A Century: 100 miles. Maybe your passion is long-distance riding with your weekend club and dong multiple century events each year. Maybe you are training to enter your first long-distance century ride. Will Power alone won’t get you there. Like a racer, you need to build the energy, muscular, and endurance systems in your body systematically in order to ride strong in a long-distance event. You need to teach your body how to store and process glucose efficiently so your muscles have enough fuel for the event. You need to safely build to a peak so that a last-minute injury doesn’t ruin the goal you have worked so hard for all year long.

Century rides are mass events—sometimes with thousands of riders—and you need to know how to ride safely in a pace line, taking the draft from the rider in front of you, thus conserving energy, and knowing how to safely rotate through to pull for others. Gran Fondos are similar events but they include a timed, competitive component. Sometimes the entire ride is timed and contested; sometimes just a segment (often a long climb) is the timed, contested component.

And, let’s face it, you don’t just want to finish. You want to be fast. Maybe you even have your own private race going on with your buddy, or you want to beat last year’s time. To go the distance at speed you will need some of the same training as a racer, though with less intensity. In this program you will build endurance and speed with enough burst power to catch someone’s wheel and stay in the pace line.

A program for century riders and gran condo riders will ask you to train at least 6–8 hours per week building to 8–12 hours per week as you near your long distance event.