Ready to tackle a Gran Fondo? "Survive the Gran Fondo" is an 8-week plan that focuses on building endurance and improving pedaling efficiency so you can finish an event of 100 miles with enough energy left over to enjoy the post-ride festivities. Total weekly riding time builds from 6 hours to 9.5 hours and includes one long ride on the weekend; you’ll also enjoy two complete rest days per week. Riders who sign up for this plan should already have several weeks of low-intensity riding under their belts (riding 4-5 times a week at an easy effort for 60 to 90 minutes).
As the world’s leading bike magazine for the past 50 years, Bicycling is uniquely qualified to offer premium Gran Fondo training plans to cyclists of all levels. This 8-week program is the result of an exclusive collaboration between Bicycling and professional cycling coach Alec Donahue of Cycle-Smart Coaching in Massachusetts.
Consistency is key to any successful training plan, Donahue says. No single day of intensity or individual long ride will accomplish your goals. However, if you work diligently over eight weeks, follow a healthy diet, and take your rest days seriously, it is possible to dramatically improve your fitness. Consider getting a quality bike fit before investing significant time in training. Starting with an effective position and strong support system will yield much better results. Most reputable bike shops offer fitting services. Ideally, the fit should include a flexibility and core strength assessment. If you don't have access to this kind of fitness assessment, take the one at bicycling.com/fittoride.
PLAN NOTE: This plan is designed to start on a Monday, with a long ride every Sunday. If your schedule does not accommodate a long Sunday ride, you may set up the program to start on any day you wish. Just keep in mind you may have to adjust your training on the last few days before your event.