Recommendation for back to back 12 week training plans - Belgian Waffle Ride and the like

All – Looks like there’s some existing advice on back to back training plans for ultra-long distance races, but I would like a recommendation for a 12 week plan to complete prior to the 12 week 200 mile gravel plan. I’m training for the Belgian Waffle Ride and plan on training for 24 weeks. Last year I logged 3.5k miles, 120k feet; this year will top out at 5k miles; 200k feet. The last 2yrs I did 12wks of structured training in the winter/spring using Cycling Weekly’s old “Winter Faster” plan.

I’m new here and just finished the Full Frontal after following Sufferfest’s week of prep guidelines. I did the test on a Kinetic Roll and Roll. Based on the 4DP, my is FTP=231, MAP=282, AC=348, NM=730. My NM power is 1,100W outside - my trainer bike does not have a power meter so there’s a bit of drop off somewhere between my legs and Kinetic in ride power extrapolation. Nevertheless, GvA says that’s good enough to be called a Rouleur. Weekness is repeated efforts.

My question to those who’ve done well in this event, and the coaches, is - can you recommend a training plan to do prior to completing the 200 mile gravel plan?

Hopefully this is enough information to get me started. Gratsi!

Hi @AdamS! One thing that I might suggest is to have an off week, or at the very least 3-5 days completely off and just easy rides the other days) in between 2 different 12-week plans…so starting 25-weeks out is my first suggestion.

That being said, there are a few different options that could work for you for the first 12-week plan. Specifically the Metric Century and Century plans would both work quite well, as would the Mountainous/Hilly Gran Fondo plan. Both the Century and Mountainous/Hilly GF plans will have bigger week volumes in the 10-12 hour range, while the metric century will be more 9-10 hours in the bigger weeks. The All Purpose Road plan would also be a slightly lower volume plan, similar to the Metric Century plan as a 4th option.

Depending on your goals and time availability, that would probably be the biggest reason that I would suggest one over the other. For that first 12-weeks, I wouldn’t say that more is better. Especially if the BWR is going to be a big challenge for you, then you’d be better off leaving a little something in the tank in your first 12-weeks of training. Also, I would again suggest to keep a week off in between the two 12-week plans - maybe scheduling a little vacation without your bike for that week would be a great idea to consider!

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Thank you Neal! I really appreciate the advice - and, yes, I was wondering if a break would be in order at some point. The BWR will be a struggle, so a lower volume winter plan is probably a good idea. Thanks again.

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