8 Week Training Program
Finishing a century ride is a goal that almost every cyclist wants to attain, because let’s keep it real…there are some serious bragging rights involved. The problem that stops most of us from achieving such a feat is time. Most women are involved in many activities helping others which often leaves no time for ourselves. The following training program, adapted from Bicycling magazine will have you ready for those 100 miles with just 3 training rides per week: one long, one steady, and one speedy.
LONG RIDE: In your first week, you’ll want to ride 1.5 to 2 hours, or about 20 miles. Let that serve as your foundation which you build upon. You want your long rides to be at a steady pace, typically about 70 to 75 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR).* If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, think of it as a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being your maximum effort. You should be able to carry on conversation, but you’d get winded if you tried to sing (leave Lady Gaga off the playlist). Most cyclists find that Saturdays or Sundays work best for this long ride, but it really doesn’t matter which day you do it, as long as it gets done.
STEADY RIDE: During these rides, you want to strive for 2 to 4 intervals which are 15 to 30 minutes each. These intervals should be difficult enough to increase your breathing and raise your heart rate to about 80 to 85 percent of your MHR, or an 8 to 8.5 on that 1 to 10 scale. If you wanted to talk, you could only get out a few words at a time, no long conversations happening at this rate. You want to imagine you are trying to keep up with someone ahead of you, so you are consistently pushing yourself. After the 15 to 30 minute interval, you’ll want to give yourself 15 minutes before the next interval where you let your heart rate recover and pedal at a nice comfortable easy pace. What’s the purpose of the steady ride? These type of rides will train your body to ride more briskly, yet still maintain a comfortable state, which in the end, will help you finish that century a little faster and feeling a little fresher.Keep Reading