Training for the Tour de France

Hi, I’m brand new to TrainerRoad but I’ve signed up to do the Tour de France (the whole thing) a week before the Pros next year. From London and the rain is coming in at 90 degrees at around 5 degrees celsius - So, TrainingRoad is my only friend for the next few months. Though I’ve been doing quite a bit of cycling for the last few years I’m 50 and 100kg. (I’ve clearly being watching too many David Goggins & Rich Roll videos and overdosing on “seize the day” rhetoric). On the plus side I have almost 30 weeks to go but my question is, is base sweet spot training the best place to start? A lot here seems to be aimed at 1 event but I think I have 3 week on the bike, 3500km and some days of around 220km with back to back 4000 meter climbs. I’d hate to get cracking and find out 2 months in that I would have been better off spending 20 hours a week in endurance zone on the road (in my waterproofs!). Thanks!


I’d take a trip to see Team Sky’s doctor :wink:


Wow! Good luck.

I’m thinking that this will depend on where your current fitness and cycling abilities rest. The guys I cycle with who do two or three Haute Route events per year are already well into their training and that fades into insignificance when compared to your undertaking.

Of course it can be done. Back In The Saddle by Hayden Groves is proof and worth a read.

I’d say that you’re going to need to be putting in a lot of back-to-back-to-back rides, keeping the pace realistic. Climbing wise, you’re going to be doing a lot of hill repeats to even replicate the elevation your going to encounter.

Good luck :+1:

Are you in a cycling club? If not, join a cycling club!

My own (London-based) club has Saturday, Sunday, and midweek rides that let you get lots of miles in without spending 4 hours staring at a wall/screen. I’m sure others are the same. Not all days are as nasty as today!

As far as an overall approach goes, maybe it’s 14 weeks base training and concentrate on diet and losing weight, then 14 weeks concentrating on raising your FTP while maintaining your weight, and 2 weeks to taper for it. Something along those lines anyway…

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Hi, I’m reasonably fit. I did a charity ride (Dallaglio Cycle Slam) from Geneva to Split this year and bearing in mind that it’s not a race I feel fairly confident I can get there. But just wondered to best approach if I wanted be at my actual best.
Can’t find Back In The Saddle by Hayden Groves on Amazon, is it still in print?

Yes! Chiswick Cycling Club.
I suppose I’ll need to balance those rides against the structured TrainnerRoad schedule.

I’m 6 foot 5 so not quite as chunky as I sound lol.

Thanks for the training advice though - really helpful.

Certainly wasn’t accusing you of being chunky! But just going generally on the basis that if you’re doing god knows how many thousands of metres of elevation during the challenge, every gram counts.

Ah, then you’re excellently located near the flat roads of Berkshire and Surrey for rides to Windsor Great Park and beyond. Perfect for those long base miles in between the shorter but harder sessions on the trainer.

I did a lovely 100-miler once round there, out to Windsor and then a trip round Surrey and back to London via Woking for lunch with my in-laws…

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What a great event to train for!

Here is the link to the book:

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That sounds like a great event. Is there a link for it?

As has been said i would try to get in a club and cover as many back to back rides as possible. Dropping some weight would help for sure given the terrain you will be facing too!

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There is:

Looks fantastic thanks

Blimey quite a challenge.

I have no idea of the training requirements other than making sure you are super comfortable on a bike and get plenty of time in a saddle under your belt. I expect high volume is your friend!

I had the opportunity to chat to some NZ chaps on an alpine climb last year who did the whole 2018 route (super friendly bunch doing it for mental health charity - probably give you some good advice if you tapped them up on social media). It made me realise how difficult it was…basically doing the tour with no drafting, cycling a couple of hours more than the pros every day, they had no time for all the planned massages, transition days were not restful, those long flat days are dull, you need a buddy to get you through the tough days, the charity kept them focussed.

Good luck

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I can hear Coach Chad’s and Nate’s voices… lots of sweet spot work.

I would lean towards Sweet Spot Base, then Sustained Power Build, then Century plan. Personally I agree with mixing in some long outdoor rides to ensure you are feeling ultra-comfortable in the saddle. Outside I’d be cautious with the intensity, rather focus on longer, slightly less intense rides where you work on also optimizing nutrition.

Try to mix in some stretching and core work each week. Work on getting your bike set up, equipment, and importantly, your nutrition dialed in on and off the bike.

Good luck and keep us all posted. Sounds like an amazing event. Would love to see you post some pictures hear of the rides when they happen.


It may be miserable until March but I’d plan to keep the turbo going up until the event.

I’m thinking you want to mix in some strength work now, which is also what I’m doing, the stronger you are all over the less painful this is going to be…!

Start with sweet spot base, then I think you’ve got a lot of options but focus on endurance nearer the event.

And make sure you have a fan, and a couple of towels!

Good advice thanks! Keeping the turbo trainer rolling when the weather gets better will be a struggle.

I just did my ftp ramp test which was 264 which seems high :thinking:. Still, they say to take it so I will.


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