Rapha Festive 500 (2019)

It’s that time of year again! I attempted the #Festive500 last year but failed very early on due to poor preparation (I hadn’t planned anywhere near well enough for how much time it would consume).

This year’s event falls over week 5 in my Half Distance Tri Base phase prepping for IM70.3 Barcelona in May, what do people think about the timing for a high-volume Z2 block? I realise it is significantly outside of the 6-8 week window which coach @chad has said he finds gets good results but, as I’m in base, I feel like it could be workable (assuming I tone down swim / run and allow sufficient recovery before finishing off base.

All thoughts welcome.

I’ll be doing it again this year, I’m in the same boat as you, ends up week 5 of my base plan, I’m just going to roll about in z2 as you said and get the mileage in but a few of the days when I’m solo I may incorporate some rough short intervals in just to spice it up, and keep my legs ticking over

I found for time management if I go out daft am xmas morning and back for lunch time, I can get a good chunk of miles in before any festivities happen,but I haven’t got kids so that may not be an option for some


We’re hosting for the first time this year so I’ll be lucky to get more than an hour at best on Christmas Day, also have two little ones hence the significant planning requirement!

Good luck with your effort.

I’m planning on doing Festive500 again this year - I’ve completed it every year starting in 2015, though I cheat on rainy days and ride inside on the trainer. I find I get a good endurance boost from the 1100+ TSS, so long as I schedule this into my training.

Link to the main info:


I’m going to attempt it for my third time this year. I’ve never successfully completed it. The weather has just always been absolutely terrible that week for me.

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I’m thinking about giving it a go. I’m at the end (hopefully) of ~3 months of atrocious and ridiculous health issues, so to get back on the bike – and riding outside! – will be somewhat of a reward. Of course hailing from the Great White North the weather’s gonna be a crap shoot on an hourly basis. On the fence as of this writing. I’ll also have to do a major winter gear shop if I fall to the ‘yes’ side. :money_with_wings::money_with_wings::money_with_wings:

Completed the 2017 version, my first, and was sooooo unprepared and blissfully unaware of the impending non-comfort of going from commuting 50km/week to slogging out 500km. 10X that sh*t!!! :muscle::muscle:

It’s also the last year Rapha will be mailing out physical stitched patches, probably going with digital badges (lame) for future editions. I might be easily swayed by cheap trinkets.


I only want to do it for the patch, I guess it’s now or never…


If this is the last year for the patches, then it will be the last year I do it!

Never done it but just signed up. Assume it all has to be done outside, no dodgy trainer miles logged with a 53-11 and a high cadence?!

Should be perfect for me as I get back from a 10 day holiday on the 23rd so should be fresh and raring to go. Just need to keep work commitments low and avoid getting too carried away with the festivities…

I will be in Quebec for the holidays, with only a fatbike to ride.

In these freezing conditions, not much above z2 is really achievable, so I already planned to move from indoor SSB LV II to something inspired by the highest volume of Traditional base I can achieve with the family schedule.

The problem is that z2 on snow with 4.6” tires is really slow! At 15km/h average, it’s about 33 hours of riding. It means more than 4 hours a day on the bike. There’s no way I could achieve that without some pretty big fights with wife :grimacing:

Let’s try it anyway, it’s a motivation goal, not an end…


I’ve never tried it.

I really like the motivational idea but hard reality stops me every time. In UK there is often icy weather and little daylight, so even if I got out early I would be riding on icy roads in the dark. I do go out on Boxing Day for some fresh air but that’s normally on a mtb and not on the roads if I can help it.

I did complete the Rapha Rising challenge several years ago, but that was in the summer so there was much more daylight and much better conditions.

I wish you the best of luck!

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Funnily enough the last few years raphas have been better weather than the rest of the winter has been

Nothing better than a 6 am xmas day ride,its practically
a closed road ride haha


Completed it once, broke my wrist falling off on icy roads with 80 miles left to finish so that was a hard last ride!
Trying to finish it in one ride this year.


Excuse me? :flushed:

That’s a pretty good challenge … :no_mouth:

Even if you stopped with your broken wrist, you could have tell your story for their « epic fail » category!

Managed to complete it last year solo, luckily weather was bone dry which for the UK is unheard of!! I think if weather is cold you should be ok but if it looks to be wet write it off and just enjoy the festive period. I had 3 days off for family time and much needed rest. So was like just over 50 miles on 3 days and then just over 2 x 70 miles on the last 2 days.

Biggest tips would be just to complete it would be:

  • Front load your mileage
  • Forecast in rest days and spread them evenly, It’ll give you something to look forward to
  • Try and do all the rides as early as possible in the morning
  • I was way too excited on one of the early rides and was working at tempo sweetsport for the whole 3 hours. Really paid for that later on subsequent rides.
  • Pick flat routes as much as possible, you’ll do the mileage quicker which means more time with the fam!
  • I did mine solo which meant I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted but if you manage to get someone out for one of the rides it’ll really does help motivate you

Hope this helps!! Planning on doing it this year, Autumn’s been pretty wet so doesn’t bode well. But the gains you see in the New Year are so worth it


Good luck!!


My first/only 500 I just went out riding, hills and all. Bad idea (esp. considering I was on a single speed!). Flatter = faster.

We are going for laps round Lake Vrynwy, it’s about 11 miles a lap and there is 10 of us.

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