Short Power or General Build Plan for 125 mile Punchy-Climb Gran Fondo?

Looking for some thoughts. I was originally planning to do an Ironman in September, but with all going on that doesn’t look it will happen. Instead I have reset my sights on the Garden State New Jersey Gran Fondo Estremo Route. It is 125 miles with 10,000+ feet of climbing. It’s a very punchy-climb based event with 6-timed climbs. Regarding the Build Phase, I am trying to figure out my Build Phase. I have time for two build phases, so am doing Mid-Volume Short-Power first then planning to do High Volume Short Power for my second Build phase (or drop back and redo the mid-volume if the high volume is too much), then Rolling Road Race for my Speciality.

I am wondering if the Short Power Phase will provide enough long-distance benefit for the distance and terrain. My plan is ride in my Zone 2 to preserve energy as well as take advantage of descents and coasting to tackle these punchy climbs (which there are a lot) which would be more Zones 4 and 5 possibly 6 (threshold, VO2max, anaerobic capacity), or if I should combine a General Build + a Short Power Build to build benefits of both, and have my Rolling Road Race for my Specialization phase.

Thoughts? on this approach given the distance and elevation? Thanks!

Without knowing more about the punchy climbs, I’m going to sidestep that question and suggest scheduling a 4-6 hour ride at least 1 weekend a month. Those long rides are in TR’s full distance triathlon plan if you aren’t able to schedule them outside. A lot of benefits to doing long rides.

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You could do sustained power build and then short power build. Sustained power would help with the 200km nature of the ride and provide a nice spring board for vo2 max in short power.

Also, I would look at climbing road race instead of rolling road race specialty. Rolling road race is a lot of sprint efforts (marking breaks and following sharp accelerations), climbing is more sustained vo2 max efforts, which it looks like this race is gonna be.

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General or Sustained Power IMO. I did a 104mi rolling course (6kft) on general build last year, no issues. The difference between the plans is that short power drops over-under threshold work in favor of high-power surge/float workouts. With that kind of climbing, you’re probably not needing the repeatability as much as you will the ability to sustain power for minutes at a time.

General is a good build for something like this, IMO, and Sustained would be a better option than Short for this, again IMO.

General -> Rolling Road Race would set you up well. Wouldn’t do back-to-back builds, either.


Really good point. I have started to incorporate nice long rides on the trainer and can already see a difference!

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