La Marmotte 2023

Anybody thinking about doing the Marmotte next July?

I’ve decided im going to give it a crack, hoping for around the 7:30 hours time mark.

My training for it starts today, only 307 more days until I can have alcohol again :upside_down_face:


Nice. Ive been thinking about doing it too. Has registration opened?

No, i don’t think it opens till November time - i may be wrong though!

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I’m planning on trying La Marmotte next year, with my brother. First time.

Currently my goal is around 8h15. Based on a 4.4w/kg FTP.
Although I actually have no idea how realistic that time is.

I don’t believe registration is open already.


4.4w/kg wow, you’ll be absolutely flying. On paper it seems manageable to get 8:15 based on that I’d imagine?

I’ve been doing some napkin maths and I’m thinking if i can hold 260-270w on the 4 climbs, I have half a chance of getting my goal time. If i can get to sub 79kg, it’ll probably be a bit more realistic!

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A high FTP is great! Definitely helps when riding up mountains. I can however not stress enough how important endurance and repeatability of efforts will be.

My first year of proper training, I did 8hrs a week, shorter efforts, one longer ride a week.
My FTP got pretty high very quickly (360 at right around 70kg).
Fast forward 6 months, 3 day race in the Swiss alps. Really good efforts on the first two, shorter steeper climbs. Pretty cracked up on the third climb.
Second day, I was in utter agony for the entire day.
I know that there were people with a lower FTP, that placed far in front of me.

That‘s not to say that you need to specifically train for this event from now on out. A well balanced build, including a base phase, gym work etc. Will be the best for now I guess.

The reason I am saying this, is because I far too often see people extrapolate their performance on a 7+ hour event based on a their performance on a 20 minute test on a turbo trainer.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s an important indicator of your fitness, but not more than that.


My main goal for '23. Target is gold which is 8:39 in my age group.

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Very good points. My FTP is indeed built upon a relatively moderate time schedule of 6-9hrs per week.

With very few long (5+hr) rides, but still plenty of 3-4hr rides. I know that doing 85% for an hour fresh is different from 85% after 6 hours and two climbs. So long endurance will be focus.

I will also try to do the Trois Ballons cyclo in preparation.

Strength training is something I will have to look into…

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I’ve done the Telegraph, Galibier and Alp Dhuez in one ride before, however I was full of cold so could barely ride above 200w for each of them lol

Feeling pretty optimistic with the plan TR has spat out, so if I can stick to that and add in a weekly longer ride too, I think I should be in a hopefully good position come the event :blush:

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I rode the route solo a few years back, if you aren’t used to altitude then lower your expectations of power on the latter stages of the Galibier, also worth considering the weather, when I rode it, it was touching 40c in the valleys, by the time I rode Alpe du Huez I could only just about keep the pedals turning, the heat coming off the roadside rockfaces was unbelievable.

It’s a fantastic ride though, in all honesty, I’d think it would be better to ride it with a group of friends rather than the event, so you can savour it a bit more, but that’s just me perhaps. Good luck!


Yeah, Altitude will be a big one. I live at Sea level, so not accustomed to riding high at all. I can’t say i experienced the shortness of breath when I went to the Galibier last time, but It must have affected me.

Hard to tell what was altitude, and what was my cold lol

I also don’t deal with the heat well at all. Was 38c last time i went up the Alp and it was grim. Pure survival mode at that point, pedalling squares.

Why do i want to do this again? :rofl:

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I did the Marmotte back in 2013 before I was training. Id love to do it again, I don’t think my mates would though. I went up the Galibier telling myself that although the air was getting thinner it was getting cooler and it seemed to psychologically work.

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Altitude might be less of an issue than people might think. Yes, there are gains to be had with a long acclimation period. That’s 2.5-4 weeks at like 7-8000 ft.
I don’t think that’s what most people will do.
Pace the parts at altitude, especially over the Galibier conservatively.
All else should be fine. Altitude acclimation is much more important when you spend more time at altitude, like at Leadville or at Pikes peak hill climb.

I’ve only ever experienced a proper shortage of oxygen once. At 11000 ft on Mauna Loa.
Not on Pico Veleta and never in the Alps.
Just saying, most people are more scared of altitude than they should be.
If you are racing at world tour level, that’s a different stories, because races are won by margins of power and acclimation.
If you don’t plan on following attacks over the top of Galibier, you should just be prudent with pacing and look closely at HR.


My advice would be to do the event with a tour company, La Fuga did it well when I went with them. Takes a lot of the stress away and private feed stops makes it much more enjoyable

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Deffo, I’m going to go with Alpcycles. Takes a lot of the stress out of it from what I’ve read!

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I did it in 2014. My official time was 2361;3937;BIRCH SEBASTIAN;08 h 23 mn 31 s;M (50 - 59);331;11.0
but they were not counting the descent from the telegraph. Looking at Strava it took me about 9h 10’. (I went down the telegraph pretty slowly …
My FTP back then was 260 …
Last year I did the Maratona in 7.20 with an FTP of 250, but I can hold 210 for 4 hours …


Deposit paid, place reserved - It just got a whole lot more real :upside_down_face:

Hoping this is the kick i need to start eating better and cut back on my alcohol intake. Seem to do well for a week or so and then slip back into old habbits

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With 4.4 w/kg ftp and good training you will score much much faster. If you need adivce, I did it 5 times :-). Last year was extreme with the heat.

But as said, a good FTP is welcome but does not give a ticket for a flying result. My FTP was around 270-280 (72kg), but I can ride really long tempo, sweetspot, what is important for this event.
If I would give one tip? Easy on the first climb. You are fresh, in the mood, very tempting to get way too hard here. Differences will be made on the Alpe (prepare for real suffering here :-)).


Thanks man! Looking forward to it.

Maybe you can share some thoughts on your best “taper” pre-week.

I’m thinking of arriving on monday and doing some climbing on tuesday (2,5h), wednesday (4h) and (2h) thursday. Easy recovery on friday (45-60min) and complete rest on saturday.

How were your experiences?

I’d be interested in the tapering too actually. I’ve got the TR plan all set up, which does involve a couple higher intensity workouts. I’d have though It’d need to be a recovery week kind of deal so I’m fresh, but I haven’t researched too much into it yet so I may be completely wrong?

I’m hoping to average 270w on each of the 4 climbs with a FTP of 355w currently - Aiming for a 77-80kg race weight. Time will tell if I can get down to that though. Really want that golden medal though!