Home Stretch in Metric Century Training



I am about a week and a half away from doing a metric century. I was going to do a local one in April, the Tierra Bella, which is run by my bike club, but I am volunteering to staff an aid station at that one instead. I couldn’t find another local one in the near term, so I just decided to make it informal. My tuesday riding group is doing a 30 mile ride down in Gilroy a week from Tuesday. If I ride down there and meet them, I can pad the mileage to 62 (or 100 km), I’ve actually never done a formal century either. I once rode 100 miles in Colorado when I lived there, but I did that by going on a Colorado Mountain Club ride that started east of Boulder. They rode 60 miles, and by taking a roundabout route to the start and back I padded it to 100.

Training pointing to this has consisted of cutting back on the number of hard miles I do and upping the volume of relatively easy miles. I’ve been doing lots of 3 hour rides with some 4 hours occasionally. They feel good and I recover quickly as long as I don’t overdo the intensity.

I picked a good time to go for longer rides so far. All the hills are still nice and green from early rain this year, even though we went the entire month of February without rain. I hope the rain picks up in March so we don’t get another drought.

Home Stretch in Metric Century Training 1
The approach to Harvey Bear County Park, one of my local favorites

I found one thing that does not work well for me for my training, though. Once a week I like to “earn my breakfast” by getting up and going for a ride right away. There is evidence this enhances the ability to burn fat, which is useful for longer endurance events. I’ve mentioned previously that I can ride at least 4 hours, at a decent intensity level, without taking in any calories. But I’ve found that if I do one of my longer rides first thing without breakfast I complete it ok, but don’t feel that great later in day. If I instead eat breakfast first and go on a longer ride a little later, I feel fine after and recover quicker.

I’m hoping to complete the 100 km, which will involve a fair amount of climbing in the hills east of Gilroy, in the range of 4 to 5 hours. We’ll be stopping for lunch at what will be about the 80 km mark for me, so running out of fuel shouldn’t be an issue. I always carry a Clif bar on longer rides or hikes just in case.