The 100 mile sportive is a bit of a strange thing. To the newcomer they are a daunting proposition- that magic century can seem like a very long way. To the regular rider 100 miles is no great shakes.
Over the course of this 17 part series Level 3 Cycling Coach Huw Williams takes us through the stages of preparing for and completing your first 100 miler.
Anyone can do it
I’ve always considered cycling challenge rides attainable. I mean, if you want to ride 100 miles, then providing you have a bike you can go out and do it. If you wanted to be a brain surgeon or an airline pilot this approach would clearly be problematical but, as long as you can ride a bike, you can ride 100 miles. If you don’t meet the initial fitness demands it’s simply a case of building up your endurance until you do. And even riders on a very time-crunched schedule can manage that it if they follow a few golden rules, which we’ll cover in the next few weeks.
Preparing to ride your first 100 mile event is easy, you can do it and I’ll show you how, but we should never forget that to riders who have never completed one, a ‘century’ is not only a mythical challenge, it can be a very daunting one. For the record I managed to convince the rider above that not only was the century a possibility, he’d be completing one within 12 weeks, entering sportives before the end of the summer and in a position to join his club-mates at the Etape in 2012 with confidence of a decent performance in his age category, rather than just plodding around the course.
I’m convinced he’ll achieve all of those things as I’ve helped dozens of riders with far less time than he has available to do just that. So over the next few weeks we’ll outline the basic strategy that will give you the fitness and confidence levels to complete your first century and become a regular challenge rider. We’ll cover a basic training plan, supplementary exercises that will help your cycling efficiency and even some nutrition and lifestyle tips that will accelerate your improvements toward that goal.
Huw Williams is a British Cycling Level 3 road and time trial coach. He has raced on and off road all over the world and completed all the major European sportives. He has written training and fitness articles for a wide number of UK and international cycling publications and websites and as head of La Fuga Performance, coaches a number of riders from enthusiastic novices to national standard racers.
This article is part of a series on getting ready for your first sportive. You can find the rest of the series here.
Your First Sportive Series:
- Anyone can do it
- Break it Down
- The Zone
- Performance Testing
- Creating a Training Plan
- Weekly Training Plans
- Climb Better
- Better Pedalling
- Better Descending
- Second Training Block
- Sticking With the Pack
- Strength and Flexibility Training
- Nearly There
- Event Strategy
This article originally appeared on RoadCyclingUK.com