Question about Century training

Since 2010 I’ve ridden six centuries on my 36er, with the last three actually being longer: 114, 120 & 150. The 150 is the most recent, ridden on 1/16/15. Since then I’ve done many shorter rides, in the 20-35 mile range, and I feel fit and confident that I could do another century early next month without any problems, given all my past training and experience.

My question is, do you think that since so many months have passed since my last long ride, that the benefits of all the previous long rides would be lost? I’m planning on riding a regular century on 6/4/15, and now wonder whether I should still follow the "75%’ rule, and do a 75 mile ride a week or two before?


Good question. My thought would be to do at least some longer rides to prepare for a much longer ride. While your fitness is just fine, your “crotch calluses” might need some work to get them prepared as well.

I’ve only done a single century (so far) but done a number of 100k and some shorter rides. On the San Francisco Unicycle Tour (~42 miles), which I’ve done maybe 7 times since 2005 or so, I always have a more enjoyable ride when I’ve trained up for it. For that ride, in my case it means hitting the hills. We’re a lot flatter out here.

I remember reading Nathan, perhaps, recommending working your way up to a half-length ride, then something longer, and up to a 3/4-length ride in your training, to help your body prepare. Your own body is pretty experienced so that might be overkill, but I would definitely get your “friction areas” ready by doing some long rides to prepare.

Thanks John for your reply. That San Fran tour must have been brutal given all the steep climbing! Did you do it on a 36er, and if so, were you able to make all the climbs with it? One thing that has helped a lot as far as saddle related discomfort has been since I started using the “Flat fish” saddle. Also the T handle and aerobars allow you to rest your arms not just hands. I also discovered that NUUN electrolytes are extremely effective in preventing leg cramps.

I say go right to 200

Not every time. But on the years when I did good training rides, I not only rode all the hills, I still felt pretty good at the end of the ride! It’s a great tour, usually a dozen or more riders, and always held around the first weekend of September, for Gary Kanauch’s birthday. You should come up one of these times! Same applies to whoever’s reading. The pace is easy enough for nearly any rider on a 36", or a fit rider on a 29". That’s because there are a lot of stops, picture taking, hanging out, and a long lunch break. The ride also is usually capped by a big seafood dinner down in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.

Some pix:

My equipment for the ride was initially a Coker 36" with 125s, followed by my Schlumpf 36" with 150s.

That NUUN stuff sounds interesting. I should check it out!

Long rides with hills are easier than long rides on flat. It’s brutal being in the same posture all day.

Distance training isn’t about your legs, it’s about your back, neck, arms, and butt. You still need saddle time to train for a long event.

Yep, that’s what I think too. Hills are good to break up the “mono-tony” of all flat. I was wondering why it seemed at least as hard or harder to pump out long miles on flat compared to a more hilly course.

Im guessing a different posture, stitting up off seat more or less, using different muscles , which equals a whole lot of crotch relief too.

They should name it ‘100+ mile Iron Crotch Ride’.

And the ‘200 mile You Gottabe Nuts Ride’…

…just kidding:p

(quick shout out) Tom, I bumped into to your ol’ buddy Mark on Monday, just before I hit the trails. REALLY COOL GUY!

Well, I figure it’s gotta be a whole less monotonous and tedious (and painful!) than Sam W’s 1,100+ laps around that 400m track a few years back for the 24 hour record! :astonished: