Getting ready to the Liege Bastogne Liege

Hi there,
I just registered for the classic, Liege Bastogne Liege challenge. The route is 274km.
I am now on the last two weeks of the SSBII low volume, on top I do a long ride on weekends. I would to know what would you suggest next?
The race is on 27th of April so I do not have time to complete the specialty phase. I was thinking go for the Sustained Power Build and the follow the Century on Specialty phase, but I will have time to do two weeks of it.

What would you suggest? Looking for opinions to arrives in the best shape possible.

I think you’re on the correct path. Good luck!

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Hey there!

You have the right idea with prioritizing Build over Specialty :+1: With only two weeks of Specialty, I would recommend:

If you are feeling strong and well rested:
Week 1 Century
Week 8 Century

If you are feeling pretty worn out, then take a full two week taper:
Week 7 Century
Week 8 Century

I hope this helps!


Having done the challenge last year, my recommendation would be to ensure you have workouts with threshold intervals in the 7-10mins range in order to mentally be prepared for La Redoute, depending on how fast you climb. My time on La Redoute was 7:21 and it was with an average cadence of 69, with an average power of 342W (110% FTP for me). Of all the parts of Liege, it’s the only moment that I recall being very mentally taxing.

The rest of the climbs are not that bad, even the Faucons and St.Nicholas which are steep as you come back into the city. But it’s La Redoute that’s going to punch you right in the mouth.

My personal approach would be to focus on the structure in the Century Specialty plan, but then I would substitute some of the workouts with others from Sustained Power that help replicate what you can expect at the hardest parts of the sportiv. It’s a Sportiv, not a race, so I would honestly replace the Over/Unders in Century with more sustained VO2Max efforts found in the Sustained Power plan. I just don’t think that Over/Under scenarios are as applicable in this case. Workouts like Raymond +7, Budawang +3 look well suited to take from Sustained Power and sprinkle into Century Specialty.

That’s my 2 cents. It’s a great event and a lot of fun. Enjoy the Ardennes :slight_smile:

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St Nicholas gone this year, it’s a new (old) route with a city centre finish (hopefully the old one along the river).

I’m going this year, I’m in sustained power build, and I’ll go on to Century, swapping the Saturday workout for long outside rides when weather/ family allows.

I guess the theory of sticking with the Build is that increasing FTP will make it easier - a day at a potentially lower % of FTP?

I’ve signed up for the full wake, and starting to get a bit nervous, but I’m assuming they’ll be plenty of groups, so it’s not 274 solo…

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Tons of groups, there’s like 5000 people who do the Sportiv and all the distance variants end up overlapping in the day. It will be a challenge for you to end up solo. :slight_smile:


I knew that really, but was beginning to second guess why the feck I signed up for the 274 option!

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I’m signing up for the medium version. I’ll wait for you and pull you the last 50! :joy:


Thanks for the suggestion Bryce!

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Hi Oblewis,
Thank you for the recommendations, its nice to have the feedback of someone who did it already :slight_smile: I registered for the 274km also, I know will be a hard day. To tell you the true will be y first Road Cycling event as I am more into cross country. Lets see :smile:
Around London is a bit difficult to find long climbs, so my training for it needs to be done mostly on TrainerRoad.
I will stick to y plan, and as you suggest probably add a couple of threshold workouts in the middle.

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LBL is done! I can say was a though one and very cold. I had one issue since the ride (three days passed and I still have numb hands most probably (carpal tunnel syndrome is characterised by numbness or tingling in the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers or weakness in the hand), never happen to me before. During the ride as was freezing and raining I tough was just cold, but not I can see e was something else. What are you advises?
Second what would be the recovery time, I spend around 11h, tss 1030 on the bike and set a new FTP .


@MarcoAlmeida I missed this, but it came on when I was doing a search for gloves…

I was at the Doctor this week with what seems to be a combo of carpal tunnel and cyclist palsy. He also suspects either Raynauds or possibly I damaged blood vessels from the cold! I felt my gloves were making me colder rather than warmer around Bastogne, and I took them off there…

Anyway, can’t get into the consultant to whom I’ve been referred to assess the damage until next week. However, while improvement has been slow, today I am much better (and that was before I’ve started on the meds which had to be ordered in). I can actually do up shirt buttons and tie laces and I’m a bit more hopeful after todays improvement that I might not have done longer term damage!

On reflection, I was probably having some issues on the longer rides I did as prep for LBL, which I put down to the cold (which I do feel more since losing weight). I was having numb fingers. So my plan is a new bike fit, double wrapped bars and new gloves (including neoprene ones for similar conditions!). And I guess core work.

And btw @zwillis1 didn’t wait for me :grinning:

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:joy: I didn’t even finish the race! Sorry!

The cold absolutely destroyed me and I was shivering so badly on the descents there was some scary bike wobble. (and my hands weren’t working fully to pull the brakes), so I pulled the plug.

I’ll be back!

That sounds pretty awful @Macy . Take care and I hope you have a speedy recovery. A bike fit can help alright. I can also recommend the Specialized grail gloves (they have a nice ergonomic feel without being restrictive or too thick). No winter model of those yet though :frowning:

Ordered the grail full fingers this morning. Had a bike fit on my Defy, and the shop set up the TCR to those measurements, but maybe the more aggressive geometry has changed the fit.

Like a lot of people that day we only looked at the local weather report and didn’t think about altitude effects. We expected 9C and at the coldest it got down to was 1, with rain as well it made for a real tough day. Kudos to those in shorts and short sleeves we saw at the start if any made it to the end

Hi @Macy looks like we both have similar symptoms. I also saw the doctor this week however has different approach, she asked me to wait a couple of weeks more as I had some improvements over this week. She said to get some ibuprofen and in few weeks if still have some symptoms to see her again.

I think my problem was that with the cold I couldn’t feel my hands, so couldn’t spot what was going on, to try to correct my hands position to relieve the pressure a bit.

I glove selection was not the best also, I went long fingers but spring one…should go with winter waterproof…now is to late :slight_smile:

Anyway keep me update how your symptoms are developing. Hopefully my doctor is right and this will go away with time as is only a carpal tunnel inflammation due to pressure on the wrists from the long ride.

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I thought I’d gone quite conservative with a full winter jacket and full winter bibs. Definitely needed to go heavier under the jacket though. Glove choice was undoubtedly off, but I think it was the wind chill effect that really did the damage.