Training plan for Tour of Flanders sportive

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend a ready made training plan for a 59 year old with basic cycling fitness that will help me train for We Ride Flanders, this will be my 5th time I’ve done the event. I’ve just completed a 12 week plan with Systm to get my fitness back to the basic level which included yoga and strength. Ideally I could do with something that maintains my endurance but with the capacity to tackle the short sharp climbs.

Many thanks in advance

We live parallel lives so it seems, even though I’m a bit younger.
I’m in my rest week after a 12 week All purpose road plan. I have the 4 week Mountain goat plan added from next week onwards. This is still an older plan which I added from the old app. You can add this one if it fits your needs, otherwise I’d go for:
Event Prep > Road > Mountaneous Fondo

My outdoor season is starting end of February with the start of the cyclo’s. I’ll just ride the different ‘a week with…’ series to fill the gaps till RVV.

Meet you there :smile:

1 Like

Would you both care to keep this thread going please? The RVV sportive is on the list for 2023, so very interested to know what training you put in and how that translated into the big day.


1 Like

The 200m gavel grinder is probably the best out of the box plan or you could get a custom plan built by one of the coaches.

Good luck👍🏻

1 Like

For the RVV, you need base miles and a lot of them.

If you want to ride 250km, you need te be able to ride 250km. You have to have done 200km at least once before april.

As for a plan, I agree with @PeterEire : the 200mile gravel grinder seems a good fit.

For the rest: enjoy it, the RVV is one off the best sportive you can do (done it twice already)


For short, sharp climbs then doing some work especially on MAP if they’re around the 5ish min mark or AC if they’re 1-2min would be beneficial. Including some outdoor endurance work at the weekends will be good for keeping the endurance up. Additionally the MAP work will help increase the aerobic ceiling so that other aerobic measures such as LT1, FTP or CP can be improved as well which will be beneficial for the longer duration events.
If you want some further info you can book a call with a coach and we can also do customised training plans on request if you require a more personalised plan on SYSTM (they’re no longer on the website but we can offer this service to those interested)


What a coincidence. Thanks for the info. I’ve usually done a lot of outside miles, supported by Sufferfest videos, before going out to Oudenaarde. However this year I’ll struggle to put the quantity of base miles in. There’s something quite masochistically addictive about the cobbles, but this time will be my last taking part. I’ll still be going over to watch the pros in years to come as it’s become a bit of a ritual for the group I’m in. There’s nothing like the RvV!

1 Like

Thanks Andy. I’ll look out for the MAP workouts. I’m not sure AC would be suitable for my style of riding (I’m a bit of a diesel and my 4DP shows me as a rouleur) Thanks as well for the link to call a coach.

Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out. We’re looking to do King Arthurs Way this summer so this sounds interesting for that as well.

I’m doing Flanders this year too and was wondering if the Criterium plan might be a good fit?

I know it doesn’t have any long rides in it, but if you get your base miles in outside already would the more explosive focus of the workouts benefit the short, sharp climbs of Flanders? :thinking:

I did the Mountain Fondo plan for it last year (which seemed to work well) and was about to go for the 200mi Gravel plan, but I wondered if the had enough MAP work in it?

Would be good if there was a ‘Classics’ plan…

1 Like

A plan that focuses on repeated efforts or MAP while including some endurance at the weekends would work nicely for Flanders as the climbs are generally within the MAP range and you need to be able to recover to do multiple hard efforts throughout the ride


I would do a lot of endurance and MAP training. In March I would combine this and do a 150km, 175km and a 200km ride with some 15 MAP intervals. Also it is good to train, if possible, a couple of times in cold and or wet conditions, because… Flanders weather.

1 Like

Thanks @Coach.Andy.T - that’s kind of what I was thinking.

Do you know which plan would be the best fit for that, or would it be a case of building a custom plan - for example, a MAP block followed by an FTP block, with endurance built in on the weekends?

My rider profile is Attacker with Repeated efforts a strength and VO2 max a weakness, so I know I need to work on my MAP. It’s gonna be a painful few months… :melting_face:


Ha ha, yeah - I live in Yorkshire, so I’m pretty used to unpleasant weather! :rofl:

What date is the event? It could be that a couple of different 12 week plan before hand could be the way to go, or as you’ve suggested mixing some building blocks. If this is something you wanted to discuss in more detail you can book a call with one of our coaches to go through any questions about training plans or nutrition/pacing advice

@Coach.Andy.T My event is April 1st, so probably just enough time to squeeze 2 plans in back to back if I’m quick!

Thanks for the link - I’ll check that out too…

Today is two months until the RVV, so that makes it less than two months until the sportive. Eek!

An e-mail last week from the organisers had the long route as 249km / 2536m climbing. It was only 235km when we entered… I’ve done 257km / 2825m climbing on a ride before, though that was a long solo day out. Hopefully some time in a group will help.

A wintery blast in the UK has meant lots of turbo sessions (I don’t mind cold, but if there’s ice, I’m in the garage!) , so I’ve been using weekday sessions for high intensity sessions. I was time tight on Tuesday - AC: 2 Sets 5 x 30 was perfect for hard repeated efforts to simulate some 'bergs. Weekends have been 3 to 4 hour endurance efforts.

On a side note, we’re staying just on the edge of Brugge in Varsenare, so if anyone could recommend a bar in Brugge where we can watch the proper race on Sunday, that would be great. English commentary would be a bonus!

1 Like