K2 - Sub-6 hour training plan

Training Load By Week
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 10:16

This training plan was written by 2-time K2 champion and NZ representative Dr Emma O'Connor (Crum).

This 12-week plan is designed to prepare you to target a sub-6 hour ride at the K2 Cycle Classic. This is recommended for athletes starting in groups 1-3. During the 12 weeks, you will develop your endurance capacity and hill climbing ability and incorporate sessions which specifically target the faster and less steady pace that generally occurs in the faster groups during the race.

Sample Day 1
1:30:00
Key session 1: Steady hills

When climbing in a group, you need to be prepared for the pace increase over the top of the climb.
Today complete 3 x repetitions of the following effort:
Choose a ~1km hill with a steady gradient. Ride at a steady or 'tempo' effort for the first 2/3 of the hill and then increase the pace for the last 1/3 to a maximal effort. Get out of your seat and sprint over the top of the hill. Make sure you continue the effort over the top of the hill, rather than stopping just before the top. Between each effort have 5-10 minutes rest.

Sample Day 2
2:00:00
Recommended ride: Endurance development

The focus of this ride is to develop your aerobic (endurance) capacity. Keep the intensity of this ride LOW.

Sample Day 3
1:30:00
Key session 2: Surging up hills

Since you are aiming for a sub-6 hour race time, you will likely be racing in a group where riders will be attacking up the hills. Therefore it is important to develop the ability to be able to change pace up a hill.

During this session you will complete 3 efforts of the following:

Choose a hill of ~1km with a steady gradient. Ride each effort as 40 seconds steady effort, 20 seconds hard. Repeat until the top of the hill.

Aim to complete the hard efforts standing out of your seat and focus on having a sharp acceleration at the beginning of each one.
Note that the 40sec parts are steady, not easy.

Sample Day 5
3:00:00
Key session 3: Long ride

Over the next 10 weeks, this ride will build to 5 hours. Preferably, this ride will include long hills. Ride hard up the hills, but keep the rest of the ride easy. If there is a local bunch ride, this is an ideal time to practice riding in a group.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
Optional ride: Cafe spin

1.5-2.5 hours. Use this ride to spin out your legs from the long ride yesterday.
Take this easy ride as an opportunity to have a ride with others.

Sample Day 8
1:30:00
Key session 1: Steady hills

Today complete 3 x repetitions of the following effort:
Choose a ~1km hill with a steady gradient. Ride at a steady or 'tempo' effort for the first 2/3 of the hill and then increase the pace for the last 1/3 to a maximal effort. Get out of your seat and sprint over the top of the hill. Make sure you continue the effort over the top of the hill, rather than stopping just before the top. Between each effort have 5-10 minutes rest.

Sample Day 9
2:00:00
Recommended ride: Endurance development

The focus of this ride is to develop your aerobic (endurance) capacity. Keep the intensity of this ride LOW.

Dr Will O'Connor
|
Performance Advantage

I have a PhD in sports science and I work with many top endurance athletes. Personally, I love trail running, but will compete in almost anything endurance based.

My coaching philosophy is built around educating athletes and taking the time to understand their personal situation and sporting goals.