It’s my first LONG DAY for Century Training (a century is 100 miles, so I have a lot of work to do!).  Today, I am riding 40 miles, which I expect to take  me a little less than 3 hours.


Long days (whether it’s running, biking, or something else) serve two purposes in my mind:


  • Get your body and your mind ready for the ultimate distance.
  • Help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, especially in terms of clothing, food, and bathroom habits, as well as pacing.


A Century bike ride is a LOT different than a marathon.  My heart rate isn’t as intense as it would be if I were running a marathon… but it’s still a slow burn.   The ride takes a LOT longer than a (running) marathon to finish.  I’m anticipating it will take me about 7 hours to wrap it up.


When I did the Metric Century, which is 60 miles, it took me 4:30 hours to finish (race recap).


I ate some solid food during the Metric Century, but I also relied on Goo.  I know that I’m going to have to get used to eating real food while riding because there’s no way I can make it 7 hours without taking in SERIOUS calories.  During the Century race, I’ll burn at least 4,000 extra calories, which is more than DOUBLE than what I burned during a marathon.


So, the purpose of my long rides will be to figure out what works best for me in terms of pre-ride and mid-ride fuel.  (I also need to get a new pack for my bike so I can carry more stuff.)


Today I’m experimenting with eating a more protein-rich breakfast:


Normally I have peanut butter on two slices of toast with fruit, but I’m curious to see how I handle a bagel, vegetarian sausage, and egg sandwich.


Plus, an orange:


I can eat something a little ‘heavier’ on my tummy because cycling doesn’t create the same sort of jostling motion!


Well, I better get out there – according to, it looks like it’s going to rain soon.  It’s now or never!



  • Alyssa March 28, 2010, 11:13 am

    Good luck!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs March 28, 2010, 11:15 am

    Wow good luck!! 40miles…I biked 6 miles once and was so tired after, it hurts the legs!!
    How on earth do you eat and ride a bike at the same time, when you’re all crouched down? I’ll look forward to seeing how that works out 🙂

    • Caitlin March 28, 2010, 2:42 pm

      i stopped to eat 🙂

  • Keri March 28, 2010, 11:15 am

    Good luck on your long ride! That is a long time to bike by yourself! Hope the weather holds up for you…

  • Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness March 28, 2010, 11:16 am

    Good luck on that long ride! Hope the breakfast was good to hold you over!! 🙂

  • Faith @ LovelyasCharged March 28, 2010, 11:16 am

    Dang, good luck! That’s a heck of a ride!

  • christie, honoring health March 28, 2010, 11:22 am

    Good luck! So interesting to see how the riding differs from the marathon training.

  • Jenny March 28, 2010, 11:27 am

    Biking is serious stuff! I want to try it, but only have
    beach cruiser:)

  • Lisa @ Early Morning Run March 28, 2010, 11:32 am

    I’m in awe of anyone who tackles a race like this! Good luck with your ride today and figuring out your fuel. Fuel is so important when it comes to having a successful ride/run.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 28, 2010, 11:34 am

    Good luck!!! Biking is HARD… I can only imagine doing that many miles! You rock girl!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg March 28, 2010, 11:37 am

    Good luck! I can’t even wrap my mind around being on a bike for that long. It makes my butt sore just thinking about it 🙂 Guess that’s why they make padded shorts, huh?

  • Monica (Musings of the Granola Girl) March 28, 2010, 11:40 am

    Great advice on distances 🙂

    I can’t even fathom a 4 hour and 30 minute bike ride, cheers to you!!

  • Holly March 28, 2010, 11:42 am

    Good luck with your ride! That bagel looks great as well. Fuel!

  • Katherine March 28, 2010, 11:43 am

    Have an awesome ride. Great fuel 🙂

  • Lesley March 28, 2010, 12:02 pm

    Have an awesome ride! Why is it that you burn so many more calories biking rather than running?

    • Bronwyn March 28, 2010, 12:09 pm

      I bet it has more to do with the amount of time she’s cycling, it’s 7hours over 4 and a bit. I think per mile running is the biggest calorie burner.

      • Caitlin March 28, 2010, 2:43 pm

        running per miles is about 80 calories (for a 120 pound woman) and cycling is more like 40. the only reason i burn more during a century is it’s 4 times as long (mileage wise)

  • Jessica Lee March 28, 2010, 12:04 pm

    wow, you’re doing a really long ride. good luck and have fun!

  • Bronwyn March 28, 2010, 12:08 pm

    Have a good ride! 40miles is a lot. I feel a need to start getting back out on my bike.

  • clay March 28, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Good luck!

  • Star March 28, 2010, 12:14 pm

    Wow. Very cool. I’m interested to hear how it goes. I love learning the effect of different types of food on training. And that Century ride burns 4000 calories?! That is incredible!

  • Lauren @ A Fit Foodie March 28, 2010, 12:17 pm

    Have a great ride!! I definitely agree about mentally preparing! It’s a huge part of starting and finishing a run/ride/race or whatever!! Hope you avoid the rain!

  • Amy March 28, 2010, 12:34 pm

    You should get a Bento Box for your bike. It attaches to the stem and top tube of the bike and you can store bars/snacks/etc. in it! They’re pretty cheap (about $15?) and definitely worth it for the long rides.

  • Eliana >^..^ March 28, 2010, 12:42 pm

    I just started running a few months ago and have done 4 5K races, I really want to get more into it since I am loving it. I also would like to do some triathlons but I find that you need a lot of expensive equipment to do this. DO you mind telling me how much was your bike/helmet and other things you needed for cycling? I am so scared to know how much all of the equipment would be.


    Eliana >^..^<

    • Caitlin March 28, 2010, 2:45 pm

      check out this post:

      it is expensive but you dont have to buy everything all at once. you just need a helmet, shorts, bike, and gloves to start. you can wait on stuff like clip-in shoes.

      • HTP Dad March 29, 2010, 9:22 am

        If you shop Target or Wal-Mart, you can usually find reasonably priced helmets that meet CPSC standards.
        I’ve bought shorts from Kucharik online that were ok (thousands of miles – but everyone is different. High end clothes like Pearl Izumi are great, but much more expensive.
        I disagree with Caitlin on the shoes – if you really are going to ride as a regular sport, buy them. If you shop around, you can get them for about the price of running shoes.
        Clothing has a lot in common with high end bike components I called jewelry – slightly better, way more expensive, and for most situations shop cheap – if something is uncomfortable, move up a step.

        • Eliana >^..^ March 30, 2010, 9:49 pm

          THanks for the replies, really appreciate it

  • Lily @ Lily's Health Pad March 28, 2010, 1:01 pm

    Wow, 7 hours! That is one long race. Biking tires me out more than running. I don’t understand how it burns less calories. It kills me!

  • lauren @ Eater not a runner March 28, 2010, 1:02 pm

    Good luck on the ride!! I’m always interested about how people fuel for endurance sports, can’t wait to hear more!

  • Kelly March 28, 2010, 1:14 pm

    Wowzers good luck with the 40 miles, I think my butt would fall off. Can’t wait to hear how it went.

  • ida March 28, 2010, 1:22 pm

    hope you had a great ride! i’m sure last night was some great fuel for today.

  • Run Sarah March 28, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Good luck on your ride! Love that photo from the Metric Century – you look so hardcore!

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) March 28, 2010, 1:33 pm

    I’m the same with heavy meals and biking…I can definitely stomach more food than when I’m running, which is nice since I normally feel hungrier when I’m biking anyways. 😀

    Good luck on the ride! 😀

  • Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) March 28, 2010, 1:44 pm

    Sounds like a full day but at least you have gorgeous weather to accompany your ride. Certainly better than doing those miles on a stationary bike. 😉

  • Julie March 28, 2010, 1:47 pm

    woah! what a long bike ride! that’s awesome! great breakfast fuel!

  • Theresa (ActiveEggplant) March 28, 2010, 1:59 pm

    You should totally look into the “feed bags” Epic Ride Research sells. My hubby just ordered some for a 100 mile mountain bike ride he’s doing – his friend Karlos is a SERIOUS endurance mountain biker and swears by them. You can keep just about anything in them and they hang on your handlebars so you can eat while you’re riding! (They market them as MBT feet bags, but we’ve seen them used on road bikes too…)
    Hope your ride went well!

    • Caitlin March 28, 2010, 2:45 pm

      thanks for this recommendation!

      • ActiveEggplant March 30, 2010, 11:11 am

        A quick note – my husband’s feed bag came in last night. These things are GREAT! They are definitely NOT aerodynamic so if you’re looking for speed I wouldn’t go for them. But if you’re not worried about it, I would definitely check them out. They’re really sturdy on the bike (don’t flap around) and hold a surprising amount of stuff. We’ve already tried getting them onto our road bikes – just have to strap attach the bottom strap to your stem instead of the fork.

        • caitlin March 30, 2010, 12:44 pm

          thanks for the follow up! i’m going to look into them for sure.

  • Rae March 28, 2010, 2:04 pm

    Try a bento box for snacks…they attach on your top stem, so you can just reach down and grab a granola bar/goo etc. I have one and it fits about 5 gels and they never go anywhere…truly a necessity! I got mine online at, they are pretty cheap!

    • Caitlin March 28, 2010, 2:45 pm

      going to check on this, too! thanks!

  • Megan March 28, 2010, 2:08 pm

    have fun on your ride! I think all of florida is getting drenched today. Tampa is supposed to get rain shortly.

  • Candice March 28, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Have fun on your ride – hope it doesn’t rain on you too much!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople March 28, 2010, 2:21 pm

    Wow, 4,000 extra calories! I don’t know if I would ever be able to ride a bike for that long. My poor non-existant butt couldn’t take it!

  • Catherine March 28, 2010, 3:18 pm

    Good luck on your bike ride! I had my long run yesterday and learned a verrrry important lesson on testing out new gu’s. Gastric disaster at mile 16 – Oy!

  • Ashley March 28, 2010, 3:23 pm

    There is a website called Just found it by mistake. 🙂

  • caronae March 28, 2010, 3:31 pm

    Hope it went well! Fueling for endurance stuff can be such a challenge. It’s good you’re figuring it out ahead of time!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle March 28, 2010, 3:46 pm

    Hope you had a great ride…. I just got done stuffing my face after a 20 mile run. I’m looking forward to some nice long rides once I get done with spring marathons!!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) March 28, 2010, 3:59 pm

    I agree and love trying stuff out ahead of race day. That’s how I’ve figured what works for mid race fuel for me instead of the sport beans and goo I can’t have.

  • Carolina John March 28, 2010, 8:40 pm

    my next big race is a century ride too, so i’ve got to start training for it on monday. oh, those weekend long rides are going to get really really long!

  • Jolene ( March 28, 2010, 9:46 pm

    I have never been able to find those veggie sausages … I think I would like them.

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