K2 - Sub 7-hour training plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 09:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 09:00
Training Load By Week

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-7 hour ride at the K2 Cycle Classic. This is recommended for athletes starting in groups 4-11. During the 12 weeks, you will develop your endurance capacity and hill climbing ability.

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
1:00:00
Key session 2: Tempo effort

In this session, you will practice doing a longer effort at a harder pace.

Each effort should be performed at a pace which you could sustain for about an hour. If using heart rate or power, this equates to a zone 3 effort. You should aim to complete each effort with the same average power/speed, rather than going hard for the first effort, and then slowing down.

Today you will complete 2 x 10 minute efforts at a tempo pace with 5 minutes of easy riding between them.

Make sure to have a good warm-up and cool down. Total ride time is 1 hour

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
1:00:00
Optional ride: Cafe spin

1-1.5 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.

Will O'Connor - PhD
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Performance Advantage

I have PhD in sports science and 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 time to understand their personal situation and sporting goals.