2020 Huntington Towpath Century Ride

Time to Get Serious About Training

It seems that old man winter may have finally decided it was time to go into hiding for a few months, so it’s time to get ourselves in shape for a 101 mile bike ride in June. 

I’ve been doing the Huntington Towpath Century Ride since it began and have always followed the “start small and get bigger” approach to training rides before the actual event.  Everyone should have a good idea what would be a good distance to establish as goal the first ride of the season.  Biking should be fun and although you may want to push yourself that first time out, a good experience on that first ride will help encourage you to do more rides (longer rides) and get into the training “habit”.

Riding at least once on the weekends and doing one or two mid-week rides is ideal but, sometimes not possible with our busy schedules.  By adding a few miles to each outing will soon have you doing some mileage that will get your legs in shape for the Century Ride.

I usually do 20-25 miles on my first serious ride of the season and by adding 5 miles or so to each successive time, within a few weeks I am up to 50 miles.  I have always tried to get at least one 50–55 mile ride in before our event as, the excitement and encouragement of other riders will get me through the 65+ of Day 1 of the Century Ride.

If you plan to do the entire 101 miles in one day, your training goal should be to get to at least 80 miles in training before the June event weekend.

Last year I did do the entire 101 in one day but, I had a good training season and felt that I could do it.  The final miles were difficult but, I made it.  And, I came back the next day to do the 35 New Philly to Massillon ride with my grandson.

You will find that the miles seem to roll by quicker if you have a friend or friends to train with you.  This year we will be having some organized group rides that we will be telling you about.  The first one will be Saturday, May 4th starting at the Lock 23 Trailhead in Peninsula at 7:00am.   The plan is to ride south to the Northside Station area, return to Peninsula then, continue north toward Rockside Road and return to Peninsula.  This would be a total of 52 miles for anyone who does the entire ride but, if time or tired legs come into play, riders are free to ride a distance that works for the situation.

At this point, we will hold these training rides only on weekends but, if there is interest, we may try some afterwork, early evening rides, too. 

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