The ride is July 19 (41 weeks away). I’m approaching it with the 12 weeks of Traditional Base Low Volume (currently wrapping up week one), 12 weeks of Sweet Spot Base Mid Volume, 8 weeks of Sustained Power Build Mid Volume and the 8 week Century - High Volume speciality phase.
I am currently planning one week off in between the Traditional and Sweet Spot Base plans, and expect to make modifications to this structure to include more rest as I go along, whether that be by inserting a week of rest in between each phase or simply adjusting volume down or taking rest days as needed.
Most of the climbs are long and sustained, one to two miles at a time. I’m most curious about whether I should substitute the Climbing Road Race Specialty Plan in place of the Century.
The ride starts immediately with a 1 mile climb at 5% followed by 1 mile descent to a 1.25-mile climb at 4%. That’s followed by another 1-mile descent which leads into a 2-mile climb at 6%. Both climbs are fairly consistent grades, but the final half-mile of the second climb does have some 10% pitch in it.
Following these climbs is a 2.75 mile descent that leads into another 1.25 climb. This one is a 7% average with some 10% to it as well. A final 1.5 mile descent takes the rider back to the start to do everything all over again. Ten laps of this course constitutes the ride.
The ride isn’t a race, but I would love to finish it 10 hours or less. I rode five laps last year in 5:28 moving (5:37 elapsed). Each lap was progressively slower than the first, increasing in 2 to 3 minute increments from 57 minutes to 64 minutes with a more dramatic slowing of six minutes on the last lap (70 minutes).
I prepared for my ride last year, if you can call it preparation, by training for a half marathon and augmenting my running with 2 to 4 hours on Zwift between January and mid-May. With six weeks to go and my half marathon done, I rode 6 to 8 hours a week, half on a Zwift training plan and half outside to get distance.
Temperature at the start is typically mid-70s, but climbs to upper-80s and low 90s within 3 to 4 hours and then rests in the mid-90s from noon on.
Those are all the details. What are your thoughts on my approach, and how would you approach it if this was your A event?
If it matters, I’m 48 years old and weigh 62kg. After a month of unstructured off-season, my FTP is 210, but was 235 at the end of the season.
Thanks for your thoughts and time.