Plan suggestion prior to Strade Bianche GF

Hi guys,

I just signed up for the coaching subscription because I need some help selecting the right plan for the 7 weeks remaining before the Strade Bianche Granfondo, which would be my A race for the first part of the season (March). It will be my sixth participation, so I know the course very well. It is also my home race, so I kinda “feel it”

I’m in doubt between a final (big) push to the CTL 4 weeks before the race with the Sweet Spot part 3 plan, or to go all in with road racing intervals. I didn’t buy the Fondo plan because this event is different from a typical granfondo, it is more similar to a MTB race, but it is also very long (4,5h) and the last 30 km are the most difficult.

I did a screenshot from last year’s race:

The hills are short but steep, and there’s almost no rest, even the flat section in the middle is quite demanding.

What I did in my calendar, following my training from the previous years, is doing 3 weeks of SST part 3, then rest one week, then have a couple of weeks of intervals from the road racing plan, then a C race (totally flat), then taper somehow to March 8th.

The training has been so far so good, SST training has helped me regain a good fitness after a not very productive transition from season 2019 to 2020. I managed to raise CTL a lot during the holidays. At the moment I’m feeling good, last week I was in “Race Form”, and that’s what’s worrying me: have I peaked too early?

Thanks for the suggestions and keep up the good work!!

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Since you are a coaching subscription member besides just advising which plan to apply I can tweak one plan to make it a bit better for you.

The road racing interval plan would be great! However some of the weekend rides are shorter, which is perfect as you get closer to the event. But in that 3-4 week window till the event we will want to throw in some longer rides with efforts.

I’ll get this adjusted for you. It’s ok to feel good now. Just have to be careful not to overdo it and keep up with your rest.

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Hey Andrea,

I have I finished some of the edits to your plans leading into Strada Bianche GF.

The big thing is the next couple of Tuesdays I have made Vo2 max efforts. These will help prepare you for some of the shorter steeper climbs. Just punching it on the steep sections. These range from 3 - 5 minutes in duration.

Another edit I made was to a few of the weekend rides. So on February 8th I made that a 5 hour ride as opposed to a 4 hour ride. With the SBGF being 4.5 hours last year it will be good to get in a couple hard 5 hour rides. On February 15th I actually put a simulation ride. This is that 3 week out window. Here you need to do a ride on a similar course and ride it hard! Much like you will come the day of the event. Also it is important to ride the same equipment so that is dialed and also work on your race day nutrition! I also upped the ride on the 22nd from 2.5 to 4 hours. Still 2 weeks out so plenty of time too taper. Don’t want to loose to much fitness so thought it was important you get one longer effort in here.

Last year at this time your CTL was in the 80 range. This year you will max out around 110 a couple weeks before the event which is perfect! You will also go into the event with plenty of freshness in the legs without losing to much fitness. This is a solid taper. It might seem light but with an A event it is lined up really well. I even put in an estimate TSS for the ride event the week before so I could see where your TSB would be.

If you have any questions just let us know!

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Hi Jake,

that seems a nice progression! And definitely VO2 efforts are what maybe I was missing from last year race, since we’re at the beginning of the season and there are many events where could take part before this one.

l’ll try to #ftfp, as I did, with results in these past few months. By the way, the podcasts have been really useful for me, the make you understand why you need to this and that and how! Thanks for those guys!

By the way, last year’s ctl was maybe a bit underestimated, because I set up my ftp with a ramp test, and simply that number was too high, and led me to peak early and not being consistent during the week.

Maybe I will have a 5 days long work trip in February, but don’t know if and when: in that case, depending on where it falls, I’ll do a little overload in days preceding, so that fitness will not go down too much. I’ll let you know in case that happens!

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As soon as you find out when that work trip is and I will be happy to work the plan around for it.

Yeah Vo2 max is some good race intensity efforts. I really like loading up with sweet spot and Vo2 max. Feels like it covers the basis for most rides and races.


Hi Jake,

so at last the travel trip was scheduled, I’ll be away 25,26,27,28th February, missing important workouts.

I’ll be off work on Monday, so I have the chance ride longer and outdoor: I was thinking to put in a solid 3,5/4h ride with some threshold and sweetspot and tempo efforts; something like 230/250 tss.

Then completely off on Tuesday and do my 40-50’ long strength routine Wednesday and Thursday, then off on Friday. I don’t think I have the chance to find an hotel with a gym…

What do you think?

By the way, last month was ok; simulation ride was hard, not the best overall feeling, I thought I would feel more fresh, but NP for the ride was good an we rode more than 50% of the race course. I managed to follow the plan most of the time.

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Well sounds like there is not much you can do. It would be great if there was a gym with bikes, or you could rent a bike, but I know that is not always an option.

The good news is you won’t loose much fitness and when you are within the two week window there isn’t enough time to adapt to training to make gains. So you will not be missing out on much. Its going to be about waking your body back up after the time off and getting rolling. The ride on March first may feel a more difficult, but you will also be fresh, which actually may help. Just do get getting opened up on your opener ride.

Since you can ride on Monday I think you should as well. So I put in the threshold workout that you would have missed for this Saturday. Ideally when you are doing 3 days in a row the first day should be the higher intensity while you are fresh! Then Sunday can be your longer weekend ride. This would be good to get some freestyle sweet spot efforts in. Make this a good 225 - 250 TSS Day. Then Monday can be medium endurance and tempo efforts based on how you feel.

You rode that simulation ride really hard! You averaged 215 watts. That was basically the same effort you did in the ride last year. But interestedly your heart rate was 10bpm lower. That is a good sign! So I’m guessing you had more in the tank. Also you will hit the ride with more freshness than you did the simulation ride so that will be good. Other thing I liked about the simulation ride is that you were riding just as strong at the end as the beginning if not stronger. No real drop off in power. That is a really good sign! Your norm power over the last 8 miles of the course this year compared to last year was 20 watts higher! So you were able to stay on the gas really nicely!

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