Training for a century bike run can be a daunting task as it is a difficult accomplishment for a beginner to the sport. It is common to be concerned about the type of training and how to begin training for this type of run. Many people who are new to century bike runs make the mistake of limiting the training, which can be dangerous. Without training correctly, your successful 100 mile bike ride can quickly turn into serious injuries. This is an endurance event that requires you to be both mentally and physically prepared. In order to have a fun and accomplished ride, the best advice a seasoned century rider can give, is to have a solid training plan in place.

Century Training Plan

The amount of training time to successfully and safely complete a century bike depends on your specific level of cycling ability. If you are new to cycling or have never participated in a marathon, it is crucial that you begin training at least three months in advance in order to be physically and mentally prepared. The goal is to be able to comfortably complete 2-4, 25 mile rides each week. The first week you should attempt to get in one, 25 mile run that is spread out over 5 days, so you will ride for at least 5 miles each day for five days. Gradually increase the mileage each week, until you are safely completely 100 miles a week. It is vital to pace yourself and not ride for longer than 1-2 hours at a time until your body is ready.


Practice improves perfection, so anything you expect to encounter on the day of the run, must be practiced beforehand. You will be riding in a variety of terrain so it is important that you practice riding on hills, rough terrain and flat areas. One of the easiest ways to get used to how each terrain feels is to practice at least once per week on an indoor bike such as a recumbent exercise bike. This type of indoor bicycle typically has a variety of terrain settings to choose from and they include a heart monitor which allows you to keep track of the cardio improvements you are making. On days when the weather is too severe for a practice run, use the exercise bike and do an upper body workout that you are comfortable with.

Nutritional Preparation

Having good nutritional habits is very important during the months leading up to a century bike run. If you get in the habit of eating healthy several months before the event, your body will be more prepared to handle the lengthy run much easier. Drink plenty of water every day and eat full servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. On the day of the race, avoid eating a large breakfast and pack foods to snack on that will provide energy such as protein bars, peanut butter and fruits. Remember to always have a water bottle with you during your training rides as well as on race day.

Safety First

During practice and training sessions, wear the helmet and shoes you will be wearing on race day. Make sure the cycle you will be riding during training and race day is in tuned up, all parts are in excellent condition and remember to check the tyres before and after training. Be prepared for anything that may be encountered, such as weather, malfunctions with the bicycle and physically needs such as bathroom breaks and plan for them accordingly. Prepare yourself mentally by getting plenty of rest. If you have trained safely beforehand and mentally prepared yourself for the event, you will have an enjoyable race.

Did we miss anything? Please add your own training and preparation tips below.