Best Training Plan Selections for Fast 100 Mile Gran Fondo Road Race

Hi

In June 2021 (COVID-pending) I’m hoping to be taking part in a 100 mile quite flat (2000ft of climbing) Gran Fondo road race (UCI worlds qualifier).

There seems to be lots of options on the table, and it looks like potentially I have time to complete 2 blocks of training.

I’m 28 weeks out, with options appear to be combinations/repeats of:

  1. Full Century (12 Weeks)
  2. Mountainous/Hilly Gran Fondo (12 Weeks)
  3. All-Purpose Road (12 Weeks)
  4. Power Builder (6 Weeks)

Has anyone got any advice/experience to guide me in the right direction?

Many thanks

Mike

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I’m also planning to do a similar event next summer, although with a lot more climbing (Alpine event). I’m starting off with the All-Purpose Road plan (I’m a couple of weeks in this now), followed by a 3 or 4 week base block for recovery and then moving on to the Mountainous/Hilly GF plan. I’m thinking it’s a good idea to have a recovery block in-between the 12 week plans. That’s my plan anyway at the moment.

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I have a 100 Mile event the first week of May that I am hoping for and am into the all purpose and plan the hilly grand fondo plan up to the event. Currently, I added the yoga, strength and mindset elements and these are nice complements to the riding. I plan to continue both. There is about four weeks in between the plans that I am not certain about yet. Good luck!

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Yes, this exactly what I have planned for. Curious to hear from others.

I would suggest a couple of options depending on where you consider your current strengths/areas for improvement:

  1. All purpose road --> 4 week Volcano Climbing --> Full Century
    Build on all round fitness before doing a little bit of extra focus on your hill climbing and then the Full century to feel prepped and ready for your event.

  2. Moutainous/Hill Gran Fondo --> 3 week FTP Blocks --> 1 week FF prep plan --> Full Century
    If you already have an established base level fitness, spend some time focusing on the climbing aspect and then a building bock for your sustained efforts before redoing FF so you have accurate targets in the final 12 weeks prepping for the event

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Thanks for all of your your responses - really appreciate it

Coach Rupert, as this is a reasonably flat race (just 2000ft) over 100miles, does your advice change? from your response it sounds like you were responding to Peteski’s alpine event.

Sorry Michael, I must have read the post a bit too quick yesterday as i work in meters :see_no_evil:

I reckon you could simply go for:
all purpose road --> 4 week FTP building block --> Full century

Happy riding :bike:

@Coach.Rupert.H
Based on your response to Michael, I am now thinking that maybe I don’t really need a specific recovery base block between 2 back-to-back 12 week plans and could instead fit in something like a Volcano climbing plan instead. So my plan would then be All-purpose road - Volcano - Hilly Gran Fondo. I assume the recovery weeks already built into the plans are sufficient to avoid long term burn-out?

Hi,
@Coach.Rupert.H the 4 week ftp building block you mention, is this a customisation in the app via the 'Training Plans>Special Focus>Building Blocks>FTP Blocks (as level) / 4 Week Block (as Options)?
or do I just to the first/last 4 weeks of the ‘Special Focus>Power builder (6 week course)’?

@Peteski, also interested in the recovery aspect - great question!

Thanks again for all of your help and guidance.

Mike

Sorry for not responding @Peteski! For the Alpine event I think that makes sense to start with the all purpose and then move across to the mountainous GF plan. If you are following 2plans back to back I would say you can go for it but anymore than that you do want to take recovery. a 4 week, base, tempo or FTP block is still reasonable though, a volcano plan before going into the mountainous GF plan is a little more demanding.

@Michael_Elder, you can find the 4 week FTP block under Special Focus; Building Blocks; FTP level.

For both of these options, if you come out of the first 12week plan feeling you want more time to recover, take a week and then load up the 3week building block instead of 4

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Cheers thanks @Coach.Rupert.H
In that case I may pop a base or tempo block in between my 12 week plans, depending on how I feel at the time.

One final question. Do I need to allow for a taper going into my event following the Gran Fondo plan?

2 Likes

No need to schedule a taper week as this is incorporated as week 12 of the plan to finish with your event :slight_smile:

I’m also planning an UCI Granfondo in Quebec beginning of july. It’s a Mile Century 160km with a 2500m of climbing (7500 ft), also a bit of gravel!
I’m curious to understand the difference between the training plan Full century vs Hilly granfondo. And how the all road plan compare. I’ve done the all road each years and love it.
And is it better to finish with climbing training or to do it earlier?
Thanks

Good questions @mccabe.pierre, here is some more info:
FULL CENTURY:

GOAL

To get you ready for a ride/event of 100+ miles and less than 1,500 meters of climbing

BEST FOR

Riders with at least five hours of riding a week for the previous 2 months, have 5-9 hrs/wk available to train, and can ride outside over the weekend

TRAINING BLOCKS

2 weeks on, 1 week off

PLAN ENDS WITH

Event day: full century

SPECIAL NOTES

This plan contains a mix of indoor and outdoor rides, with the longest sessions being outdoors and occurring over the weekend as long as you select a Sunday as the end date.

Mountainous / Hilly Gran Fondo:

GOAL

To get you ready for a ride/event of 80+ miles and 1,500+ meters of climbing

BEST FOR

Riders with at least six hours of riding a week for the previous 2 months, have 6-11 hrs/wk available to train, and can ride outside over the weekend

TRAINING BLOCKS

3 weeks on, 1 week off

PLAN ENDS WITH

Event day

SPECIAL NOTES

This plan contains a mix of indoor and outdoor rides, with the longest sessions being outdoors and occurring over the weekend as long as you select a Sunday as the end date.

All Purpose Road

GOAL

To improve overall bike fitness with indoor only sessions

BEST FOR

Riders with at least three hours of riding a week for the previous 2 months and 3-6 hrs/wk available to train

TRAINING BLOCKS

2 weeks on, 1 week off

PLAN ENDS WITH

Full Frontal (Fitness Test)

SPECIAL NOTES

All rides are scheduled to be completed indoors, with the longest sessions occurring over the weekend (assuming a Monday start date or Sunday end date).

The all purpose is a great place to improve your consistency in training and general fitness whereas the century and GF plans have more specific outcomes. I would do the GF plan closest to your event.

That’s great, many thanks @Coach.Rupert.H :ok_hand:

Hi guys. This is a great thread and I wonder if I can pitch-in.

I agree with @Coach.Rupert.H - earlier this year I completed the Hilly Gan Fondo plan in preparation for a 100km/1600m event which was cancelled. Instead I went to Scotland for a self-guided flogging.
I trained up to the week before departure, had several great days in Scotland and then had planned to have two more weeks of a break before starting a new plan.
Learning points for me were:

  • the gran fondo plan was excellent preparation for Scotland. I was much stronger than I expected and felt brilliant on every ride.
  • I put in a Half Monty and FF in the week prior to departure and saw about 30 watt increase in FTP.
  • I don’t think the rest period before commencing another plan was required. On reflection, I could have gone straight to my current plan. I am now on the TT Plan as I want to try my hand at local TTs next Spring and I wanted to change-up my approach to an improved FTP.

Hope this helps.

3 Likes

Would you suggest one of these options for a 100 mile mountain bike race? It is a mix of trail, gravel and some pavement with 10,600ft of elevation gain.

Thanks