Pulling it all together (Event/Ride/Race Plan)

I’m about to finish SSB2 high volume and about move into Sustained Power Build High Volume. I have a Gran Fondo in May. Its 100 mile with 8,500 feet of climbing. So my question is this. How do I take all the training with power and lay out my power strategy for this ride or any other ride. Any guidance would be appreciated.

What’s the event? If hilly/mountainous, it would be a series of sweet spot intervals of varying length with rests (I.e., descents) in between. Given your plan selections, this should be perfectly doable!!

I wouldn’t over think it as once the competitive juices start flowing, you’ll be in VO2 max in the first five minutes :wink::wink:

My advice is to not race to power. Race to RPE.

(Unless you’re doing a time trial – then maybe. But I still do time trials on an RPE basis)

Opinions will vary on this board, but trying to calculate power will racing is really, really tough and distracting.

I guess the big question is whether you’re handling this as a race or just a personal challenge type ride. If it’s just a personal challenge, it’s likely easier to see where the climbing will be, push the pace a bit and ease of otherwise. If you’re with others and responding to moves, I think it all depends on how you feel and how deep you’re digging.

Just some personal anecdotes of long events with lots of climbing (neither was treated as a race)
I did a fondo this past summer (er… most of it, story below) where it was about 90miles and 15k ft of climbing, including 2 HC climbs. My thinking going into it was to keep it as much endurance/easy tempo as I could and sweet spot for the HC climbs. Well, my plan didn’t quite work, despite being at an endurance pace (albeit super low cadence for me) the RPE was super high since I was at altitude (and I live at sea level) and the temps were in the 90’s.

So what ended up happening is that I got over the HC climb, did a long decent and as soon as the road ramped up again I had massive cramps in both quads, which took awhile to get so I could continue on, eventually did another Cat 2 climb but I ended up leaving the course before the last 19k/3k ft of climbing because I was hot and frustrated by my earlier cramping. Lesson for me is to train at low cadence before trying to do something like this again, although I couldn’t change the altitude thing.

In a more successful cycling adventure, I did a local century with only 6.5k ft of climbing, and I knew the first half of the event, until the top of our local mountain, would be where most of the work was done, so I rode pretty hard and near threshold (Including nearly 30mins at threshold climbing the mountain) and was able to pace more easily after that.

One question to think about: are there any timed segments during the Fondo? Our local fondo has a climb that’s timed for awards as the only “race” part, so most who want to really compete in that save their legs for the first 30 miles, then gun that climb above threshold for 20 minutes, then recover and finish out the ride and climbs. That’s a different strategy than those who are simply trying to finish the 100 by riding at 70% of FTP the whole ride and taking the climbs up to sweet spot.

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