Training for 100m (and possibly 12hr) TT. Finding and using the right endurance/tempo workouts?

This question is about swapping an outside group ride for the right sort indoor endurance/tempo sessions, and tuning those sessions to my need.

My target: My plan is TTs from 10, 25 and 50, and two or three 100milers this year. Possibly stepping up to 12hr! OK I know I am mad. But some help please. I have my first 50TT early May and 100m TT end of May (17 wks).

Where am I? I am through Sweet spot base mid volumes 1 and 2. I did Disaster over Christmas. Two weeks into Sustained Power Build mid volume. I add to the week a group ride with some fast guys that for 3ish hrs gives me a TSS of 220-260 with loads of chasing wheels and an IF of .8 to .85! (Loads of hanging onto wheels - short bursts- road bike). I am knackered afterwards and I need to rest the day before and recover the day afterwards. So I lose one of the Sustained build sessions. I suspect the hard group ride is really helpful, physically and psychologically, but not necessarily specific. Total TSS for week is around 600.

The change of Plan: We now have -5C outside. Knowing that I want to build up my ability to hold an IF of around .75 to .8 for long periods, in the TT position. Given the weather, I was thinking of swapping the group ride to doing one or two long endurance/tempo workouts, of around 90min to 2+ hrs each, and building this up over the next few weeks and months. Something like Gibraltar, Phoenix, or Colusseum.

The training adaption question: I think I need to be doing the bulk of the workout around 75% of FTP. (for times and effort). Building that up if I can in time aheld and possibly intensity. However this falls between on the boundary between endurance and tempo. Most of the workouts seem to operate either above slightly this (Tempo 82/85%) or slightly below (endurance - 70%). What are the implications of sitting between these two zones in terms of fat burning and neither doing endurance or aerobic capacity?

My approach: I think the right thing to do is to get the % of FTP I am looking for for the steady riding and ride around that +/-5-10%. I also want to feel real world and my experience is that I might be trying to hold, say 200W but that might fluctuate quite alot around that with rolling roads, etc. right I will have to adjust the workout intensity.

Does this make sense?

Context: I am 60. FTP around 238. This will be second year of TTing having done around 35 last year from 10, 25 and a 50. Reasonable background in cycling having done ironman twice back 15-20 yrs ago, though I had 12-13 years off the bike. This year I am stepping up.

Thanks in advance: Ideas and help appreciated. Thanks

A couple of thoughts
You will do well to do 2-3 100 milers as they are in short supply and you will probably have to travel for them.

Your stats look almost exactly the same as mine and your aims are very similar. The main difference in our training is your group ride. I think that is something to be retained if possible and perform the rest of your workouts around the 75-80% mark.

I am not sure why fat-burning is being considered as doing 600TSS a week should take care of that as long as you have a halfway decent diet.

The only challenge you might have is focussing on 100s and also doing 25 milers. You might need a little more top-end work for the 25s but it sounds like you are focusing on the 100s

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Thanks @John_Hallas Nice to hear it is not just me. And that we have similar stats.

It turns out to get an entry for the local 100m (and club competition) I need to travel to get a time at a previous 100miler (Anfield). Hence the possibly three, rather than two.

Yes I have a bit of a dilemma with the 10/25s and 100s. Local club competitions are all 10 and 25. last year I did a load, of club 10s, (in two different clubs) just to get used to TTing, and test ideas/kit etc. .

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I think your training is along the right lines for those longer distance TT’s. The Sustained Power build with a regular diet of high TSS weeks which as long as you can cope with that sustained load is good training for longer events.

There’s not real absolute need to train at the race intensity you’ll be riding at for the 100’s - the higher intensity rides of the Sustained power build supplemented with longer endurance rides should drive the adaptions you need. However you can create you own sessions if you want - I used the workout creator to make increasingly longer versions of Mount Bond largely for IM training as it is at about the IF I want for that. If you really want to ride indoors at that intensity it might be worth considering.

Having said that the description you give of the outdoor rides are actually fairly similar to the indoor rides of the Sustained Power Build but just longer. If you are finding it difficult to recover from those you may find a better training balance by reducing to intensity to a longer endurance intensity ride. You might find that you recover better and are able to train more/better with that change and build more fitness over the longer term.

With regard to the 12hr I wouldn’t change too much from that sort of training either, rolling consistent high TSS weeks will build the fitness you need, the trick is finding the balance of what is sustainable for you. I’ve only ridden one 12hr TT a couple of years ago and I didn’t train specifically for it but again rode it off the back of IM training which isn’t very different to what you are already doing.


@JulianM Thanks Julian, Good to hear I am broadly on the right track. you are right, I have found the continuous 600 TSS has me weary at times, so I do need to make sure I have a proper recovery week.

Thanks for pointing me at Mount Bond, I had missed that. Looks ideal.

The only thing I would add is that the group rides have me at c4% of time in Z7 and c7% in Z6. So it is quite peaky. (I am sure that is good for me).

Thanks for encouragement and advice. Appreciated.

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Which is the 100 you are targeting? Do you just need a time or is it one of the faster courses where you’ll need a quick time to get a ride?

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@JulianM I am in East Anglia. The ECCA championship 100m is on E2/100. However there are two entry classes, 60 BBAR and the 10 ECCA (I believe). I understand that if I am in the ECCA 10 riders, it does not count towards BBAR (not that I am anywhere near that, but eh). I have also being recommended the Breckland East district Championship 100m on B100/4 (I am told it is faster). I hear both very popular fast courses and entries are on time, before anything else. (Though East district might help me).

However, the entry date for the B100 course is before the E2/100, so the earlier race may not/will not give me a time. Hence, I am planning to do the Anfield 100m (27/5) to make sure I have a time.

It is the latter ones I am targeting. The earlier one will, hopefully, get me a time and also get me a feel for how I am doing. I also have a couple of 50s to do, as a build up.

Does that make sense? Or am I working under a mis-apprehension? You sounds like you know how they work :slight_smile:

No - I think your thinking along the right lines!!

I rode the B100/4 last year and despite being hot was a pretty quick morning so it may well fill up this year. The ECCA event is always full as it’s often a quick ride despite the stupidly early start time but I think your’re again right about some spaces being reserved to ECCA club members. For the rest of us I think the closing times are around the 4 hour mark. I’m not sure if I’ll ride the E2/100 this year as the date conflicts with a local 50 to me on the A3 :thinking:

If you are having to travel to the Anfield 100 anyway have you considered the Hounslow 100 on the A31. It’s usually on the same weekend as the Anfield event and despite the roads being pretty potholed in places is usually a quicker ride if you need a time. Last year though there was an accident on the course and the event was cancelled half way through - fortunately the rider involved wasn’t hurt. I was one of the later starters that day and had only ridden 25 miles at that point, some others had gone considerably further. We use that 100 as our designated club 100 championship ride so I should imagine I’ll be riding that one.

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4 hour mark!!! Cripes!!! I have a 2:19 for my only 50 from last year and did 6:01 for an ironman leg back in 2003! (When i was much younger).

Not good to hear about accidents on courses. Glad he/she was not seriously hurt. Frustrating to have race stopped though, but I understand why they would do it.

Thanks for the tip on the Hounslow 100. I will have a look. I appreciate the advice @JulianM

PS If you are who I think you are from the CTT website, that is a flippin’ fast 100 time! I am impressed. And the 12 hr distance. Your other PBs are pretty impressive too. (Am off to lie down for a while). :slight_smile: )

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Happened on the E2/50 last year too, when I was about 10 miles away from posting a result that would have smashed our club’s 50m team record…

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What strikes me is that perhaps the key is to separate your training into two areas:

  1. Raising your FTP with sustained power build and club rides on your road bike.

  2. Longer intervals at endurance pace to improve your ability to hold your position for the periods necessary to complete a 50 or 100 mile event. Maybe even swap a couple of your club rides for a 3-4 ride on the TT bike, no particular pace, just getting on the aerobars as much as possible.

So say you were stuck indoors at the weekend, you could do an hour of hard Z5 / over-under intervals on Saturday, sitting up between each interval, and then a 2 hour endurance workout on Sunday, staying on the aerobars the whole way through.

Then when you get to the event, you simply combine your higher FTP and your rock-solid position to devastating effect.


(Darn @martinheadon, accidents are not the route I wanted this discussion to take :frowning: but useful warning of what can happen and the need to have a plan B )

Back on topic…

Yes that sounds emminently sensible. I always planned to get into longer TT rides. I was doing up to 70m TT training rides last year. It is just that this recent extra cold snap has made me think I could start earlier, and I was thinking that some good time in TT position, at a steady pace, would be sensible. (Have had TT bike on turbo since Christmas). I don’t want to drop group rides altogether as I am sure they are useful (and, as they say, ‘character building’)

When you say “…simply combine…”. :rofl: (I like to say, "Always be careful of sentences with the word ‘Just’ in, as in "Just knock out a pb this week … )

Thanks for advice and support guys


Fortunately accidents are relatively rare :crossed_fingers: It might be worth trying to find out what times were needed for the ECCA spots on the E2 - that might give you and idea of what’s needed. It’s certainly won’t be as quick as the BAR qualification event.

I think @martinheadon put very succinctly what I was trying to say with the two strands of training for the longer races in terms of raising power with the indoor rides/sustained power build and longer endurance rides. They will complement each other towards your goal events. Good luck!

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Thanks Julian, I will do that. A very useful discussion, Thanks you all @John_Hallas, @JulianM, @martinheadon


@JulianM You mentioned the Hounslow 100. How difficult is it to get into? Is it over subscribed, or will I, am I likely to be able to get in without a previous time? Cheers

It tends to be fairly popular I think but I’m not sure if it fills up? A team mate of mine got in last year without a time anyway. I think it did fill one year recently but from memory that was when it was the National Championship.

I’ll PM you as well…

@JulianM @martinheadon @John_Hallas Thanks for your help and advice guys. I did the Hounslow 100 yesterday and clocked a 4:38:13. Really pleased with that time, despite a wind that was blowing right down the course from the SW. And that A31 road is really rough and bumpy, especially where they have joints every 4-5metres. I was getting a right battering from them. Anyway first one is done, and thanks for advice.

Oh and the high VO2 and long distance advice as worked as well, as I PBs on the E2/10 with a 21:49 . A massive PB for me. Thanks all


Nice work.

I’ve always wanted to have a go on the E2/10 but I’m reliant on public transport and unlike the E2/25 (HQ in Newmarket), the HQ for the 10 mile course is in the middle of nowhere and I have to take about 4 and a 5-mile ride to get to HQ, then another 3 miles to get to the start…

Thanks. That is a shame. I struck lucky. on the E2/10 It was one of those days when everybody was coming in saying “It was fast…” and talking about PBs. The other course similar is the F2A/10 near Cambourne. Ran as the Chronos last year, but I can’t recall where the HQ was off hand.