2019 British Cycling 12-week Sportive/Gran Fondo Plan

Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 04:54

The British Cycling 12-week Sportive/Gran Fondo Plan is designed to progressively build your cycling fitness with an end goal of a 80-120km (50-75 miles) sportive or Gran Fondo.


The plan is suitable for both power and heart-rate users and, as all the cycling workouts are fully built within the plan, it’s compatible with smart trainers and many head units.


To start the plan, you should ideally be riding two or three times a week and be capable of riding for 90 minutes. It is also ideal for cyclists who ride regularly but haven’t followed a structured training plan before or who are returning to the sport after a bit of a lay-off. If you are currently fit and active, doing at least three 60-minute bouts of exercise a week, but not necessarily a cyclist, this is also the plan for you.


The volume of training is between 4-7 hours per week and, with flexible days included, it can easily be adjusted to fit around your life. If you’re already familiar with TrainingPeaks and its metrics, weekly TSS is between 100-300.


The training weeks are typically broken down into three rides; two mid-week and one at the weekend. The mid-week rides are more suited to an indoor trainer but can easily be completed on the road. The weekend rides focus on building your endurance and allow you to practice and refine your fuelling and hydration strategies.


There is also an optional session that gives you the opportunity to do some cross training. Cross training, although optional, should be part of your training. Don’t worry if you can’t manage dedicated sessions, even doing regular mobility work at home will benefit your riding. Cross training helps to prevent boredom, provides options if you are unable to ride and builds all-round injury preventing robustness.


The plan is fully supported by content on the British Cycling Insight Zone, where you can find advice on skills, training, nutrition, equipment, clothing and maintenance.
www.britishcycling.org.uk/knowledge

Sample Day 1
0:55:00
76.8TSS
BC Threshold Test

For full protocol and links to zone calculator, http://bit.ly/threshold_test

This test protocol can be used for both Functional Threshold Power (FTP) and Functional Threshold Heart-rate (FTHR).

Sample Day 3
0:35:00
23.4TSS
BC Zone Build

This session allows you to develop a feel for your training zones that you've created from your threshold test.

Sample Day 4
1:00:00
Cross Training

This is not an essential session; add it to your
training if you have the time.

Choose an activity to help develop all-round
fitness and flexibility.

If you already do another exercise session, structured or social, then continue to fit that into your week. If not, then maybe try something new; for example gym work, swim, jog or a fitness class.

Remember to start all new activities slowly, don’t overdo it and that gentle restorative exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, can
complement cycling well.

Whatever you choose to do, it's important that it doesn't impact negatively on the quality of your cycling training.

Sample Day 6
1:30:00
57.1TSS
BC Base Endurance Ride

These endurance rides are the bread and butter of cycling training.

You will develop your ability and feel for riding at a sustainable pace and be able to practice and refine your fuelling and hydration strategies.

Sample Day 8
1:00:00
49.5TSS
BC Tempo Intervals

This session, with 3 X 10-minute efforts, develops your ability to ride at tempo (Zone 3), become more familiar with shifting intensity and is an introduction to interval training.

Maintain a cadence of 90 rpm+ during the tempo efforts and look to ride low-mid Zone 3 for the majority of each one. 

Just spin easily for the recoveries.

Sample Day 10
1:00:00
49.5TSS
BC Tempo Intervals

This session Develops your ability to ride at tempo (Zone 3), become more familiar with shifting intensity and is an introduction to interval training.

Maintain a cadence of 90 rpm+ during the tempo efforts and look to ride low-mid Zone 3 for the majority of each one. 

Just spin easily for the recoveries.

Sample Day 11
1:00:00
Cross Training

This is not an essential session; add it to your
training if you have the time.

Choose an activity to help develop all-round
fitness and flexibility.

If you already do another exercise session, structured or social, then continue to fit that into your week. If not, then maybe try something new; for example gym work, swim, jog or a fitness class.

Remember to start all new activities slowly, don’t overdo it and that gentle restorative exercise, such as yoga or Pilates, can
complement cycling well.

Whatever you choose to do, it's important that it doesn't impact negatively on the quality of your cycling training.