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Gran Fondo Training

A Gran Fondo or Century Ride is a long-distance, mass-start cycling event that can take place on any kind of terrain. A majority take place on paved roads, however, incorporation of dirt roads is becoming more common. While this event is technically a timed event where winners are crowned, a majority of the participants are racing against the clock rather than the other riders in the event. Because of this, Gran Fondos tend to demand a more constant effort compared to a road race, even though they can be held on similar courses and distances. Riders tend to work with each other rather than against each other, and the result is a much more consistent level of effort. These events tend to fall in the 3 to 12-hour range depending on the distance, terrain, and rider fitness.

Different Types of Gran Fondos

Long Duration (5+ Hours)

A Gran Fondo that is on the longer side of the spectrum will typically take 5 hours or more to complete. For an event of this duration, holding your power output steady throughout the duration of the race will pay off in the form of saved energy for the final hours of your event. For a ride of this length, your ability to sustain steady amounts of power for extended durations is crucial for success.

Optimal Training Approach

Base: General Base I, II, III

Build: Sustained Power Build

Specialty:  Gran Fondo Specialty


Short Duration (3-5 hours)

A shorter Gran Fondo is a race that you expect to finish within 3-5 hours. Due to the shorter duration, you may be expected to go above your threshold for brief periods of time, and you will want to select a training plan that reflects that. The overall nature of the race is still sustained, however, we recommend altering the Specialty Phase depending on the course can help to give you an edge.

Optimal Training Approach (Rolling Course)

A rolling course will contain frequent, short climbs that require higher amounts of power over short periods of time.

Base: General Base I, II, III

Build: Sustained Power Build

Specialty: Rolling Road Race

Optimal Training Approach (Climbing Course)

Some courses may contain longer climbs, where a more consistent threshold level approach will be the fastest way to the top.

Base: General Base I, II, III

Build: Sustained Power Build

Specialty: Climbing Road Race

Optimal Training Approach (Flat Course):

A flat course will benefit from an entirely sustained training approach, much like the longer Gran-Fondo approach. For this reason, it will use the same set of plans.

Base: General Base I, II, III

Build: Sustained Power Build

Specialty: Gran Fondo Specialty


Additional Demands

Not quite the perfect fit?

Road Racing:  This approach is designed around highly competitive road racing and will equip you to deal with a wider range of efforts to help you deal with sprinting, breakaways, and power surges.

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