Sunday, 18 Nov 2018

Training to Ride 100 Miles

Training to Ride 100 Miles

Training to Ride 100 Miles

This doesn’t need to be as time consuming as you think. You need to be physically fit in a general sort of way to ride 100 miles, and you need specific cycling strength and endurance in certain parts of your body so you don’t encounter ride-stopping problems like saddle soreness or back and neck pains.

To do this it’s best to think about conditioning before training. What you are trying to do is condition your body to meet the demands of riding 100 miles. That means making certain changes to it, and it’s your training that does that.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 1

Training to Ride 100 Miles

So what are the demands of riding 100 miles? 

Training to Ride 100 Miles

The overriding demand is that your body has to keep working at a moderate intensity for a long time doing the same thing over and over again. Now, you might think that a good way to condition yourself would be to ride a little bit further each time you train until you can ride for 100 mile. This will work but it takes a lot of time spread over a long time period. There are shortcuts.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 2

Training to Ride 100 Miles

Shorter bouts of riding at a higher intensity than you can keep up for 100 miles will help condition you in a much shorter time to ride 100 miles. A few longer rides at 100-miles intensity, increasing the duration of each ride, will condition your body to meet the mechanical demands of riding 100 miles, so you’ll avoid saddle soreness. Plus a general strength training programme, paying particular attention to strengthening your core muscles, will eliminate any weak links. Weak links can make riding 100 miles harder than it need be, or it could even prevent you doing it.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 3

Training to Ride 100 Miles

You could buy one of a number of books with training programmes that help you prepare for riding 100 miles, or you could hire the services of a coach or trainer, but as a general guide you should try to ride your bike three or four times per week and do strength training twice per week, but on different days. You can substitute cycling sessions with running ones, provided you are used to running, but you will get the best results if the majority of your training sessions are on a bike. And before starting a training programme for a 100-mile ride you should have done enough riding that you can complete two hours at a reasonable pace quite comfortably.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 4

Training to Ride 100 Miles

Training to Ride 100 Miles. Useful Tips

Within a one-week framework two bike sessions should be ridden at a faster pace than you will ride 100 miles. These sessions should consist of riding at a constant hard pace, but without ending totally exhausted at the end, or split into intervals where you ride even harder but only for five to ten minutes, say, interspersed with periods of easy pedalling.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 5

Training to Ride 100 Miles

The latter is called interval training – it’s very effective, and you can approach it in a number of ways. One way when training to ride 100 miles would be to set up a ten-week build period to a targeted 100-mile ride. During the first weeks you do short intervals with longer rests. Something like one minute as hard as possible followed by two to three minutes riding easy, repeating that ten times during a ride. Do intervals sessions like that for three weeks then do a week with no intervals, just steady riding. After that, try three weeks of riding three to five minutes as hard as you can, with the same length of easy riding between each one, repeated three to five times. Do a week of steady riding after that and follow it with three weeks where you ride 10 to 20 minutes as hard as you can, with five minute easy riding between, repeated twice.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 6

Training to Ride 100 Miles

So that’s two days per week and each training session should have one day of doing something easier between it. For people working a five-day week this training could be done on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which leaves the weekend. For most people this is the best time to do a longer ride.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 7

Training to Ride 100 Miles

Training to Ride 100 Miles. The Main Information

Start with two hours, then add 15 minutes onto the ride for each of the following two weeks, and in the fourth go back to riding for two hours. The next three weeks should go 2 hours 15 minutes, 2 hours 30 minutes then 2 hours 45. Then cut your long ride to 2 hours again before another three-week build-up of 2 hours 45, 3 hours and 3 hours 15, and repeat the process until you can ride for four hours at a comfortable pace without feeling shattered at the end of it. One hundred miles will be a doddle now.

Training to Ride 100 Miles - photo 8

Training to Ride 100 Miles

The strength and conditioning days could be done in a gym or at home if you have the equipment. Strength and conditioning sessions should include leg exercises such as squats, lunges and dead lifts or leg presses. You should also do a range of core exercises, and a Swiss ball is very effective for that. Upper-body exercises like the bench press and rowing help condition shoulder and arm muscle that can become fatigued riding 100 miles. Get a good instruction book, or ask the gym instructor to show you how to do these exercises properly. Doing them in strict good form is essential.

“Best 100-Mile Bike Routes”

Chris Sidwells

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