TR gravel training plan?

Now that there’s a version of everything for the widespread gravel discipline l miss a dedicated TR plan for gravel. I guess you might use the Cross-Country Marathon off road plan or the road Grand Fondo but it would be interesting to see TR gravel plans. IMHO that would require though far more hours weekly than the current high volume TR plans.

Yeah, they do recommend Gran Fondo. I understand you’d like something more specific, just sharing what they say.


Not sure these help, but they have some info in 2 spots on the support side:


Hey there!

@Pbase and @mcneese.chad gave you some great resources here already! I also wanted to mention that you can change the default duration of your workouts in Plan Builder now in case you didn’t know about that recent feature addition:

That could help get you some more volume if that’s what you’re looking for.

Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need a ton of extra volume in prep for those longer events, though!

That said, it can certainly be helpful to slot in those longer rides so you can test out your equipment, bike fit, nutrition/hydration, etc.

Hope that helps – feel free to let us know if you have any additional questions!


My A event is BWR California. Currently signed up for the full Waffle course, but have not done more than 80 miles since coming back to the sport. I selected Gravel in plan builder when I started my plan back in Nov and it has me doing high intensity VO2 and Anaerobic workouts while my endurance, tempo, sweat spot and threshold are pretty easy. A few questions:

  1. Should I be manually choosing alternatives until they become difficult for me or is it purposely keeping these Zone 1/2 rides. I’m just concerned that I’m doing very little training at race pace.
  2. Should I reduce the intensity of VO2 and Anaerobic workouts to keep my legs fresh for the other rides?

This is me trusting plan builder but verifying :laughing:

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How would you envision a gravel plan differing from a Gran Fondo plan?

I think there’s way more difference between courses than differences between gravel and pavement. IMO a split in Gran Fondo plans that prioritizes sustained climbs vs. rolling/punchy courses vs. flat courses might be more useful; that could apply to both longer gravel races and pavement.

From my limited experience, most gravel rides I do are long and lot’s of sustained climbs with a few punchy sections. That is what I thought I was going to get by selecting Gravel.

I would envision a gravel plan to prepare you for hard starts (fondos dont start anywhere near as hard as gravel), and very long sustained efforts (hills yes, but often long solo efforts). Not sure the typical road or gran fondo plan would cover these bases.


I think that depends very much on the geographic area. Here gravel roads are usually narrow with very high gradients over 20%.which are rare in paved roads of Gran Fondo. In that case the gravel plan should include strength and anaerobic workouts. So the difference is pretty much dependent on the type of course l think

VO2 sounds about right, but the Anaerobic workouts stood out to me. I just looked into your account and refreshed your plan and now it’s looking more in line with what we’d expect!

Your next training block will feature more Threshold, VO2, and Sweet Spot days, which are likely to be more representative of the kind of fitness you’ll have to sharpen up before BWR California.

We’d recommend leaving the Z 1/2 rides as they are – those days aren’t supposed to be intense so you can hit your interval days full gas. :muscle:

Hope this helps out – let me know if you need a hand with anything else!

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@ZackeryWeimer, would you mind looking at mine also? My specialty phase starts in a few weeks and all it shows is anaerobic and v02max for 6 weeks leading into Unbound (200 miles where I hope to spend very little time above threshold). I chose grand fondo and was planning to try switching that up to get more sustained work in.

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No problem! Just gave your plan a refresh too – seemed to be a similar issue. I’ll bring this up to our bug hunters to make sure it’s not a more widespread problem athletes may be facing.


I thought Climbing Road Race was advised for rolling gravel?

Am I doing this all wrong?

News on the above: we recently updated our Gravel plans to include more Threshold and longer VO2 work during the Build and Specialty Phases rather than Anaerobic and shorter VO2 work.

The older plans had shorter VO2 Max and Anaerobic sessions built into them by default. We think the updated plans will fit in better with the demands of most gravel races.

If you’d like to update your plan, you can find and click on the annotation on your TR Calendar that says “Specialty:”

And then, you should see an option to hit “Update” on the menu that appears:

Your plan should refresh after that!

@koalb as for your question, there’s not necessarily a wrong way to go about choosing a plan! We recommend choosing a plan based on the demands of your event and how you’d like to race it.

The Climbing RR plan should give you plenty of sustained work with some surges, and those types of workouts and the fitness you’ll build by doing them can still certainly be applied to gravel races. The Gran Fondo plan is quite similar, but there isn’t as much focus on the high % surges as there is in the Climbing RR plan.