Grando Fondo training advice

Balibaroudeur Posts: 5
edited September 2019 in Amateur race
Dear fellow cyclists,
I have entered the Tour of Bintan in order to try and qualify for the Grand Fondo amateur world championships. I have entered the Tour of Cambridge twice and the Tour of Ayrshire once and narrowly missed qualification. The last TOC I entered I was the first rider not to qualify and missed out by 2 seconds...

I have 6 months to train but have been off the bike for the best part of a year. I have been running regularly so am in reasonably good shape (1:43 half marathon in Bali last week) but have no bike legs at the moment.

Can anyone suggest a training plan or give some guidance as to how long it took them to get back into racing shape after a break?

Any advice appreciated!


  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Whatever you were doing last time - do a bit more this time.

    And wear a tighter jersey.
  • Got it. So a bit more and a bit less?
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Difficult to recommend anything specific without knowing how much time you have available to commit, or what kind/amount of riding you were doing previously...
  • Fair point. I would say I was doing about 10 hours a week. 5 hour ride at the weekend and a mix of regents park laps and wattbike sessions through the week.

    I have about 7 hours a week now with a maximum of a 3 hour weekend ride.

    I guess what I’m trying to find out is:

    1) what should my first month look like?
    2) how long have people found it has taken to get roughly back to form after a year of no cycling?

    Once I’m back to some semblance of cycling fitness I am fine for training ideas.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    First month you should just ride as often or as far as you can in the time you have available. Everyone's form will be at a different level (this is the amateur race forum), so I doubt there will be any single answer to how long it takes.
  • slowmart
    slowmart Posts: 4,465
    I’ve had 18 months off and started cycling again at the start of July.

    Core strength, flexibility and general body fitness to ride was my focus meaning fasted rides of 45 mins to an hour and a half at various intensities, lots of threshold rides, Hiit with active recovery thrown in with 5-8 hrs per week which helped strengthen neck, wrists, stomach etc along with general fitness.

    I’m 52 so sleep and nutrition again was a key area of focus.

    My overarching aim was to build my general bike fitness to start, enjoy and benefit from a 26 week training plan from trainerroad. I finish the first week of Spring.

    I opted for Trainerroad as they seem to have a great proposition which works with the additional benefit of superb and timely support. Oh and their forum is top drawer too.
    “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring”

    Desmond Tutu
  • Thanks, this is great. Much appreciated. Good luck with your training.
  • fenix
    fenix Posts: 5,437
    Just start off steady and remember to allow yourself to recover too. It's easy to do too much and just knacker yourself out.
    Listen to your body basically. You'll get back to fitness soon enough and then just train a wee bit harder than last time.
  • As others have said just ride for the first month just to get your fitness back. With 7 hours a week, I would be inclined to do 4 x 1hr sessions and the longer 3 hour ride at the weekend as you suggest you have time for. This would give 5 days riding per week with 2 rest days which will give you a consistent training base.

    For months 2-3 you could do more work at endurance, a couple of zone 2 rides and a couple of tempo rides per week with the longer weekend ride on top at a more casual pace just to get the distance in your legs. As your fitness improves I would turn the longer ride into more of a race effort, replicating some of the efforts you expect to do in the gran fondo itself.

    In months 4-5 I would start to replace a couple of the endurance sessions with intervals that will replicate the race efforts you expect to do and then spend the last month just keeping your training consistent and then tapering prior to the event.

    This is just my personal view though, everyone is slightly different and would benefit from tailoring their approach to their specific levels of fitness.