16-week training plan for a bike marathon

Photo: Fabian Heinzer

Want to challenge yourself to a bike marathon? This training plan will get you in peak condition for the highlight event of your season.

Are you keen to participate in a bike marathon such as the Iron Bike Race but don’t know how to prepare for it? Then look no further than our training plan: it’ll get you in shape ready for the event! We’ve set out the main sessions for each week along with a rough training guide. You can adapt the sessions to the days that best suit you. Even the number of training sessions per week is flexible.

Fabian Heinzer has created a 16-week training plan geared towards the Iron Bike Race from 22 to 24 September. The training plan and programme for getting in shape can also be used for other bike marathon events earlier or later in the season. It requires regular training and basic fitness in the final weeks leading up to the race.

Top tips

  • Mix up your training: Cycle at a lower intensity during longer sessions and aim for a higher intensity during interval sessions.
  • Recovery is important: Make sure you get plenty of sleep and look after your muscles with fascia rolling, stretching and massages.
  • The right order: You should ideally factor in a rest day after an intensive or long session.

Evaluating the level of intensity

This scale helps you apply the right amount of intensity during your session and achieve your desired training goal, regardless of whether you're going by Watt, heart rate or subjective rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Ideally, you'll complete the FTP tests as laid out in the training plan to ensure that you're working at the right intensity.


To the training plan

Key points for reading the weekly training plans

  • The main weekly training sessions are outlined in black. These sessions must be completed.
  • The other sessions can be chosen depending on your time constraints. 
  • Apply the suggested level of intensity using the intensity scale.

About the author: Fabian Heinzer is a bike marathon racer. He is also completing a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and works part-time as an electrical engineer. After several overall victories in middle-distance bike marathons, he is now concentrating on long-distance races with the aim of shaking up the national marathon top.

More Info about Fabian: Website / Instagram