5-Week Gran Fondo Power Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 06:55
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 06:55
Training Load By Week

A 5-week training programme to help you smash any 1-Day Gran Fondo. This programme is designed for people with 9 hours training time per week and who have access to a power meter for the majority of their training sessions. The programme includes: - Contact details of the coach who wrote the programme, so if you have any questions about the programme, you can get the answers you need! - An introduction to exactly what you will be working on and why, so you can make sense of what you are doing in each workout. - Instructions on how to complete a baseline Function Threshold Power Test which will be used to set specific intensities for every workout you complete. - Daily workout instructions written by a highly experienced cycling coach, who coaches riders of all ages and ability, from beginners to international standard athletes. - Specific warm up instruction guide to be used for each workout.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
FTP Test Session

Complete the FTP Test session using the attached guide.

Once you have completed the test multiply your 20min average power by 0.95 then insert this value in your Functional Threshold Power value box which is found in your Training Peaks Account settings.

Click on your profile picture, then "zones", then scroll down to "power".

It's important that you fill in this value and then click "save". Doing so will then complete the intensity levels for all of your training sessions.

FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD HEART RATE:
Take your average HR from the 20min test and input this into the threshold heart rate value box which is also found in your TP account settings, under "zones".

Sample Day 4
0:52:00
54.3TSS
Strength Session

Before starting this session please read the attached "Warming Up" document. The warm ups contained within this document will be needed for all the training sessions within this programme.
_____________________________________
This session is ideally to be ridden on a steep climb, however if a steep climb is not available, use the best you have available and use bigger gears to compensate. Each of the efforts ridden in this session are low cadence and high torque.

Start with the "Medium" warm up.

Then 3 sets of:
4 x 1min @ BELOW 70rpm (cadence)
In each 1min effort, the first 30sec is seated, the second 30sec is standing. The standing section should be ridden using one gear bigger than the seated section.

IMPORTANT: Keep your back straight during the standing sections.

With 1min recovery between efforts (ride back down to the start during this time).

SCROLL DOWN TO "WORKOUT DETAILS" to see your power target for each effort. This will only be displayed once you have filled in your threshold details in your account settings. Aim for the specific value (in watts) not just the zone, which covers a broad range.

4min rest between sets.

5min easy spin cool down

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 6
2:35:00
132.9TSS
Endurance Session

No specific warm up needed today, just start steady and build in to it.

2 hours @ 70%FTP (see "workout details" below for your target power)
Display "Lap Power" on your cycle computer to help you ride to target.

Straight in to 15min @ 94%FTP (record this 15min effort as a separate lap).
If you can ride above target in the latter stages of this 15min effort then go for it, ride it as a TT effort.

If possible, plan your route so your 15min effort is ridden on a climb, also plan things so that once you have completed your effort, you only have a short ride back to your finish point/home. This ride home is just an easy recovery spin.

Importance of Eating and Drinking:
Although you are purposely starting the 15min effort in a semi-fatigued state, you need to have enough energy to complete the effort. So it's really important that you are snacking little and often during the ride and aiming to consume at least 500ml of water or energy drink per hour. If you are just drinking water then eating regularly becomes even more critical and you need to eat something which can be quickly processed in to energy eg. Jelly Babies.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 7
4:00:00
144TSS
Aerobic Efficiency

Some days it's important to go steady, and today is one of those days. If you rode hard every time you went out on the bike you would soon burn yourself out, so it's important to balance things out with some easier, steady state rides. These rides also play a really important role in developing your body's aerobic efficiency, one of the 4 key components of fitness I highlighted as being required for the event you are training for.

So keep a lid on your effort today, avoid any big surges, aim to use light gears as much as possible and keep cadence above 85rpm as much as possible. Going hard today, would actually be counter-productive in the long run, sometime less really is more.

Eating and drinking remains just as important as it was on the Endurance ride, and as always aim to get your 20-30g protein in within 20min of finishing the ride.

Your average power target is 60% of FTP and can be seen in the Workout Details below.

Sample Day 9
0:53:00
59.2TSS
Strength Session

As with your first strength session, some of the efforts today are low cadence and high torque, however today the over-geared work is sandwiched between some higher cadence - low torque work. The session is best ridden on a climb, although it doesn't need to be particularly steep today, it does however need to be longer than the previous climb (at least 4min long when riding hard).

"Medium" warm up.

Then:
5 sets of:
1min Seated at @ 90rpm (Normal/Easy Gear)
30sec Standing Big Gear
1min Seated @ BELOW 70rpm (Big Gear)
30sec Standing Big Gear
1min Seated at @ 90rpm (Normal/Easy Gear)

With 2min30 rest between sets, during this time ride back down to the start.

IMPORTANT: Keep your back straight during the standing sections.

5min easy cool down.

As with all sessions, your power targets are below in the Workout Details section.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 11
1:01:00
77.9TSS
Threshold Session

This session can either be ridden on a long, easy gradient climb, or on the indoor trainer.

"Medium warm up"

Then 3 x 10min sets of:

2min @ 105% FTP
2min @ 90% FTP
2min @ 105% FTP
2min @ 90% FTP
2min @ 105% FTP

With 4min rest between sets.

See the Workout Details below for your specific power targets.

IMPORTANT: Don't rest after the 2min Over Threshold Section (it will be very tempting), just back off to 90% FTP.

5min easy cool down.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 13
2:30:00
160TSS
Intensive Endurance

Very simple session today.

Approx 2hr 30 @ 80%FTP average.
See Workout Details Below for target.

Eating and drinking throughout is very important again on this ride, the intensity is high and you will be burning fuel fast.

The first 1hour-1.5hours should feel pretty comfortable then fatigue will gradually increase. So you should be working hard in the final hour.

Dan Small
|
Mountain Goat Coaching

Dan has over 15 years of applied sport science and coaching experience across a number of different sports. In that time he spent 8 years working in the Coaching Education and Development department at British Cycling, and set up Mountain Goat Coaching in 2014. Dan has coached and trained cyclists from novice to National and International Podium level and everyone in between.