Your First Metric Century - Beginner

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:09
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:09
Training Load By Week

This is a 14 week plan for the beginner cyclist riding in their first or second metric century (100 kilometers or 62 miles). You'll build base fitness and skills on 5-7 hours over 3-4 rides per week. Then you'll work on bringing up your average speed and working up short climbs/hills. Finally, you'll put it all together to be at your peak for the big day!

You should be able to ride 1 hour by yourself and be willing to ride in a group for 1.5 hours at the start on a weekend working up to a max of 3 hours at the end.

Make sure to start the plan on a Monday or end it on the Sunday AFTER your goal event.

Sample Day 1
0:30:00
Familiarize yourself with TrainingPeaks

Take some time to familiarize yourself with TrainingPeaks.com and some of the features. Go to the help section and look at some of the How To videos and articles. Also, take a look at your upcomming week and workouts so you can plan your time accordingly.

If you can, spend 15 minutes today looking over your bike and making sure you are ready to ride tomorrow. You should have functioning brakes and gears, lubed chain, spare tube(s), CO2 cartridge or pump, tire levers, a patch kit, and a multi-tool in case you need to make adjustments. Then set everything together in one place so you can quickly get on the bike and go!

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
12mi
Easy Ride - Skills practice

First workout! Today just focus on riding well. If you have a cadence sensor, try to keep your cadence between 85 and 95 rpm. If you do not, count each time one of your feet makes a revolution in 15 seconds. You want to be somewhere between 21 and 24.

While you're out there practice basic skills. Drinking, eating, riding in a straight line, turning, etc.

Otherwise, keep the effort moderate. About a 3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10. Also called RPE (relative perceived exertion) scale.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
15mi
F1a - Short Hills, Low cadence

Warm up well for at least 15 minutes. This should include several "hard" efforts of at least 1 minute. You should have a good sweat going by the end, but don't push yourself so hard you can't complete the workout!

Then ride several (5-8 at least) 1-2 minute hills in a hard gear. One that only allows a cadence of 50-60. Stay seated on the hills for the most part and really work on pushing against the cranks hard but smoothly.

Cool down with at least 15 minutes of easy spinning.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
25mi
Group Ride

Today, let's work on our group riding skills. Find a local bike shop ride or some friends who are willing to ride at an easy pace. Practice things like hand signals, drinking, making safe turns, etc.

Most importantly, practice drafting off the rider in front of you safely. Make sure you pay attention to not only the rider in front of you, but the ones in front of him/her also! Stay close to them (within half a bike length) and make sure your front wheel doesn't overlap their rear wheel.

Otherwise, this should be a mellow ride but a little faster than a "coffee shop" ride.

Sample Day 7
1:00:00
E1a - Easy ride, no zone 3 or above

Easy ride today. Small ring only, VERY EASY on the hills. You should be passed by grandmas on bikes with baskets and small children on unicycles!!!

Sample Day 9
1:00:00
Pedaling skills

Ride ieasy today on a mostly flat course.

Include pedaling drills such as:

a) try to drive pedal straight forward from 9 to 3 o'clock,
b) pedal with foot against the top inside of your shoe trying to avoid touching the insole,
c) try to touch toes to end of your shoes at top of downstroke.

Stay as relaxed as you can while doing these drills. No tension in feet, legs, hands, etc.

Sample Day 11
1:00:00
F1a - Short Hills, Low cadence

Warm up well for at least 15 minutes. This should include several "hard" efforts of at least 1 minute. You should have a good sweat going by the end, but don't push yourself so hard you can't complete the workout!

Then ride several (5-8 at least) 1-2 minute hills in a hard gear. One that only allows a cadence of 50-60. Stay seated on the hills for the most part and really work on pushing against the cranks hard but smoothly.

Cool down with at least 15 minutes of easy spinning.