Monthly Archives: January 2013

Dr. V’s Century Training Plan

Stage Coach CenturyAfter riding 4-6 centuries/year for about the last 10 years, I am occasionally asked about my training and nutritional preparations for an event. So I have put them together in this central location. The nutritional prep will be covered in a follow up blog.

The first step is to know the event vitals that you are preparing for. How much total elevation gain is on the course, and where in the event are the climbs located? What will the conditions be? Are there any specific rules, like no drafting for solo riders? Are there timed, king of the mountain segments? Is the whole event timed or is it a more recreationally structured event?

Then, depending on the goals and conditions of the event, I will begin structuring a plan several months ahead. If is a flat, recreational event like the Palm Springs Century I will continue long, flat “base mileage” type training that occurs at about 65% of my max heart rate predominantly. Then as the season progresses to the more aggressive  bigger climb events, I will incorporate far more higher intensity and climbing into my training while maintaining at least one longer ride per week.

Training leading up to the event shifts slightly. If it is a more recreational/training type event then my “taper” preparation for the event would simply be 3 days of very light rides at 65% for less then 1 hour. If it is an event I intend to truly peak for and intend to compete at my best, then I would “taper” for 2 weeks. This 2 week period might be as little as 1 60-90 minute ride in zone 2 every-other-day. This is less ideal for over all progress, so I only plan to peak like this for 2-3 events per year typically.

Thanks to the help of Big Red Coaching I have implemented “opener’s” the day before  events. Opener’s are done by going for a gentle zone 2 (65%) one hour ride. Midway during that ride I will take 2 one minute segments on a gentle grade where I aggressively progress from zone 2 to as high as I can get my heart rate (zone 6). If I am well rested, which is ideal for a competitive event, I will be able to get pretty near to my max heart rate. If I am poorly prepared and under rested, my heart rate will not get nearly as high. That is a bad sign if I am looking to peak for the event. By implementing these I have found that I can begin riding at a competitive race pace much faster at the start of the event. Meaning I need far less warm up before feeling “all in!”

These same principles work well for marathon and half marathon type training. I hope you find some value in this for your own training and I wish the very best in your pursuit of optimal fitness. Check out the next post which will cover my dieting/hydration shifts prior to and during an event. God bless.

DrV wheelie


There are anti-nutrient nutrients in oats called phytates that can leach your body of vitamins. By soaking the oats with spelt which is high in phytic acid to neutralize these negative effects we get a glorious, guiltless granola. By soaking nuts with it we add valuable, blood sugar stabilizing good fats and protein.


Step one soaking:

4 cups steel cut oats

4 cups spelt flakes

2 cubes (1 cup) butter

14 ounces of unsweetened, vanilla almond milk

3 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar

8 ounces of raw walnut baking pieces or 1-8 ounce bag of raw sliced almonds 

In a saucepan gently melt the butter, mix in the vinegar, almond milk and water. Poor these blended ingredients into a bowl with the oats, spelt flakes and nuts. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cover and let them sit (soak) about 24 hours.

Step 2:  Baking

3/4 cup organic honey

3/4 cup organic maple syrup

2 tsp Celtic sea salt

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp pure vanilla extract

4-6 scoops of your favorite protein powder (rice or pea based protein for most blood types)

After soaking time is complete, preheat oven to 170. Place a glass measuring cup in a saucepan of warm water. Mix in the above ingredients (minus the protein powder) warming to soften and mix them. Once they are liquid, with an oven mitt or pot holder, poor the honey mixture over the soaked mixture. Mix in thoroughly and then add the protein powder.

Once the ingredients are fully combined, evenly spread them over 2 Pampered Chef bar pans or pizza stones.  The Nourishing Home recommends parchment paper on baking sheets. Baking time varies widely. In my old oven at 140 it took at least 8 hours. In our new convection oven that’s lowest temperature is 170 it may take 4-6. After 2-3 hours in the oven, break it into small pieces using a fork. This will speed cooking and give it that yummy, bite size granola feel. Cook to your desired crispiness. Therefore checking occasionally after about 4 hours. After cooked and cooled I put the guilt-free grand granola in 2 one gallon seal-able bags and store in in the refrigerator to preserve freshness, though it is fine outside for long periods of time.

I enjoy this fine granola as a post work-out snack/meal, breakfast food, dessert, or even sometimes before big rides when I have sufficient time to digest pre-ride. Enjoy it with almond, or rice milk and your favorite, highly beneficial berries. The original recipe from which I plagiarized this, along with many other great recipes  can be found at The Nourishing Home.