Training plan for PBP

Hello all,

I am planning on riding Paris-Brest-Paris in August of this year. Its a 1200 km ride and I get 90 hours to do it.

I wondered if somebody could guide me to the right training plan for this. I’ll be training alongside my 60 km daily commute (there and back).

Thank you,

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This might be the place to start:

Sounds like with a 60k commute managing fatigue will be your biggest challenge!


It would help if we knew your background with brevets. Presumably you did a pre qualifier ride last year?

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Hello Phil,

I think I know you, are you part of ACME?

Yes, last year I did my SR, I also completed a 1000 km ride but out of time as I missed one of the controls.


Hello, Alex, many thanks and I will look at that!

All the best,

Yes, not a member of ACME but ridden most of the Essex events over the years. I organise the events over in Hertfordshire. You saw me at first control Knights Templar before I disappeared up the road.

I don’t know your heart rate zones but from your Strava would I be right in thinking most of your commutes are tempo?

I successfully completed PBP 15 when I had a 40km commute 5 days a week. That was pretty much tempo with some VO2 max up a 5 min hill. In addition I’d do an easier social 3 hour ride on Wed evening and do a longer easier ride on the Sat. Sunday was my one day off the bike. I completed my qualifying series and that was it. I don’t have that commute anymore and have to be a bit more structured with what I do. But if I still had that commute I’d likely still be doing it unstructured like I did back then.

The thing missing from your weeks are the longer easier rides. I don’t know if this is because you aren’t doing them, or simply not sharing on Strava. These are the only real difference between what I did in 2015 to success on PBP with what I see in your Strava.

The longer easier ride will over time see what currently appears to be tempo pace become to your Z2 pace. Over PBP distance you’ll mostly be at Z2 pace and thus want that as high as possible. I see a lot of riders who can hold tempo for upto about 300km, but beyond that their average speeds crash as they can’t hold it anymore nor their Z2 pace. Thus they seem fast on the shorter events, but it doesn’t scale at the longer durations beyond 14-16 hours elapsed. They start to go backwards after their initial surge.

Having said the above; it’s rarely fitness that catches out those who qualify and start PBP. It’s all the other things like drinking, eating, dealing with the heat (as a Brit), time wasted off bike in controls , sleep management, keeping your gps charged etc. not having clean water bottles. Not realising how cold it gets at night etc.

Back to training. I wouldn’t do anything extra during the week. There’s more than enough going on with the commute there. But see how you can incorporate some regular longer easier rides into your weekends.

I’d have a few chats with Tomsk and the ACME gang. There’s a lot of successful PBP knowledge local to you. You might have to buy some pints to extract all the info. Try not to overthink training you’re already in a pretty good place with your regular consistent commute.

Sorry for the late reply.

Looks like great advice - yes, most of the commutes are Z3 ish. Not doing nearly enugh in the way of longer, easier rides so this is something that I’ll have to fit in. Often, I’ll pop out on a Wed evening though.

Thank you for all the info and I will take on board your suggestions.

Hopefully we’ll bump into eachother again soon!

All the best,