Training For My First Century Ride

When it comes to cycling, I usually am more goal-oriented than my husband. While he’s usually interested in our average pace, he mmmQa. couldn’t care less if we cycle a certain distance, and he will relax in the shade while I do a lap around the parking lot to hit a round number on my Garmin. But, it’s because of him that I am figuring out how to train for my first century ride.

My husband wants to do a century, but he’s not much into “training” for anything. On the other hand, the runner in me is not about to participate in an endurance event without getting in shape for it. That said, since I am wary of biking on the road, I am eyeing a series of organized rides to help me train for my first century ride. 

Farm To Fork Fondo (57 miles): July 29 

I have to include the Farm To Fork Fondo (did you see my recap?) in my training plan, since I will be building on the conditioning that got me through its 57 miles of mostly rolling hills as I get ready to ride 43 miles further.   

Conte’s Hill Rides

I also will be trying to keep up with the Conte’s hill rides as many times as my schedule–and the weather–permits. The five rides I did between May and July made a huge difference in my preparation for the Farm to Fork Fondo, and now that I know I can make it up those hills, I don’t want to lose that conditioning–or that confidence. 

Conte’s hill ride elevation profile

Reston Metric Century (67 miles): August 27

The next big event on our calendar is the Reston Metric Century. The organizers are somewhat mathematically challenged, since a metric century should be closer to 62 miles, but hopefully those last 5 miles won’t be too rough. I am wary of doing such a long ride in August when it can be really hot, but I got lucky with the weather when I did the half metric distance last year, so I’m hoping for another break this year. 

Shenandoah Valley Century (50 miles): September 10

The Shenandoah Valley Century fits nicely in our calendar, if we can figure out the logistics, and we would do the 50 mile distance. My husband says its difficulty rating is similar to the Farm to Fork Fondo–and the elevation change looks almost identical. I will keep my fingers crossed for more rolling hills and fewer steep climbs. 

Anne Arundel Lifetime 100 (100 miles): October 1

If all goes well, we will do the full century ride of the Anne Arundel Lifetime 100 on October 1. The terrain is supposed to be a bit easier than the other rides, but I know that 100 miles will be plenty challenging in and of itself.

from our 2013 anniversary ride

October 1 will be our 29th wedding anniversary, but it won’t be the first time we celebrated by doing a long ride together. Four years ago we took the day off from work to do an out-and-back ride from Shirlington to Leesburg. That ride was 67 miles and took all day, including a long stop for a leisurely lunch in Georgetown. 


I hope these five rides will get us to the 100 mile finish line smiling, so I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five link up.

Do you have tips for how I should be training for my first century ride?

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28 Responses to Training For My First Century Ride

  1. Sounds like you have a great plan. The last time I did the 67 mile route at Reston ( my longest) I made the mistake of not eating enough earlier in and totally hit the wall. I would practice your fueling on the longer ride

  2. You are ambitious! All of those miles in the saddle sound painful (in more ways than one), but what a great adventure!
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Ever played the Fueling Guessing Game?My Profile

  3. Sounds like a great way to celebrate your anniversary! When I was riding centuries I always found that my distance running background made the cycling feel comparatively easy. After all you get to sit down and coast! Enjoy the journey!
    Debbie @ Coach Debbie Runs recently posted…I Don’t Like Kale Chips and other Healthy Living Blogger ConfessionsMy Profile

  4. This is exciting! I’m planning to do our local Grand-Fondo next September with my husband. Though he will do the Century ride, I’ll do one of the shorter rides.
    Anna @ Piper’s Run recently posted…Dear Mid-Week Long RunMy Profile

  5. I love that you guys share the love of biking and do this together. Funny that he’s not all that into the “training”…haha. I think that’s a guy thing. I run races with my dad and he’s not really into the “training” aspect either.

  6. Paul says:

    It sounds like you’ve got a solid plan for the ride! We’re planning on doing a century sportive next summer to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary so it’s good to see the training you guys have done in preparation!

  7. At least you are training. I like how your husband is like nah I got this

  8. Kimberly G says:

    You have been doing a great job and your training plan is amazing! Also sounds like an awesome way to celebrate your anniversary ๐Ÿ™‚
    Kimberly G recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training: 5 Fuel and Hydration ProductsMy Profile

  9. Obviously I can’t help you out with tips. Shenandoah should be lovely (if challenging — although I’ve never actually been there, I’ve always want to go).

    I have no doubt you guys will conquer it!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Steps to Increase Your Mental ToughnessMy Profile

  10. Chaitali says:

    Great plan to include these other organized rides in your training! And that’s awesome that the century ride is on your anniversary, what a wonderful way to celebrate ๐Ÿ™‚
    Chaitali recently posted…Friday Five – August Birch BoxMy Profile

  11. What a great way to celebrate your anniversary! Happy training!

  12. HoHo Runs says:

    I looked at training plans and read a lot of recaps. I’m going with the theory if you can ride 50-60 you can ride 100. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The steepness of the hills do make me nervous. I’ve committed to a weekly trainer ride for speed and a weekly long ride for distance. It would be nice to do a metric before the century, but the dates don’t work well. I have no doubt you will be prepared for your century! Good luck to us both!!

  13. Denise says:

    A century seems so far. I’ve done 50 milers (next one in Nov) and feel that is just about enough for me. I’ve always wanted to do a bike tour in New England in the Fall. You stay at Bed & Breakfasts and ride a predetermined amt of miles every day for 3 – 7 days depending on the tour you chose. Have you ever considered doing a bike tour?

  14. Rachel says:

    You’re going to do so great. I have faith that you’ll do the century ride.

    29 years! Congrats. <3 <3 <3

  15. Lesley says:

    Sounds like a great step up in distance, but I will say train! The thought of anybody saying no to training… you gotta know what works for that distance.

  16. You are so ready! I’d love to do more cycling but my wrists have really protested when I get on the bike. I guess I need to get my bike refitted, just in case that will help!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Book Review: Fitness JunkieMy Profile

  17. Angela @marathonsandmotivation.com says:

    This sounds like a great plan! I have done several century rides and love doing them. The key is to fuel properly!! Good Luck ๐Ÿ™‚

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