Help me salvage my goal ride (Imperial Century)

tl;dr : I have 6 weeks to go 'til my goal ride (my first imperial century), and I can’t decide whether to repeat SSBLV1 after very poor compliance or go on to SSBLV2, 'cause I’m feeling fit and capable at the moment. Which should I choose?

The Longer Version

I had been following a plan builder plan targeting a gravel fondo in mid-April of this year. However the weekend before that, I got the flu (not COVID, thankfully) bad enough that I wasn’t even taking full breaths without coughing on the day of the event, so that blew up that plan.

I pivoted, towards an imperial century the second weekend in July (family/personal factors dictate this weekend, it can’t/won’t move). That meant I had 13 weeks 'til it happened, so I filled that with SSBLV1 and SSBLV2 stock plans. I figured all the base I could get was a good choice. Then SSBLV1 got blown up due to lingering effects of the illness, more time commitment to a rec sports league that I also participate in that I had not anticipated, and other work & personal stuff. I think I completed 2 workouts.

I’m a big, slow dude, so my century goals are very modest (9h moving time, 12h elapsed time). Now I’ve got 6 weeks left, my life has settled down considerably, and I’m wondering if I should proceed as planned with SSBLV2, even though I never really did LV1, or go back and actually do LV1? I just did a 3-day mini vacation with 400 TSS…not huge by any means, but SSBLV is < 300 TSS the whole week, so big for me. And I feel pretty good after that. That’s what makes me think I could jump into LV2. Going to take it easy the rest of this week (It was the recovery week of my original LV1 block). The 6-week block starts next week.

Thanks for taking the time to read. What are everyone’s thoughts on this? SSBLV1 or LV2? Appreciate any feedback.

I would just ride your bike as much as possible before then. Moderate the volume so you don’t have any large increases from previous weeks. Add about 10% duration each week. Take week 4 easy with about a 50% reduction in volume. Get a full week of riding in week 5, and take it easy the week leading up to your big ride.

These plans don’t really make much of a difference for what you’re looking to accomplish. Have fun and ride often and enjoy your big ride.

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This is a good example of the fallacy of one right answer. Either one will be beneficial. Time at sweet spot or threshold will push your fitness along nicely. I would add that brute “time in saddle” will also be very helpful, as comfort is more likely to be a limitation than fitness at the duration you’re looking at. Take the time to get your bike setup as comfortable as possible, too.

Good luck!

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Go for SSBLV2, its a good plan that introduces a bit of vo2max. The aim of SSB1 is to build a bit of base, but with how you describe you’re feeling and your recent mini-training camp, you’ve got that, so no harm moving to SSB2.

Regarding the century, don’t worry about it too much. If you’ve got control over the route (its not an organised event etc), just pick three cafes/shops locations you want to visit, roughly 25 miles apart. Ride to the first one, have a break, ride to the second one, have a longer break/lunch (halfway!), ride to the third one, another break, and then its just 25 miles home.

And the other responses reinforce that, for sure.

Right now, I’m leaning towards re-doing SSBLV1, properly and completely this time. I don’t feel like I need to push my fitness along, just stem the losses and stabilize from 6 messy weeks.

Definitely looking at making sure the fit is sorted out.

And there’s nothing that says I have to do this…though a goal like this is a great way to keep me motivated. I’ll pull the plug if I need to.

And make sure your fuelling is dialled in if you’ve not ridden for that many hours before. The first imperial i did was a warm up ride to an event with a close riding buddy, the 72 mile event with the club then a long-ish ride home. My fueling wasn’t good - i made it but by heck i felt fubbared for a couple of days.
I’ve since repeated it a few times and the fuelling was better and the outcomes much better.
You’ve already identified fit…
Enjoy yourself and hope you manage to get through it.
I did SSB and a few long outside rides to prep for my first one.

Editted as my typing is soooo bad. Or the predictive text thing.

Given the low intensity that I’m targeting, I’m probably going to rely on at least 50/50 solid food vs liquid fuel, if not higher in favor of solid food. I’ve got a proper meal planned around mile 53. For me, that long of a ride with just liquid fuel might result in an urgent road-side pit-stop around mile 75.