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.
This workout focuses on high Zone 2 blocks that maximize fat combustion and also get you comfortable pushing a "harder" pace for significant portion of long training rides and events.
This is a long day to finish out the first 3 week block of training.
Pace should be low Zone 2 on average with a few blocks at higher intensity to get you ready for the climbs and other late race efforts at BWR.
8 x 10sec Start Efforts w/ 5mins at Z1-Z2 between efforts. These are often most productive if done on the same stretch of road (or a loop with recovery stretch)
Starting speed is near zero and effort is done out-of-saddle for duration. Gear should be large, you should just get on top of it at the end of the effort.
Goal is to maximize force on the pedals. Requires efficient technique and maximal muscle recruitment.
Basic Zone 2 ride, but dictated by HR rather than power. This will allow for proper intensity regardless of fatigue levels.
Just an easy spin and equipment check before the big day tomorrow.
60-90 mins is enough and keep the effort low Zone 1 to Zone 2.