A metric century is a 100 kilometer cycling event that is done for fun and challenge. 100km events are just about the perfect distance to start as a great cycling challenge. A hilly event will make you push hard over the hills, allow you to enjoy the downhills and inspire you to ride faster at your next one!
This Bicycling magazine, Hunter Allen Hilly Metric Century training plan will help you get ready to survive it! Let me introduce myself, Hunter Allen, your coach! I have raced in hundreds of races (and won a few too!) as an amateur and a pro, and coached even more athletes to successful races, metric century's, gran fondos and long distance events.
The 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:
I know you are going to really do awesome!!!
Go for it!