12 Week Century (100 mile) Bike Ride Plan - All Levels

This 12 week plan will completely prepare you to ride 100 miles, whether you're doing your first century, or just want to get faster and prepare for your next century in a smarter way. Over four 3 week phases, with three rides per week, you'll build a base endurance and strength foundation, then gradually progress to speedwork, hillwork and the type of training that will help you confidently ride your century!

Sample Day 1
Bike Lactate Test

Your training "heart rate zones" will be based off your lactate threshold. If you don't do an actual "blood lactate" laboratory test, one way to estimate your lactate threshold is to perform a 30-minute time trial at a high, sustained pace. The goal of this test is to exercise for 30 minutes at the highest effort that can be sustained and monitor your heart rate throughout the test. Your average heart rate during the final 20 minutes should correspond to your LT. ----------------- If 30 minutes is daunting, this test can be modified by simply performing three 5 minute hard, sustainable efforts with 5 minutes rest between each effort. ----------------- Sometimes people exercise too hard for this test. Follow this simple rule - your pace should be the same at the end as at the beginning. If the legs begin to go rubbery, the leg turnover begins to slow, the lungs begin to burn, and you begin to gasp for breath, then you are going to hard! This should be about an 8 on a 1-10 scale, if 10 is the hardest and 1 is the easiest. ----------------- 30-Minute Time Trial for Estimating LT ----------------- You will need a heart rate monitor ----------------- Warm up for 10-15 minutes ----------------- Begin exercise on an indoor trainer, treadmill, or flat outdoor course, and work up to the your maximum *sustainable* intensity within the first 10 minutes ----------------- Record your heart rate each minute for the last 20 minutes ----------------- Calculate your average heart rate over the last 20 minutes ----------------- This average heart rate figure is your estimated heart rate at your lactate threshold ----------------- Now that you have your number, log-in to your TrainingPeaks account, then go to "Preferences", then click on "Heart Rate Zones". Input your lactate threshold heart rate, then calculate zones (calculation methods will vary minimally). Now you have custom training zones! Your bike zones will probably be lower than your run zones, which is why you'll be testing for each sport.

Sample Day 1
Entertainment

Be sure to subscribe to the free endurance podcasts at http://www.enduranceplanet.com to keep you entertained during your rides, and stay safe!

Sample Day 3
Skills & Force

Do outdoors or on an indoor trainer. 5-20 minute gradual build to warm-up, then for the next 10-20 minutes alternate between 60 seconds at 70-80rpm and 60 seconds at 100-110rpm (HR no higher than Zone 4 for fast spin efforts). Finish with 2-3x4 minute hard climbs at 50-60rpm and high resistance. 4 minute recovery spin after each. Grind!

Sample Day 6
Easy Recovery Bike

Begin with 30-50 minutes on a primarily flat or gently rolling course. Stay in Zones 2-3 and practice a cadence of 75-90rpm. As these rides grow longer, remember to fuel with 200-250 calories per hour and 24-28 ounces of water per hour.

Sample Day 8
Mile repeats

Find a course that includes clearly indicated mile markers. After a 5-15 minute warm-up, stand and attack for 20 pedal strokes per leg at the first mile marker, then settle in and attack in HR Zone 4-5 for the entire mile. Recovery spin for the next mile. Then repeat this process, but instead of standing to attack for the first 20 strokes, stay seated. Alternate through 4-8 hard mile repeats, each separated by an easy mile. Cool-down well.

Sample Day 10
Skills & Force

Do outdoors or on an indoor trainer. 5-20 minute gradual build to warm-up, then for the next 10-20 minutes alternate between 60 seconds at 70-80rpm and 60 seconds at 100-110rpm (HR no higher than Zone 4 for fast spin efforts). Finish with 2-3x4 minute hard climbs at 50-60rpm and high resistance. 4 minute recovery spin after each. Grind!

Sample Day 13
Easy Recovery Bike

40-60 minutes on a primarily flat or gently rolling course. Stay in Zones 2-3 and practice a cadence of 75-90rpm. As these rides grow longer, remember to fuel with 200-250 calories per hour and 24-28 ounces of water per hour.

Ben Greenfield
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Ben Greenfield

I coach groups, teams and individuals from around the world for triathlon, cycling, swimming, running, obstacle racing, adventure racing, bodybuilding, muscle gain, fat loss, anti-aging and cognitive performance.

A full list of my consultation, coaching and training services is at http://greenfieldfitnesssystems.com, where you can see my concierge Ultimate coaching , and also 20 and 60 minute consultation and pre-written training and nutrition plans.