Building a plan and Target Discipline selection

I’m seeking suggestions on which type of plan would best suit reaching my goal. My A-level Race will take place from November 1-10 this year and includes 5 days of competition, making it a stage event. Each event will cover approximately 100km-130km with 1500-2500m of climbing. Currently, I have selected Stage Event for the Event Type. However, I am unsure whether to choose Gran Fondo or Climbing Road Race for the Target Discipline.

For context, I am 28 years old with a power-to-weight ratio of about 3.4w/kg. Before using TrainerRoad, my weekly TSS was around 400, and I spent 8-10 hours per week on road cycling. Therefore, I have decided to choose the high-volume (HV) plan, as I can commit to a 10-hour per week training schedule.

What’s your opinion on this?

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Hey there and welcome to the TR community!

I think either of those plans would be a good choice for the event you’ve described. One might be preferable to the other, though, depending on how you plan to approach the race.

The Gran Fondo Plan generally features steady, sustained efforts at about Threshold or VO2 Max. If you want to ride up the climbs in your event at a steady pace without worrying about the need to surge too much, then the Gran Fondo Plan would be the plan to go with.

Example workouts:

The Climbing Road Race Plan is pretty similar, but its workouts often feature high-intensity bursts of power. The workouts will have you going hard above Threshold, then settling back into a rhythm at about Threshold once again. These surges are meant to simulate attacking/responding to attacks going up climbs, so if that’s how you want to ride your race, then the Climbing RR Plan would be the better choice.

Example workouts:

As for volume, we might recommend starting with a Mid Volume Plan if it’s your first time doing structured training. Intervals can be quite demanding at times, and if you combine that intensity with more volume than you might be able to handle right now, it can lead to excess fatigue and burnout. You can always build up your volume over time!

This article will give you some good additional info on that:

Hope this helps – feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!

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For the event type: Determine for yourself how the race/event will play out for you. If it’s repeated “time trial” efforts on your own on big climbs (thinks 1 hour chunks of consistent tempo up each climb), and the duration of each day will be long (think over 4h). So basically trying to finish as strong as you can by yourself. Then Grand Fondo would probably be good.
If you plan to “race” the event more, so sticking with the front group, and you assume the days will be shorter. Then I would go for Climbing Road Race. Since this includes some more VO2, especially towards the specialty phase.

Regarding the volume. This comes back a lot on the forum. Riding your bike for 8-10h per week will be completely different to doing structured training for 10 hours per week.
So listen to your body, and to red light green light, to not overtrain yourself.

EDIT: @ZackeryWeimer beat me with his answer.


Your answer still nails it!!

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