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Ride a Century Enhance strength and power for further velocity and staying power

Posted by madele70 on April 11, 2011 at 12:30 PM

So you're back for the bicycle again, practicing the dawning season. A directory of events are highlighted for your calendar. Your motivation is high while you visualize yourself among the list of fastest cyclists, overall a century in just 6 hours ... maybe even 5 hours! How do you purchase the form to keep such high speeds over 100 miles?

First, do not forget that the most important facet to training is mental preparation and attitude. It may well assistance to notice that 100 miles isn't very far for an ultra-marathon cyclist. Best cyclists compete in races of 100+ miles, averaging speeds over 25 mph. The 1998 Tour de France covered 2,420 miles in 23 days with just one single rest.

Professional female cyclists also face challenging races although distances rarely exceed 100 miles in a single day. The 1998 Tour Cycliste Feminin,covered 839 miles in 12 days without any rest days. Five days involved distances in excess of 75 miles and also the maximum stage distance was 91 miles. As women keep advance in cycling, the issue of their total races also advances.

The main distinction between a 100 mile race and a 100 mile tour is drafting. In a race, you will have a field to cruise with unless you're feeling spunky and go on a flyer or fading fast and drop off your back. Otherwise, you will enjoy the pleasure of sucking wheel while saving 30 to 80% of their time dependant upon wind conditions as well as the spread of your cyclist towing you. In the century, most riders are recreational which means you may spend the majority of your time battling the wind alone. The fast cyclists often prefer solo riding or don't have the skill to safely ride inside a paceline. So don't thinking about finding a band of experienced, ambitious cyclists to draft your next century. Joining a well-oiled paceline with a tour is just not uncommon, yet it's unlikely.

Despite this, training such as a racer do more to increase your average speed on centuries than grinding through mega-miles in the steady, moderate pace. Big miles are incredibly necessary when an ultra-marathon cyclist is getting ready for multi-day events like RAAM qualifiers, PBP and RAAM. This type of training tactic, however, will destroy leg speed for shorter distances of 150-miles or less. It is very important realise that 100 miles will not be RAAM so training like RAAM rider is not the simplest way to decrease your century time. Training as being a road racer increases power and speed without preparing one's body for that huge stress of real ultra-marathon cycling that you choose to won't encounter anyway.

At ultra-marathon distances, the entire body need to be maintained in a very steady state in which the cyclist is consuming as many nutrients because he or she's using, continuously maintaining a regular flow of your energy over several hours or several days. For shorter distances, the cyclist can upset this balance and consume less for the bicycle. This allows our body to concentrate on cycling as an alternative to dividing its energy between digestion ride a century.

This column, I'm going to discuss specific training tips used by road racers that can help raise your average century speed. If you wish to do your fastest century, you can't train just like an ultra-marathon cyclist.

Forget the mega-miles, protein powder, bike lights and PSVs ... grab your gel packets, carbohydrate drink and native cycling buddies. It's time to train for speed.

Riding fast takes strength but strength would not necessarily produce speed. An excellent exercise program includes drills that assist while in the conversion of strength gained in the weight room to hurry for the bicycle. Cyclists who work towards their lower body strength as well as performing specific chest, abdominal and lower-back exercises from the off-season generally discover a rise in power and luxury about the bicycle. Continuing weightlifting, 1 or 2 days every week, throughout the season assures upkeep of the strength gained from the off-season.

This is particularly true for female who generally have more difficulty building tweaking strength than men. Weightlifting allows a lady to develop greater lower body strength than can be done about the bicycle alone. Performing select chest muscles exercises also offers a woman greater power in sprints and on short, steep climbs where pulling on the handlebars increases the force put on the pedals. As most women won't "bulk up" like males do, weightlifting offers women all the advantages devoid of the problem with adding procuring muscle weight.

The most effective resistance exercises for cyclists would be the following:

1. leg press and squats, multi-muscle group exercises which concentrate on the quads and hip flexors,
2. calf press or raises,
3. back extension to produce spine strength,
4. stiff-legged deadlifts or leg curls to strengthen the hamstrings and gluteus maximus,
5. abdominal curls, and
6. seated or bent rows to formulate the center and shoulders and also the posterior top of the shoulders.

Hamstring training is important because over-development on the quadriceps, typical in many serious cyclists, need to be balanced with developing on the hamstrings to prevent hamstring tears. Also, hamstrings are used towards the bottom perhaps the pedal stroke where the slightly backward force is applied.

Squats offer advantages. I have found them to be quite effective at strengthening the vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) muscle, the massive quadriceps muscle inside inside/front on the thigh. A few years ago, I suffered patellofemoral syndrome as a result of weakness in this muscle. The injury kept me away from the bicycle to get a month. Physical therapy to strengthen my VMO muscle eased my knee pain so I really could jump on the racing season which was already underway. Performing the lower limb press and squats will likely strengthen the hip flexors thereby preventing hip pain from a grueling knowledge of the hills, a.k.a. BAM or even the Missouri Challenge. This has been another wonderful injury I experienced at the beginning of my cycling career but never again since initiating a weightlifting program.


When you have never lifted before, it's essential to be mindful when starting a plan. It can be a good idea to consult a cycling coach or physical trainer to help you devise a training curriculum and teach you the correct form and execution of most exercises included in that program. Squats and stiff-legged deadlifts are potentially harmful and has to be performed carefully to protect yourself from causing back or knee injuries. Begin by using a light-weight and gradually eventually get to higher weights. Never lift a weight that may be fat to let proper lifting form. Should you be susceptible to joint, much like me, start light after every significant break from lifting to avoid instigating back, hip or knee pain. Through the season, it is prudent to scale back weights to ensure that greater focus may be used on the bicycle workouts. It will also decrease the probability of injury from the weight room that may force anyone to skip races.

When you adventure into the load room inside off-season and a minimum of once during the season, you can see a vital rise in your turn on the bicycle. Many strength exercises can be about the bicycle nonetheless they cannot focus intensely on particular groups of muscles like weight room exercises can. Just as essential as the lifting, however, is a conversion of weight room strength to on-the-bicycle strength. Specific drills are essential to consider the final strength you could have developed off-the-bicycle and make it specific on your sport.

Over the following column I'll discuss some of these drills and explain how each will let you turn into a faster cyclist. It is deemed an easy equation greater leg strength leads to greater force within the pedals which produces faster pedal revolutions culminating in faster speeds. Include a carbo-boost and will also be riding your fastest ride a century ever.

Now that you've got worked diligently from the weight room and acquired quadriceps to rival Mario Cipollini's, the time has come to convert that strength and power into performance around the bicycle. There are a selection of workouts created specifically to enhance performance in time trialing and attacking. Each one of these will trust in the strength and power you gained in the weight room during the off-season.

Time trials are strength-intensive, requiring the opportunity to turn a huge gear repeatedly over a long time. Sustaining an escape, bridging up to and including breakaway, catching back up to the group after getting dropped and motoring up long, gradual grade demand the opportunity to time trial. Your energy is gradual and constant as the rider strives just to walk the knife-edge between blowing up and taking it too easy.

Attacks are difficult accelerations followed by several minutes of less-intense but nonetheless anaerobic effort. Initiating an escape and hanging in if the group jumps to make back an attack demand skills developed while training your attack. Power needs to accelerate quickly and strength is essential to keep up your time and effort through to the chase fails or even the break is shutdown. Attack workouts will enhance your capacity to hammer up steep hills, another purely anaerobic activity.

Strength and Power Training
If hills don't loom somewhere along the way then wind sweeping across the flatlands is most likely sufficient to power Chicago.

As your main goal is improving your century pace, you could possibly consider all strength work rather than time trial development being worthless. For a flat century using a calm day, choosing right. However, as the majority of you are already aware, such perfect conditions never exist. If hills don't loom somewhere en route then wind sweeping within the flatlands is most likely sufficient to power Chicago. Also, from a mental standpoint, developing power and anaerobic fitness provides greater feeling of confidence together with a stronger a sense of well-being. Since every cyclist I've ever met agrees that cycling is in least as demanding mentally which is physically, any mental edge you will get will reap huge rewards.

Just before to your workouts, I would like to emphasize the importance of adding strength workouts in your training regimen. The true secret to escaping the trap of mediocrity as a cyclist is usually to vary workouts. Never get into the trap to getting about the bicycle daily without set plan besides adding miles in your base. In early season, it is good to get about 1000 base miles before beginning intense workouts, notably if you stopped riding while in the winter or significantly reduced your training intensity. However, if your mileage is made of established, spending every day acquiring more base miles is usually a waste of valuable training time.

I have to reiterate that which was said within my primary column. Training advice given here won't typically affect the ultracyclists who engage in 24-hour or multi-day races. These riders rely additional heavily on aerobic training than shorter distance riders. Going anaerobic during ultra-events may very well be detrimental, whereas professional racers competing inside a 100-mile road race must frequently enter their anaerobic heartrate zone.

Planning Training
To stop mediocrity with your century performances, organize a week of training before carrying out a single workout. You can even would like to organize your season utilizing the macrocycle system made use of by most experienced bicycling coaches today. In order to enter into close to this much depth, receive a book by way of a knowledgeable cyclist or coach - for instance Greg Lemond, Joe Friel or Chris Carmichael - and structure a training schedule throughout the events that happen to be most significant for you. If you would rather reduce expenses time planning and much more time riding, plan week by week and comply with one particular adage: never train with not a goal. Plan your goal during and after that just go do it.

Although broadening your aerobic is made of necessary, it's not necassary to devote in excess of three days every week to long, aerobic rides. Presumably, you possibly can already survive a hundred years. You will understand that. So now you must concentrate on riding 100-miles faster. Riding excessive long, slow miles will not aid in increasing your speed. Devoting several days 7 days to strength and power workouts, however, grows your speed by raising your average speed, increasing your power in windy conditions and boosting your hill-climbing abilities.

As one example of power workouts to take down century time, see Ed Pavelka's article Speed the Spontaneous Way. This column, I'll supply you with other types of anaerobic workouts.; They are going to hurt greater than the aerobic workouts nevertheless they will also cause you to be faster. Remember ... pain now will take you pride later.

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