Training & Preperation for Your First 100km Ride
Completing a 100km road ride is both a challenge and a rite of passage in cycling. No matter what level you're at, beginner, or regular cyclist, it is very achievable, particularly with a little planning and the right kit.
And while it is possible to do a ride of this distance without training or the proper gear, if you want to enjoy it and feel good afterwards we suggest that you build up to it. Depending on where in Australia you live, you should plan for a hill or two, but this is part of the fun.
Where to start?
Firstly, you need to make sure that your bike is in decent shape - chain oiled, tyres pumped and a few other checks. It's worth running through our 15 minute service guide for a more thorough overview. This is a very important step before a ride of distance, and can certainly make life A LOT easier.
In regard to gear, while cycle specific clothing is not necessary it is purposely designed to make riding much more comfortable. At a minimum we’d recommend a set of Lycra cycling shorts, as they're designed for distance riding, preventing chaffing and giving you some extra padding between your butt and the saddle.
It is HIGHLY recommended that you take a few tools on a distance ride too, at the very least a mini-pump or CO2 canisters, tyre levers and some spare tubes. There's nothing worse than getting a flat and having no way to repair it in the middle of nowhere! (Need to hone your skills? Read this article about changing a flat tyre on the go.) It's also worth taking a multi-tool along for the ride just in-case you need to tweak something along the way, such as your saddle height. A great way to carry these essentials is to pack them away into saddle bag, which sits out of the way and wont slow you down.
Another item that sits more in the 'nice-to-have' category than essentials, is a cycle computer. Basic computers start at just $30 and are great for tracking progress and reviewing ride stats. An alternative to the cycling computer is simply downloading a cycling app to your smart phone (here are a few to consider), but keep in mind running your app for the duration of the ride can really drain your phone battery.
Feeding yourself is vital to success
It’s easy to underestimate how much food you need when cycling. For a 100km ride you need a substantial breakfast, a couple of gels, bananas and nutrition bars during the ride, plus water/hydration fluid. Commonly when people run out of steam on long rides, it's lack of energy to power muscles rather than a lack of fitness and training. For more info on how to avoid bonking, read this nutrition article.
Longer training rides are the perfect time to start getting used to eating and drinking more than you normally would at regular intervals. Do not leave it until the the big day/race day. It's always important to fuel your engine (food and drink) before you need the energy as it takes time to get into your system.
The 100km ride is a great cycling goal and a training plan makes it less daunting and more achievable. Typically you would train over a period of 10 to 12 weeks but it can be done in as little as 8 weeks.
We recommend that you train 3-4 times a week, either by bike or another type of sport. At a minimum you should try to ride three times per week while building towards the goal. A local riding group helps with training motivation and other rider experience. Try to avoid increasing your distance too much each week as this can cause injuries and/or fatigue.
You don’t need to have ridden the full distance in training. The key is consistency over each week and slowly building to your goal. Two weeks before the event is a good time to do a longer ride than usual. If you are reasonably comfortable riding 60-70km, the jump to 100Km won’t seem that much.
Here's a rough training guide that will help you reach that elusive 100km milestone:
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This plan ramps up quite quickly in terms of distance. In the early stages we recommend trying to cover the distance comfortably rather than quickly. You can always bring speed/time into play for your next 100km ride. If you're getting bored of the same old scenery, why not grab a bike rack for your car and drive out a little further to explore some really cool rides!
Lastly, a note about bike fit...
If while doing your longer rides you have any numbness or tingling, sore knees or hips, or any other similar ailment, this is a sure fire indication that your bike fit may well be off. Don’t let it put you off as these problems can usually be solved with a trip to your local bike shop to get a proper bike fit and maybe a few different components.
If you're after a new Road Bike to help you reach your goal, check out our fantastic range. There's something for newbies, right through to competitors. See Road Bikes >>