Important tips for a Century Ride
Riding fast takes strength but strength does not necessarily produce speed. A successful training program includes drills that assist in the conversion of strength gained in the weight room to speed on the bicycle. Cyclists who work on their lower body strength in addition to performing specific upper body, abdominal and lower-back exercises in the off-season generally discover an increase in power and comfort on the bicycle. Continuing weightlifting, 1 or 2 days a week, throughout the season assures maintenance of the strength gained in the off-season.
This is particularly true for women who tend to have more difficulty building and maintaining strength than men. Weightlifting allows a woman to develop greater lower body strength than is possible on the bicycle alone. Performing select upper body exercises also gives a woman greater power in sprints and on short, steep climbs where pulling on the handlebars increases the force applied to the pedals. Since most women won’t “bulk up” like men do, weightlifting offers women all of the advantages without the disadvantage of adding a lot of extra muscle weight.
Nutrition is key when preparing to ride for 100 miles. You should try different foods while training to figure out what best agrees with your body.
Eat before you’re hungry; drink before you’re thirsty.
Lightweight, durability, comfort and efficiency for you should be considered when shopping for your new bike. Buy the best bike for your budget…then learn to use it…learn to fix it…and keep training. If you are serious about cycling, then spend the money on a custom road bike (see my post on K. Bedford).
The benefits of your health outweigh the cost of the road bike.