First Trainerroad Gran Fondo

Last Sunday I did my first Trainerroad Gran Fondo. This is not my first Gran Fondo, but my first since I started using Trainerroad. I thought I would post my experience.

This was 100 miles (although in honour of @Nate_Pearson I took a wrong turn and made it 103 :slight_smile: ). It had 6000ft of climbing. I don’t normally look at that. I’m not sure if that is a lot over 100 miles or not. It was 7 hours and 22 minutes of riding with an average cadence of 89. That was about 40 minutes faster than last year.

I like to spin around 90-95rpm. I found I had rarely had to get out of the saddle. I spun up most of the hills pretty well. I wouldn’t say I was fast up them, but I would say I had a constant speed up most of them.

Nearer the end, I felt I wanted to get out of the saddle a bit more on the hills. This is where I found it more interesting. I found that my thigh muscles just above my knees would spasm a bit. I had never had this before. My old training programme had more slower cadence, harder gears, and more out of the saddle workouts. I’m sure I spent more time in the saddle up the hills this year. I think this is a good thing.

I have found as I use Trainerroad more I like to spin faster and it feels a bit uncomfortable when I “slow” down to around 90 rpm if there is no tension on the peddles.

After listening to the podcast I tried harder on the fueling side. I had two large SIS bottles with me. The first had two packets of SIS Beta Fuel, the second two packets of SIS Go Energy. It was not a warm day so those lasted around five hours. I also had two bananas, two SIS gels and two SIS banana fudge bars. I felt fine from an energy point of view all the way around.

I will be 50 in a few months so I will never get much faster, but my aim with Trainerroad was to be stronger for more of the distance. This would seem to be the case. I felt stronger for longer. I was faster because I slowed less.

Hopefully, this wasn’t too boring for you all. Back in the saddle next week :slight_smile:


Congrats on the progress! I do my first of the year in a couple of weeks. When you write TR GF, you mean just the first GF after starting TR, correct? Unless there’s an official TR GF that we can all participate in!

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This will only be true if you want this to be the case (i.e. don’t train to do so).
FYI: I’m 61 and have crushed ever PR I set when I was in my 40s and 50s. In 2017, for example, over the 4 GFs I did, I increased my 6 hour NP from 140 to 160 to 180 through training (prior to joining TR in Aug 2017)

It depends on where you live. I’ve done about 25 GFs/centuries here in northern California, where the easier ones ranged from 3,000-5,000 feet (e.g. Lake Tahoe century) while the most challenging ones range from 10,000 to 12,000 feet (e.g. Santa Cruz Mountains Challenge, Sequoia Century) and everything in between.

A hard century beyond your typical long rides will do this. The solution to this is training. Time crunched athlete plans, like TR are great, but not sufficient to go long AND hard. Two additional elements that worked for me:

  1. Many, many long outdoor rides of 6-10 hours
  2. Fatigue resistance training that you layer on top of TR’s intervals. Tim Cusick, WK04 product leader, has a great YouTube video to explain this.

Congratulations on your first GF! They are a ton of fun!


That is correct, first GF since starting with Trainerroad

Thank. I will look for that video.


Thanks very much.

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