Fred Whitton 2021


I have juat registered with trainer road and not used the forum before so please bear with me.

I entered the FW this year but this has been postponed until next year, training for this year has been a few zwift sessions and longer rodes at weekend.

As it is a year to go, i am keen to add structure so i give myself the best chance.

It will be my first time, i live on the edge of the lakes (near cold fell) so no problem accessing the route and cycled some of it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Maybe I’ve missed it, but there isnt really a question here. What would you like to know?

The search function will point you towards suitable threads about training for the Fred Whitton


I have just read it back and realise I missed that part.

Just wondering what workouts to start with on trainerroad and how to link other training plans together.

I’ll have a search

TrainerRoad’s Plan Builder is a great feature and will get you on your path. :+1:

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Hi Rob,

Ridden the event 5 times and this year would have been the 6th. Happy to help with guidance for the event itself if you have any questions.


Cheers guys, much appreciated.

I had a look at the plan builder for mid volume going to start on monday.

I am not sure how the suggested sat / sun ride will fit in with me doing parts of the route but ill give a go.

A friend has told me descending is where most time is lost, so need to get confident in all weathers.

Peter, where do you normally stay prior to the event. And what times best to set off?


It depends on your time goals and current ability re time lost on descents. I would say that most people lose the most time on the climbs. There is no point pushing hard on the descents if it is going to put you in trouble so definitely practice and learn where the problem areas are.

Last couple of years I’ve stopped in Grasmere YHA and Thorny How Hostel.

I dont know what my time goals should be. I want to smash it but i have to be realistic, thats why i am putting the full year into it and really going after it. FWIW im 110kg and ftp of 309 (zwift ramp test) Ive never trained properly so i reclon i could lose weight and increase power gradually ocee the year. My mates do drop me.on climbs but not ridiculously so.

I just want a realistic goal i can focus on and aim towards.

Im awful descending atm

Definitely work on your descending then but it will be the W/Kg on the climbs and working in a group that nets you the most time and, if you can, get some support on the route so you can skip the queues at the feeds.

If you can get into the Lakeland Loop in April next year and get plenty of experience over Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter.

Best time to set off will probably be between 6:30 and 7:00. That should give you chance to get into a group along Ullswater and along the A66.

Definitely get better at descending, but don’t get too gung-ho! I almost lost it descending Kirkstone Pass in 2008.

The weather can be a big factor descending, going down Hardknott in the dry is bad enough, in the wet is worse, when there’s hailstones on the ground… I haven’t personal experience of that, but in 2009 there was a hailstorm at the top, my friend who was ahead of me said people were skating down the hill one foot down, going sideways. He walked on the grass. It was still wet when I got there but no longer icy.

From the trainer road plans perspective, when you go into plan builder you can pick the type event you are aiming for… the best fit would be either Rolling Road Race or Gran Fondo. These will pick different speciality plans for the final 8-week block leading up to the day, but will be similar in the early stages. As you have a full year to prepare if you start now you can go through more than one base/build/speciality cycle which should allow you to build a lot of fitness.

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I have done the FW 5 times plus four more as part of Triathlon X. Weather, as you live in the Lakes you know there is a high chance of it being wet, Simple advice here is to GO SLOW on the descents. Do not let your speed build up because its almost impossible to scrub it off again. The descents can be harder than the assents. If its dry go for it where you can see the road surface.
Two years ago I did it in the full sun shine and 28c (82F) this was by far the most difficult conditions. I had a one liter camel back plus two water bottles but still struggled to stay on top of hydration.
For you fitness get in long rides, you are properly looking at an 8 hour event so build that endurance.
Most useful thing I have found is YOU choose to stop before the hill makes you stop! No shame in stopping on an assent, get your heart rate down then go again.
You live in a fantastic area for cycling, join a local club.

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Kudos on all the completions, especially as part of Triathlon X!

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I think you’ve got a couple of options here @RobH but don’t overthink it too much as you’ve got loads of time!

As others have suggested, one option is use Plan Builder and see what it spits out for you. You’ve said you’ve never trained properly so I’d definitely start with Low Volume and see how you get on. I think using Low Volume on Mon/Wed/Fri with additional longer rides outdoors or Zwifting at the weekend is a great way to do things as Mid Volume can be tough. I used the Mid Volume full triathlon plan from Base to Specialty for Celtman last year and almost cracked a bit towards the end as there’s just a lot of volume and intensity. And without humble bragging or anything I was in good shape and training really consistently. On the podcast they’re always reminding people that fully completing a Low Volume plan is better than intermittently doing a Mid Volume plan.

Another strategy (and my recommendation based on the information you’ve shared) would be starting with the classic method of working your way through Sweet Spot Base 1 and 2 then going to Plan Builder as you have absolutely loads of time before FW. I hope you don’t mind me saying but you’re obviously a bigger lad and if you know yourself you have weight that could be lost it’ll help a lot on FW as there’s so much climbing. I’ve done the route starting from Keswick and it’s absolutely fantastic but the climbs will grind you down, coming over my final hill from Ullswater through Dockray to the A66 I was f’ing burst and it’s not even a big hill. Work on getting used to structured training, you’ll lose some weight and get an FTP boost. You’re at 2.8W/KG just now, with some good training and losing some weight if you got 3.5 W/KG from weighing 100kg and an FTP of 350 you’re a different beast altogether.

Hello guys.
Cheers for all the advice started my training block yesterday with the ramp test (320w, need to weigh myself though because done nothing but eat and drink throughout lockdown), and feel really good. Just going to take it day by day.

I really appreciate the time and effort you guys taking to provide such detailed answers. Its definitelt goven me a boost and some extra motovation.

I have opted for mid volume rolling road race so will see how i get on. When i said never really trained i meant bike specific, i swim and gym also, my thinkingnwas reduce gym time and increase time on the bikenso should be able to manage mid. Only time will tell.

Think its just reinforced i need to be out all weathers and as used to the roads as i can.

Cheers guys. I will keep you all updated. I definitely dont mind you saying about the weight either, i know i need to get it off so have to do something about it.


Surprisingly many people walk the later climbs so that is easily where the most time is lost. Unless you fall off on a descent in the inevitable bad weather - that’s also a lot of lost time. Finally, many folks spend an hour in the aid stations if the weather is poor so that is a big waste of time if you’re “racing”. You live near the climbs so you’ll nail the gearing of course. Some come unprepared for the brief 25%+ pitches. After 100 miles a 20% gradient is a big ask.

Anyone else signed up for this year?

I was surprised to hear that I’ve got a place, having signed up for the reserve list in 2020.

I’ll be aiming to beat 2018’s time of 8hr 30, pace myself better on the early climbs and fuel better to avoid bonking.

Looking at 2018’s strava segments, the main climbs varied from 10-30 mins so I’m thinking about trying Sustained Build for the first time this year.

Keen to hear other peoples goals and training approaches.

P.S I’m well aware that the event might not go ahead, but I’m going to train as if it will, until I hear otherwise.

I am on the start list again and it is my main focus for the year if it happens. My goals will be in ascending order;

  1. Finish
  2. Do a ride I am proud of (a slower ride in terrible weather or after the road has been closed like 2018)
  3. beat my PR (6:09)

The only climb in excess of 15 ish minutes will be Kirkstone, all the others should be around 10-12 minutes with only Hardknott being a few minutes longer. All of them average/normalize to less than FTP however a few force me over FTP for a while on the steeper pitches (lower slopes of Honister for example) so will concentrate on those awkward inbetween VO2 and FTP suprathreshold efforts in the run up as well as 10-15 min over/unders.

To be fair even kirkstone is mainly shorter pitches interspersed with flatter sections.

My main lessons learnt from previous experienced are;

Pacing, 99% set off far too hard. I made the same mistake myself in 2018. You shouldn’t feel like you’ve turned a pedal in anger until Honister.

Fuelling, you have to get this absolutely right. Start taking on carbs immediately and start eating after Kirkstone. dont stop fuelling and practice before hand.

Group riding, If you have a time goal try to arrange to ride with others. There could be someone 1 minute up the road or 1 minute behind riding the same pace all day but you will never see them. The group that catches you is likely going too fast and the groups you catch too slow.

Gearing, as low as you can go whilst still keeping a close range of gears in the 20mph region which is where a lot of time is spent. I usually run a 52:36 - 12/28. This year I will be on 52:36 or 50/34 - 12/32.

Will be my 6th go, I’m local and I ride for the organising club so any questions just ask (apart from whether it is going to happen, I dont know!)

I rode the route through the night on the winter solstice. The descents are in such bad condition I would recommend everyone rides the route beforehand just in case the council haven’t repaired any of the holes.

Photo is Newlands on Sunday


Wow, how was that for a ride? Must have been epic. I had almost opposite experience, close to mid-summer in 2018 starting very early, long day but thoroughly enjoyed it.