Where to focus before starting the Gravel 200 plan?

I’ll be riding Unbound 200 on June 1. I completed my first ever Full Frontal with the following numbers, and my rider type is Attacker:

NM: 695
AC: 391
MAP: 281
FTP: 224

After it was over, I felt like I had another 10-15% to give overall. I think my FTP was set a little too low as I wasn’t as wiped as I expected to be after the 20 minute effort.

My plan is to start the SYSTM 200 mile gravel training plan in early March. I’m looking at high volume training with a 2:1 progression to allow for more recovery time.

Between now and then I have six weeks, what would be a good SYSTM training plan to work from to prepare for the gravel 200 plan?

  • Season Transitions: Ramp it up
  • 4DP Focus on Base or Tempo
  • or something else?

I’ve never ridden a 200 mile event, and my goal is to just finish Unbound. I’ve completed a couple centuries and hope to get in as many long outdoor rides as possible on the weekends, likely starting in March.

IMO it doesn’t make sense to start that training plan with a lot of fatigue already in your legs. If you’re in a cold climate, I’d recommend just building your base with several (mostly) zone 2 rides on the trainer of 1 - 2 hours (depending on what you’ve been doing lately, you might need to build up to this). You could spice things up with some short bursts of intensity, but don’t over do it. I would only ride every other day so you get lots of recovery and don’t forget to take 1 rest day each week.

At this point, being patient for 6 weeks may be as hard mentally as the event itself. I bet you’re raring to go. Good luck.

How much tine are you interested in devoting to training?

Working up to some good endurance volume including a few long rides per week would be really good. If you pace it right and progress reasonably then you won’t build up fatigue, and it’s really pure upside.

And for something like unbound, the more endurance volume you can do, the better.

ETA: also consider what’s your current status. Steve’s advice hinted at this but if you haven’t taken a break in a while, a short “off season” (w short trainer rides, core work and whatever cross training you enjoy) could be a good idea

I’ve been taking it easy for the past two months with mostly indoor rides on the trainer of an hour or so maybe 2-3 times a week. I’m ready to step things up and ride 10 hours a week to put me in a better spot to start the Gravel 200 plan.

I didn’t ride any long events last year because Life, but generally rode 90 minutes 3 times a week with regular 2:30-3 hour rides on the weekends.

Sounds like you’re looking to “Ramp It Up”.

I thought about Ramp It Up, but the rides look like they top out at 90 minutes which isn’t far off from what I think I can accomplish now without too much of an effort. I’m weighing that plan or going with what Steve_Q and devolikewhoa suggested which is to start racking up some zone 2 rides between 1 and 2 hours.

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I would do a low volume 4DP Focus block, doing the 2 main focus sessions in the weekly calendar and add in my own z2 work. Plus strength, conditioning and mobility work.

My 12 week gravel plan is due to start early February. I took 3 weeks off in December and started back at the end of that month. I’ve lately done low intensity rides (LSD), longer on weekends - watching inspire videos on Systm, or trying real world videos from FulGaz. After first 2 weeks I threw in one low cadence workout (Boswell Strength Endurance) and one tempo session per week to get that Aerobic Endurance as well as the base endurance. Good to have the occasional effort.

If you’re still 6 weeks out from your plan starting a 2 week break wouldn’t do any harm, then gradually build up - soft pedalling, more zone 2, some tempo efforts and ramp up into the 6th week.