Couch to 100k?
May 28, 2008 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Is there a good program to follow to build endurance and cardiovascular fitness on a road bike? I have read previous questions (this seeming the most relevant), but was hoping to find something that was highly structured like the couch to 5K program for runners. How do I do a couch to 100k? I have a nice new road bike and time over the summer.
posted by procrastination to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
base miles base miles base miles base miles base miles aka LSD. Really-its nothing glamorous. Develop a solid aerobic base and everything will fall into place. Find a reason to ride.

Also, if it helps, see if you can join a local club ride. Check with your local bike shop. Most clubs/groups have 'no-drop' rides at least once a week.
posted by neilkod at 3:44 PM on May 28, 2008

Remember when you were a kid and you went out and rode your bike til you were tired and then stopped and then did it again the next day? There's your program. Logs and diets and intervals and heart rates and crap are for squeezing out the last 1% of what you've got to give, but the first 99% is just get out and ride. If it's hot out, drink some stuff. The most important principle is to end your rides wanting to do it again.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:46 PM on May 28, 2008

Best answer: Honestly this is a lot easier than starting to run.

Join a club. Spinning is good in the dark seasons during the week.

I did a quick google and actually found Map my ride which seems a good alternative to Bikely which I've been using. The biggest issue is finding good distance rides so sites like this will help you get going.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:32 PM on May 28, 2008

Oh and get a bike computer so you can figure out on your own how far you're going.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:32 PM on May 28, 2008

"Ride Lots." Eddie Merckx

"Ride a bike. Ride a Bike. Ride a bike." Fausto Coppi

"It never gets easier, you just go faster. " Greg Lemond

When you're turning the crankset, you're riding the bike. When you're coasting, you're just along for the ride. Ned Overend
posted by TDIpod at 4:47 PM on May 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

In bike-speak, the equivalent to a marathon is a 'century', that is, a bike ride of 100 miles.

Most people will train for several weeks before they're fit enough to attempt 100 miles in a day.

Googling for 'century training' produced this document, which looks to be a good baseline:

But overall, neilkod is right. It's all about seat-time.
posted by Wild_Eep at 4:49 PM on May 28, 2008

I'd say a double century is more of the "marathon" - there's also the metric equivalents: 100km, 200km. Then there's brevets..

Just ride. Everyone is right. Ride 25 miles one day, get sore, and then do it again in 3-4 days to feel how quickly your body adapts.
posted by kcm at 5:17 PM on May 28, 2008

i use these to train for triathlons

beginner triathlete training plans

you could just skip the the running and swimming and insert the biking from the second week.
posted by nanhey at 5:38 PM on May 28, 2008

I had misgivings even before I saw that your name was "Procrastination". That's because yours is the kind of question sometimes asked by someone who has trouble motivating themselves. Such people also sometimes ask what kind of special equipment they need, as if they're looking for a magic bullet. Hey, I'm not making conclusions, just noting the warning signs. Anyway, I think you should take Wolfdog's advice, at least at first. And beware of some of these ambitious schemes-- centuries, double centuries(gack!), which can --"can", mind you-- backfire and make you not ride or put off riding.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 8:12 PM on May 28, 2008

Response by poster: My name is procrastination because that was what I used metafilter for originally. I am actually pretty disciplined and organized, so don't let the handle fool you. I am just busy enough that I do better scheduling things and sticking to the schedule.

I appreciate the just go and ride, and that desire is why I bought a new bike, after riding the same mountain bike for 15 years. I just have been using the new bike for a short commute, and want to get in better shape without overdoing it and getting turned off or hurting myself. I guess I will use Map My Ride to find some rides in my area that I can build up with over time.

Thanks for the answers.
posted by procrastination at 9:44 PM on May 28, 2008

Chris Carmichael, Lance's trainer, has a website with some good stuff, and some books. He will teach you how to vary your workouts for speed, tempo and endurance.
posted by caddis at 12:48 AM on May 29, 2008

It depends on how goal-oriented you are. It sounds like you enjoy riding for its own sake, so I would just apply the same concept, but go out for longer rides. Group rides are great because they push you to go further, on different roads, and you get to meet people. The fitness to do a metric century is just a side benefit.

The main idea is to get your body used to riding for the approximate time for your "goal" event. If you expect to do a metric century in, say, three hours, then you need to train your body to put out that effort level for that time. Learn how to drink and eat on the bike. It's not a three hour training ride if you stop at a diner or bakery for an hour in the middle; it's two 90-minute rides.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:02 AM on May 29, 2008

Best answer: Now that I am truly awake, here are some cites:

Carmichael's articles
The Lance Armstrong Performance Program: 7 Weeks to the Perfect Ride
The Ultimate Ride

I think the Armstrong book, co-authored by Carmichael, is a pretty good fit for what you seek.
posted by caddis at 9:00 AM on May 29, 2008

I haven't ridden for a few years but the biggest help to my riding was a solid technique. Developing a smooth pedal stroke at a high cadence without rocking really pays off, I wish I had focused on it sooner in my riding. Just a tip.
posted by jade east at 3:14 PM on May 29, 2008

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