Outside magazine, August 1995
Training for a century ride, the 100-mile benchmark of road-cycling fitness, doesn't mean sacrificing much more of your life than spending several Saturdays in the saddle. In fact, if you start now, you can pass the classic two-wheeler's test in the fall--without living in spandex for the rest of the summer.
While weekday rides are important (but rarely exceed 20 miles), the Saturday miles are the key, according to Estelle Gray, who shares the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association's women's transcontinental tandem record: ten days, 22 hours. "Just count backward by ten from the week you'll do the century," she says. "Of course, on the two Saturdays before the ride, take it relatively easy. The Saturday before them, however, you want to be sure that you can ride 80 miles; the one before that, 70; and so on. "Gray adds that you can vary your speed, but not your mileage. Here's advice and a training map from Gray--and some recommended routes for riding the century.
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