Gran Fondo Training Question

I usually throw an event into Plan Builder and let it do its thing. However, I would like to change things up (not always a big fan of all the Sweet Spot), as long as it does not mess up the event training.

I am going to be training for a Gran Fondo that takes place in the middle of May 2022. I will be 100% off the bike for the month of December 2021. So, will have approximately 19 weeks to train starting the beginning of January 2022. Also, time crunched so, have about 2 hours during the week with more time on the weekend.

My thought was:
8 weeks, Polarized Build (which has 1 one hour endurance ride during the week and 1 longer endurance ride on the weekend (seems like base training rides) and 1 VO2 Max or Threshold ride per week), adding another hour of endurance on the free weekend day. Then 8 weeks, Sustained Power Build to add in some Sweet Spot. Followed by two weeks of Climbing Road Race and one week of tapering.

Any thoughts and/or other plan suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thank you all.

I think I asked a similar question last years.

Does the help?
Moving from century to rolling road race

Thanks. I did read that thread. However, it was before TR released the Polarized plan.

A couple of thoughts gained from personal experience this year.

What do you know about your event? Type of course? The terrain? Duration? Predicated weather conditions where the event takes place?

After completing the Mallorca 312 this October, I can say that two things were critical. Fuelling and muscle endurance. I’d go so far as to say that fuelling was the most important aspect.

How long will your weekend endurance rides be, 4/5/6 weeks from your event? This is where you really test your fuelling strategy. Getting this right was crucial for me.

For what it’s worth, I’d definitely give a nod to Sustained Power Build. I then focused on Sweet Spot workouts such as Roan High to condition me for sustained efforts in the mountains.

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Thank you. This is very helpful. The event is the NY Gran Fondo. It takes place in May. Weather should be mild to chilly at that time (not the heat of Summer). There are 5 marked climbs. Most are between 1 and 2 miles and 300 - 500 feet of gain. One is 4 miles and 1,000 feet of gain. Winter training will be indoors and I think I will try to build to 5 hours for endurance rides by the time I can get outdoors in March. I live in a hilly part of NY. Seems that Sweet Spot was a big part of your training. Congratulations on the Mallorca 312 and thanks again.

Just another n=1 observation from my last year. I rode several GFs up to 100 miles long, as I usually do most years. Last year I had great success on some hilly events after a winter doing a SST progression @90% FTP. I basically went from a couple of sessions per week from 2x20 to 1x100 over a couple of months and sweetspot just became my new tempo pace.

I was a little surprised it didnt seem to increase my FTP at all but obviously my TTE went out a long way, and on a particularly hilly mid-year GF I was able to smash up climbs all day and even set a PB on the final long climb of the day - a climb I’ve ridden numerous times over 10 years. My fatigue resistance seemed to increase very significantly.

Sadly I missed the work to increase FTP, but the results were really quite noticeable on my long rides and made a big difference for me. I’d do it slightly differently next time but would certainly include it again in future.


For what it’s worth, I didn’t complete a workout indoors that with a duration over two hours. I’m sure that if I was training through winter I would have had to bite the bullet and get longer rides done indoors.

For me, the key aspect that the TR workouts exposed me to was constant pressure on the pedals. It doesn’t sound like your climbs are going to require 20/30/40 minute efforts so I think Sustained Power Build will set you up nicely.

Thank you. That is very helpful.