5-year Plan to Win Kansa? (Or how to structure a long-term goal oriented plan)

I know I sound like a crazy man – but one of my riding buddies suggested that I should plan long term after hearing about my crazy talk about winning Kansa one day.

Now, I’m fairly strong on the bike (330w/75kg) . Not the feathery weight type of rider, which I think Kansa’s lack of sustained climbs is not going to punish.


Where do you place in the DK now?

I think it is an awesome goal BTW.

Always wondered about the science behind something beyond the typical one year plan. Would it be best to do super extended periods of base training for example then move on? Is periodisation king here, and what’s the difference between a one year periodised and 2 year periodised plan. What about if the only event was 3 years away?

I bet the vast majority of coaches would simply stick you on what’s ultimately a repeating annual cycle with some tweaks here and there, but that’s just because of a lack of available knowledge on how to most efficiently train 5 years down the line for one event.

Wonder what other sports might have a longer term goal without any events to interfere with a pure training cycle. Olympians and the like also compete year round in other events. Other sports with super long term goals are more technical and research based (mountain summits for example).

I think some of the Olympic sports get very close. E.g. In track cycling the GB team treat pretty much everything apart from the Olympics as a B race, and typically win a lot more medals at the Olympics than they do in the same events at World Championships. Even extends to some of their proven medal winners like Jason Kenny taking time out of the sport.

Suspect sports like rowing and kayaking are similar. The Olympics is an order of magnitude bigger than any other event in their sport, plus they tend to be mostly funded by national bodies or sponsors who are focused on the Olympics, as opposed to being employed by a club, team or franchise that will have a more short term focus.

Similar to how Johnny Brownlee has been nowhere for the past couple of years and what do you know we get a year out from Tokyo and he is suddenly back on the top of the podium.

Haven’t even done one yet – given that I have 5 years, I think that’s not the biggest concern at the moment.

Funny you should mention that – I work in Rowing and It is true that the structure of a 4 year cycle has its ups and downs, and in general people don’t give a damn about the results at the world championships after the Olympic year that much. And from what I’ve experienced/seen so far it’s always a build/BIG/BIGGER/sharper type of cycle revolved for the 4 years.

I do think however that this plan might a bit different since I’m really interested in How I’ll be stacking up if I’m out to explore the outer edge of my capabilities. And this would possibly be a build - build - build - build type of plan where I want just get better each year.

Kind of like @Jonathan’s 2 year plan for the nationals.

I rowed at a high college/club level a couple of decades back, some of the guys from my crews went on to worlds and Olympics so got some insight into how they trained. At the time I didn’t know much about training, just did what I was told by the coach (simpler times!), but with hindsight it was amazing how much endurance volume we were putting in for an event that only lasted 6 minutes, and the higher you got the more volume they were doing. Completely consistent with the TR guys telling us how important the aerobic base is even for the high end intensity stuff. Unless you’re a track sprinter/pursuiter the shortest cycling events are still way longer than a rowing race, aerobic base is key. And for something like Kanza it’s everything.

Bearing the above in mind, I’d say that with 5 years to plan it, then if training time isn’t a limiter you’d want to be doing a lot more base/base/base than build/build/build. Maybe alternate between doing blocks of SS base and blocks of traditional base where you do a bunch of 20+ hour weeks with lots of long Z2-3 rides. Build yourself a huge aerobic engine. Add in one block of build->specialty each year to keep yourself fresh and sharpen the top end. Also obviously critical to race Kanza and similar events enough times to absolutely nail tactics, nutrition, equipment, tapering, etc. If you haven’t already, take a look at the thread on how pros train - Pro/Elite training


Here’s one that worked…


+1 would love a podcast on the subject of a multi year plan. in my late 20s and would love to structure the rest of my “athletic gains window” or “it will never be as easy as it is now window”. as much info as i can get on how to productively set up the 29th-33rd or 34th period of my cycling “career” (lol as I’m an amateur cat 3 rider)

I (personally) have a hard time putting any eggs in the winning basket because I don’t see myself gaining the power to really keep up with the fastest in these events, and they are only going to get faster as more pros and ex-pros and near pros get involved in the gravel world. I have yet to do a gravel event (will be doing one soon) and I’m kind of set on having a time goal based on where I think people in my general fitness class have placed in the past vs a placement goal.

Unless you are young, you should be able to approach your genetic limit with 5 years, probably less. Yes, you can work out a plan that is structured over 5 years, but it’s hard to know what year 2+ is going to look like until you see how your body responds to year 1. I’d just work on building sustained power and continue to ramp volume as tolerable and adjust the plan every 6 months or so. Within a year or 2, you’ll know whether you have the right parents to make a DK podium.

You are right that DK isn’t an ideal course for a pure climber, but it’s far from flat with over 10k feet of climbing. Regardless, you will need pro-level power to contend for a win in this race, especially if the international pros start to take it more seriously (which I think is inevitable). Colin Strickland was a relative unknown compared to some of the guys he beat, but he’s got a serious motor. Maybe in 5 years, you can be the crazy guy rolling off the front 100 miles from the finish that nobody bothers to chase. Good luck.