Is it possible to train for a century ride in 4 weeks? Completing a century ride is a milestone that can have a profound effect on any cyclist. With adequate preparation, the experience can be immensely rewarding. In this article, we’ll provide an underprepared rider with the tools to help how to select a suitable century ride or a Granfondo, and provide advice to help to set realistic goals that will ensure success.
Volume is the fundamental
You have to accumulate a lot of time at low to moderate intensities to achieve a measurable improvement in aerobic performance. This is the Winter law for the cyclist. But you failed it, because you are not a pro rider, you didn’t have time to train, there was not the right weather, or you had a physical problem. So, how can train for a century ride in 4 weeks? you can achieve significant improvements in power at VO2 max with less time spent at very high intensities.
Power Interval workouts
A training plan like this:
- 3 minutes at max intensity intervals (the max speed that you can hold up for 3 minutes without losing speed in the final part)
- 3 minutes recovery at easy spinning (REALLY easy)
- repeat 6 times
- 8 minutes recovery at easy spinning
- start again from point 1.
In just over a 2-3 week period can deliver a noticeable boost in cycling power for the short term.Of course, you have to keep in mind you have not the fundamental, the volume. SO:
Increasing your training from 2–3 times a week to 5–6 times a week in a short period of time won‘t help you to make progress faster. You need to continue to train smart, with the right amount of overload and recovery, or else you will just end up exhausted. You can still make progress, but you must make sure to factor in adequate rest. How many long ride we have to take in order to train for a century ride in 4 weeks? Just one, no more. Otherwise you will exceed. But his ride should be an entire century. Remember the rule of 70%. Your race simulation should be 70 miles. You are alone on your bike, so 70 miles are harder than 100 in the racing day.
Take care of details of your life
It‘s essential to ensure that you are doing everything possible to maximize your performance. Make sure you‘re getting enough quality sleep, reducing any stress from your lifestyle and job, and focusing on the nutritional value of your meals. Don‘t try to aggressively restrict calories as this will only reduce your energy for intense workouts and proper recovery.
Should I train mainly in flat parts or on hilly roads?
It depends on your century goal. If the competition you set as your achievement is strongly hilly, you have to ride on similar roads, trying to keep high spinning cadence not to overload your muscles. If your century race will be flat, train in flat part and don’t avoid slightly descending roads where you can test your speed and simulate a slipstream situation.
Planning how train for a century ride in 4 weeks
Planning is everything. Even if you have no more time. We have to train for a century ride in 4 weeks. Wells, we can choose 3 strategies. It depends on you, on your cycling characteristics.
- Option 1: a first week with big work, second week recovery (active recovery, riding more or less 60-70% of the work week in terms of intensity), third week work week, fourth week recovery. Perfect for who trains really hard when he is committed on a bike;
- Option 2: 3 work weeks where the training work constantly increases, then last week on recovery mode (always active recovery). Perfect for those who is able to handle their feeling, strengths and recoveries, this plan manages to enter the course in an energetic mode;
- Option 3: 2 work weeks where the training work constantly increases, then one week on recovery mode (always active recovery). Last week work again. Perfect for those who need to be physically under pressure and not totally relaxed.
A raining day
Indoor cycling is a great way to stay on track with your fitness objectives when you don‘t have much time or the weather isn‘t ideal. When indoors, it‘s best to pick workouts that are condensed and more intense; this allows you to get the most out of your routine in a short amount of time. Programs like Zwift can also assist in keeping you focused and motivated. You‘ll need a trainer, rollers, or an exercise bike to get started. If you don‘t have access to any of these, why not give strength training a go instead!
Understanding training zones
- Zone 1 – active recovery: less than 68% of your threshold HR, less than 55% of threshold power. It should be effortless to push the pedals with minimal strain. Inhaling and exhaling should be effortless and conversation should be natural. This type of cycling is usually done after a difficult training session, competition or long–distance ride to help the body recover. Typical duration: as long as you want.
- Zone 2 – endurance: from 69% to 83% of your threshold HR, from 56% to 75% of threshold power. While riding, speaking should remain simple but your breathing will become more intense and more frequent than in the first zone. Riders who have been properly trained can ride for three hours or more with the proper nutrition at this intensity. Typical duration: 3 hours or more.
- Zone 3 – tempo (sweetspot): from 84% to 94% of your threshold HR, from 76% to 90% of threshold power. Inhalation is becoming more demanding now, with a greater amount of focus needed to continue exerting effort. Communicating is becoming more difficult and beginning to feel uncomfortable. Repeated days of zone three training are feasible but replenishment is vital, particularly if you are carrying out consecutive days. The length of zone three segments depends on the power and know–how of the cyclist. Typical duration: depending on the physical condition, from 20′ to 60′
- Zone 4 – threshold: from 95% to 105% of your threshold HR, from 91% to 105% of threshold power. The burn can be felt when you push yourself to stay in this zone, so it‘s often split up into intervals of 10 to 20 minutes. It can be hard to ride at your limit for consecutive days, but it‘s doable with proper nutrition and rest. Typical duration:10′ – 20′. With consistent training, until 30′.
- Zone 5 – Vo2Max: more than 106% of your threshold HR, from 106% to 120% of threshold power. This is a difficult area that can be uncomfortable to traverse for more than a few moments, so you should be pushing yourself. Your breath will be labored and the exertion will be tough to sustain. Typical duration:3′ – 8′
- Zone 6 – Anaerobic: max of your, more than 120% of threshold power. A sort of long sprint, these efforts should only be held up for a maximum of 30 seconds to three minutes. If it goes on for longer, you are probably not pushing yourself hard enough. Doing sessions in succession will be incredibly difficult as it is hard to track heart rate due to the delay in response from the effort. In other words. Typical duration:30″ – 2′. When well trained, until 3′.
Variety is the key
Whether you train 2 or 3, or even 5 times a week, the important thing is to vary your training. To train for a century ride in 4 weeks is not easy. But you have to be prepared for different situations. You should use some of your training sessions in different training zones. Respect the typical duration of every training zone, and alternate them over the days.
It‘s almost always not as bad as you imagine.
Many athletes overestimate the difficulty of their event and think that their lack of preparation is far greater than it really is. This can be discouraging, but it‘s important to remember that often it‘s not as bad as it seems, and that with a little bit of effort, you could be close to achieving success.
What’s the best bike for a century
The best bike to face a Century doesn’t depend on the construction material but on the correct bike-fitting. You can tackle a Century with steel, a carbon bike, or any other material. The important thing is that the bike is not only well balanced and that you are well positioned on it. The bike must be sewn on you. In a Century you will ride for at least 4 hours. In the harder-paced Century you could be on the bike for 6 hours or more. It’s easy to understand that you have to be one with the bike. Well fitted, but also with a good weight balance. Driveability that won’t tire you. In other words, the best bike for a century is a a made-to-measure bike, like the Daccordi Fly or Borea.
What’s the best bike for an off-road century
An off-road Century is something really challenging and adventuring. It may take 10 hours on a bike. Our suggestion is a bike with a drop-bar. In this way you can change your position at the bar whenever you want. If we are talking about a gravel Century, a light bike like the Daccordi Borea Gravel is the best choice. If it’s about an mtb Century, Annibale is undoubtedly the best choice for comfort and performance if the regulation allows a drop-bar.