A century, or 100 mile ride, is a big goal for many cyclists. Add some big climbs and frequent rollers and the challenge is on!
The most important thing to completing a century is determination. If you want to do it and think you can, you will. It may be painful, but you'll finish. If you don't think you can do it you'll find some excuse to drop out: a cramp in your calf, rain, whatever. Use this training plan to prepare your body and your mind for the effort!
To get your body ready for a century, you need to ride. This may seem obvious, but that's really all you have to do. Once you've gotten to the point where you can do 70 mile rides without knocking yourself out, you're ready for the century. Of course, you have to do your training in terrain that's at least as difficult as where you'll be doing your century. If you find you can ride a flat 70 miles easily and then try to do a century in the mountains, you may find is a very unpleasant experience.
The 10 week plan is designed for the beginner-to-intermediate cyclist with 6 to 12 hours a week to train, who has been riding for less than a year, or who rides, on average, a few times a week up to 3 hours. You have completed a few club rides and are starting to get comfortable riding in a pack. Don't worry if you have a little less time than that to train, you'll be able to adjust easily with my guidance tips at the beginning of each week. Along with improving your overall fitness, the focus of the first three weeks is to jumpstart your muscular endurance to prepare for the demands of the metric. The fourth week is a rest week and is critical to prepare your body for the next block of training. Weeks 5, 6, and 7 are designed to solidify your newfound fitness and build your ability to "survive" on the climbs while completing your first metric! Make sure your following each days training, don't give up. This plan is hard but will make you faster! To complete this plan you should have 4-6 weeks of "base" training totalling at least 500 miles of riding to ensure you are ready to complete this plan. The plan consists of workouts at various effort levels. It offers wattage, heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) options so you can gauge yours effort whether you use a power meter, an HR monitor, or prefer to work out by feel.
Before you start the plan, I suggest you take a quick look at the attached document “Effort Guidelines,” which describes the different training zones. (To download it, click the paper clip in the upper right corner.) Whichever zones you use, these guidelines will help you easily and quickly understand how hard you should be working during a given session. Also attached here are “Workout Guidelines” to help you grasp key training terms.
If you plan on PRINTING this plan, make sure you print it with HIDE "Exercises and Intervals" checked. That way you will just read the description of the workouts. I have attached a screenshot to help you under the paper clip in the upper right hand corner of this box. There is only 1 workout per day, so don't let the 'structured' exercises and intervals confuse you if you see them. As part of this plan I recommend stretching and light yoga as a recovery tool and I would recommend purchasing my cycling specific yoga video from: www.peakscoachinggroup.com/store
I know you are going to really do awesome!!!
Go for it!