✓ Unless stated elsewhere in the descriptions, workouts can and should be completed at a comfortable intensity – one step above easy; aerobic, and conversational.
✓ As the weeks progress, feel free to add some hills or higher intensity work during the shorter workouts mid-week. Also, you’ll see that each training week starts with a weekend.
Week 1 – This is the week to get reacquainted with your bicycle saddle. The best way to do that is to get in some saddle time! Your goal is three or four rides of an hour each. If you’re not ready for that quite yet, it’s okay – do what you can, but challenge yourself to get at least one ride of a full 60 minutes.
Training Tip #1 – Quality shorts with a good chamois (pad) make a good deal of difference in how comfortable you are on the bike saddle. With cycling shorts, the general rule is that you get what you pay for. You may also want to have some anti-chafing cream to apply to areas that rub or directly to the chamois of your shorts.
Week 2 – On the first day of this weekend, go for a two-hour ride, followed the next day by a 60-minute ride. Spread out two or three more rides of 45-60 minutes each throughout the coming week. If two hours feels overwhelming, you can ride for an hour, then take a good rest at your turnaround point before heading back home.
Training Tip #2 – Longer rides mean more energy consumed. A bottle or two of water is usually sufficient for an hour-long ride, but as the miles click by, you’ll need more in the way of hydration and calories during your rides. Look for easily digestible foods that are easy to carry on the bike.
Week 3 – Building endurance doesn’t have to mean increasing the long ride each week. Instead, work on getting two 2-hour rides, plus two to three 60 minute rides this week. Doing the longer rides back-to-back is best, but if you’re really wiped out from the first ride, give yourself a shorter ride or a day off between the two longer rides.
Training Tip #3 – Efficiency is key when you’re faced with 100 miles of riding. Pedaling cadence (how many revolutions per minute you turn your pedals) is a great place to start becoming more efficient. A good goal is 85-90+ rpms. If you have a cadence sensor on your bike, you’ll be able to see where your cadence naturally falls. Remember better cadence = improved efficiency. Over 100 miles, you’ll be thankful for efficiency.
Week 4 – This week’s goal is eight to nine hours of ride time. A three-hour ride is a long-ride goal this week, plus a two-hour ride, a couple of 90-minute rides and an easy hour. Three hours on the bike may feel a little overwhelming just four weeks into training but remember why you chose to participate in this challenge and use that as motivation during the toughest parts of the training.
Training Tip #4 – It can be tempting to stay home on windy days, rainy days, and days that are colder/hotter than you like. But these are the character building days!
Week 5 – This week’s long ride should be three to four hours, plus six more hours of riding spread throughout the week as you make your way to the halfway point of the training!
Training Tip #5 – Use your training time to try out all the things you may want to wear/use/eat when you go for 100. The only thing that should be new on the day you ride 100 miles is the date on the calendar. Practice everything beforehand, so that nothing will be new.
Week 6 – Two long rides this weekend should total 80 miles, divided up however works best for you. Two or three easy rides of 60-90 minutes during the week will help with recovery.
Training Tip #6 – What you eat AFTER your rides is just as important as what you eat BEFORE. Here are three things to remember about post-ride nutrition: 1. Eat something within 15-20 minutes of getting off your bike. Some carbs with a little protein (ideally a 4:1 or 3:1 ratio, but eating something is more important than getting the ratios exactly right). Shoot for a total of 150-250 calories.
2. Eat again within 2-3 hours of the post-ride snack. This can be a bigger snack or even a meal.
3. Replacing water lost through training is hugely important be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Week 7 – This week is a chance to recover before the final push. Do one ride of 60 miles, plus three or four (based on how you feel) other rides of 60-75 minutes each.
Training Tip #7 – Got a flat? While flatting during a ride is a bummer, it doesn’t need to end your day. To be sure you’re prepared on the day of the ride, you’ll need an extra tube (or two), a couple of tire levers, and some way to inflate your new tube (for the fastest/lightest set-up, go with CO2 cartridge and an inflater). Even if you flat without knowing how to use all your equipment, you can always ask for help from other riders!
Week 8 – The goal for this weekend’s long rides is to spread 100 miles (50/50, 40/60 or 60/40) over two consecutive days. It is especially important to pay close attention to your hydration and recovery nutrition on those two days and one day before and after. Squeeze in one more 2-hour ride mid-week, plus an easy hour on another day.
Training Tip #8 – You’re eight weeks into your training. This is when fatigue (physical AND mental) will start to show up. Here are a few ideas you can use to power through:
1. Grab a training partner or two! Having a friendly face next to you even for a few miles can help.
2. Try out a new trail or go exploring!
Week 9 – This weekend should include a ride of 80 miles or 4.5 hours, whichever comes first. This is the last long ride before 100! Complete this ride with as few breaks as possible. Make this a test run for the 100-mile Challenge ride. Eat the same breakfast, wear the same kit, and ride the same pace. Combine this long ride with a shorter 90-minute ride the next day. Two or three 60-minute rides should round out your week.
Training Tip #9 – With a couple of weeks before you ride 100 miles, it is time to make sure that your bike is ready. This is also the time to take stock of anything else that you’ll need for the Challenge.
Week 10 – Do a three-hour ride one day this weekend. The rest of the week should be spent doing a few easy rides of around 60 minutes. Spend some time gathering whatever you’ll need for the ride, paying close attention to your flat kit, making sure your cleats are tight on your shoes, and ensuring all parts of your bike are in good operating order. Be sure to sleep well this week!