Advice Needed: Training for Concentrated Long Distance, High Volume Trip


I’ve been invited to participate in a tour in May 2022 that will involve multiple (8-10) back-to-back days of ~100 mile segments. I don’t anticipate a ton of elevation, and the group generally bangs out the mileage over the course of 9-11 hours, with stops for lunch, coffee, etc.

Yes, they are a bit nuts, but a fun kind of nuts.

I rode with them ~ 5yrs years ago at the beginning of my riding career with only basic Zwift training and a poor understanding of nutrition and hydration, and managed to hold on for five days before the legs gave out. I’d like to do better this time.

I’m trying to decide on the appropriate training plan in TR, which I used last winter to keep fit. This will be the first time I’d use it to seriously train. I want to use something that builds endurance, and was thinking about selecting a gran fondo as the goal, but am unsure if that will build the endurance needed.

About me:

  • Current FTP ~220 (it’s been a few months since I last tested)
  • 54 yrs old
  • Current weekly volume, split between my Kickr and outdoors: ~75 miles
  • Probably only have enough time to low- to medium-intensity training

Any and all guidance appreciated -


Outside of cycling training, I will give the same advice I gave on the Haute Route thread: start doing a lot of core work. Not just abs, but full core - lower back, hips, etc. You are talking about a lot of time in the saddle, so a weak core / lower back problems would really suck.

The other thing to work on is your nutrition strategy. For a single day event, you can sort of get away with sub-optimal nutrition. But that will really bite you over 8 - 10 back to back days. You especially want to keep on your nutrition towards the end (last hour) of each day. You aren’t eating for that day, but for the next.

Good luck, and have fun. Let us know how it goes.


I would think that I would need volume. Lots and lots of volume. The delta between 75 miles/wk and 700 in a week is huge, and it sounds like it might continue into the next week. If intensity isn’t important for the tour, volume certainly is. I don’t know of a substitute. To go from 4-5 hours a week to 70 would be quite the shock. Core strength is important, also, moving the legs and sitting for that long. Might want to have your bike fit evaluated sooner than later too. Good luck!

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@AlphaDogCycling - Excellent advice - actually something I started doing before the last tour!

@iceaxe - agree 100%. I’m just unsure of how to best structure this volume, and which plan could guide me best. I’m thinking it is the gran fondo, but would love to hear alternative views.

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Frankly I think just use Plan Builder and tell it your event, and it will select Century anyway.

I’ve done loads of these sorts of weeks over the last 10 years - except all involved mountains eg ride across the Alps, or coast to coast across the Pyrenees, around N Spain etc etc. I found a couple of things really helped:

  1. as much as you can, start to stack back to back to back says of training - whatever that may be, but get used to riding several days in a row before a rest day. My work schedule used to mean I had to take 2-4 day trips most weeks and couldnt train, so i had a routine of burying myself across 3 or 4 days and then forced rest for a few days. Ended up working absolutely brilliantly as when others start to fade on day 3 I was just getting stronger and stronger.

  2. Make sure you’re bike fit is spot on - these days will find you out badly otherwise

  3. I didnt find nutrition too much of a thing when we stopped for a couple of coffee/cake stops and a lunch break each day. As long as I had enough liquid to cope with the temps and some snacks before big long 15-20km climbs I found it quite easy. If you’re not used to long days then worth some practice to get used to different foods and snacks etc

Otherwise you’ve just got to take every opportunity you can to ride longer rides outside as often as you can and get that weekly volume UP UP UP.


Great input - thank you!

Seconded. As part of getting a good bike fit, make sure you have a comfortable saddle and good handlebars that fit you.

If you had written that you’d be climbing a bit (which you apparently don’t ) I would have also suggested to have a look at your gearing.

+1 for all the advice above.

If I can add anything is for you to try to do a few centuries as soon as possible (independently off the chosen pace)

Not because of the fitness gains, it’s more for you to learn with the experience and have time to sorte any probs (back pain, nutrition, fingers numbness, 3 flats in a row, pacing yourself… whatever). Some of this issues take time to sort out.

It would be a PITA if you only found out in the event that the saddle is not that comfortable after 4h riding.

Good luck.

Thanks. Have already done three centuries, but never back-to-back. Will definitely revisit the fit issue. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had this evaluated.

If you don’t have any comfort issues currently I don’t see the point of a bike fit; if it ain’t broken don’t fix it.
However, make sure to put in some longer (3-4h at least) rides asap to make sure you are comfortable at the end of a long ride.

I would suggest looking into the Traditional Base Plans, mid volume is my favorite. I’m 57 and SST is just to hard to recover from these days.


thank you -