Can anyone recommend a training plan for loooong distances?

So, i would like to prepare for few Brevet/Audax rides, ranging from 200km to 1.400 km.

Any recommendations? Can be something from Training Peaks or whatever, that i can sync/import to zwift.


Hi @Ivan_Perak, welcome to the forums.

Zwift has a Gran Fondo training plan, maybe give that a try?

Some of Xerts endurance sessions are harder than you might think at first glance with repeated over-unders for example “Lucy in the sky with diamonds 180”.

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seen that already, was wondering how do i approach the training once i finish this, and a real 200-300 km ride… is there anything else, or is it just rinse and repeat, with elevated ftp values?

I would suggest getting as many hours on the bike as you can to prepare for a long ride like that. When is this ride scheduled? I’m not a coach, but all that I have read about prepping for a long ride like that is to not just train in zone 2, but to train all power zones which it looks like the gran fondo plan does.

some rides are this year, the big one of 1400km is next year august, so i have time to train.


You need to focus on two zones, that’s Zone 2 (blue zone on Zwift) and Sweet Spot (88-96% of FTP), anything beyond that is marginal gains. You can do some short HIIT style stuff in the weeks prior to the event, in place of other workouts, but that’s intended only to keep the legs sharp while recovering them from the long rides. What will be the balance between Zone 2 and Sweet Spot depends on how much time you can set aside each week for training. Fewer hours would mean more Sweet Spot intervals. You will need to do some at least 2 hour long rides in Zone 2 during the week and at least one longer during the weekend.

I wouldn’t bother with Zwift’s training plans, they are mostly made to entertain. Besides for endurance you just need to do the hours, no other way around it.

The hard part here is keeping the discipline and fighting the boredom. Now for this Zwift is perfect, it has many long distance endurance events and routes like the Pretzel collection in Watopia, just try to resist the urge to follow the flyers at the start, all of them will be gone before the 1 hour mark anyway, and there would still be plenty of people to form groups with after that.

I prefer doing the workouts during endurance group rides, because having other people you can interact with just keeps you motivated to go on, and time passes quickly. Ideally, I wish Zwift would allow for mixing ERG and SIM mode during group rides. ERG keeps up the discipline while SIM mode allows you to shake up the legs from time to time on those hills.

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I would suggest multiple laps of Alpe du Zwift or Ven-Top (Ventoux) at a steady pace - this will be hard but it will work. Don’t go crazy trying to do sub 50 minute times. Steady is the key. If you can do this with a couple of other riders they will keep it interesting and hopefully avoid boredom.

Then do some big real rides try to remember your pacing.

Try to avoid cruising along with the C grade Pace Partner or those 160km flat group rides with huge bunches.

Base base base.

Increasing (slowly) durations of rides around zone 2 (some sweet spot work will also help). Try to get yourself to the stage where you’re able to Zwift for 3 hours before you try and do your first century outdoors. It will feel so much easier!

1400km sounds nuts!

i have 4-5 200km rides under my belt on relatively flat roads (2000m on 200km)… given the “experience”, i am fairly certain that i can do 300km and 400km with few months of preparation, but beyond that is what i am interested in.

My lifestyle (job, 2 kids, various “do’s” and “must’s”) do not allow long hours in the saddle every other day. I think i can plan it so i have like 100km (3-4 hours) every weekend outside, but other than that i am left with 1-1.5 hours every other day in the garage on smart trainer.

Thats why i am trying to find the best way to utilize that time with the goals mentioned in mind.

And yeah, i know i need hours on the saddle, at least to get my ass used to it :slight_smile:

I am thinking to maybe create a plan for myself in zwift… For instance, take 1.5 hours of time, on divide it in intervals, warmup 5 min, zone 2 5 min, Sweet Spot 2 min, easy 2-3 min, then rinse and repeat, something like that.

But i would like suggestions as to what plan i should base my own on.

I’m trying to figure out if I should set any goals for my riding next year and am thinking about trying a double century ride. One event I found locally whilst googling (unfortunately not on this year due to COVID) has a very short section on training which recommends working up to doing a century ride on back to back days 2 weeks before the event.

This is the event I was thinking about, if you scroll down there is a paragraph on training. The Toronto Bicycling Network Inc. - TNT Hairshirt

If you’ve already done 200 km rides, I’d say beyond that it’s mostly about mentality, not going too hard, and just hours in the saddle (riding without hurting yourself). I’d say in terms of the last one, indoor is specially good because of less standing so you really tend to spend >95% of each hour in the actual saddle.

Paris Brest paris?
I would advise riding at any time, specially at night, and doing a lot of brm this year.
For the training, the good thing is having a général good fitness so you will be able to ride fast while riding in your endurance zone.