How to clear your first imperial century by bicycle
By Liliana Kunze
December 05, 2022
Training for a 100 mile bike ride is a serious undertaking. Many people take months, even years to train for this distance. That gives you a lot of time to worry and wonder how you can tackle this kind of challenge. You’ll start to find out that training for an ultra-distance bike ride is not a straightforward thing.
How to prepare for your first 100 miles
Drink lots of water
Make sure to train yourself by drinking enough water every day, and by stocking up on hydration tablets / powder, so that you’ll be prepared for the long haul. You can also try training with a Camelbak or similar pack that holds water for you.
If you’re feeling like your body needs more than just water, there are plenty of other options out there as well: energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster are some of the most common ones among cyclists. Also consider Gatorade (which contains electrolytes) or coconut water (which contains potassium). These drinks help replenish the electrolytes lost through sweat!
Eat a nutritious, balanced diet
If you’re training for your first imperial century, you’ll need to eat well before the ride to make sure you have plenty of energy. The best thing to do is plan out a nutritious, balanced diet a day or two before the big day.
You should aim for at least 150 grams of carbohydrates per meal, as well as some protein and fats. This will help ensure that your body has enough fuel to get through the ride. Make sure you also bring some spare snacks for the road to keep you energized through the ride!
Practice on hilly routes
The road is never completely flat. Sometimes, you have to cross mountains to get to your destination. Before setting off, take a few weeks training on hilly, steep routes so your body knows what to expect during the ride.
It’s all about elevation gain and loss—the amount of elevation change you’ll experience on each route. If you’re going to be climbing up and down mountains all day long when you’re on tour, make sure to train somewhere that has plenty of ups and downs!
Don’t go in with high expectations
The 100-mile ride is a big deal. It’s a really big deal. And it doesn’t matter if you’ve done it before, if you’re a pro cyclist, or if this is your first time ever getting on a bike—it’s going to be challenging.
So don’t come into the ride thinking that you need to be able to do 100 miles in one day right off the bat. If anything, I’d recommend that you go into the ride with an attitude of “anything is possible.” You can do anything if you put your mind to it! And even if you don’t finish the ride, there’s always next time!
Pacing is important
You might want to go as fast as possible to finish your 100 miles as soon as possible, but don’t be hasty! Pace yourself – don’t burn out before you even get halfway! Try to keep your pace steady throughout the ride.
If you’re riding at a good pace, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to keep going for long periods of time. However, if you start off too quickly and then have to slow down once your energy runs out, then it will take longer than necessary for you to complete the entire ride.
Key Takeaway: You can do it!
The truth is that training for a 100-mile bike ride isn’t easy—but it can be fun. It’s not about covering the most ground in a day or taking on ridiculously long rides every weekend. Instead, it’s about building endurance, pedaling steadily for hours on end, and crossing off that massive mark for at least 10 consecutive miles. Based on our test runs and research, here are our free tips for how to train for a century.
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