Preparing for a 600km week - Tips needed

Hey everyone,

I have been riding with a power meter for about 3 years and I ride approximately 10 to 13 hours per week. I have tried following trainerroad’s high volume sweetspot base plan before but I failed to follow the plan due to lack of motivation. I now follow a low volume plan and then add volume to it by joining group rides which are in the mix of zone 2 and 3(power). I was inspired by the Rapha festive 500 challenge but I live in Canada so the cold weather made it difficult to go out and ride in late December
:joy: .

I want to cover a distance of 600km in a week later this summer and my training so far has been on track i.e 100% compliant. My training started with sweetspot base low volume 1 > sweetspot base low volume 2 > Short power build low volume and I am currently doing the century plan (low volume). I ride for 6 days a week and I handle 600 to 700TSS per week. My FTP is 308W and I weigh 70-72kg. Given the heat, I now use 2 x 750ml watter bottles to keep me hydrated which makes a huge difference as I noticed that the cardiac drift after 2 hours is less than what it used to be when I was dehydrated. I use cliff bars as a source of carbohydrates to fuel my rides and it has been working perfectly. I tried adding in some orange juice as liquid calories but I stopped using it as it irritated my throat. Do you guys have any tips doing a 600km week? This is my first time doing something like this and I have never done any training camp before.

I did the same thing My stay at home holiday challenge

I did it indoors with FulGaz because of the lockdown.

For me it was all about the fuel. I use Science in Sport. I my stomach can handle most things so I wasn’t worried and had used it before. I would eat every hour. I did get some real food as well, not just gels and bars. I got some flapjacks to eat as well.

I planned the week to do the long days at the start to get a big chunk done. The last day was hard, but all in all I was really happy how it went. I may not have been fast, but I was very happy how my legs held up. That is due to Trainerroad.

I’ve done something similar. I think nailing the recovery is half the battle. Have your breakfasts/post-ride meals ready to go so that you’re not spending valuable recovery time cooking/shopping/whatever.

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Had such week during custom SSBHV2 by “accident”, missed Sunday workout. As felt fresh during week after that, did missed workout during it’s recovery day instead. Totaled 22h/1150TSS/650km. During final days it’s mostly mental effort not physical, too many long Z2 days suck enjoyment out of it.

Structure of that week:

  • Mon: Eclipse +3 with added 2h Z2 (missed workout from week before)
  • Tue: Mount Blackburn (4h Z2)
  • Wed: Hoback (2h Z2)
  • Thu: Antelope +5 with 1.5h Z2
  • Fri: Bridger (2h Z2)
  • Sat: Wind Mountain (5h Z2)
  • Sun: Galena +3 with 2h Z2

Interestingly, those SS+Z2 days actually feel easier than pure long Z2 days – doing long Z2 after intense work is like chilling :slight_smile:

It was 3rd week of SSBHV2. After usual recovery Monday, felt really strong for rest of block, every SS day cracked another PR (both in sprint and endurance ranges). Usual FTP improvement rate have been 5% per block but this time it was 6%.

Unfortunately can’t advice about fuelling during ride, I’ve been so long fat adapted, don’t eat anything up to 5hr Z2 ride. Between SS intervals sip SiS GO Electrolyte (~500ml/2hr) and during Z2 periods drink ~500ml/hr SiS Hydro with caffein. Before ride drink ~500ml smoothie (milk, oats, berries, spinach). This is actually my usual liquid lunch, not workout specific. After workout 500ml SiS Rego.

During week bottom gets tender over time. Wash yourself before and after ride.

I guess that’s it, did nothing special to prepare or during this week. For myself main takeaway was mental fatigue. Reversing course direction was surprisingly helpful :slight_smile:

EDIT: with your FTP, you probably can get away with less hours :thinking:
Mine at that time was 237W. Have no exact stats but during Z2 days usually averaged ~27km/h.

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As far as planning goes, I would think about the following:

  • How much total ride time do you think it will take? If you can do 100km in 3.5 hours in z2 (obviously terrain and fitness dependent), you are looking at ~21 hours over the week, possibly more.
  • How do you want to split up those hours across the week? You could have a full day off in the middle or have 1-2 shorter days to give you some needed recovery in the middle.
  • Once you’ve figured out your daily goals, have you thought about doing one ride or splitting the time across two rides for some or all of the days?
  • How can you fit this around your obligations (work, family, etc.) that week?
  • I would recommend entering the rides into your TR calendar so you can see the estimated TSS load for the week and schedule. That might help with pacing and mentally preparing yourself for the fatigue you could feel towards the end.
  • Can you do a mini-camp week before the big one? That would let you dip your toes in a 17-18hr week and see how you physically and mentally react.

As far as execution goes, I learned the following:

  • If you aren’t used to the volume, pacing is important. Remind yourself to keep it easy at the beginning of the week. I would try to stay z2 for as much as possible mostly due to the huge jump in hours of riding you are going to see. Any extra energy you waste at the beginning of the week can come back and bite you at the end.
  • You are going to need a lot of food. Save up some money for groceries. Lol.
  • If you’re doing some indoors, queue up some entertainment that can hold your attention for several hours.
  • You might be able to get through the week without feeling much fatigue. Or you might feel a depth of fatigue you have never felt before. It might be necessary to adjust schedule to get needed recovery. But you might also just need some time to warm up and be able to push through it. In an of itself, no ride is particularly difficult. The difficult parts are the slow accumulation of fatigue over the week and starting 3-4 hour rides already feeling tired at the end.
  • I’d recommend 1-2 de-load days during the week to give yourself a chance of recovery.
  • Take care of your rump.

When the COVID thing started I decided to try a high volume z2 base phase. I was coming in from SSBI LV with extra rides like you, the last week was 13-14 hours and 650ish TSS. For the z2 base I did: 15, 17, 19 hours, recovery week of 10 hours, 18, 19 hrs, recovery week of 10 hours, and then 19 and 20.5 hrs. The 15 hr week had the same TSS as my last week of SSBI LV++ so I kind of don’t count it. The 17, 18, and last 19 hour weeks weren’t so bad, but the last week of each block had its difficult times, usually on Tuesday/Wednesday and Sunday. I did these while working from home so I was either getting up really early or doing 2x on some days. On the weekends I did one long ride each day.

The 20.5 hr week was split up as: Monday - 1 hr z1 / recovery, Tuesday - 2.5hrs z2 morning, 1.5hrs z2 after work, Wednesday - 3hrs z2 morning, Thursday - 3hrs z2 morning, 1hr z2 after work, Friday - 1hr z2 morning, Saturday - 4.5hrs z2, Sunday - 3hrs z2. That was 884TSS and 15343kJ total.

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Back in April I did a 1000 TSS week. Prior to that my six week average was 500. I did it all indoors using TR workouts and various Zwift routes. I ended up with a total of 312 miles (500 km) and 24,360 feet (7425 m) of elevation. Total time was 17:20. I’m 170 lbs (77 kg) and an FTP around 280 watts. 20 hours total is probably a good assumption for how long it will take to bike 600 km.

For me, I had four long rides (3+ hours) separated by easier hour-long recovery rides. It was basically Rockhouse, Collins, Disaster, Pettit, Cartago, Pettit, and Cathedral.

Things to consider

  • Plan your rides based on distance, duration, stress, etc. Even though Disaster has a higher TSS than Rockhouse, I knew Rockhouse would challenge me more so I rode it first, when I was freshest.
  • Wear your most comfortable kit. Turns out that the kit I wore on day one was fine for me up to two hours, but not longer. If doing any of this indoors, consider changing kits mid-ride, as well as swapping out sweat towels, etc.
  • Fueling on the bike. Even if you don’t think you need it, you’re eating for both the current ride and the next ride.
  • Hydration, electrolyte replacement (if separate from your fueling), where you’re going to refill bottles if outside, etc.
  • Recovery drink, shake, meal, etc very soon after finishing your ride. Have it (mostly) ready so you can consume it during the optimal window of 30-60 minutes after finishing.
  • Ensure you get lots of rest. Fatigue definitely built over the course of the week, and I ended up sleeping 10 hours Friday night.
  • Obviously make sure your all of your tech is charged and good to go - power meter, head unit / watch, navigation solutions, cell phone, etc.
  • Ensure your bike is in good working order, with spare tubes / tires.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the replies!

I can do 100km in 3 hours and 30 minutes in my zone 2 at maximum. I am not sure how I want to split up those rides but I will plan to split one 100km ride in two days. I am fortunate to have some time later this summer so I don’t need to worry about other stress factors. I can also add in a “mini camp” by adding more endurance rides. The way I will go about is to pick a long loop outdoors and then integrate that with outside workouts. In this way I can stick to the plan while adding more volume.

Big kudos for doing that much volume indoors! Even though I have a smart trainer I wouldn’t be motivated to do that much volume indoors.