The Maratona dies Dolomites is probably my favourite of all of the European Sportives. It doesn't have the distance of the Marmotte (or some years the Etape) but it certainly has stunning scenery (which helps make this a majestic day) and tough, TOUGH climbs!


For me the Giau was an absolute killer. On paper it looks OK, but in reality, when I hit the summit in 43 degree heat, it was far harder than I imagined it would be.


The Maratona is still not for the fainthearted, as the event covers 138km and includes 4320m of vertical ascent! So, if you are going for Gold, you need a serious training plan.


This training plan has been put together by Dr Garry Palmer, who has completed many of the major European sportives, including the Maratona, Marmotte, Etape, and Paris-Roubaix, and uses the training principles in his book Elite Performance Cycling: Successful Sportives.


This training plan uses a focus of heart rate based sessions (however for sportive riders who use power, the sessions can easily be switched to power based efforts), and assumes the rider has a reasonable base of fitness before setting out on their Maratona training (4-6 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks would be suitable).


Due to the nature of the event the plan starts with an aerobic endurance focus, but builds threshold and climbing fitness using extended interval sessions (which are more appropriate than shorter maximal power efforts due to the nature of the climbs at the Marmotte).

The plan finishes with a three week gradual taper where volume and duration of the sessions are reduced whilst maintaining intensity.


Please note the 12 week plan is designed to start on 13th April and finishes on Sunday 5 July 2020 (the BIG day!), it also uses UK public holidays as training days, so there are a few long Monday rides!

The plan has been designed to incorporate overload and recovery which should be both challenging but interesting. It has been specifically designed to maximise weekend riding, but there have been longer ride days also included on UK bank holidays during the training period. As a result of incorporating these longer bank holiday sessions Training Peaks does not accurately reflect the nature of overload and recovery as they illustrate the weekly training load.


As the plan progresses there are also a number of days (both midweek and weekend) where we recommend an athlete undertakes two sessions in a day. These should be manageable by most (the longest session in the morning midweek is 60 mins), but it would be understandable if occasionally some of the volume was lost from the regimen.


We have also recommended approximately 1 hour per week of flexibility and conditioning work to keep your body in the best shape. Whilst again this isn't essential, it is desirable to get you to the Maratona in the best possible fitness!


If you are going for a gold standard performance at the Maratona you are going to need to train hard. This programme will make you work, but is designed to give you lots of recovery to ensure you get to the start line in the best possible condition!


If you decide to take up the challenge, good luck!!!!!

Training Plan - Achieve Success In Your 2020 Sportive

  • Sportstests' Dr Garry Palmer provides the ultimate personalised coaching & sports testing for cyclists, triathletes and runners. Whether you're a beginner or an elite athlete, knowing your personalised training zones will help you improve faster and to a higher level.

    Testing provides a wealth of information such as your Vo2 max, aerobic threshold, lactate threshold, aerobic capacity and much more. Knowing how hard to train and where your weaknesses lie will help you become a better athlete.


Cycling Fitness Test

Cycle Coaching

Running Fitness Test

Running Coaching

Duathlon Coaching

Triathlon Fitness Test

Triathlon Coaching

Training Plans

Training Tips

Useful Links


Training Tips 

Go Faster 

Achieve Your Goals 

Get the latest training tips

Follow Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Cookie Policy - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy

High Res 1100 x 500.png