Next Training Plan for a Faster Century?

Hi all,

I’m looking to set a PR for a Gran Fonda (century). I’ve done Base, Build (sustained power, mid-volume), and Speciality (century, mid-volume). Once my Speciality phase is done, I’ll have two weeks of training plus one taper week before my Gran Fondo, and I’m trying to decide what to put in there. I have no concerns about finishing (I’ve already done centuries this season), I am only concerned to get faster for a sub-5 time. I have to take a week off the bike right now, so I don’t think I need to take any extra rest time.

Should I do:

  1. Road Race Specialty high-volume, to sharpen a wide range of strengths, e.g. so to hold on to group accelerations, etc.?
  2. 40k TT Specialty high-volume, since its description highlights increasing “maximum steady-state power” (stamina)?
  3. Another Century specialty mid-volume?
  4. Something else?

Furthermore, which two weeks of these plans should I pick? If I’m feeling fresh, should I just pick the biggest two weeks in the plan (that are roughly consistent with my TSS ability)?

As always, if this exact question has already been answered, please feel free to direct me to it elsewhere.

Thanks for any input!

I would just repeat one of the last couple of weeks of the specialty plan you are on and move the taper week out. I would not introduce a different stress into the plan you are on. The purpose of the specialty plans are to hone what you have. Sharpening the knife so to speak. You don’t want to do anything that will dull what work you have already done.

How do you plan to ride the century? Are you going to be trying to stay with a group that will be surging and dropping riders (race tactics) Will you be riding with a friendlier group that will be regrouping at rest-stops but still handling pacelines in between? Will you be riding mostly solo and only latching onto groups occasionally?

Without understanding the specifics of how you intend to approach the ride it is hard to give an answer on how to best improve your time

1 Like


Indeed, good questions. I’ll be riding the whole thing with one friend- we’ll work together and generally aim for a consistent pace. But we’ll also need to find and join a group to meet our goal time, so surging is quite possible.



Having done the century plan the last two years for a few centuries I’d throw in some simulation rides. For my body, I think the TR plans missed the boat not having any.

Do some over/unders then. Probably a harder effort than you’ll need but might prepare you for the demands of riding with a group slightly beyond your capabilities

1 Like

I have a similar situation. If I completed the base, build, and specialty phases exactly as they were created, it would peak me 3 weeks before the event. So after week 7 of the build phase I decided to repeat weeks 5, 6, and 7 and pushed week 8 out. That way I can complete the specialty phase as it was designed. Hope that makes sense!

Thanks everyone for taking the time to give helpful input to my very specific question that probably won’t help a lot of other people. :slight_smile: