Indoor Winter Power Plan (Gran Fondo)

Average Weekly Training Hours 04:02
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 04:02
Training Load By Week

A 12 week plan specifically designed for people targeting Gran Fondo events in the summer but who have very restricted time to train during the winter. To make most effective use of time this is predominantly an indoor cycling training plan with an option to include an outdoor ride each weekend, but also includes an indoor option each weekend if you are not able to get out. You only need 5 hours per week (if using the indoor weekend workout option) for this plan, so if you have limited time this could be a great option for you.

Most sessions are high intensity training sessions and therefore the plan also includes a lot of recovery time to allow full adaptation and help you get the most out of each workout.

The plan includes flexibility options and suggestions for if you need to make adjustments to your plan to fit your busy schedule.

This plan is designed for use with a power meter. If you don't have a power meter then contact me for a heart rate and perceived effort version of this plan.

This plan includes:

- Contact details of the coach who wrote the programme, so if you have any questions about the programme, you can get the answers you need!
- An introduction to exactly what you will be working on and why, so you can make sense of what you are doing in each workout.
- Instructions on how to complete a baseline Function Threshold Power Test which will be used to set specific intensities for every workout you complete.
- Daily workout instructions written by a highly experienced cycling coach, who coaches riders of all ages and ability, from beginners to international standard athletes.
- Specific warm up instruction guide to be used for each workout.

Sample Day 3
1:00:00
Indoor Baseline FTP Test Session

Complete the FTP Test session using the attached guide.

Once you have completed the test multiply your 20min average power by 0.95 then insert this value in your Functional Threshold Power value box which is found in your Training Peaks Account settings.

Click on your profile picture, then "zones", then scroll down to "power".

It's important that you fill in this value and then click "save". Doing so will then complete the intensity levels for all of your training sessions.

FUNCTIONAL THRESHOLD HEART RATE:
Take your average HR from the 20min test and input this into the threshold heart rate value box which is also found in your TP account settings, under "zones".

Sample Day 4
1:05:00
71.3TSS
Indoor Strength Session

In each of your workouts I will specify whether you need to complete the "short", "medium" or "full" warm up. These warm ups can be found in the attached document.

For this session, start with the "Medium"warm up.

Main session:

3 x 12min @ 88% FTP, alternating between:
2min @ 85-90rpm (normal gear)
1min @ 65-70rpm (big gear)

With 3min rest between efforts.

5min easy cool down spin.

Your average power target is 88% of FTP for each 12min effort and can be seen in the Workout Details below (once you have updated your Threshold power in your zone settings.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 6
1:37:00
100.1TSS
Read this first: Weekend Indoor Session OR Outdoor Ride

All of the week-day sessions contained within this training plan are indoor workouts, this is to help make most effective use of your limited training time.

Each weekend there will be an option of an indoor session or a longer outdoor ride. THE OUTDOOR RIDE IS THE PREFERRED OPTION if you have time for it, but if not then just complete the indoor option.

The weekend days can be swapped if needed but the optimum order to complete the workouts is the way it is currently set out.

Whether you're riding the indoor session or outdoor ride, simply delete the workout you're not going to do (best to do this before you upload your workout file).

This weekend's Indoor session is a high cadence maintenance session to help develop your aerobic efficiency and endurance:

Short warm up (reminder attached).

1hr 20min @ 80% FTP, alternating between:
3min 30sec @ 85-90rpm
1min 30sec @ 95-100rpm (1 gear smaller)

Finish with a 5min easy cool down spin.

Your average power target for the 1hr 20min main session is 80% of FTP and can be seen in the Workout Details below (once you have updated your Threshold power in your zone settings.

It's really important to stay well hydrated during these long indoor sessions.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 6
144TSS
Outdoor Ride: Aerobic Efficiency

It's important to go easy on some rides and these longer outdoor rides will give your body a break from the intense indoors sessions. If you rode hard every time you got on the bike you would soon burn yourself out, so it's important to balance things out with some easier, steady state rides. These rides also play a really important role in developing your body's aerobic efficiency, one of the 4 key components of fitness I highlighted as being required for a Gran Fondo.

So keep a lid on your effort today, avoid any big surges, aim to use light gears as much as possible and keep cadence above 80rpm as much as possible. Going hard today would actually be counter-productive in the long run, sometime less really is more.

Approx 4 hours.

Eating and Drinking:
It's really important that you are snacking little and often during these long rides and aiming to consume at least 500ml of water or energy drink per hour. If you are just drinking water then eating regularly becomes even more critical and you need to eat something which can be quickly processed in to energy eg. Jelly Babies.

As always aim to get your 20-30g protein in within 20min of finishing the ride.

Your average power target is 60% of FTP and can be seen in the Workout Details below (once you have updated your Threshold power in your zone settings.

Sample Day 8
1:01:00
75.4TSS
Indoor Threshold Session

Ridden on the indoor trainer.

"Medium warm up" (attached to week 1, day 4)

Then 3 x 10min sets of:

2min @ 102% FTP
2min @ 90% FTP
2min @ 102% FTP
2min @ 90% FTP
2min @ 102% FTP

Aim to maintain a cadence of 85-95rpm for the full 10min set. You will therefore need to change between gears every 2min.

With 4min rest between sets.

See the "Workout Details" below for your specific power targets. (Only visible once you have updated your threshold power in your account settings).

IMPORTANT:
-Don't ride above your power target in the first 2 sets, it may seem comfortable to start with but it will get a lot tougher as fatigue builds. 
-Don't rest after the 2min Over Threshold Section (it will be very tempting), just back off to 90% FTP.

5min easy cool down.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 10
0:52:00
54.3TSS
Indoor Strength Session

Each of the efforts ridden in this session are low cadence and high torque. You will therefore need a fairly big gear or resistance level on your indoor trainer.

Start with the "Medium" warm up.

Then 3 sets of:
4 x 1min @ 112% FTP @ 65-70rpm 

With 1min recovery between efforts.

After your warm up, experiment with gear/resistance settings to find a suitable setting to allow you to produce your power target whilst pedalling @ 65-70rpm.

See "WORKOUT DETAILS" below, to see your power target for each effort.

4min rest between sets.

5min easy spin cool down

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of completing all training sessions. This is really important for your body's post training repair process.

Sample Day 12
1:05:00
76.5TSS
Indoor Threshold Session

"Medium warm up" (see week 1, day 4).

Then 3 x 10min efforts @ 96% FTP, alternating between:

2min @ 85-95rpm
30sec @ 1 gear harder (cadence will drop).

With 6min easy recovery spin between efforts.

See the Workout Details below for your specific power targets.

5min easy cool down.

Post ride: Aim to consume 20-30g of protein within 20min of finishing the session.

Dan Small
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Mountain Goat Coaching

Dan has over 15 years of applied sport science and coaching experience across a number of different sports. In that time he spent 8 years working in the Coaching Education and Development department at British Cycling, and set up Mountain Goat Coaching in 2014. Dan has coached and trained cyclists from novice to National and International Podium level and everyone in between.