Headwaters 100 Training Plan

Headwaters 100 Training Plan

The Course
The Headwaters 100 Bike Event is a very scenic 100 mile ride through the lakes and forests of Northern Minnesota. It is a hilly ride with 1,447 feet of elevation gain total. The ride starts out with relatively small rolling hills for the first 25 miles; then gets hilly for the next 50, including through Itasca State Park. Once back on Hwy 40 for the second time it flattens out, and the last 10 miles are on a paved railroad grade and flat again. Water and food stops are 17 to 25 miles apart. Plan on riding for an hour and a half between food/water stops.

The Weather
The weather is variable. Typically it is cool in the morning, with temps rising to the 70s in the afternoon. Bright sunshine and fall colors are the norm; however, we have had rain and wind with 40 degree temps. Bring rain gear and warm clothing. There are clothing drops at the food stops.

Gear You Will Need

  • 12 to 21 speed bike in good repair
  • Helmet
  • Pump
  • Extra tire and patch kit
  • Padded bike shorts
  • Bike gloves
  • Jacket and rain gear
  • Cycle computer
  • Sunscreen

Knowledge You Will Need

  • How to change a flat tire
  • How to get a chain back on
  • Traffic and safety rules
  • Riding in a group
  • General Biking Tips
    Get a good bike fit from a good shop before you start your training. Have your bike serviced by a mechanic at the start of your training and again two weeks before the Headwaters 100 Ride.
  • Make sure your shoes, helmet and clothing fit properly.
  • Join a bike group for a ride once a week.
  • Teach yourself to ride with higher cadence
  • Learn to stand and pedal on your bike; then stand for 30 seconds for every 10 minutes you ride. Your body will thank you for it.
  • Learn all your gears and how to use them. All the front chainrings and rear gears.

Specific Training and Biking Tips for the Headwaters 100

  • Start early and pace yourself for an easy start going at a conversational pace for most of the entire ride.
  • Ride the hills once a week in your training.
  • Standing on the hills will get you to the top faster and wear you out faster: stay seated and lower your gearing.
  • Have a breakfast 2-4 hours before the start of the morning’s ride. Then eat at each feeding station. You should consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrates for every hour you are riding. Drink water every 10 minutes.
  • Getting out and riding in the wind, and maybe even the rain, will help a lot on the day of the ride.
  • Riding with others will help you gain skills you may not have both in your training and on the day of the Headwaters 100.

Headwaters 100 Training Plan Details

This training plan can be used by beginner, intermediate, or advance century riders. Beginners use Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Intermediate riders add Saturday to your week. Advanced riders add Friday and Saturday. The total mileage is listed in the last column as B (beginner), I (Intermediate), or A (Advanced).

Tuesday Hills:  The Headwaters 100 is a hilly ride with 1,447 feet of elevation gain. This day is for you to get out and ride hills. Pick out a hilly ride, even if it is shorter than your required mileage, because you can repeat the route over and over. Stay at a steady effort and don’t push the hills too hard at first. By week 10 you can push some as your legs will be getting stronger by then. In general, this is a steady moderate effort (you should be able to talk, but in shorter bouts).

Sunday Long: This is the meat of this plan and the most important ride of the week. This ride will teach your aerobic system to go longer and longer. Start out at an easy steady pace, and allow your effort to go into the moderate zone later in the ride.

Saturday Moderate for Intermediates: If you have done a century ride before, or if you are athletic in general, and with other recent athletic experience, add this day to your plan. Stay at a steady moderate effort throughout the ride mileage.

Friday Brisk Ride for Advanced Biker: In addition to adding Saturday’s ride to your schedule, add this one also. You have done multiple century rides and are looking to do it faster. Here is how:

  • Week 1-4: Ride a moderate steady pace to warm up. The 6 x 1 min. hard fast pace, with two minutes easy between the hard parts.
  • Week 5-8: Warm up easy, then 6 x 3 min. hard and fast, with three minutes in between.
  • Week 9 & 10: Warm up easy for 15 minutes. Then steady hard pace for 10 min, easy for 10 min, steady hard again for 10 min. Cool down for 15 minutes, or the remainder of your ride.
  • Week 11: Warm up 15 minutes, then steady hard for 20 minutes, cool down easy remainder.
  • Week 12: Warm up 15, steady hard for 25 min, cool down easy remainder.
  • Week 14: Warm up 15, steady hard for 30 min, cool down easy remainder.