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Joe Friel

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12 Weeks

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This plan is protected by our Refund Policy and may, with the author's approval, be exchanged for a plan of equal value from the same author.

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Plan Description

Train smart with a cycling training plan by Joe Friel, best-selling author and internationally recognized endurance coach.
• Plan is intended for the beginner rider who wants to prepare for a ride of approximately 100 miles (160 km).
• Plan is for 12 weeks of Build-Peak training, culminating with a century ride, a Gran Fondo, or a Cyclosportif.
• Receive two follow-up emails from Joe with more information on the plan (must provide email address at time of purchase).
• If plan is not working for you within the first 2 weeks, you can switch to a plan of equal value or receive a full refund.

“Joe Friel is arguably the most experienced personal cycling coach in the U.S.” Bicycling magazine
“Joe Friel is one of the world’s foremost experts on endurance sports.” Outside magazine
“To say that Joe Friel knows a thing or two about how to ride a bicycle and stay fast would be a severe understatement.” Road Bike Action

This beginner century–Gran Fondo–Cyclosportif plan was designed by Joe Friel using the principles from The Cyclist’s Training Bible and Fast After 50. Having these books handy will help with many of the workouts presented in the training plan but is not necessary.

Who is this plan for?

This training plan is intended for the novice rider who wants to prepare for a ride of approximately 100 miles (160 km). The century course will have moderate difficulty, with some hills and perhaps even a few short climbs. The plan uses common cycling language to describe the workouts, with workout length in miles for the long weekend rides and in time for others. Workout intensity is described as “very easy,” “easy,” “moderate,” “hard,” or “very hard.”

When should you start the plan?

This plan is best started 12 weeks prior to your century ride. You should be riding at least 5 hours a week and have completed a long ride of at least 20 miles before starting this plan.

What is the weekly volume?

Weekly volume starts at about 6 hours of riding time in the first week and builds to about 12 hours in the biggest week. With this plan, you will ride five or six times a week. Week day rides are 1–2 hours long. The longest weekend ride is 80 miles and the biggest weekend volume total is 100 miles. There are four recovery weeks built into the plan, including the week of your century, and these recovery weeks are more frequent the closer you get to the event.

Do you need any devices or apps?

You do not need any devices or apps for this plan. Note that this plan does not include expected workout TSS and does not use the TrainingPeaks “Workout Builder” format. TSS, however, is still calculated on completion of every workout.

After your event, please provide feedback on how this plan worked for you.
“Thanks again for your interest in my training plans, and I hope your training and racing go very well this season.” —Joe Friel

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Bike x6
8:17 hrs 5:00 hrs
Day Off x1
—— ——
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
8:17 hrs 5:00 hrs
Day Off
—— ——

Training Load By Week

Joe Friel

Joe Friel Coaching

An endurance coach since 1980, Joe Friel has worked with triathletes, cyclists, and runners around the globe. He trains coaches and assists various national federations and national Olympic team staff. He also consults with professional athletes and sports-related businesses. Coach Friel occasionally offers personal camps and seminars for clubs and teams. He has authored 17 books on training including the best-selling Training Bible series. For more info, go to his blog at

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