is a blast and they really don't care (if you know how to ride in a peloton) but it is really fun, but I left my buddies behind...

    Doing centuries are probably some of the greatest times of my life. I would recommend it for anyone (get permission from your doctor).

  18. #18
    hi, I'm Larry
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    A century ride is a social ride

    not a race.

    A large century will normally break up into smaller groups of similar pace. Find a group that fits yours. Then find folks you like to chat with within the group. If you are going at a pace where it is hard to breath and chat at the same time, you are going too fast for your first century. It's ammazing how quickly the miles go by when you have good folks to talk to.

    Like the other posters said, take the rest stops and eat and drink at the stops. It's better to over hydrate than under hydrate.

    In preparation just ride the bike like you have been doing. Intervals etc. are of no use on a century, just time on the bike. Don't over do it the just before the century.

  19. #19
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    Chamois butter.

  20. #20
    1/2 roadie 1/2 offroad
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    Have fun! I did my first two last year. Biggest trouble for me was staying hydrated because it was in the mid to upper 80s and humid out. Totally agree with eat often and drink often. Gotta keep the fuel tank some what full to produce power.

    One thing nobody mentioned is SLEEP. Make sure you get a good nights sleep two nights before the event. I mention that becasue the night before the event you will be so mentally geared up for the event you won't sleep well.

    Good luck!

  21. #21

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    That's actually the Sex Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by coonass
    Is that Prince Mongo as the "Moderator", or is he still in Mempho stirring things up?
    James Brown as his ava, AAAAYYYY!!!!

    Prince Mongo is still here...recently causing trouble with his house looking "Mongo-ish". He sold it an moved. The family who bought it are considered local "heros" for cleaning it up--with at least a good week of TV/newspaper coverage. That's Memphis.

    Pic of the house at link:

    http://www.princemongo.com
    We're just livin' this way 'cause we've known no other.

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