Gravel God Beginner 1 - Base Period


Matti Rowe

All plans by this Coach


6 Weeks

Typical Week

2 Other, 4 Bike, 1 Day Off, 2 Strength

Longest Workout

5:00 hrs

Plan Specs

cycling gran fondo/century beginner intermediate power based tss based

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Gravel fever 🌡️is sweeping the nation. Your friends are doing it. Events are popping up all over the place. The road scene was never cool, mountain biking is so mid-90s, and track cycling is confusing. Running has never tempted you.

You ordered Racing and Training with a Power Meter but are confused about what ‘wots’ are and ‘base’ and why you can’t just go out and train as hard as you can as much as you can while only eating rice crackers.

Don’t worry, the Summit Endurance Academy has got your back.  We put together a gravel-specific base plan for you so you can train the right way rather than repeating the same 10 workouts on Zwift.

🔥🔥What you get:🔥🔥

  1. BASE BABY BASE! - Build your aerobic foundation the right way. 

  2. Structured Workouts! - Because if you can't export your workout to Zwift, what's the point?

  3. STRENGTH! - Shoot us an email and we’ll give you a complimentary Train Heroic cycling strength program. 

  4. Clever Workout Descriptions! - We keep you laughing when you're in pain.

  5. Power-based Training! - Because who doesn't have a power meter now?

  6. Mobility workouts!- Learn how to touch your toes!

  7. 6,000-word guide! - We cover EVERYTHING, from equipment to nutrition to race tactics to life advice!

  8. Emails! - You can email us at and we won't ignore you.

  9. Scolding! - We call you out so you don’t have to learn the hard way!

And More!

Crunched for time? Can’t bother with building a ‘base’? Check out our Gravel God Beginner 3 - Peak Plan.  It’s the fastest you can get in 6 weeks. 

Have too much time on your hands?  Have a look at our complete 18 weeks Gravel God Beginner Plan.

Already riding a lot but not ready to peak?  Then our Gravel God Beginner 2 - Build Plan is for you!


Becoming a Gravel God can be intimidating. Hit me up directly with any questions you have:



Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:36

Matti Rowe

Summit Endurance Academy

I'll keep it short. I'm a coach with the Summit Endurance Academy. I believe in surgical workouts, epic days in the saddle, bison burgers, and a good Nøgne IPA. Yes, I own a costume box.

I think racing and training is crucial to living your best life, and living your best life is about looking back and seeing how much more Badass you are now than your past self.

Hit me up. Let's go beat the past together.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

The Assessment - Aerobic

12m progressive warmup
5m RPE 6/10
5m RPE 2
5m ALL OUT. Go as hard as you can for 5 minutes.
5m RPE 2
20m ALL OUT. Start the effort conservatively at about an 8/10 RPE - 20 minutes is a LONG time.
You'll want the terrain to be unbroken flat or slightly uphill - you don't want to get caught at a stop light or intersection in the middle of your effort.
10m easy spin to cool down.

Sample Day 3

The Assessment - Anaerobic

Warm up:
5m Z1
4m Z2
3m Z3
3m Z4
Easy 5m L1; spin high cadence (>100rpm)
1 minute ALL OUT; Keep cadence OVER 100rpm if you can
Easy 5m L1; spin high cadence (>100rpm)
20x30sec ALL OUT, 30sec L1 EASY spin
Easy 5m L1; spin high cadence (>100rpm)
1 minute ALL OUT; Keep cadence OVER 100rpm if you can
10m L1/2 Cool down

Sample Day 5

The Assessment - Metabolism 2

This ride is about steady on the gas. Looking for where HR decouples so we can see where aerobic fitness is.
The goal is not a 3 hour all out time trial. You should feel at the top end of endurance and the bottom end of tempo - mentally you have to stay engaged but RPE should be 6/10 to start and grow towards the end.
10/15m warm up by heart rate and then settle in at the top of your z2/bottom of z3 heart wattage and hold it there for 3 hours to start.
The workout will be suffer if you don't eat and drink every 1/2 hour - you're burning LOTS of kcals. Also, minimize stops - rest invalidates the decoupling.

Sample Day 6

Athlete Choice

Cap it at 2, don't look at your computer and write down 3 things you saw in your post activity comments. Don't forget to be present when you ride!

Sample Day 7

Mental Training - Gratitude

Find a quiet place, sit comfortably. Take 10 deep breaths (2-5 seconds each, really accentuate the inhalation and exhalation)
For 5 minutes focus on thinking nothing. When something comes across your mind look at it and return to nothing
Write down 3 things you're grateful for. Look at it before you go to bed at night. Then crumple it up and throw it out.

Sample Day 7

Foundation Work and Foam Rolling + Body Work

This routine doesn't take a lot of time, but is challenging and works. The focus is all on the posterior chain (read back, glutes, hamstrings). This will make you a better handler on the bike, better climber, and help cut out lower back pain. These are the muscle groups that cyclists often ignore, and pay the penalty for.
Follow the link to the video:
Do some foam rolling and stretching after the foundation routine.

Sample Day 8

Base - Tempo>Accel 1

Warm up, building from Z1 to Z2; keep cadence over 85 rpm
-1x40min Z3
Go straight from that into 5x20 sec acceleration/40 sec recovery
~30min Z2 riding to finish

Gravel God Beginner 1 - Base Period

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