Glad I’ve found this thread, some good advice in here - I was about to post the very same question. Can I ask what plan you decided to go with, fairwarrior?
I started on Jan 1st with a plan all mapped out to get me to the Etape, but that plan finishes this week (as the event was planned to be this weekend originally). And so I’m wondering what plan to do for the next 9 weeks to take me to the new date. Similarly, I was wondering about doing either Century or Climbing Road Race.
I started in January with no experience whatsoever, and admittedly fairly low fitness! The planner has had me doing Sweet Spot Base 1, Sweet Spot Base 2, Sustained Power Build, Climbing Road Race (all Low Volume). In March I started adding an outdoor ride once per week, which in April & May were roughly 100km each, so 4 hours plus. I live in Hove, so all rides involve going over the South Downs at least twice, but they are not exactly the Col de Turini!!
If I’m honest the outdoor rides have tailed off a bit in the last month as I lost a bit of commitment when it looked like the Etape wouldn’t happen, although I have kept up with the indoor TrainerRoad training plan.
So now I’m wondering which plan to take me through the next 9 weeks to the event. And also a bit unsure about how much outdoor/long distance riding I need to add to the plan, although I see that has largely been answered above. Is 1 per week really enough? And shouldn’t it be longer than 4 hours? I assume the Etape will take me at least double that!!
Unlike fairwarrior I am NOT an experienced amateur cyclist, but feel I am reasonably fit after the last 6 months of training (the 100km outdoor rides I find relatively easy). But without any similar cycling experience to fall back on and compare to, I really have no idea if I am fit enough/heading in the right direction to complete the Etape. I am not looking at it as a race - I just want to complete it, and hopefully enjoy it!! It is this last point (and cartsman’s post above seems very logical to me) that makes me think that Century would be more appropriate than Climbing Road Race (which I have already done once) - doing that gives me 3 indoor rides a week, plus I’d add a long outdoor one to it… does that sound reasonable?
Many thanks all. And fairwarrior - see you en France, peut etre!