As we progress in our training each week, we add miles and begin incorporating hill climbing into the mix. More miles, more elevation, an easy progression right? For the most part it’s true. We build our muscles and endurance. We learn about the importance of proper nutrition and hydration. We learn about proper equipment and bike fit. We learn about technique and safety.
And then finally, there comes the day when it’s time to cross that 100 mile marker.
If you’re doing 80 mile rides what’s another 20 miles, right? Well, it’s another 20 miles. For me, my first century was an exercise in mind over legs. On May 17, 2014 I tackled my first ALC century training ride. We started in Davis (California), rode over to Winters, up to Monticello Dam and then dropped back down to Winters, back to Davis and finally a tailwind run out to Woodland and back to Davis for a total of 101.5 miles.
I started strong and felt pretty good for most of the ride. After lunch in Winters on the return trip I started to fade as we approached Davis. I knew the last 10 miles were going to be into a strong headwind and I didn’t feel like I had it in me. I told TRL and sweep, Craig Roecker I was going to bail on the last 20 miles and head over to the finish line, skipping the Woodland leg. He smartly pointed out the fact we would have a tailwind on the run over to Woodland and a rest stop to recuperate for the final push into the headwind. So I gave myself a mental kick in the butt and took Craig’s sage advice. After a frozen double espresso chocolate from the heavens, I was able to face that final 10 miles with a strong headwind and complete my first century. I’m so happy Craig didn’t let my inner self talk me out of completing the ride.
You can do it. Even if it takes all day, well… it will take all day, but you CAN do it!
— Curtis Paullins
For more technical information please check out the following article 12 Common Century Ride Mistakes by Ryan Wood at Active.com. This is a great resource on the pitfalls to avoid.
Ramping Up Too Fast
Training at the Same Intensity
Training Too Hard
Not Testing and Perfecting
Not Eating Enough During the Event
Not Eating Regularly During the Event