Best Plan for Strade Bianche

Hi All,
I’m reaching out for some advice.

I was training for the Stelvio Santini Grand Fondo doing the Hilly / Mountainous plan but it has been posponed for the same day of the Strade Bianche Grand Fondo which I’m also enrolled in.

I will prioritize Strade but I’m wondering what’s the best plan to prepare for it. While Stelvio Santini has +4,500 mts of climbing, the climbs are mostly long steady ones vs the short punchy ones of Strade.

Would the Mountainous / Hill plan still be the best or would the All Round Road plan be better for this? Would any other plan be a better choice?



I’m also training for GFs and completed the All-Purpose Road plan over winter and am currently in week 3 of the Hilly GF plan.

I would say the Hilly GF plan is better as a final prep for any challenging GF simply because it has more volume and longer weekend endurance rides. I find it quite similar to other GF plans I’ve done in the past.

The All-Purpose plan is quite intense with less focus on the longer rides. Although I did the indoor only version of this plan as it was winter.

The Century plan is another option to consider, but I haven’t done that one yet.

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I’ve done the Century plan and am doing the GF plan now. IMO they are very similar, I think the GF has a bit more volume and more VO2 sessions. For the Century plan I think also the volume sessions were mostly Z2 while GF has a mix of Z2 and tempo.

Hi guys,
Thanks for the help.

My question was more because despite both being ‘grand fondos’ they VERY different. Stelvio has a lot of climbing but more long steady climbs and Strade has short very punchy climbs. So u think the training needed is very different.



Anyone has any additional thoughts?

@Tobias_Breme I agree that the Hill GF still works - the VO2 work should help for the steeper climbs.

Thanks guys!!

I know exactly what you mean, but I think the plans are fairly general in their event targeting. Maybe the Hilly GF plan is a bit more geared toward Stelvio type events. But I don’t think there is a GF plan specifically targeted at the Strade, although I haven’t looked at the Century plan. I don’t think the All-Purpose plan is focused enough on endurance for specific GF training.

If you have enough time, maybe you could do the Hilly GF plan to build up your Fondo endurance level and then add on a final build with something like the Volcano climbing plan - which looks like an absolute beast! Obviously would need a taper at the end.

There are also the Gravel-Grinder plans to consider, which again I haven’t looked at myself, but could be worth a look to see how much they are geared toward punchy efforts combined with endurance.

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Just another thought. My focus events have also been pushed back later into the summer (I was on week 4 of the Hilly GF plan) so I’m now thinking of doing a base block for the next 3-4 weeks rather than repeating the GF plan all over again. I’m worried I might peak too soon otherwise. Maybe something to consider depending on how much training volume you have been doing in recent months.

Hey Pete,
Thanks a lot for the reply, a lot of interesting ideas there. I do some planning.

On peaking, I agree, all this postponement makes it a bit hard.



Just to say, even though the events are different, they’re both solidly in the endurance arena so the training you’d do to build the engine Probably can be more similar than you might expect. There’d be differences but I think more around the margins than at the core.

People might have said this already but you might also consider a custom plan. It’s not the same as coaching (obv) but I think it’s worth it.

Full disclaimer, I’m a firm believer that as a self coached athlete, we all eventually need to learn to self program to get the best results. You can get by very well on canned plans for years but to take it to next level, there’s a layer of individualization and auto regulation that you gotta learn to lay on top of it, until eventually you find you’re really just following your own plan.

So through that lens, the custom plan in my view is worth it just for the mid-plan consult plus the data point about how a knowledgeable person would propose to get you from point A to point B with in your constraints. Plan might work, plan might be perfect for you, I still think of that as being like, almost secondary to how it builds your knowledge


Hey All,
Thanks again for the advice.

I went back and did some re-planning actually. I’m now doing a few weeks of ‘Building Blocks’ based on tempo, I will then do the VOLCANO CLIMBING PLAN and then re-start the Hilly GF plan until the event.

I would definitely do a custom plan to be honest. I’m building towards being a self-coached athlete, or at least understand the basics well enough that I can make adjustments, but I want to save the custom plan option for a year were I know events will actually happen.

I’ll let you know how this goes.