Training for La Marmotte

I wonder whether the advanced Mountainous/Hilly Gran Fondo can be a good fit for training towards La Marmotte Granfondo.

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@lagunasnegras I hope so - as I’ll be doing it as preparation for La Marmotte too!

Note that it is a 12 week plan, so you will want to do something in the interim now. For example, I’m going to do the time trial plan from week 1-12 next year, which will set me up for the start of the TT race season, and then the Hilly Gran Fondo to finish in time for La Marmotte.

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What is suggested to do before this? General plan? Climbing?
Or in what order to put which plan on the agenda?

I have received many suggestions. I’m leaning towards a climbing training package but it has to be long enough to cover 4-5 months

So when counting backwards: 27/jun = Marmotte → 12w Mountainous/Hilly GF training plan → 5/apr = start Hilly GF plan

So from now to 5/apr = 11 weeks left →
a) do you choose a longer 12w plan (and drop first week)? All purpose or Full Century or other?
b) do you opt for 3 shorter 4w plans? All-in, Volcano, building blocks? In what order?
c) do you have a customized plan designed?

By no means saying it’s right, but my 2021 schedule in the build up to la Marmotte Alpes is:

All In for Cyclists
Transition Up
Base Blocks
Mountainous/Hilly GF

Have added the yoga/strength/mental toughness sessions to all.

Comments welcome as to whether the above should be different!!


i prepare myself for the GF La Marmotte in 2021.
For the first time i use the The Sufferfest trainingsplan to prepare myself to participate @ the GF La Marmotte
So i did the 4DP test.
How do i interpred the results of this test during the climbs?


Hey Christophe -
Please note I’m not a coach, I just use the Sufferfest app to train, so please bear that in mind when you read the following.

The 4DP test is a Sufferfest specific tool, it enables the app to adjust the workouts to your specific capabilities. This makes the training more effective in the app, and will help you to get stronger and faster in time for the event.

When you do ride La Marmotte, if you have an accurate and recent 4DP test, the 20 minute FTP value will be of use to help you judge how hard to ride on the climbs. For example, Alpe D’Huez is going to take about an hour to climb, so you are unlikely to make it if you start the climb at more than 100% of your FTP (which is your theoretical maximum for 1 hour).

In the meantime, choose a 12 week training plan from the training menu to use for the next 12 weeks, and instead of an event do a 4DP test at the end of it so your values are up to date. The “full century” plan is a good one as a base.

Then when that is finished, do the “Mountainous/ Hilly Gran Fondo” plan. That will finish more or less on the right day for La Marmotte.

See you there hopefully!

@LVDD - I don’t think it will matter too much if you finish a plan a week or 2 early to start the next. Do make sure you plan to have a 4DP test somewhere in the middle to keep your training at the right level, and a suitable taper before the test, so that the levels are accurate!

One thing to think about - the training plans tend to have a block of hard weeks, and then a recovery week. You can check the number of hours to see which is a hard week (lots of hours). Whatever you do, don’t put too many hard weeks together, as that might be counter productive.

From the choice you’ve given, I would start a 12 week plan now, and drop the LAST week (as that would be a taper week). For example, the Century plan has a 2 week taper, so I would probably do the first 10 weeks of that, and then do the Full Frontal Prep plan for week 11, then start the Mountainous hilly/ GF plan.

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Hey guys, sounds like you are on track now for La Marmotte. Coach Simon put some useful guidelines together about training plans recently:

Alternatively if you are looking for some more specific coaching, our team would love to help :slight_smile:

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Hi there

I registered for La Marmotte on 27 June 2021 as well. I’ve been reading a few books on structured training (like the Cyclist’s Training Bible from Joe Friel) and instead of going for a 12-16 week plan I was thinking about using the Building Blocks from Sufferfest after reading this article:

I did my 4DP test 2 weeks ago:
FTP: 256 (3.66w/kg)
MAP: 295
AC: 369
NM: 816

The test clearly indicated VO2 max as my key weakness. (Based on another test in a sports institute I know my Aerobic fitness is OK)
The main events I am preparing for are

  • March/April: Spring Classic type of ride: focus on shorter power climbs and intervals
  • April/May: Ardennes classics with longer climbs (2 to 5km)
  • 27 June: Marmotte Alpes

Based on my 4DP and with my goals in mind I created following plan based on 4DP outcome

  • 4 weeks of MAP
  • 4 weeks of AC/NM
    After these 2 blocks I should be good for Spring Classics. Then the build-up to Marmotte will really start.
  • 4 weeks of FTP
  • 4 weeks of MAP
  • 4 weeks of FTP

I would do a new 4DP test every 4 to 6 weeks (or potentially after 2 blocks) to make sure workouts are update throughout the plan.

One concern is that these Building Blocks only do 4 to 5 hours a week, which is fine for now but I would need to do more in a few months. However if I add some long weekend rides to the plan I will get to enough hours/week.

Curious to hear what you think about this plan? Would the approach of using these Building Blocks be more beneficial vs using 2 plan after each other and ending with the Hilly Gran Fondo plan for example?

Looking forward to your pov.