How to Ride Your First Metric Century (100 KM)
In today's blog post, I want to talk about some tips and tricks for your first metric century.
Tip # 1: Nutrition and Hydration
These are probably the two most critical points in your preparation. Hydration will depend greatly upon climate. I would say that anything over 75 Degrees Fahrenheit you should be drinking one water bottle per hour. And also, make sure to drink one water bottle before leaving the house. The key here is to drink just before you're thirsty. If you're drinking in response to feeling dehydrated, it's already too late. I would recommend a very light 50/50 Gatorade blend in your favorite flavor. Your body excretes and uses electrolytes during endurance exercise and you must replace those.
For food before the ride, I typically eat a small meal consisting of 60% carbohydrate, 20% protein and 20% fat. While you're on the ride, it's best to consume 50-100 calories per hour. Your body will use simple carbs the easiest.
Tip #2: Pacing
Pacing is probably the most critical component of a great metric century. For a seasoned rider, it takes right around 3 hours to do a solid solo metric century. Your results WILL vary and if it is your first time, I would say anything around the 4-hour mark is fantastic. If you're curious about how hard you should go, I would recommend to find a pace where you can carry on a conversation, and then go a little slower. The purpose of this ride is to build cardiovascular endurance, not to build strength or power. It is difficult to build those two simultaneously.
Tip #3: Don't change anything the night before
This might be a tempting rule to break but it's something that can ruin your ride. I would recommend against trying some new fad like chugging pickle juice or testing some new supplement the day or morning before this ride. You should treat it like any other ride and be sure that what you plan on doing you've tested out thoroughly and won't be hit with any surprises.
Tip #4: Chamois cream is definitely your friend
Any sort of saddle friction or rear end discomfort is a serious way to ruin your ride and the days to come. Chamois cream has been magical for me in the passt in so many different ways, let me tell you. Lube up that chamois lightly before your ride and you'll hopefully have a better time.
Tip #5: Did I mention pacing?
Oh yes, I think I did. Going too hard even for a short period of time can leave you in trouble for the rest of the ride.
Tip #6: Build up to the distance
Your first metric century should not be your first ride near 60 miles. Before this ride, you should have done a number of 25,30,40,50 mile rides in the weeks leading up. Keep in mind that many "Good" amateur riders are riding 15 hours a week of hardish training. There is nothing magical about you. We are all biological creatures with certain limitation.
General Metric Century FAQ
What should I eat before a Metric Century Ride?
I would eat a small meal consisting of fats and proteins and carbs. My experience has always been that if I load up on simple carbs and sugar and caffeine, it destroys my ability to pace. So if you go heavy on pasta and rice, you need to be sure to go easy and relax the first half of the ride. A good metric century is determined by how well you do in the second half, not the first.
What should I do the day before a big ride? 100 Miles or 100KM.
My recommendation is light but explosive cycling, maybe a couple of 20-30 second intervals. And also, keep the duration under one hour. The key here is to keep your blood flowing and keep your body out of recovery mode while also not increasing your residual fatigue. Residual fatigue is a usually a combined 42 running total of all your work on the bike.
What should i eat the day before a big ride? 100 Miles or 100KM.
To some degree, you can replenish carbohydrate stores the day before a big ride. if this is your first big ride, you don't yet know how your body responds to certain foods and everyones body reacts differently to nutrition and exercise. What I would recommend is to keep a diary. Try different foods and then write in your diary how you performed the next day. Then after a handful of these big rides, you may notice a pattern. Then take the good experiences you had with eating and then try variations of those and retain the commonalities between strategies.
What is a good metric century time?
Here is a link to a metric century I did in exactly 3 hours. I would consider this a good time for me.
Your experience may be different. It took me a lot of work to get to this point.
How hard is it to ride a century?
Moderately hard. I remember my first century. Im assuming that if you're asking this question then you've never done one before. There are some factors to take into account. Are you riding solo or with a group? Are you on a road bike, gravel bike, or mountain bike. A century on a mountain bike ridden alone may be 3x more difficult than on a road bike with a group. Also, consider the pacing of the group as well. If the group starts out blasting at 28 MPH, that is really going to be the absolute worst way to ride the ride. If you go that hard at the very begging, your body is basically trying to recover for the entire ride. If on the other hand, you ride with a group that's doing 18mph easy for the first hour, then 19 mph on hour 2, then 20 mph on hour 3, then 21 on hour four, and then goes all out on the last hour or two, you will have a much more satisfying ride.
What is a Metric Century in Miles?
A metric century is 62.1371 Miles