Getting started with your century ride training can be a daunting task, particularly if you are relatively inexperienced with endurance cycling. One of the most common problems I hear is from people not knowing where to start.
In this article I will attempt to get you started by identifying some of the things you should be doing now to get your training started on the right track.
Base training should be the cornerstone of any successful century ride training program. It is the period where your body changes and adapts slowly to the rigours of long distance cycling.
The aim of successfully base training is to use the early part of the season, or your training to ride lots of miles at a very easy pace. If you are using a heart rate monitor aim for under 75% of you max, if you are not the pace should feel very easy such that you can maintain a normal conversation without getting out of breath.
As well as helping to develop slow twitch muscle fibres in your legs the main benefit to base training is that it helps your body become more efficient at burning fat.
Base Train to burn fat
When riding at a high intensity your body burns mainly carbohydrates (in the form of glycogen) which your body only has a limited supply of. If you ride too hard for too long you will soon run out of energy and have to stop.
Riding at a low intensity burns primarily fat, of which the body has a lot, meaning you can ride all day. The more of this base training you do the more efficient you become at burning fat. This means that you can ride faster for longer before your body starts burning its limited supplies of carbohydrates.
To learn more about how to develop a century ride training program follow this link.