Plan Selection

I am planning a multi day ride , doing around 100M a day. Endurance and recovery is not usually an issue but past experience shows the slightest reduction in power causes huge decreases in speed.
I can go along happily at 20mph until something slows me to 15mph which then becomes the new norm. If I pace myself up a longer hill and speed drops to ,say 12 mph, then that is the new norm for the rest of the day, taking a rest does not help.
I am looking for a plan that could help give me the reserve to tackle lumpy gradients without being reduced to a crawl.
4dp says MAP is good, sustained is not.

On endurance rides you are generally better off riding to a steady power output (or RPE if you don’t have a power meter) rather than a steady speed. If you attempt to match your speed on the flat up hills then you will soon run out of steam! With major variables like gradient and wind, speed is not really a great indicator of your effort during a ride.

As for SUF plans, maybe something like the Hilly Gran Fondo or Century plans might work for you, although I have no personal experience of either yet. I’m currently on the All-Purpose Road plan in an effort to raise my whole game ahead of a more specific plan targeting a big Alpine event in the summer

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I agree with Pete’s comment on the focus on power versus speed. I would also suggest checking out the coach’s post on pacing which helped me with a similar question.

I just finished Volcano Climbing - using it as an offseason special focus plan and it helped quite a bit. Pete’s suggestion of the Hilly Grand Fondo plan is a good one. I haven’t tried it yet but it was on my list to do after finishing the upcoming TOS in February.

2 years ago I did around 100 miles a day for 10 days.I mostly rode by HR low z3 on flat high zone 3 for hill, sometimes slipping into z4. .I feel I know how to pace day long efforts. If I was racing for a club and someone needed to “control a gap” I would be last in the queue.I pros that can ride on the front for a long while and keep a rhythm is something I find amazing. I appreciate speed changes with terrain and so is not a good guide to pacing or effort, but that is not really what I am asking. I want to be able to keep rhythm and not be messed up by a motorway bridge.A diesel engine with power in reserve to handle fluctuations in difficulty.

If you are riding 100 miles in Z3 for multiple days then I’m not surprised that you have little in reserve. I would try to work on raising your FTP so you can ride more in Z2, allowing more headroom to deal with lumpy terrain etc.

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That is sort of what I was after, but I was not sure how to express it. Riding tempo I have the range of a gnats testicles .I can go fast or go long, it is the big bit in the middle that stumps me. I considered a personal coaching plan, but was not sure how to explain what I hoped for

I would go with the Hilly Gran Fondo plan and see where that takes your 4DP profile in 12 weeks. It will automatically be customised to your current strengths and weaknesses from your previous FF test. If you see a 10% increase in your threshold power then you should be well on your way to creating the power reserve you are aiming for.

If you are new to structured training or been off the bike for a while then maybe the ramp-up transition plan would be a good starting point before moving onto the Gran Fondo plan.

Of course a custom plan would be the ultimate solution if you wanted more personal support.

Either way I’m sure you’ll make some useful gains

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That makes sense, thank you. I suppose It will be like riding 10 gran fondos in a row.I was considering the TT or FTP plan, but I really need to go longer. Thank you for your help and support

I would think the key to success in multiple back-to-back 100 mile rides is conservative pacing, recovery and nutrition/hydration. Let us know how you get on.

Out of interest how did you prepare for your previous ride 2 years ago? That could give some clues as to what you might do differently this time.

I did no specific training.A club ride on Sun, and a couple of easier rides in the week of around 1 hour. For pacing my plan was to limit my time in Z4. I drifted into it on some climbs, otherwise no.
I had a brief stop every 25 miles, to replenish bidons .I had one filled for energy and the other electrolytes.There was no lunch break, I may eat a plain bread roll or yoghurt purchased on route, but nothing heavier. One stop would be a coffee and cake.
The plan was to finish riding by 4pm. Check into guest house, bathe, wash cycling clothes, put some cream on any sore bits and air my body for an hour. By around 5pm, I would go out to eat, preferring a Chinese or Indian food, again nothing heavy. I would rest on the bed from about 7pm to 7am.I had 2 bad days.one day started with 1200ft climb, I slowed to about 4mph and barely got above 10 for the rest of the day. achieving 65 miles, the other day had a series of 8 climbs in what I thought would be an hours riding but it took half the day, this was a 35 mile day. By skipping breakfast and leaving earlier I made the time up both times, on the following day.What would I do different? train so I could ride without getting knocked out by the first hill on route by having a bigger engine.

I reckon you will be in a much better position after completing the Gran Fondo or Century plans. Raising your FTP just makes everything underneath feel easier with more power in reserve. You really want to be riding mainly in Z2 on this kind of multi-day effort, saving Z3 for the difficult climbs and spending little or no time in Z4. Also don’t under-estimate how effective the cadence drills can be in improving your efficiency. It might seem crazy pedalling at 130+ rpm, but it makes your normal cadence so much smoother and more efficient in the long run, with obvious benefits to endurance.

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Hello. I had my sights set on London to Paris this year… twice but it got cancelled… twice. I completed the hilly gran Fondo plan (yep, twice) and found it a great help. Doing my own thing outside of the plan, I was able to do back-to-back long, fairly hilly days with some comfort. I ride by RPE.

That middle bit you speak of is very familiar to me. This plan seemed to bring the ‘go fast or go long’ closer together, going faster for longer. I’ll be doing it again next year keeping my fingers crossed I can put it good use finally!! I ended my cycle year however with a hilly 100 mile sportive and the plan definitely gave me the strength for the hills but also the engine to almost TT on some of the flatter sections.

Long story short… I’d recommend the hilly gran Fondo plan!!

Hope my ramblings help!

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What a great post to read - I’m planning a 180km/day ride for 7 consecutive days in a few months. So we’re in similar territory. It’s hard to find good info on training for this.

I’ve done sufferfest training for 6 months now and as my FTP has been increasing, I’m just far more confident in zone 2. I feel like I can just chat along while going much faster than I could a year or two earlier. So my plan is just to keep raising the FTP and keep doing back-to-back sessions to get used to back-to-back days.

I’d love to know more about how one would taper for this… if at all?

How about the FF preparation week?.In my case I travelled overnight by train, arriving mid morning.A very short ride to the start and back to the hotel that afternoon and an early night.I was fresh to go the following day, with hardly any miles in the legs and a good nights sleep