Haute Route Rockies

Average Weekly Training Hours 11:15
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 11:15
Training Load By Week

This training plan will get you ready to tackle the Haute Route Rockies. This 7-day event features high elevation and plenty of climbing in beautiful Colorado.

This plan is appropriate for any level of cyclist who has had a mostly consistent 7-12hrs/week training history. You can execute most of the plan with only a heart rate monitor, but several workouts will be more effective with a power meter. The plan begins with field tests to establish your fitness benchmarks. These tests will allow you to set up reasonable training zones and guide the intensity of workouts throughout the plan.

You can prepare for the Haute Route Rockies without having access to mountains, you just have to commit to "climbing-type" efforts. In reality, your body and working muscles don't know whether you are climbing or not, it's all effort level.

That said, high elevation IS an unavoidable challenge of this event. Most of this event will be ridden on roads above 7000ft/2000m. You can manage the event without any specific acclimatization, but your output will have to be adjusted accordingly. While studies are not in complete agreement on the optimal acclimatization process, here's 2 strategies: 1) spend the week before the event at 6000ft/1800m to allow you body to make most of the adjustments, or 2) spend 90+ minutes training at 7000ft/2000m 5-6 days per week for 3-4 weeks immediately preceding the event.

Sample Day -26
1:20:30
77.3TSS
TESTING: Field Test (short power baselines)

See details in graph.

Don't get stressed about these. Simply psyche yourself up to go hard. Nothing more than hard efforts, do you best and ignore any judgment of the outcome.

Sample Day -25
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Sample Day -24
1:41:00
90.2TSS
TESTING: Field Test (2x8min efforts)

30-45min progressive warm-up (as if you were warming up for a short TT)
2 x 8min ON at "best effort" with 10min OFF at Z1-2
30mins at Z2

Threshold Power can be estimated by multiplying the best 8min Average Power by 90%. Compare this value to the value calculated in the upcoming 30min field test. These value may not be the same.

As you might expect, a larger anaerobic contribution is made in the shorter field test. The longer test may also be affected by a limitation of muscular endurance (not necessarily aerobic capacity). If there is a "big" difference between these numbers, it might be best to use the lower value until you have a little more training under your belt.

Deciding which value to use as your threshold is a matter of some debate (and yet another standard is to do a 60min field test and use your average power from that effort). Don't get distracted from the purpose of the field test, it is primarily to establish reasonable training zones, not establish an 100% accurate "best effort" for some arbitrary duration.

Sample Day -23
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
44TSS
Active Recovery

This is a relatively easy ride, but longer and slightly more intense than a pure recovery ride.

Heart Rate, Average Power, Normalized Power should be in the lower half of Zone 2. This means that the ride is steady and most of the time you are in low Zone.

This is a good ride to go out with friends and be social, no hammering!

Sample Day 32
1:25:00
59.9TSS
Practice TT (FOCUS: "best effort")

Sample Day 47
1:07:00
44.5TSS
Pre-Race/Event: Easy spin w/ a couple openers

The primary goal is to flush and recent travel and "wake up" your muscles. This preps the legs for the hard efforts to come.

The secondary goal is to enjoy an easy ride around Boulder. If convenient, recon some of the early part of Stage 1.

Jeff Winkler
|
Winkler Cycling

Over the past 25 years, I have coached athletes to multiple State and National Championship titles in the disciplines of Road, MTB and Cyclocross. I have worked with all levels of individual racers from novice to professional and have coached collegiate, club and amateur teams.