How much Training to achieve a specific race time

Hi Everyone,

I’m hoping for some advice please. I did my first 100 mile race last year and am signed up again this year to hopefully beat my time. I finished the race in 5.02hrs and want to shave approx 30 minutes off my time this year.

I’ve signed up to trainerroad and used the plan builder to build my event plan. I am doing the build programme at the moment however the problem is, I don’t know how much training (how many sessions and how long) to do in order to achieve the race time time I am looking for. I am currently training three times per week on TR plus a 3Hr + ride in the weekends. I could do more, but how much more??

I am 45 year old male with 267 FTP, 167lbs.

I’m keen for any advice here as to how I can optimise my plan to ensure I get the training in to reduce my time.

Thank you

Was this solo or in a group?

As a starting point, perhaps look at best bike split and the power requirements to complete the course in that time. Then you will know where you need to get to.

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also how much training time in weeks you have before the race?

to reduce your race time you are looking at a 10% improvement, which roughly works at increasing your average speed over the race by 2MPH.

edit to add: if you get a decent tailwind you wont have to do anything! :wink:

Hi Rileschris, this is how we break this kind of question down for our athletes…this is a back of the envelope calc…not super exact as there are a lot of unknowns…

  1. you did 100 miles in 5hr with an FTP around 267…a very fast time in itself
  2. that means your 5hr power is around 197w [see for this]
  3. at the same watts/cda&watts/kg in the same conditions 4.5hrs would require roughly +56w = 253w
  4. 253w backwards calculated to FTP60 is around 330w
  5. So a gain of 63w FTP (267w to 330w) is required.
  6. Assuming 15 years riding experience but not structured training a 63w gain from 267 requires roughly 24 months of structured training (mid.point estimate…range 303w to 359w…sorry big confidence interval!)

all that said, as you know, you normally wouldn’t just work on power, you would work on position, equipment, weight etc because achieving your target on power alone is very tough. Further, somewhat counterintuitively the less you are currently training+ the more you add + the less experienced you are at this moment then the more rapid your gains. So I am not saying it’s impossible to achieve your goal on power alone, I am saying statistically it would take most people two years of solid training to hit that goal…but please don’t take these ballpark calculations as more than they are. Best of luck with your goal!


Thanks so much for the comprehensive reply. You raise some interesting points about just how challenging this will be. I’m relatively new to road racing (only been riding for 2 years) so I have a lot to learn, but great to know there are a few things I can work on to improve speed. Really appreciate the reply. Super helpful.


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I have 17 weeks to train so can pack a lot in (I think). There is some other feedback about this goal taking a bit more training time to achieve (couple of years) But that’s fine with me. I train by myself on a Wahoo Kickr and the race is a group race, so hopefully I’ll be able to get in a good bunch. Thanks for taking to time to reply.


Hi there, It was a group race, but I did some solo as it was my first road race and i didn’t have a lot of group riding experience, I’ll feel a bit more confident this time so will be able to spend moire time in a bunch. Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply. Most appreciated.

Thanks - Yep, so,me super handy advice about FTP increase and speed…Lots to work on. Thanks for replying. Cheers

One more thing worth mentioning, it is usually suggested that you focus on process goals rather than outcome goals. ( do a search on here and you will find a ton of stuff)

Basically focus on the things you can control, like when you train, what you eat, rather than outcomes (a specific race time) as the latter can be Impacted by so many things.

Say you train 5 times a week for 17 weeks and see a bunch of performance gains, and on the day of your race have two mechanicals, fight a headwind for three hours solo, and come in 2 minutes slower than last year. Does that mean you’ve failed?


Great point. I guess I’ve been fixated on the result / Outcome. I’ll start doing some reading on process goals as well. Lots I can do here…!!

Thanks again.

Don’t just focus on FTP, it’s not the whole story. You need also to have a think about base fitness and muscular endurance in your training - you could improve both of those and not your ftp and it would be of a big help.

There’s also tactics to consider - sticking with a group at the right pace, staying out of the wind, managing your efforts vs tiredness, where and when to pour on the power and nutrition can all influence your target, you need to fit the pieces of a complex jigsaw to together.