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How to train for a Sportive.

How many weeks of training do you need for a sportive ?

It follows that the less fit or those that have less time in the saddle when starting, would have to commit more time to build up to 100 miles (Or the distance of your chosen event), but for someone whose cycling entails a short commute or some cycling ability we recommend at least eight to ten weeks of preparation. (Not including a period of Base training).


How many sessions a week should you do ?

There should be a gradual build-up throughout your training programme to take you closer to the full length of the event. There’s no point in going out in week one and trying to do 90 miles if your previous longest ever ride was half that distance or less.

How long should your longest training rides be ?

A good idea is to add five to eight miles to your long ride each week until you reach about 85-90% of the length of your event, (Whatever your event distance is). Just like when you’re training for a marathon, you don’t necessarily need to go out and do the full distance in training. By riding close to the full distance you also won’t compromise your future training by completely tiring yourself out.

How long should your longest training rides be ?

The amount of rides you can squeeze into your week will depend on your lifestyle but if you have enough free time, then we recommend three sessions a week with at least one being a longer ride.

Think of it like this

  • 1 ride per week long duration in zone 2 (2/3 Hours) (Typically the sunday get together)
  • 1 Ride at Higher intensity zone 3+ (1 hour, with another hour of Zone 1/2 recovery if required)
  • 1 specific speed training ride (1 hour)
  • 1 Hill session or Hill repeats (1 hour)
  • That would average out as 7 Hours a week or approx 1 Hour per day.

    What kind of sessions should you do ?

    It’s crucial to ensure your training matches the requirements of the event and includes steady progression. Also, as we tell riders taking part in our events, remember to leave time to recover before the event itself.


    There are broadly three types of sessions which are useful to most riders:

    • Long rides – 2½-3hr or more at a fairly low intensity. (Once per week)
    • Interval sessions – 1-2 hrs with several 6 to 10 minute intervals at a high intensity.(Once per week)
    • Hilly rides which provide a natural interval session. If there aren’t any hills close to home, you can always use your gear selection to simulate the inclines.(Once per week)
    • The above rides make up 3 sessions a week, and approx 6 hours of cycling, clearly you can do more, but build up gradually.

Should you try to do a shorter event first ?

Again it depends on your level of cycling ability, and if you have entered sportives before ,However its a good idea because it allows you to practise your event-day strategy and get used to the atmosphere of an event, riding in a group, using the feed stations and managing your effort in event conditions.