Gran Fondo plan for the best all-round training?

I’m putting together my 2021/2022 training plan using Plan Builder, and trying to decide on a discipline/specialty.

I don’t race (yet) but I do take part in the odd weekend group ride which tends to be around 70 miles at a fast pace, with probably around 5,000ft of climbing.

In choosing a specialty phase (Low Volume) I’m trying to decide between Climbing Road Race (2x VO2 Max and 1x Endurance workout per week) and Century (1x Threshold, 1x VO2 Max and 1x Sweet Spot per week). The Century specialty phase looks to be a good mix of workout types for riders wanting to be good ‘all-rounders’ (happy to be corrected on this!)

Which of these specialty phases would be best for me, with the goal of being a good all-round group rider who doesn’t race Crits or TTs? Any advice much appreciated! Thanks.

Is the group steady fast or spiky fast? How big is it?

Century plan is aimed more at long steady rides where you’re not spending much if any time above threshold. Climbing Road Race is aimed more at racing those rides where you’re going to have to repeatedly go above threshold to attack, chase or survive on the climbs when people are drilling it, but also get some good sections where you can sit in the draft and recover.

So I’d be more inclined towards the Climbing plan if the group hammers it on the climbs or if it’s a big group that keeps the pace high by having people pushing hard on the front and then getting a good amount of recovery before doing another turn. Whereas if the group is small and rides more steadily I’d go with Century.

1 Like

@cartsman Thanks for your reply. The group ride is mostly steady fast, with lots of climbs of varying in gradient and distance (some long, some short). The group is competitive though, so I think the VO2 work in the Climbing plan might be better suited. I live in a hilly place too and enjoy climbing, so it might just make sense in generally for the type of riding I do. Cheers for the help.