We caught up with head of cycling performance at leading cycling training facility Athlete Lab , Tom Shanney, to put together a 100-mile sportive cycling training plan to help you on your way to achieving or improving your 100-mile performance.
100 Mile Sportive cycling training Plan
Consistency and structure are key to a successful plan. Following a training plan will help you optimise your time, stay on track and improve all areas of your cycling performance. Working around a 4-week structure is a good template to use when building for an event. Week 1 is a moderate week to assess your current fitness, power levels and to ease you into the plan. Week 2 is a more sustained week, building intensity into your training. Week 3 is the hard week and will push you out of your comfort zone just before a 4th week dedicated to recovery and adaptation.
How to use this training plan:
The 100-mile sportive training plan -which you can download as a pdf below- sets out a series of training sessions over a 12 week period. Each week is rated as “Easy”, “Medium”, “Hard” or “Recovery”, but the training sessions will ask more from you as you progress. The training sessions take place either indoors or out on the roads and ask you to focus on your cadence and intensity.
Indoor: Using a turbo or indoor training facility such as Athlete Lab. Measure effort using power output (W), functional threshold power (FTP) or rate of perceived exertion (RPE).
Outdoor: The focus of outdoor sessions is to just get out on the road, get used to time in the saddle and improve bike handling. You should aim to increase the duration steadily, getting close to the distance you’d be expected to ride on the day.
A low-medium will be around 50-70 RPM
A medium cadence around 70-90 RPM
A medium/high cadence 90-110 RPM
And a high cadence 110+ RPM
Intensity Ratings (RPE)
|0||Nothing at all|
|0.5||Very, very light|
Very, very hard
Key Session types:
Tempo Sessions: These are longer sustainable aerobic efforts at tempo pace. They improve aerobic capacity, pedalling efficiency & cardiac output.
Example Power Zone 2/3 – 75% to 90% of FTP. Heart rate: 66 to 75% of max. RPE: 4 to 6 . Block length: 10 to 30 minutes.
Threshold Sessions: Medium length intervals just below and above your threshold. Improves lactate threshold, sustained race-pace power & cardiac output.
Example Power Zone 4 – 95 to 105% of FTP. Heart rate: 76‑ to 85% of max. RPE: 6 to 8. Block length: 10 to 15 minutes.
Strength endurance sessions: Longer intervals at a medium to low RPM. The aim is to work on increasing your muscular strength. This will be beneficial for climbing ability.
Example Power Zone: 3/4 – 75 to 100% of FTP. Heart Rate: 66 to 85% of max. RPE: 5 to 7. Block length: 10 to 20 minutes.
Your 100 Mile Sportive Training Plan:
You can bookmark this page, or print the pdf off for reference. Click to open the training plan.