Etape 2022 Training

Hi there. I’m looking for some advice on the best way to approach my big goal for next year – The Etape.

I have just started the ‘transition down’ plan which will finish on November 21st leaving 33 weeks to the Etape. I am also doing a yoga (advanced level) and strength programme at the same time and will look to continue with both strength (where appropriate) and yoga throughout. On my most recent Half Monty I came out with an FTP of 257 and a MAP of 327.
My current thinking is to commence either a specific Etape training plan or the Mountainous Gran Fondo training plan 12 weeks prior to the Etape (more likely to be 13 as the week of the Etape will include travel etc.). In addition, at some point between ending the current transition down plan and starting the Etape plan, doing the 12 week All Purpose plan. That leaves 9 weeks during the 33-week period I don’t have an idea at present as to how best to utilize.

So my questions are as follows

  1. Does this sound like an approach that will put me in optimal condition for the Etape? If it is, then

a. when is the best time during this schedule to do the All Purpose Plan?
b. what are your recommendations for how I best use the other 9 weeks?
c. Which strength programmes should I look to use at which points during this period?

  1. If this approach isn’t going to leave me in the best condition for the Etape, please can you recommend an alternative approach that will.

Many thanks in advance for your help and advice

@CorbyMod Instead of starting your 12 week plan right away maybe think about focusing 1st on strength since you are so far out from the race. Perhaps mix in some NM and drill workouts like cadence builds, single leg cadence builds, elements of style. You can also pair the lifting with videos like GOAT, Power Station and also try Ian Boswell’s Strength Endurance video.

I few of these ideas are from things I heard during the new podcasts - specifically the episodes on cadence and on strength training.

The Knowledge Podcast

I am doing something similar during my offseason.

My first recommendation would be to enlist the help of a Wahoo Coach through the customized training plans. Our knowledgeable coaches will make sure you get to the Etape properly prepared!

If you want to continue on your own, I’d probably use the building block plans to fill the 9wks you have left in your plan (I think the All Purpose road and Mountainous Fondo plans are both great choices). I’d recommend the FTP and MAP building blocks, either before or after the All-Purpose Road, but before beginning your final 12 week plan. Also, a week off or very easy somewhere along the way in between plans would also be a good idea to make sure you don’t arrive at The Etape burnt out!

As for strength training- most definitely recommended. I’d start with Level 1 right from the start after you finish the Transition plan. Even if you’ve done some of the SUF strength training program, it wouldn’t hurt to re-start from the beginning, since the program has been re-vamped for SYSTM. I recommend choosing to add strength and yoga to each of the cycling plans rather than adding them separately from the cross training section because the cycling plans are designed to account for the addition of those add-ons when you choose them together.

Best of luck and happy training!


I’m in exactly the same boat! Currently on the Transition down plan, ending 14th Nov. My provisional plan is:-

  1. Transition down, end Nov 14
  2. A week off
  3. Base block, start Nov 22, end Dec 19
  4. A week off (over Christmas)
  5. FF prep plan, start Dec 27, end Jan 02 (to set a new benchmark)
  6. A week off
  7. All-Purpose Road plan, start Jan 10, end Mar 03
  8. A week off
  9. Mountain Fondo plan, start Mar 11, end Jul 03
  10. Etape Jul 10

I’m planning to incorporate a few UK Sportives within this outline plan, which should sub into the weekend endurance rides in the above plans.

I’m starting from a good base level of fitness having been in consistent structured training for the last couple of years. I’m at around 3.5 W/kg FTP at the moment and will be aiming for around 4 W/kg for the Etape. I got up to around 3.8 W/kg at my best this year, but I think I peaked a bit too early after thrashing myself all winter, so I’ve added more rest weeks in my provisional plan this time.

I will add the strength and yoga options into these plans too and really focus on them over the winter months. I’ve been a bit slack on this aspect of training over the summer.


How do the custom plans work when events are more than 12 weeks away? Is this discussed in the call or calls and then each 12 week block builds on the last one with the focus on building towards the main event?

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Thank you Jon.

The transition down plan does include some NM and drill workouts which is good. I’ll make sure that I continue to include these into my week during winter

Thank you Suzie, thats really helpful and I’ll look at enlisting a Wahoo coach for that final 12 week Etape focussed block.

I’ll go with the building block plans as you suggest. Would you suggest I do one of them before and one after the All Purpose Plan or do them back to back either before or after the All Purpose?

Thanks also for the tip of including the strength and yoga as part of the plan rather than adding them separately.

Your input is much appreciated

Thanks for sharing. Looks like we’ll be following a similar path to Alpe D’Huez!

Best of luck with your training and maybe see you somewhere on the road from Briancon!!

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@PeterG If you have an event that is more than 12 weeks away, you’d have to choose if you want to purchase more than one plan to have the coach prepare you all the way up to it, or if you want to decide your own course of action up to 12 weeks prior and then purchase a plan to work with a coach. Many people choose to work with a coach for multiple plans prior to their events in order to get the best preparation possible.

@CorbyMod I don’t think it would make too much difference, but I’d try doing the building blocks before the All Purpose plan. I would do the building block that is your weaker area first. So based on your last FF, if your MAP was weaker than your AC, do the MAP block first. If it was FTP, do the FTP block first. Then re-test FF, then move onto the All Purpose plan, then the mountainous fondo or customized plan. Make sense?


I also signed up for L’Etape! I’ve done a few 170-185km sportives in the uk with 2,000 - 3,000m climbing and completed them ok. I’ve been using Suf for a couple of years now, doing the all purpose road plans, TT, Volvano Climbing and FTP building blocks.
I’m interested to read about fellow sufferlandrians’ training plans for next years’ event and will look into personal training plans, especially for the final 3 months.
My mate from school persuaded me to sign up and assured me I’ll be fine (thanks!) however I’ve never done a mountain climb so I’m wondering if there’s a workout that most closely simulates the experience of climbing a Col like Galibier, Croix de Fer, Alpe D’Huez etc. I want to prepare as best I can for an hour or two at a stretch @ 8% average :slight_smile:

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I use Rouvy for simulating big mountain climbs on my trainer. All the big name climbs are there in HD video with accurate gradient profiles. If you have a decent trainer, it’s pretty realistic. Zwift also has realistic Alpe d’Huez and Ventoux climbs.

The Mike Cotty On-Location workouts should be pretty good too.

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Ok thanks, that’s very helpful. I’ve got a Kickr, that should be fine for the workouts. I’ll check them out

Kickr will be perfect. Even better with a Kickr climb to get the right climbing position.

No Climb currently, but I have some time before the event :slight_smile: Thanks

One thing you can do is raise up your front wheel onto a small stool or Elite do an adjustable height front block. Not dynamic like a Kickr climb, but fine for simulating a long slog up a steady gradient i.e. most Alpine climbs.

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Thanks for the tip, I downloaded Ventoux and will give it a go tomorrow. One other question though please. My Kickr cassette is 11-26 as I recall. Should I swap it out for 11-32/34 before the Ventoux session? Not sure how the ROUVY software works, so maybe 11-26 is ok? For steep climbs I use 35T and have 10-33T on my Emonda. The bike on my Kickr has 50/34 on the front.

Hi @Peteski, I found the answer to my question (in a post of yours) on another thread. So I will be changing my cassette tomorrow!

Yeah, I would definitely use an 11-34 cassette. I also have a 50/34 up front. I think Rouvy is pretty realistic on grade simulation. I’ve ridden a few steep routes on Rouvy that I’ve ridden in real life and they felt pretty much the same. I used my 34/34 quite often on slopes of 10%+. Do let us know how you get on.

I tried Ventoux today and it was quite doable :slight_smile: I aimed for about 3 w/kg throughout (210-215w) and came in slightly lower at 204w. Split was 205w first half, 204w 2nd half. My time was 1’ 47”. I was reasonably happy with that. Having never done an Alp before I just wanted to make sure I was up to it before L’Etape.
I am averaging around 215w-220w on my regular 3+ hour outdoor rides so I guess I could have pushed a bit harder.
outdoors I use a power meter especially for the climbs. On the road the power figures jump around a lot more than on Ventoux with Rouvy. Is the incline for Alpine climbs even enough to deliver fairly consistent power figures? Probably not I think, but more consistent than here in the uk mostly.
I was in 34/34 for the double-digit inclines and average cadence was 85.
It was good to try it out and thanks for the tips. Possibly my bike was nearer a 15% angle rather than the intended 10% so I can tweak that for next time.


Well done, that’s a great first climb! Are you using a 3 sec averaging filter on your outdoor power? I find my crank PM pretty consistent on climbs. Not that different to the trainer on a steady climb.