Well, I got all my gear on, opened the garage door, felt the rain, got all my gear off, hung up the bike, and went back in the house. Then I saw Jac and Paul on Main St coming back from a ride…guilt, guilt, guilt. I’m just not riding much between weekends – the century this Sat is going to be tough to finish, never mind trying to do it in 5 hours. I think I’ll just go with what my body tells me, if it says no way to 32 kph, so be it.
Anyways, since I was such a suck and didn’t ride in the rain, here’s something I found about prepping for a century:
Taper your mileage a week before the century. During that week you may even reduce your riding to one or two days of an easy five to ten-mile spin. Also, try to get plenty of sleep.
As the ride day approaches, food becomes the critical component for a successful century. A few days prior to the ride you should start hydrating. Drink water frequently, cut back or eliminate caffeine and alcohol, and add carbohydrates to your diet.
On ride day, eat a light breakfast of high-carbohydrate foods and drink lots of water. On the ride drink before you’re thirsty. Water or a sports drink should be your first choice. Eat easily digestible, carbohydrate rich-food such as energy bars, bagels, fruit or granola. Don’t try something new on the ride. You should eat things you know agree with you.
Ease into the ride pace. This isn’t a race, and if it’s your first century, the goal is to finish comfortably. Here are some more tips for an enjoyable ride:
- Change your position often. Mover you hand position, get up off the saddle, stretch your arms, shoulders and neck, arch your back and stretch out. Avoid staying in one position too long.
- Take short rest breaks off the bike. An organized century ride will offer regular water and food stops. Take advantage of this time to get off the bike and refill your water bottles, stretch, and use the restroom. Keep these stops to 10 minutes or less or you may risk getting stiff.
- Find a companion or two. The ride will go faster and feel easier with a friend or two. Also, skilled riders can take advantage of drafting and save some energy in the wind.
Attitude is everything. If you have prepared yourself well, there isn’t much more to be done on ride day than sit back and enjoy the scenery (and maybe plan your next century).