Should I do the Festive 500

Hi all,

Will keep this one short and to the point. Should I push my training schedule back by a week to complete the festive 500 this year?

I don’t have any specific events in the calendar yet, and currently just working my way through SSB2 LV. I do plan to do a couple races when the season starts up but that’s some time away.

I’m thinking the 500 can be a good form of endurance training if I keep it within Z2, but I’m worried it will set back my fitness or lower my FTP (as it’s unstructured).

I presume I’d need a couple recovery days and may need to do a ramp test to get back on track, but anything else to consider?


I’d treat it as more base, admittedly the old school sort, but if you’re in base already at the moment I don’t see the harm as long as you can temper your enthusiasm and keep to z2. You’ve got loads of time to make up any “loss”, and the extra endurance will help when you get to build.

More importantly, are you going to enjoy it? If you’ve got no specific events to train for other than a race that’s well in the future then a mid winter enthusiasm booster may be just as valuable as an extra week on the trainer.

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Why not as it is a fun thing and goal to hit over the holiday. Pretty easy also indoor. Outdoor well that is definitely tougher.

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If you’ve got free time then I would probably do as much Z2 as you can as long as you don’t go too overboard. More volume is rarely a bad thing if it’s kept under control. If you feel tired coming out of it then maybe take an additional day or two to recover and then get back into your plan.

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If you want to do it, go for it. Riding unstructured is called having fun. Yes, racing when fit and doing well is also fun. Seeing your FTP go up as a result of doing the work is also fun. But, to go ride and enjoy the weather, scenery, your bike, or whatever is why we all love bikes.


You won’t drop any fitness from taking part in the festive 500.
If you want to do it, then go for it as it’s clearly a motivation for a lot of people to ride their bikes and that can only be a good thing.

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500km of Z2 riding isn’t going to derail your plan from a fitness perspective, if anything it will be the opposite and give you a nice bump. Think the things to be cautious about would be whether ramping up that much from a LV plan to 15+ hours of riding is going to cause problems like saddle sores, back or neck stiffness, loss of motivation, etc which could knock your January training off track.


If you’re worried about this then give it some structure! Structure doesn’t just mean that you’re doing X Watts for 10 min and then recover for 3 min. It just means that your workouts are planned out and fit into a thought out training plan. So if you go into this with a plan that you think will work and you don’t just go ride a bunch of tempo or push ‘happy hard’ up every hill then you should be fine.

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Do trainer road rides count? I know they said Zwift rides count this year, but trying to figure out if all uploaded trainer rides count.

According to the below, then yes they do:

Riding as much z2 as you can handle is structured.


Yup, volume is how to structure z2.

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Only thing to be aware of is the risk of making a really big jump in TSS from what you have been used to. Rapha 500 is probably 18-20hrs for typical riders and that could represent a 50-100% increase in weekly TSS - some people may find that too much of an overload and may either gain nothing from it or struggle to recover.

As long as you are aware of that dimension then its probably a good thing. I timed my blocks to end a couple of days before the 500 starts and I’ll start a FTP block a couple of days after the end of it, and hopefully the stretch in TSS will be a good stimulus as part of that work.

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Thanks everyone!! Really appreciate all the advices, tips and recommendations!

Will let you know how it went in the new year!

Happy Holidays everyone, and stay safe x

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