Training Plan for Belgian Waffle Ride (16 weeks)


Coach Jeff Winkler

All plans by this Coach


16 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Brick, 6 Bike, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

7:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling gran fondo/century intermediate advanced masters power based hr based

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This training plan will get you ready to tackle the Belgian Waffle Ride. This 1-day event is lengthy (131 miles) and features plenty of climbing in beautiful San Diego County. Throw in a fair amount of dirt/gravel rural roads and you have a truly unique riding experience.

This plan is appropriate for any non-beginner cyclist who has previously handled a consistent 7-12hrs/week of training. 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.

Even though the Belgian Waffle Ride has a few extended climbs, you can properly prepare 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.


Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:25

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.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

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 2

RECOVERY: 1.5hr easy spin

Mellow spin to loosen up legs. Primary goal is recovery, not training.

Sample Day 3

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 4

RECOVERY: 1hr easy spin

Sample Day 5

TESTING: Field Test (30min effort HR/W)

30min progressive warm-up (as if you were warming up for 10-20km TT)

30min best effort. The goal is the best steady output you can hold for the duration. Don't start out strong and then fade. Try to use a stretch of road with minimal interruptions. A gradual climb is good if you have one (3-5% steady grade).

Your average Heart Rate for the last 20mins is a good estimation of your Threshold Heart Rate.

To estimate your FTP for Power Zones:
1. Take your "best" 20min Average Power during the test and multiple by 95%.
2. Put this number in TrainingPeaks as your Threshold Power.
3. Use the Coggan formula for setting your zones.

Note: while 95% of your 20min Power "may" not accurately reflect the Average Power you could sustain for 60 minutes (FTP), this doesn't mean it is NOT a good number from which to calculate training zones. In my opinion, training zones calculated from this higher "threshold" value are better attuned to your limits.

Sample Day 6

Aerobic Endurance (w/ sprints)

Basic Zone 2 ride, a little longer to stimulate endurance. Ends with multiple max effort sprints.

Sample Day 8

Maximal Aerobic Capacity

These workouts develop your ability to process oxygen and push the limits of your aerobic capacity. These workouts are intense, but relatively short.

The goal is 10-15 mins of VO2max time. More is possible but may negatively affect subsequent workouts.

Training Plan for Belgian Waffle Ride (16 weeks)

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