Long-Range Training Plan Help

I’m somewhat new to road biking, been riding a couple of years. Just started on Zwift with a Wahoo trainer. 52 years old. FTP is 211.

I am going to do a ride in June of next year that is 68 miles and 8,500 feet of climb. I want to train for this ride, but not sure which training plan in Zwift is best suited for this.

I’ve done shorter rides with about 5,000 feet of climb (without a long-range training plan), and they darn near killed me. I want to do this ride and still be able to walk at the end!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Of the existing training plans on zwift you could do one of two things. You could do the Grand Fondo training plan to train at holding a fixed wattage for a long distance. This plan has little in the way of tempo or VO2 max efforts so those zones may suffer a bit over course of this plan but you will definitely get used to sitting in the saddle for long periods of time. The other thing you could do is the Build Me Up training plan to work on tempo and VO2 max efforts in order to increase your endurance and FTP. If you have the time, you can even try out both, one after the other.

Hi Stephen,
Congratulations on your previous rides. These will give you invaluable
information on the upcoming challenge.

I am rather old school and definitely no authority on training plans.

But if it helps, I would approach this new challenge by working out
how long you estimate the ride will take you and gradually build
up to that number of hours in the saddle. If you can you could
work towards going over the estimated ride time thereby giving
you the confidence that you have something in reserve.

I don’t know how much time you have to train but try for at least
3 times a week, making sure not to over train.

I would also ensure you have the best combination of gears for the
inclines you will encounter.

Hope this rather simplistic approach is of some help until you get
something more scientific.
All the best, “Ride On”

PS having said all that I realise that my advice could be impossible
due to time constraints. So please feel free to ignore all the above. Cheers.

Troy is right in the advise that he gives you above. The key element here is whether you want to train to compete or complete. My impression is that you want to go and enjoy the ride in which case, just ride and ride and ride. It is more important for you to get the time in the saddle so that you are comfortable during the event and less on trying to build in speed work. That said, riding around Zwift in “Free ride” mode will give you a good opportunity to train on a variable terrain that will essentially resemble the ride you are training for.

At our age, my friend, the point is to accomplish and enjoy.

Ride on!

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I have time, since the ride is June 2020. I already bought a cassette with a lower gears specifically for this ride, and I’m using it right now on my Wahoo Kickr trainer.

I think the ride will be 7-8 hours. It is very steep terrain in western Maryland (Garrett County Gran Fondo). I need to work on time in the saddle, but also on some very long steep inclines as well. I greatly appreciate the advice, and will look into the training plans you all mentioned. I’m not overly concerned with my time, more so enjoying the ride and being fit enough to finish.