Training For A Bicycle Tour: From Couch To Century

What is a century ride you might ask? A century ride is a bicycle ride of 100 miles or more within 12 hours. Impossible you say? Impossible is nothing after proper training for a bicycle tour. Even if you haven’t ridden your bike since high school, we have the best tips and tricks to get you off the couch and onto the road for a life-changing 100 miles.

But, before we get started, there are three major goals for a successful century ride:

  1. Build fitness so you can keep going for 100 miles
  2. Figure out your nutrition to sustain you for 100 miles
  3. Avoid injuries!

Get Off The Couch

Now that you’re off the couch you need the gear. We provide road bikes on most of our tours so having the same type of bike for your training will be helpful. The newest road bike offer light weight, superior comfort and ride that is much more forgiving than older bicycles. But, if you have an old road bike to use then you’re alrady set to ride. A quick tune up at a local bike shop is probably all you need to be ready for the road. Cycling shorts will also be a great addition so you can ride longer and stay comfortable on your saddle. Other accessories are fun, but are not really necessary for beginner training. Just take your bike out (preferably to a place with low traffic) and just get used to riding again.

Build Up

This is a critical phase as it will help determine whether you were serious about your goal or not. Start riding a little bit more each week. Incorporate slight hills and harder terrain in your sessions. Remember, ease into this build up and if you ever feel any sort of intense pain, ease off. If you’re at this point and you still think that you want to continue with your goal of completing a century ride, then read on. If not, there’s no shame in changing your goals. Just remember, getting off the couch was the hardest part, so stay away from the living room and swim, ride, run, rollerblade and walk your way to a more active lifestyle. The most important part of riding is to have fun. Change up your route, bike to the beach, ride to a friends house and set fun goals for yourself that will keep your training moving in the right direction.

Let’s Do This!

For those of you still reading, your main focus is conquering those hundred miles. Take your bike to a store and get it professionally fitted. This will help you prevent injuries that can derail your plans. If you don’t mind riding in regular pedals, go ahead, but if you want to make it a little easier, go for clip-in pedals. As a former couch potato, it may take time getting used to clipping in and out of your pedals but after a little practice it should feel like second nature.

Below is a plan that will get you ready for that upcoming century ride. Remember, knowing how your body feels is important, so if at any time you feel the plan is too hard, back off. The training plan is more of a guideline for you to follow than an actual requirement. If you listen to your body and stick to this plan as close as possible, you’ll be ready to ride 100 miles in no time.

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Week 13×1 hour, 1×2 hour3×1 hour, 1×3 hour3×1 hour, 1×4 hour
Week 23×1 hour, 1×2 hour3×1 hour, 1×3 hour3×1 hour, 1×4 hour
Week 33×1 hour, 1×3 hour3×1 hour, 1×4 hour3×1 hour, 1×5 hour
Week 44×1 hour4×1 hour4×1 hour

Once you’re done with your century ride, and you’ve completed your training for a bicycle tour, the likelihood of addiction increases. You may want to start getting competitive or you may want to just to do more non-competitive rides and tour new locations. Whether you want to go competitive on one of our Challenge Tours or want to just enjoy scenery on one of the Classic Tours, DuVine offers some great packages for you to scratch that new-found cycling itch! Contact us today and book your bicycle tour!

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