I’m currently training for a charity event in June where we will do 10 000m of climbing with 250 other riders over 4 days following the Tour de France mountain stages in the Alps. This will be the second year that I have done this event. Last year I trained for it using the standard TrainerRoad medium volume plan starting in October. I put in 400 hours on the bike in 2022 and followed the TR plan quite closely. I’m 54 years old and other than this I have no endurance exercise experience. In fact I bought my first bike to do this training.
I’ve been putting in 9-10 hours per week for the past 2.5 months. This has been mostly Z2 with a little intensity thrown in along with a 3 hour gravel group ride every Sunday.
The event I’m training for is not a race, just a long multiday endurance ride. I was able to finish the event last year but I couldn’t keep up to the other riders on the team. I was one of the slowest people on the mountain. Looking at the data, to be mid pack I’d need to hold about 200W up the climbs for all 4 days. I currently have an FTP of 247 (TR AI). I can set the trainer at 180W and ride comfortably for 90min with my heart rate in Z2 and with very little heart rate drift or noticeable fatigue.
Should I keep focusing on my base aerobic fitness or should I start dialing up the intensity and boost my FTP as I get closer to the event? In other words, will increasing FTP help me hold higher all day power more than just continuing to build base and ignoring FTP?