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Century Ride / Gran Fondo Training Plans

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The Best Way To Train For A Century Ride

A century ride is a road cycling event of 100 miles (161km). Some people train simply to complete the event, whereas others will go into the event with time-goals. Either way, the best way to train for a century ride is to build up your cycling over a period of several months. There are no shortcuts or quick-wins. A good place to start is by getting a training plan. People who follow training plans have been shown to be twice as likely to succeed in reaching their goals.

Top Training Tips For A Century Ride

You can either cycle outdoors in good weather, or indoors using a static bike or indoor trainer. Many indoor trainers let you wirelessly link to interactive cycling software like Zwift. This means you can ride with real people in a virtual environment – which makes it mentally easier to do long rides indoors. The workouts in our training plans can be exported to platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Garmin. However, it’s sensible to do at least some of your training outside on the bike you intend to use during your Century. This ensures you’re used to the feel and handling of your event-day bike.

Your training program should be built around two or three key rides each week. Any additional rides you do are advantageous, but not essential. The first key session is an endurance ride, where you slowly increase your ride duration over a period of months, from whatever is comfortable for you now, up to 85-90 miles. These rides should be done at chatting pace, ideally with friends, while you consume energy drinks and snacks every 30 minutes along the way.

Your second key ride is a speed session, designed to raise the ceiling of your current ability. By training your body to ride harder, it will then feel easier to maintain a given pace for longer. For example, ride 5 x 10 minutes at 90% of your 1-hour race pace effort, with three-minute recoveries (plus warm up and warm down).  You should progress these rides over time, so your body keeps adapting to new stimulus.

If you have time, you should include another endurance ride each week, mostly done at an easy intensity. For this ride, build up from whatever duration is comfortable for you right now, up to 60-70 miles over a period of months. During this ride you could also throw in a few efforts, by riding hard up any hills.

Any additional rides you do should be 1 to 3 hours in duration, done mostly at an easy/steady intensity. It won’t do you any harm to throw in a few harder efforts during these rides but keep at least 80% of your riding at an easy intensity. Most importantly, you want to feel relatively fresh for your three key weekly rides.

Always be mindful of over training, road safety and avoiding injury. Your first goal is always to make the start-line of your target event. It’s not what you do in any one session that counts. It’s also important to include regular recovery periods, so you can train happily and consistently over a period many months.

We include two 45-minute strength and conditioning sessions per week with our Century cycling plans. Not everyone can fit them in around their busy lives, on top of their cycling, but it’s good if you can. These workouts improve your strength and flexibility, which leads to more efficient movement patterns and fewer injuries.

Using a Century Ride Training Plan

Online training plans are for athletes who don’t feel the need for a personal coach, but who still want the structure and planning of an expertly-written training program. Research has shown that you are twice as likely to reach your goals if you train with a structured plan. 

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About Phil Mosley

5 Stars from 147 reviews

As an athlete and parent, I know how challenging it can be to train effectively for endurance events. Being a certified coach with over 20 years’ experience, the biggest challenge is balancing my client’s training with their lifestyle…

And that’s why I started MyProCoach™ – to offer the world’s most comprehensive range of online training plans, all designed to help you enjoy the same success that my athletes and I have, while still making sure you have quality time for your family, friends and career (read 100+ detailed reviews here). You can also hear from me in a series of 6 short explainer videos below:

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Premium, flexible plans

Research-backed plans for any experience-level that fit around your lifestyle. From leading endurance coach Phil Mosley.

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A flexible calendar, targeted training zones, trackable progress and so much more - on any device.

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On top of full help-centre & FAQ support (with videos), our coaches will quickly reply to any questions you have via email.

Our Century & Gran Fondo Plans (6-40 Weeks)​

MORE THAN JUST A TRAINING PLAN

We use Training Peaks to deliver your plan – the world’s most popular endurance coaching platform. Free to use, Training Peaks is an online calendar that lets you record, track and analyze your training sessions. 

It has a host of great features allowing you to get as in-depth as you like, including the ability to export your workouts to your training devices (Garmin, TrainerRoad etc) and follow them in real time. 

Training Peaks enables us to set you in-depth training plans in a way that other formats cannot. Phil Mosley is a Certified Coach and one of the best-selling coaches on the platform.

Certainly! Our training plans allow you to easily swap a few days around each week to suit your availability. Or you can swap out a session, to attend a similar group workout instead. That’s fine. If you opt for Training Peaks Premium (from $9.92 per month) you can even drag & drop your workouts onto different days. We give a few recommendations on how to best do this in our help centre.
We want to provide an affordable and effective training solution, including email coach support for any questions you may have.

Our Certified coaching team are on hand to answer any questions during the first use of your plan, plus a bonus 3 months after its completion. During checkout, please also share your email so I can send you a series of 5 helpful emails to get you started.

As you can understand, some limits apply, like personalisation or analysis of your training, but for anything else relevant to your plan, we would love to help. You also have full access to our online help centre, with videos and articles to help you train effectively.

Yes! Our training plans guide you up to your target “A” race, but it’s also good to include some “B or C” races along the way. Our help centre goes through the exact steps you should take to enable you to get full benefit, without detracting from your key focus.

Over 40? Compare these with our Masters (40+) Century Ride/Gran Fondo plans ▸

BEGINNER

Perfect in your first Century or Gran Fondo Ride
5-9 hrs per week, across 4-5 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $3.48/week!

INTERMEDIATE

For seasoned cyclists
5-11 hrs per week, across 4-6 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $3.48/week!

ADVANCED

Slash your race-times
8-14 hrs per week, across 5-7 workouts
  • Premium, flexible plan
  • Intuitive tracking software
  • Help centre & FAQ support
  • Email access to coach
  • From just $3.48/week!

Join Over 10,000 Successful Athletes

FEEDBACK FROM MY CYCLING CLIENTS

The training worked extremely well. I never felt in trouble on any of the stages. There were no bad days for me. I think we got the numbers and training right particularly as I was able to ride well day after day.
David Downey - Sept 2015
Haute Route Alps Sportive
Just finished my FTP test. I gained 20 watts!!! I can't believe how beneficial your sessions have been. ​
Saif Al Assam - Aug 2015
Cyclist
Just wanted to drop a message and let you know that I was extremely pleased with the plan! Your plan combined with TrainingPeaks is the perfect combination.
Mike O'Reilly - Aug 2018

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In response to client feedback, we’re continually designing new specialist plans to get the best results from all our athletes. Follow the links below to read about them and see if they could be a good fit for you.

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Century/Gran Fondo Cycling - Beginner Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net

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CLICK A BUTTON BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE TRAININGPEAKS™ ONLINE STORE

Century/Gran Fondo Cycling - Intermediate Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net

Preview or Buy Now!

CLICK A BUTTON BELOW TO BE DIRECTED TO THE TRAININGPEAKS™ ONLINE STORE

Century/Gran Fondo Cycling - Advanced Plans:

You should count back the weeks from your “A” target race-date – noting that you can still work in other, smaller races during your plan too. Generally, the longer the better – as this will give you more chance to gradually build up your training and fitness. The body responds best to constant progression with regular recovery periods, and that’s exactly what our training plans are designed to give you.

Further questions about choosing the right plan or using it? Our coaching team would be happy to help: info@myprocoach.net