Training Plan combination for a Mountainous Road Tour

Hi Guys!

I just started out on TrainerRoad and the variety and options are both awesome but also quite difficult to work out the best combo of plans. So I wondered if you guys could help!

As a bit of context, this year I completed a 9 day mini grand tour in June taking in about 700 miles and 75,000ft in climbing (It wasn’t a race more A to B touring on the road). My training in the lead up to this was not particularly structured but started in Jan 18 addressing the key principals of working on an aerobic base doing longer rides at weekends and then then more sharp hour sessions on local steep climbs during the week, from March to June my average TSS based on my outdoor rides averaged 425. Although this turned out fine and got me up the mountains, I was at the back of the group about 15/20mins behind my fellow riders on the bigger 2/3 hour climbs so not a million miles away. On the flats I kept up fine but as soon as the gradient increased I just saw myself dropping off the back slowly, wary not to kill myself to keep up and then blowing up halfway up a mountain. Post tour I have sustained some fitness although naturally it has dropped off, I see this time of year as a good opportunity to use the turbo as a platform as light hours are limited (I live in the UK)

We have another tour planned next year probably with similar stats and at a similar time of the year. So my ultimate goal is with a more structured plan I can bridge the gap or at least improve on the sustained power for those longer climbs. A secondary goal is that I plan to start some more Olympic triathlon races in April 2019 but I’m hoping that the training for the tour should cover the cycling base of the tri.

I’m in week 4 into a Build Phase mid-volume sustained power plan and it is going well, I’m swapping out at least one weekend session for a long 3/4hour ride outdoors which help keeps the sanity! My aerobic base I think is pretty good but I was wondering what plan I should be looking at next? Should I maybe consider the Sweet Spot Min volume I & II? Or what would be recommended for the first 6 months of 2019 after my current plan? I am currently training in the mornings before work as time during the week is limited. Any advice would be great, sorry for the long post!

Thanks, AH

Not to be flippant but, weight loss is often the secret (no secret) ingredient to dramatically improve sustained climbing for otherwise aerobically fit people. Address your strength/weight ratio and you’ll most definitely see results!

Thanks good advice, I guess losing a couple more kg will always help although at 59kg (130lbs) at my height of 169cm (5ft 5), that might be as good as it gets without compromising my immune system. It seems to be where my weight has naturally got to. Maybe I’m in denial!

I guess my question is after the Sustained power plan where do I go from there to help improve for long day after day mountain climbs?

If you’re carrying all your kit on the tours then losing a couple of KG from body weight will have minimal impact. Overall bike and kit weight is definitely worth considering though… It’s also incredibly expensive!

I did a similar tour this year and back in 2017, the 2018 tour I was far better in the mountains off the back of SSB1&2, lots of time in that zone seems pretty apt for long mountains, i’m sure there’s build plans too but I just never had the time to fit them in. 2017 was just off the back of little structured training. This year I was able to sit with the guy similar to your weight despite being 20+kg heavier and drop everyone else despite them being lighter by at least 10kg.

Nice, agree with kit. My set up was quite light but definitely scope to get that down as you say being brutal with evening wear would certainly help the weight issue. My drybag was a 20L and although I didn’t fill it if it was only a 10 or 13L that would physically force me to pack smarlty (May this is for another thread).

Good to hear that the structured training helped the SSB 1&2 sounds like they did a good job. If these are started in Jan I guess they would put you in a good position by the end of March and then time for another plan before June/July.

Weight is weight…no matter the source (body, bike, gear, food, etc.). :wink:

Absolutely agree, especially when it comes to long climbs, but weight loss while trying to increase training load and FTP is a very difficult balance for someone who is already trained. We here it time again to focus on training and weight loss is likely to follow. I guess I’m saying body weight loss should not be a primary goal unless the OP is significantly overweight. But why stop eating when taking one less t-shirt, shorts instead of trousers, or cutting your toothbrush in half is easy, people tend to take far more than they need… I learned the hard way with various items of clothing left scattered around Europe!! :roll_eyes:

5’5" and 130lbs is pretty good! :+1:

Besides be mindful of various other weight contributors (as mentioned above), working on sustained power output will also provide a path to improvement. Check out 40K TT plans -

That looks really good too actually. From experience is it ok to swap out one or two of the weekend rides for an outdoor ride providing the TSS is similar? Granted the outdoor ride might not be as specific but will help maintain that weekly TSS avg.

Sure, as long as TSS is of a similar character…sustained work efforts being key. You might also use the opportunity to refine your gear choices if necessary.