Advice on structuring an event goal

Hi, just looking for advice from people who’ve maybe done some of the longer events in the past.

My longest event to date is a 220 km ~900 m elevation, with my best effort on that event being a 415 XSS Moderate Mixed Rouleur ride that took 9:47:40 elapsed time and 7:52:55 moving time (ferry crossing, rest stops, traffic lights etc). Now I am eyeing off the 300 km option. It’s in the first week of October and has about ~2400 m elevation. Most the elevation is between km ~169 and 250 (I’ve put a picture below) & there is a 13.5 hour/26 kph cut-off incl. needing to hit that pace to make the ferry.

Given that best time in the 220 km was done on 1 star training status heading in after 3-4 weeks off training in the weeks leading up to it, and no structured training beyond commuting mainly in the two months before that I think it could be achievable. Just need to find an extra 90 km and 1500 vertical meters in 3.5 hrs.

My questions are:

  1. What XSS target and ride type (polar/mixed, rouleur/GC etc) should I look at putting in for such an event?

  2. What’s the best way to approach it? I like forecast AI, but given the timespan is from mid-May to start October my weekly hours will be a variable so can’t set one program. In the Aug/Sept lead-in I can get more time away from life given how close it is (10-12hrs/wk), but May, June, July I can’t be out riding 2-4 hours both days of the weekend (maybe 4-6hrs/wk).

  3. Would goal or event be the way to approach it or a mix? While I like traditional Xert with the needle, I am just way more motivated to get out and plan for ticking off XSS in the calendar for the week, than looking on the day and trying to slot in enough work to keep the needle north.

  4. My profile atm is 223W TP, 153W LTP, ~27.9 HIE and 1250W PP, I’m about 93.5 kg, 2 star training status and my goal is to finish in the cut-off. Is this even achievable like I think. Playing with XFAI its wanting a lot of weekly hours from now to October just to get ‘Poor’ readiness. (I’m hoping some weight loss to help the W/kg for the climbs but know better than to bank on that)

The route:

Appreciate the help as this is a longer event than I ever thought I’d consider until recently.

Absolute agree with you! Let’s get this figured out! I will say in advance that the biggest part of being adequately prepared for an event like this is by increasing your overall training load - the more stars you can have (within your available training time), the better you’ll be!

  1. Without any further details, I would recommend a polar specificity and a Rouleur focus for some of the shorter, punchy climbs. I’d expect the total event XSS to be somewhere in the ~600 range, if you can manage to sit in & draft a bit to conserve power/energy.
  2. If you don’t want to mess with changing availabilities mid-program (which isn’t a huge hassle, tbh), you could just stick with Continuous Improvement Program for now, with an IR of Slow or Moderate - 1. Aim to build up some solid base for the next month or two and then forecast the rest of your training program when your availabilities are a bit more free/open. I had success with this strategy myself last fall before fully jumping into a XFAI program this spring.
  3. XFAI → Event is definitely the way to go! It is great for situations like this where you’re looking to ‘just finish’ in the time cutoff. When it’s ready, you might experiment with the ‘Race’ option as well.
  4. I think it’s definitely possible to achieve, even within the time availability you have. FWIW an Event Readiness of 4 simply means you’ll be expected to be red for 4 days after the event. So as long as you don’t plan do to any hard training for a few days afterwards anyways, you’ll be fine :slight_smile: Time to start thinking & planning your nutrition. 12+ hrs is a long time to be on the bike & a lot of calories burned!

Hope this is a helpful starting point!

Thanks for the detailed response.

Just to clarify, are you saying I could set up and XFAI for 6 hours per week, then when the time comes ramp it up to 10 or so? Would I then just hit adapt or reforecast? I know there have been a lot of updates since I set up my current plan, but it always felt like the target was baked in based on the XSS and time just dictated if a plan could be found.

Definitely working on Nutrition, looking to go for high carbs in the bottles (80 g per 500 mL up from ~30) to push up the intake. I’m thinking it’s even more important for me as with a relatively high HIE/ low LTP I’m very anaerobic and will churn through the carbs.

Sounds a bit like what I do doesn’t really matters so long as I do a lot consistently. Current thinking is:
-Set 6 hours a week polar Rouleur or sprint time triallist Goal program for 6-8 weeks with 90:10 polarisation, low difficulty to really ‘base’ it up. I think going low periodisation would also help here?

  • in those 6-8 weeks I’ll also manually make sure to throw in 1 hard session at least per 2 weeks to prevent erosion of top end (e.g. 6x30s hard efforts)

  • Switch to event plan Polar Rouleur as suggested with my availability, 80:20 polarisation, 2.5% -3% periodisation, default difficulty.

Thanks again.