How can i extend the power output on long rides

at the moment I have a knot in my mind regarding my training. I am primarily training for long events e.g. Mallorca312 or Ötztaler and long climbs events like Marmotte Granfondo Alpes.

My goal is to get better and have a 20 min FTP of 5W/kg.

Now I do the following plan:
Mon: Rest
Tue: Vo2Max (Outdoor)
Wed: 2h - Z2 (TR)
Thu: 2h - Z2 (TR)
Fri: 90 min SS (TR)
Sat: 2h - Z2 (Outdoor)
Sun: 4 - 8h unstructured outdoor group ride

I’m also noticing that I’m getting much better at the moment. I can pedal at high wattages for much longer. So I’m extending the total time with my training, but I would also like to change the absolute power number. So not 3.41W/kg for 2 hours but 3.6W/kg for 2 hours or more.

How should I adjust my training?

What might work is to pick a build plan that meets your availability training hours and matches your recovery capabilities in terms of intensity per week.

Looks like you’re doing 2 intensity efforts a week and the rest as more endurance; so perhaps the polarised or masters plans may match your needs?

Given your riding goal longer term, perhaps a build plan that is based on longer efforts and less spiky delivery? It’s worth browsing through the TR plans to get a sense of the type of workouts planned, for example some of the plans have mostly SS or Threshold, but the difference in ‘type’ of workout can be big. VO2 can also be either short efforts 30/30s or longer intervals at a slightly lower intensity that really tax the system in a different way.


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It looks like you’re on the right track from what you posted here!

Sounds like your training is working if you’re feeling stronger and you can sustain high wattages for longer periods of time. 5W/kg for 20 minutes is a very high power-to-weight ratio, so I think you probably just need more time to continue training consistently to see if that will be an attainable power-to-weight ratio for you.

If you’re looking to increase your 2+ hour power, it might be worth focusing on some more Sweet Spot/Tempo workouts, as those are the kinds of efforts that will work on your long-range power. Those types of muscular endurance workouts would also be helpful for the longer climbs you’ll see in some of the Gran Fondo events you’re looking at. That said, VO2 Max workouts are helpful when it comes to improving/maintaining your aerobic capacity, so it’s good that you have some of them mixed in as well.

One thing to note might be to rest a bit extra if your Sunday group ride tends to be closer to 8 hours long vs. 4 hours long. A 4-hour group ride can already be quite tough, and an 8-hour ride of any intensity is sure to add a lot of stress to your training plan. If you feel a bit more run-down than normal on the Tuesday following one of those Sunday rides and you think you need a bit more rest, don’t be afraid to take it! Red Light Green Light could be a helpful tool to use to help you make adjustments around those bigger training days.

And, of course, make sure to take a recovery week every 4th week of training in case you aren’t already.

As @dsirrom mentioned, you could also check out Plan Builder, which takes out a lot of the guesswork in creating a plan. I think something like the Gran Fondo plan would be a good fit for the kinds of workouts you’re looking for.

Hope this helps – feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!


You can also improve your time to exhaustion by doing some threshold workouts at the end of a group ride and for example, doing 10 mins at threshold after a 2000 or 2500kJ effort.
My note on this one: I can’t manage to do more than 2 mins… but that’s me :slight_smile:

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You gotta figure it out for yourself. What works for me is doing longer steady endurance rides, 2-5 hours, and doing threshold work. So during the week (Tuesday) I’ll ride outside on my “2 hour Tuesday” workout and make an extra loop to add 30+ minutes and push steady power longer. On Saturday I’ll push steady power as long as possible on a 3-5 hour ride, and set a goal each week to push steady power for longer (except during a recovery week). More important is the threshold work (after 4-8 weeks of SS) and also pushing that out longer and longer. The other thing I need to do is a 90g bottle of carbs the first hour or two, depending on when I had last carb meal. Basic progression stuff.

Maybe if you’re getting better with your current plan, then it’s best to continue with it until that stops.

However, if you feel there are certain areas that you want to improve on then you should focus on that.

A couple thoughts:

  1. If you’re well trained, then a 90 min SS workout might not be long enough. You might be able to do 90 min of SS in a single workout. So once you include a warm up and rest periods then you’re not pushing your limits much.
  • Maybe change that to a threshold workout if you’re time limited and work on pushing out your TTE across a block
  1. If you want to be able to do more watts for those medium time frames then you’ve got to increase your FTP.
  • VO2 and volume is the way to do that. It’s possible one VO2 a week isn’t enough. Maybe consider doing a focused VO2 block. I did my first one this year and the results were shocking. There are several threads on here that describe how you might want to approach it.
  1. The group ride. What exactly does “unstructured” mean. Is it mostly stead SS/threshold work or is it basically an anaerobic race simulation? If you do a hard 7h group ride on Sunday it’s possible you’re still tired on Monday for your VO2 workout where you want to be super fresh to push as hard as possible.
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This was something I started doing this year. Workouts like a 5h ride with 10-15min threshold intervals sprinkled throughout (like 30-60min endurance between). Just yesterday I did 10min @ FTP after like 3500kj. And while hard, once you do it several times, you start to feel like superman.

As you are getting much better at the moment, then keeping on doing what you are doing might be enough. But extending time on the bike should help you prepare for those very long events.

Can you make the 2h Z2 rides into 3h Z2, or can you find time to do 2x 2h Z2 rides on those days?

Can you make the 90m SS into a 2h SS, or can you find time to do 2x 90m SS rides on that day?

Put some above FTP efforts in on the Sunday ride, preferably in the last hour of the ride.