Best Training Plan for 100mile Gran Fondo Race?


My A race next year is a 100 mile Gran Fondo (~2500ft) , which I intend to do a full base/build/specialty plan. prior to the event. I’m looking at mid volume plans, but I’m struggling to decide what is the best combination for me:

A) Sweet spot base > Sustained Power Build > Century

B) Sweet spot base > Sustained Power Build > Rolling Road Race

C) Sweet spot base > General Build > Century

D) Sweet spot base > General Build > Rolling Road Race

…or even start with traditional base!!!

Any advice really appreciated!



Option A. If you have time for traditional base at mid volume, that would be fine.

Interesting question, made me go re-read up on the specialty plans again, If I was you I would go for option B, you have less than a 1000VM so unless there is just one major climb or maybe a few smaller ones ??, I’m guessing undulation course which leads to the Rolling Road Race Plan. Funny thing about most of those plans is you cant go wrong with either so another way to look at it is what is your achilles heel and maybe target that to improve a weakness or to select the plan you prefer and swap in some workouts to target a weakness.


Is this a competitive race or more of a timed ride?

If its a race, try and find out how the selection is made and pick the appropriate specialty plan to make the selection. For example, if there is a big climb where the leaders get away I’d go SSB -> General Build -> climbing road race. If the leaders get away on short punchy climbs I’d go SSB-> General Build -> Rolling road race.

If its more of a timed ride I’d go with option A as it should give you great endurance to get a fast time.

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I would go with option A. I am currently on mid volume century plan and I am really enjoying the progression.


The route is quite flat in general just 2500ft over 100 miles. The hills that are part of the course are at the first and last thirds with a long flat drag in the middle. I am trying to race it for a good time - so I’ll be giving it everything I have.
What would the benefits of the traditional base be over the sweet spot base?


This is kind of the million dollar question in cycling. I think the jury is still out on what exactly are the benefits of one vs the other.

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Ass conditioning.

Option A. I completed my first century this year with roughly 4,600 ft climb with a majority between 40 - 80 miles. I finished well and pleased with my experience. So much so, I’ll be doing two in 2019.

Option A sounds like a good fit then. I’ve done century rides before, but my question was really focusing on not just finishing… Finishing fast! This will be a flat out effort for me with hard racing involved.

I guess I am unsure though whether that route will really push for the same gains in ftp during the plans duration, and ability to sustain a higher power during the race, vs something like one of the road race plans.

I always had the century plan down as one for riders attempting thier first century… Probably incorrect assumption by me?

I like B, a good mix of endurance and VO2Max…

I’m not really a racer and chose century simply because it said ‘Century’…haha.

Maybe Climbing Road then? It looks like it has a nice mix of sweet spot and VO2 (I’ve been considering this for 2019). I do think a definite is Sustained Power Build.

Century plan is all about raising your ftp and getting you to where you can hold more of your ftp for longer. It doesn’t help you with surging at all. It’s not for newbies it’s just not for people looking to open a gap and win a wheel to wheel race.

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I feel like you’ve partly answered your own question here. You want a good time. With this in mind I’ld lean towards SSB 1&2, General Build, and Rolling Road Race.

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I live near a HWY call Natchez Trace. It runs from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi. I love riding but I’m in the same boat as you not sure which plan. It’s a straight 440 miles long it’s a Federal Hwy speed limit is 45 mph perfect for runners & cyclist. I mapped out a 60 mile route route 3400feet elevation.
I was thinking general build & Rolling Road Race as well.