SPORTIVE/GRAN FONDO Preparation Program (Power-Based): 12 Weeks - 8-12 Hrs/Week

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 11:11

This plan has been assembled specifically for the intermediate or experienced cyclist seeking to prepare for their next Sportive/Gran Fondo in a progressive and structured fashion.



This preparatory sportive plan accommodates for those with limited time throughout the week, yet includes enough long-ride volume to take advantage of the endurance benefits such workouts bring and the specificity that these workouts have for long sportive events.



The plan houses a large variety of workouts that will constantly challenge the body and signal it to adapt in the most optimal way. All important zones, abilities and physiological systems where sportive riders need to be strong are targeted and the plan aims to deliver the rider right on the day of their sportive with a high level of balanced fitness.



Every workout takes advantage of the TrainingPeaks' Workout Builder for clearly structured workouts.



What's more, with the main limiter for most sportive riders being the onset of fatigue in the latter stages of their event, this training plan puts strong focus on building fatigue resistance through specially-designed workouts.



Before embarking on this plan and to take full advantage of the workouts therein, ensure you have a solid base of riding fitness and can ride for ~3hours at a steady pace relatively comfortably. The programme works best for those riders who train using a power meter or heart rate monitor, but does use RPE or Rating of Perceived Exertion for every workout for those without.

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
18.8TSS
Recovery: Easy Ride

45M @ ~50% FTP.

PURPOSE: Allow the body to adapt and super-compensate to the stress of previous challenging workouts to enable greater fitness and performance. Also important for mental and muscular recovery to avoid burnout or injury. A recovery ride maintains the rhythm of training without adding additional stress.

Sample Day 2
1:30:00
103.4TSS
Threshold: 4x8M

20M building up to 60-70% FTP to warm up.

4x8M @ 98-105% FTP, taking 3M of easy spinning for active recovery between intervals (roughly 40-50% FTP, but coasting and light pedalling is fine too).

Remaining time up to 1H30M @ 60-70% FTP.

PURPOSE: Increases FTP (Functional Threshold Power - max sustainable 1H steady-state power) by helping to improving the lactate threshold, i.e. where blood lactate begins to accumulate exponentially in the blood. This training aims to shift the threshold “to the right” by training body to process and clear lactate more efficiently and at higher intensities.

Sample Day 3
2:00:00
84.5TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride

2H @ 60-70% FTP. 

Keep intensity in check wherever possible, but don't stress straying into Zone 1 on downhills or Zone 3 on steeper climbs.

PURPOSE: Enhances aerobic fitness by stimulating greater mitochondrial biogenesis (production of mitochondria - the power house of the cell), enhanced capillarization in the muscles, development of slow-twitch muscles fibres and trains body to more efficiently use fat as primary fuel source.

Sample Day 5
1:45:00
119.4TSS
Threshold: Over/Unders

20M building up to 60-70% FTP.

3x (15M blocks of 2M @ 105% FTP/1M @ 82% FTP) with 4M of easy spinning as active recovery between each 15M block.

Remaining time up to 1H45M @ ~55-65% FTP to cool down.

See workout details below for full session breakdown.

PURPOSE: Increases FTP (Functional Threshold Power - max sustainable 1H steady-state power) by helping to improving the lactate threshold, i.e. where blood lactate begins to accumulate exponentially in the blood. This training aims to shift the threshold “to the right” by training body to process and clear lactate more efficiently and at higher intensities.

Sample Day 7
2:00:00
84.5TSS
Endurance: Steady Ride or Group Ride

2H @ 60-70% FTP or multi-intensity group ride. Ensure duration is met or exceeded if riding with a group. 

Keep intensity in check wherever possible, but don't stress straying into Zone 1 on downhills or Zone 3 on steeper climbs.

PURPOSE: Enhances aerobic fitness by stimulating greater mitochondrial biogenesis (production of mitochondria - the power house of the cell), enhanced capillarization in the muscles, development of slow-twitch muscles fibres and trains body to more efficiently use fat as primary fuel source.

Sample Day 12
1:30:00
105.9TSS
Threshold: On/Off

15M building up from 50% to 75% FTP (See workout details for steps info).

30x (1M20S @ 100% FTP/40S @ 60% FTP).

Remaining time up to 1H30M @ 60-70% FTP to cool down.

PURPOSE: Increases FTP (Functional Threshold Power - max sustainable 1H steady-state power) by helping to improving the lactate threshold, i.e. where blood lactate begins to accumulate exponentially in the blood. This training aims to shift the threshold “to the right” by training body to process and clear lactate more efficiently and at higher intensities.

Sample Day 26
1:30:00
76.7TSS
Force: Low Cadence Hill Repeats

15M building up from 50% to 75% FTP to warm up.

6x 4M low cadence hill intervals @ 85-95% FTP and a cadence range of 50-70RPM.

3M easy spinning @ 45-55% FTP for active recovery between each interval (though coasting and soft pedalling is fine).

Remaining time up to 1H30M @ 55-65% FTP to cool down.

PURPOSE: Designed to improve your muscular endurance abilities, which will improve your ability to ride long climbs at a high sustained pace and with the muscles under high torque load for similarly sustained periods.

Tom Bell
|
tombell.co

I help Mountain Bike and Cyclocross athletes achieve peak cycling fitness through free proven training advice, as well as one-to-one coaching, structured training plans and private consultations.