Rapha Festive 500 (2020)

I have never attempted this before but we having had no challenges/events this year it would be nice to have something to aim for.

This also coincides with my aim to increase base miles through winter this year.

So what plans would I want to be on to take me to Xmas Eve and the start. Currently into SSB MV2 and will do a build after that - Then maybe the Century plan.

17 weeks to go and working backwards Century is 8 weeks - General Build is 8 weeks so probably finish current plan and do 4 weeks of General Build and then Century

Any better ideas? I know Xmas seems a long way away but it is good to have to have a plan.

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I’ve done F500 twice now. All of this assummes you are in the northern hemisphere; You can really do it during any of the training plans, because realistically you’re going to turn all of the rides into long z2 rides. So whether its a rest week, or you simply supplement a week of any block with it it doesn’t really have much impact and you are still such a long way out from northern hemi summer that its a nice break from the trainer.

I attempted it a couple of years ago but being in Scotland the weather was legitimately awful. I persevered through a few days of non-stop rain and ended up crashing on a sheet of ice on day 4 I think.

I always find it funny seeing people in the southern hemisphere doing it in the middle of their summer.

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I did an unofficial festive 600 this summer. I didn’t want to do it during the winter as it would be very uncomfortable. I ended up doing 600km in 7 days. The breakdown is labeled on each ride below.

Total TSS: 1074

The training I did was: Sweetspot base low volume 1 & 2, short power build low volume, and century low volume. I dipped myself into the 15-17h/week range 3 weeks before the start of the event in order to get used to the stress mentally and physically. Otherwise, I usually ride about 10-12 hours per week.

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After a failed first attempt in 2019, I’ll be trying again this year. Scottish winter can make it tricky though so I’ll have my fingers crossed for decent conditions. Last year my water bottle got iced up!

The joys of an Australian summer at Christmas. We do the Festive 500 usually in sunshine and 30 degree weather. Hearing about the conditions that you guys have to do the Festive 500 in over in Scotland makes what we do sound like the Festive 50km. Tough as nails guys. Having to content with snow, rain and ice sheets just adds another layer to the event!


30 if you’re lucky, 40 if you’re less lucky!

hard to get long rides in before it gets too hot where I am. Very early starts required. Ive never attempted the 500 as I try to spend the time with the family. Have helped some mates do it by being a +1 on a long ride or 2 though. I might have a go this year on the TT bike, can bang out the kms a lot quicker on it!

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It looks like they’re going to be allowing indoor rides (or at least Zwift rides) to count this year so it’s now actually something that’s feasible for me to attempt, since it’s typically -20 to -30°C outside at that time of year… I was going to try a run through an old 8 Days of California (8DC) at the end of December/start of January as a fun little challenge and bike boost so now I’m going to attempt to combine both challenges together. I’ll have to tack on extra endurance riding at the end of each 8DC stage to end up with enough km’s in the bank, but that should (hopefully) help with recovery anyway. Right now I have the original 2013 8DC workouts loaded up in the Calendar. :smiley:


Yeah, I got an email on the Zwift RF500 too. Waiting to see more details, but I am excited about having it as an option too. We sometimes get great “summer breaks” in winter, but more often are stuck with freezing cold and snow, so the RF500 has never been an option for me.

Probs not for me this year, although it would fit into my base phase. No woven rondel, not on zwift…I’ll stay dry & warm doing 500/0 indoor kms.

Happy slogging to all my N.Hemi neighbours! :grin:

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With no racing and no traveling for Christmas this year, might actually get to do this…

Is there definitely no woven roundel this year? :slightly_frowning_face:
I think that probably kills my enthusiasm for it to be honest. Stick with what will be the end of SSBHV then :roll_eyes:


I did F500 in 2014 and 2015 in Vancouver and to this day when I walk by those roundels on my “race wall” i look at them beside race win medals and race #'s and my feeling of accomplishment for those two things is far greater than any race win.
Doing those during Christmas break, in the dead of winter in cold, wet and pouring rain was a personal achievement. There were some days where i seriously questioned why i was getting up so early and why i was out on the bike instead of being home where it was warm with my family. Those were true grit, mental toughness excursions.
Zone 2 when you are wet and cold SUCKS. The hardest part was having to ride tempo to stay warm, while at the same time not flogging yourself too hard because you need to click off 80-90km a day,

I’ll do it indoors because who am i kidding, i have nothing else to do this christmas with COVID, but it will not mean nearly as much.


I have been wanting to do this but I ride early (4:30 to 5 AM start) and in December it’s normally in the 20s here. Not sure if doing it indoors is the same though. I have canceled my Zwift subscription over a year ago (not a big fan of the gamification). I’ll be following this.


I am considering it, entirely dependent on the weather. I can handle sub-freezing just fine, but at that time roads switch between slush, wet, crunchy, and sheets of ice. Temps can be anywhere from +5C to -30C, you just cant know what to expect. So I’m cautiously optimistic!

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Living in the tropics weather won’t be an issue here either, which is why I’ve been tinkering with the idea of doing the 500k in a single ride. My longest one day ride so far has been 250k, so going double will be something else. In fairness I’m a lot fitter than what I was when I did 2x250km on back to back days, more depth to the fitness if you will. Keen to hear from anyone who has done something like that before. I have routes in mind which will keep me close enough to shops and service stations for supplies, two bikes to choose from as well. Will start planning in earnest which is pretty much why I ended up in this thread in the first place! :slight_smile:

in my opinion, the festive 500 was about doing the miles in winter weather, not really about just riding 500k…so doing it in zwift really is not the same thing. But if thats what they want to do, its their event.

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  • So riders in the Southern hemisphere and other temperate climates (aka, not winter) were similarly “not the same thing”?

I always put it more of a test of how much you could get away from the family! That’s always been my issue, and that doesn’t change inside.


I’ve only done the 500 once, just make sure you understand exactly how many miles you need to ride on your last day.

If you get it wrong, get home, think job done and then see your total miles are short by 2 miles then means you have to set off again to the amusement of your loved ones.

Oh and i distinctly remember cycling in a fierce cross wind whilst it was hammering it down thinking’ I am doing this for fun’

The irrational thought has crossed my mind though to take a week off from TrainerRoad and do it this year.

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