The 100-Mile Goal

Training Plan to do a 100 mile bike ride

Before starting any training plan consult your doctor by obtaining a full physical examination.

In order to be successful on the bike you must be physically and mentally prepared to overcome the challenges of riding a bike. When you ride keep training logs of your miles take into consideration the following:

  • Course
  • Weather
  • Intensity (hills, intervals, steady pace, etc.)
  • Elapsed time
  • Mileage
  • Average speed
  • An assessment of how you felt
  • Stretching time

Mile 185 during a 600K

Keep a log next to your bike so that you can add the information as soon as you are back from a ride. This should take less than 2 minutes. The information you collect will give you specific data of your progress, it will keep you motivated and it will help you avoid overtraining.

Now, how many miles should you ride? When should you start? What is an easy day and what is a hard day? What are intervals? How often should I ride? Many questions like these and more will arise as you start your plan. The following plan is a general plan for the person who wants to finish a century for the first time.

Increasing mileage to your training should be proportional with your fitness level. As a general rule of thumb, increase mileage by 5% – 10% each week, if you have been cycling regularly. It is best to start as soon as you decide you want to ride 100 miles, 12 weeks before is recommended assuming you have had base miles of about 40 – 50 miles a week.

In order to define intensity, divide up your efforts into zones 1 – 4.

Zone 1, an easy day is a leisurely ride that will help you rest, warm up or cool down.

Zone 2, a ride at the pace you will ride the century. This is when knowing the average speed of your long distance bike rides come into play.

Zone 3, it’s the speed faster than your century pace. This becomes the pace you do during intervals.

Zone 4, it’s the maximal effort you can do in a small amount of time 10 seconds to 30 seconds.

Once your zones are defined you can easily create different workout plans for yourself. Always dedicate one day for long rides, one day for zone 4 rides, one day for zone 3 rides and a combination of zones rides.

Incorporate strength training and stretching days to be more successful with your plan. Interval training is defined as a workout with periods of zone 4 or Zone 3 intensity and zone 1 or 2 intensity as recovery. For example an interval to improve speed; warm up for 15 minutes followed by 1 minute of pedaling at zone 4, recover at zone 1 for 2 minutes, repeat 5 times and finish with a cool down. This workout is about 45 minutes, 15 minutes for a warm up, 15 minutes of intervals and 15 minutes of cool-down. Increase repetitions every week for three weeks by adding 2 repetitions each week. After the 3 weeks allow for one week of less intense work so that your body can recover and grow stronger.

Ride 5 to 6 times a week even if some days are only 10 miles. Neurologically your body will adjust to the regimen and advance to a higher level. Physiologically, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules in muscle cells are split to release energy that enables the muscles to contract, however muscles respond to the commands from the central nervous system. Therefore, mind and body is a powerful connection that cannot be undermined. During high intensity workouts as it occurs during an event your mind will overpower your muscles to give that last “push” to fulfill your goal.

I highly recommend hiring an experienced cycling coach to help you attain the best results. Hire a coach in your area who can help you define your zones and accurately prepare a training plan for your success, in the mean time you can start with the following plan.

Monday: Recover from the weekend long ride by either taking a yoga class, riding no more than 10 miles or go to the gym and lift weights for your upper body and core only. Rest the legs!

Tuesday: Do hill interval lasting between 20 seconds to 45 seconds and rest for one minute in between hill repeats. Start with 4 hill repeats. Pick a hill that is 3% to 5% incline. As training increases, add two hill repeats each week until you reach 10 hill repeats as your maximum. This will be considered lower body and core training.

Wednesday: Easy 10 – 20 miles, pick loop near your home to do at your zone 1 pace. This will also help you mentally, especially at mile 90 during your century ride, to give you the last “push” needed to complete your first century.  Another option could be to take the day off and stretch for about 30 minutes or go for a 30 minute walk.

Thursday: Lift weights and ride for about one hour at zone 2, with warm-up and cool down at zone 1.

Friday: Mentally prepare for your long ride on Saturday and ride for about 1 to 2 hours at zones 1 and 2. If you are sore from lifting weights the previous day ride at zone 1 to allow for your body to recover.

Saturday: Go for a club ride where you will be able to chit-chat most of the ride, with its occasional fast pace lines at zone 3. If the pace is too fast for your training, slow down. Another pace line might be just around the corner. The Saturday ride should be fun and taxing to your body. Use it as the day to experiment with food, take note of the amount of water you need, discover favorite foods, find out about equipment positioning, etc. The Saturday rides should be between 40 to 75 mile rides every weekend. The more time you spend on the bike, the easier it will be to ride 100 miles

Sunday: rest day or easy 10-25 miles at zone 1. Keep it short so that you can enjoy the rest of the day with family or friends.

The following matrix shows the recommended miles you should attain as the week progresses. Note the accumulated total miles for the week is based on a gradual progression; week 4 stays with the same total miles as week 3 to help the body adjust to the training. In some instances the total mileage increases but the daily riding miles varies according to the intensity. Some days you might need recovery at the end of the week instead of the beginning of the week. One of the main aspects to keep in mind when training is to listen to your body, if it’s too sore then rest, choose proper meals to recover, a healthy choice of fresh vegetables and fruits can help you recover faster than a greasy meal. If you are gaining weight instead of maintain you current weight or decreasing weight then you might not be fueling your body properly. Injuries and a lack of interest to ride your bike might arise as a consequence of not listening to your body.

Sample of Training Plan to finish a 100 mile ride

Week M T W Th F Sat. Sun. Total miles for the week
1 0 10 12 10 0 30 12 74
2 0 10 12 5 10 35 10 82
3 0 10 10 5 10 40 10 85
4 0 10 15 10 10 40 0 85
5 0 15 15 10 10 45 15 110
6 10 15 20 10 10 50 15 130
7 5 15 20 10 12 50 15 127
8 0 20 20 10 15 60 15 140
9 10 20 25 15 20 55 10 155
10 10 20 20 20 20 70 0 160
11 10 20 25 20 20 65 10 170
12 0 20 25 20 10 65 20 160
Week of the Race 0 20 10 10 10 100 10 160
Zone 1 Zone 3- 4 Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 2 Zone 2 Zone 1

 

Written originally for Marin Cyclists Club by Susan Scarlet-Macaw (Forsman), Exercise Physiologist and USA Cycling Coach II (2005-2009)

Take the Pledge with Every Body Walk!

Take the Pledge I have been working on finishing my thesis paper on the San Francisco Walking Kit. I probably know more about walking for health and wellness than I never knew 5 years ago when I embarked on that research, I have a love hate relationship with my research because I was not a walker before I started the study of 40 individuals, but now I probably walk everyday because of all the benefits of walking. As an athlete, I always have concentrated on performance; how to run my fastest mile even if it’s mile 15, or how to hold a yoga pose, or how fast can I race the Terrible Two Double century. Really, in order to be healthy, I don’t have to be the fastest. In order to have a better quality of life, I do need to exercise regularly. So do you! The more reading I have done on the subject about walking; I see that our problem as a society is not that we are not walking is that we are not moving at all.

Not moving enough during the day is a HUGE problem for the future of our civilization. (Another subject that I am currently working on is plant-based nutrition, they both go hand in hand) There are two issues that we need to address as a society: 1. Incorporate physical activity in schools, 5 days a week from kindergarten to universities. 2. We need to find ways to walk to work, school and around the neighborhood.

Here are two simple ways to get started:

  1. Park ONE mile away from your destination and WALK to work or school.
  2. Three times a week invite a family member or a friend or a co-worker to join you for a 30 minute walk.
theWalkingRevolution

Documentary The Walking Revolution

As an exercise physiologist, I am shocked by the alarming rates of increased heart disease, strokes, obesity and other ailments because of inactivity. I can guarantee that you do not want to be another statistic in the documentation of the American Heart Society. You can do something to improve your health outcome. This time you can have control of your exercise and diet by simply giving yourself a little bit more time to take care of yourself by walking and eating better. You don’t need to run a marathon or complete a triathlon, all you need is 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

During my research I came across this website and you could listen to this 30 minute documentary while you go for a walk 🙂

http://everybodywalk.org/documentary

Staying Motivated with a Coach

Coaching is a subject close to my heart because it has helped me stay motivated. I’ve had running coaches, a cycling coach and a triathlon coach whom have helped me when I wanted to get better in my sports. I also have a psychologist who guides me to continue to have a positive outlook. All the advice I have received has been to have a positive attitude during good and difficult times. I have learned that by being kinder towards myself I have become happier, more effective and motivated. These have helped me to become kinder and better in my relationships with other people too. This is a plus, especially knowing that we are all interconnected.

Coaching has many uses, but mainly it helps us with staying with goals that we want to achieve. I believe that the best way to ensure kindness and compassion towards oneself when choosing what goals to accomplish is to try the best we can and create stepping stones with percentages to reach desired goals. For example, committing to exercise 6 days a week for 30 minutes each day and attain 80% of that goal. You will still be within the guidelines of exercising most days of the week for at least 150 minutes at moderate intensity.

A coach helps by listening about your personal beliefs and guides you to make behavior and lifestyle changes. A coach helps see the client the contrasting behaviors of a particular lifestyle. For example, in instances when you eat a lot; the consequences could be indigestion, weigh gain, and less mobility. If you do not want to feel poorly about your health then you will try to be aware of your behavior and change it. It is not easy, but a coach can help you stay focused and teach you how to be kind and disciplined during your time of transformation. More importantly, you need to be kind to yourself, after all you are developing habits within yourself to become more self-reliant and stronger through life’s ups and downs.

Coaching relates to your overall wellness and the little things you can do for yourself to be kind and compassionate. Even reaching 80% of a goal is better than 50%. When you are kind to yourself then you are able to share that experience with others. Even if you are not the sharing type of person, I have learned that spending more time in nature and in silence to relax recharges me. I LOVE running because it allows me to feel my body, to hear nature and at times it provides the mental relaxation in order to focus on the goals I choose to pursue.

Now that we are 4 days into the new year, make more conscious choices about positive habits you want flowing into your mind. Don’t forget to avoid negative people or thoughts that bring hurtful judgements into your mind. Old habits will always lurk in your mind but if you explore your mind with kindness and compassion you can attain new healthy habits.

You do not have to do it alone, ask a friend for help, hire a therapist, hire a coach. You are worth the investment of your time on yourself. When you step outside of your comfort zone there is a chance of making a mistake, maybe you start your exercise program too quickly or you start a romantic relationship too early in your healing process after a break up, either way, see it as an opportunity to learn about you and use what you learn to avoid making the same mistakes again.

Be your own coach with kindness, compassion and respect. The world is full of beauty, enjoy it!

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11 days to 2015 – I will start exercising!

Moab Trail RunDid you start thinking about your 2015 resolutions? Did you write them down? Are you thinking of giving up the resolution about increasing your exercise? Don’t do it yet! I know it’s easier said than done, but you can write it down again, the Resolution that reads: I will start exercising!

I will start exercising, can refer to your desire to start walking again, to start running, to go back to the gym, to try a new sport. It doesn’t matter what it will be, what matters is that you can look at your calendar and plan your days of exercise. Since I competed in high school and college as a runner, I tend to think that I can just start a run and go from 0 miles to 6 miles in one day, but it is harder to do so now that I’m getting older. I still try though, normally, I end up paying the price with an injury and able to only go for bike rides. Bike rides are fun too, but in the winter months, running and walking it’s much easier!

If you look at a calendar right now, you have 11 days to start exercising. You will be getting a jump start to your 2015 resolution. If you haven’t exercised in the past three weeks or more, I recommend you start walking and running/jogging in between. It will ease your leg muscles and joints into the exercise routine; it will help you prevent injuries.

Here is a two week period of runs

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Beginner/

Intermediate

Week 1 Tempo Rest Speed Stretch Easy Long run Easy
Week 2 Rest Tempo Rest Speed Stretch Easy Long run

A tempo run is a workout that stresses your body to the point of reaching your lactate threshold. This is the point where your body is not able to keep up with the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle tissue. A tempo run teaches your body to use oxygen going to the muscles more efficiently. Your muscles learn how to use the byproduct of lactic acid more efficiently. In time that threshold will increase but you need to stress the body with tempo running, strength training and even plyometrics at least once a week for each.

Rest is just a time for you to go for a walk or just take the day off from exercise. There is nothing wrong with rest. Of course, I didn’t say sit on the couch all day. Just be mindful of your day and maybe just go for a 20 minute walk insatead.

Speed workout means doing intervals. Two ways of doing interval is to walk and jog, jog and run or run and sprint. The ideas is to do one activity for 1 minute hard, 2 minutes easy. This is the most simplistic way to get you focused on the goal of “Start Exercising”

A long run is anything longer than what you did the other days of the week.

Send me an e-mail to learn about a specific workout for your goals. For now, just start exercising. Your body will love you for it.

Home Gym and Meditation

Step-by-step guide to building a home gym and meditation area for any space on any budget!

Do you want to have space for yourself to exercise at home but don’t think you have room—in your home or your bank account? Try the following suggestions to get started.


Step 1: Find a space in your home that you can dedicate to your workouts/meditation
First, you need to decide where you want to set up your home gym. The spare bedroom, office, basement, or even a hallway or patio, are all great spaces for exercise. And if you don’t have a spare room, a small area in your living room can double as your workout space.

For your meditation, you can purchase a “cushion” or sit on a chair, all you need is an area large enough to sit for a few minutes a day.

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Step 2: Unclutter the space
Make sure that the space is clean and that you have an area to do sit ups or an area large enough to lay on the floor and comfortably stretch. Add a plant to the space which can help boost oxygen levels in the room. Ferns, and bamboo plants are great indoor air purification powers.

You can add a mirror since it will be a helpful tool for feedback on your form during the exercises; a mirror can also help to open up a space and reflect the light from the windows.

For your meditation, I find the smell of incense calming or the smell and look of a candle. These few objects seem to put me in the mood to settle down.

Step 3: Items for home gym/meditation
All you need is a floor mat, a free hand weights or bands. You don’t need to clutter your space with heavy equipment if you don’t want to do so.

Once you define a routine, you can purchase a stability and/or medicine ball to improve your balance and not just your strength.

Start with something simple and then gradually build up according to the workouts you will be performing. During the holidays, you can ask Santa for them. Another option is to visit garage sales or thrift stores. I have trained clients and helped friends at their homes with a set up just like this. (Review by Joanne Weir)

The meditation cushion and the Zabuton mat (Zen practice) can be purchased at stores worldwide and soon will be provided by Exercise and Wellness.
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Step 4: Organize your space
Once you are done with your workout, you’ll need to store your items in between workouts, especially if you’re using the living room. A small basket can hold your resistance bands, dumbbells, and other fitness gear, such as yoga blocks.

Your meditation area, can be left as is, it will be easier to get inspired in the morning or the afternoon to bring awareness to your actions. It will be easier to feel motivated and to tune in to what’s going on in your mind, body, and the outside world, moment by moment.

Step 5: Use your Space
Set aside 30 minutes a day and follow the routine explained in this blog, click 07231201 to download.

For your meditation, set aside 5 to 10 minutes each day and follow the instruction by Mark Williams and Danny Penman from the book Mindfulness An Eight-week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World.

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Step 5: Share your Experience
In order to keep you motivated invite a friend, family member or significant other to see how you are creating new health habits for your exercise and wellness to live wholeheartedly!

To purchase some of the items in the pictures, feel free to send me a note. The cushions will be made in the US by my mother 😉 Estimated pricing for the set $110.