Sunday, 18 August, 2002

Training for a Century

The reason I've been so quiet here recently is that I've started a training program that has me getting up at 5:00 almost every morning to go cycling.  I've set a goal to ride the Waco Wild West Century on September 28, and I'm determined to do it right this time.  The last time I rode 100 miles (two years ago), I wasn't prepared for it and I suffered through the last 25 miles.  My body hurt, and it took me a week to recover.  It was not a pleasant experience.  My "training" for that ride consisted of riding to work and back (26 miles each way) a couple of times a week, and perhaps a long ride of 50 or 60 miles on Saturday.  Sure, I was riding a lot, but I was doing it wrong.

After looking through several books and browsing the Web for relevant articles I settled on this training program from Bicycling magazine (oddly enough, I can't find that thing on the Bicycling web site), and started it last Monday.  I rode 50 miles relatively comfortably last Saturday, so I figured I was fit enough to tackle the second, more aggressive schedule.  A week into the program I'm feeling great—none of the run down feeling or continual sore legs that I remember from the last time.  My legs are a bit weak from yesterday's 52 mile ride in the wind and the hills, so I made today an easy ride rather than the "pace" ride that the schedule calls for.

This week's miles:

Monday 11.5 easy
Tuesday 16.4 pace
Wednesday 20.2 brisk
Thursday rest
Friday 16 pace
Saturday 52.5 pace (hard ride)
Sunday 18 easy
Total 134.5

Granted, I had reached a certain level of fitness prior to starting the program, but in the past I've had difficulty getting beyond that point.  It seems like 50 miles is my "easy" threshold—going beyond that takes a concerted training effort.  So far, so good.  I'll update my progress here each Sunday until the ride.