Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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  • I wouldn't translate outdoor, unstructured hours, into TR hours.
    I'd start with MV or even LV and add outdoor/indoor rides if it feels too easy after 3-4 weeks.

    If you go MV, you can always skip the Wed workouts.

  • ^ This

    TR high volume plans are brutal

  • No pain no gain!

    But yeah whatspinnout said.

    I wouldn't do more than 6h a week of a turbo plan off 10h outside. And go from there after a few weeks.

  • Thanks. This is what I suspected. I’m at 6h Zwift/TR since Monday and feels OK, ahead of a weekend ride outside. I’ll start with mid-volume base.

  • On the flipside I did TR HV last year + bonus turbo miles + all my usual boozing and was almost as fit as doing everything outdoors like normal. I'm a mental fuck though when I set my mind to something. Healthy, sleepy people would probably find it easier.

  • This year I'm doing everything opposite, just to fuck with my body because it's a dickhead and deserves to be punished. Anything TR guys say I'm going opposites.

    I bet I end up with the same fucking power. Stupid training.

  • Got three TT's I want to not be shit at this summer, mid-May, late-June, mid-August. I've always tried to peak for say a 3 or 4 week period when there's a bunch of stuff I want to be a bit less slow.

    This is my recurring problem. I know absolutely what to do from November to April (well it's good enough anyway) but then it all goes to pot once racing starts. Too much tapering perhaps. Fitness falls away or fails to increase. The main thing is that the certainty of purpose goes out of what I'm doing. I drift. I hope you get some answers here so I can read them.

  • I’m doing it at the moment and my ftp is on the way up. Hard to pick apart whether that’s from zwift or the festive 500 and I’d be seeing as much gain through unstructured riding outdoors. I’d suggest retesting FTP periodically as it’s getting perhaps too easy at this point. Whether it’s better or worse than TR etc, it’s still getting me onto zwift 4 or 5 times a week when it’s dark out

  • I read a bunch of reviews that highlighted a number of issues with the zwift training plans (overly hard, overly complicated, not enough on-screen instructions etc) and now I'm in two minds. I tried one of the build me up workouts and it had a lot of intervals at very high RPMs (I was bouncing on the seat at 110 RPM).

    don't really want to pay for two subs (i.e. zwift and trainerroad.) maybe I could pay for a month of trainerroad, get a plan from it and then input the workouts into zwift. seems like it would be a lot of work tho : / maybe I'll just continue to do my club's regular rides on zwift (which are a mix of 'races', 'training' rides, and TTs) and take it from there. I'm sure that will help up my fitness/FTP. I find races tend to just be an hour long sweet spot interval anyway...

  • Ha! The interval being the week before the next one :)

  • What value do people get from doing structured workouts on zwift? it's not like you can overtake anyone/change your pace or attack a climb. Does watching avatars make the time pass quicker or are you getting XP toward a tron bike or something?

    Asking as someone who is currently happy looking at a blue bar chart and picking my own entertainment, music/TV/my own hollow thoughts. Am I missing something?

  • value = not having to pay for two services. means I can still do all the 'good' stuff that zwift offers (the 'races', riding with club mates, the 'immersion', drafting, smart trainer control etc) and if I want I can do the workouts too to get some of the benefits of TR-style workouts... though as noted above, that might not be the case after all since the zwift workouts seem to be a bit rudimentary/naff

    I always run zwift with a TV show/film/sport on in the background too anyway

  • No, I don’t think zwift has any real advantage when you’re doing a training plan. I watch something else at the same time

  • I haven’t found the power demands particularly hard throughout but really struggle with the cadence. Have found that this is getting better though which presumably means I’m getting more comfortable sitting at higher cadences than I was before & doing more aerobic work (I think)

  • Zwift sounds like a training nightmare to me.

    A key benefit of the turbo compared to say Richmond Park or Regents Park is that there is zero chance of me being distracted by someone else or worse-still goaded into changing my effort.

    I stare at the screen. I listen to the whine of the turbo. It's the least complicated, most calm hour of my week.

    And Coggan's incremental threshold improvement's via 2x20s through the winter still works doesn't it? Seems to work fine.

  • Zwift is a nice distraction due to its interactivity, maybe not a serious training tool (though it can be with structured training)

  • And Coggan's incremental threshold improvement's via 2x20s through the winter still works doesn't it? Seems to work fine.

    is this just a series of workouts with ten min warm up/cool down and 2x20 intervals at 90% FTP, with 5 mins rest in-between? by 'incremental threshold improvement' I assume you mean you test your FTP regularly after a few weeks of doing these three times a week?

    edit: seems that you should maybe do the 20s at 95-100% of FTP

  • That's the session, yes. Once or twice per week. Incremental improvement through the winter like Milo of Croton and his bull calf. Gain a watt or three per week. Week fifteen feels like the same effort as week 1.

    But no FTP testing. The 2x20 is a weekly test. "Training is testing, testing is training". Innit.

    Old hat now. Still seems very effective and I wouldn't expect to get fit without it.

  • edit: seems that you should maybe do the 20s at 95-100% of FTP

    Yes that's more how Coggan's guidance reads. I think that if you do them a bit too easy you get most of the benefit. A bit too hard and it's a different type of session and you get very little of the intended benefit (also too hard tends to put me in a hole for a while).

    For me, if finishing both twenties is in any doubt then I'm doing the session too hard. If I have got it right then during the first twenty I am impatient and half-wheeling the PM. The second twenty then needs a fair bit of focus.

    I think it's in the nature of this type of training that two or three watts too many can make a huge difference to RPE / ability to complete the session without a lot more whimpering than is optimal.

    I am (tediously) evangelical about Coggan's threshold training. It made a big difference to my racing. Since I am always banging on about it but nobody ever listens / copies I assume the sessions do not suit most people.

  • Zwift is a nice distraction due to its interactivity

    It must be fun or it wouldn't make up 70% of my Strava feed!

    I am not easily bored so solo riding outdoors or on the turbo has more appeal.

  • zwift is like a magic trick. I'm surprised by how engaging it is

    also, I don't usually go on strava unless I'm riding/posting. have been putting a few hours on zwift recently (since it's been 3 degrees or below here since christmas eve) and it makes sense to me why all my club mates usually turn up fit af in the spring. they all cane the fscking zwift too the xunts

  • Zwift's a funny one, I wouldn't ride on the trainer anywhere near as frequently as I do without it, but I know if I committed the same time and effort I do to Zwift on TR or similar I'd be a tonnes better rider.

    The racing on there is a mixed blessing as well, easy to smash yourself to bits 7 days a week. Personally hit a real plateaux last few months and can't work out if I need more structure or more rest.

    I lost a load of weight last winter/spring and slowly creeping back on despite a fucktonne of running and riding.

  • I've been pretty surprised how much I like Zwift. Always just assumed it would be too gimmicky but I find it engaging and never get bored on it, even with some longer rides. Graphics are bit pony though...

  • My 2p. After a week with a Kickr, I can’t imagine not continuing with both Zwift and TR. I’m using TR for the training and Zwift for the rides. Plus a weekend ride outdoors. I think this set-up will work well until winter is over. On my first Zwift ride with the Paceheads group I saw that you get all the dynamics of bunch riding in the game – I was really impressed. And then I did a club ride later in the week where six of us did the same workout at the same time with discord running – it worked really well, with the workout as %age of FTP, so at different strengths we all stayed together and did a relatively similar amount of exertion.

    I can’t just sit on Zwift, though. All the gamification gets on my nerves. I’m only on there for the group riding.

    I was very anti-indoor trainers, but I’ve seen the light. Very impressed.

  • I finished 'build me up' on Zwift a couple of weeks ago. Have never really done anything very structured with training before, but it was good for making me do a higher level of activity than I would have done otherwise. I found the sweet spot type exercises get a bit tedious, but those were the sort of thing it was possible to listen to podcasts through. The more high effort exercises I was usually just listening to music with the screen providing some mild distraction.
    I never thought I'd get into indoor training at all, but it's probably saved my sanity over the past year. I messed around with Sufferfest before which held my attention less than Zwift (plus I found the humour really irritating) - I found for Zwift workouts it was good to pick one of the big hills to go up so it felt like some sort of goal. Even on ERG mode it's still calculating your speed relative to the climb from the effort you put in. Plus you do notice you're working harder than a lot of the people you overtake on the way.
    The cadence stuff isn't compulsory - I stuck to it most of the time, but aside from the cadence drill workouts it's definitely something you can choose to ignore if it's uncomfortable. It's probably not a bad thing to be able to spin comfortably at 110rpm, even if you don't actually do it much.
    That said my FTP went up very little after the 12 weeks, but then I'd sort of guessed at it before, so not sure how accurate that was. I definitely feel fitter/stronger. I lost zero weight, but I blame that on Xmas eating, etc. A friend who's fairly new to cycling did it at the same time and he felt a huge improvement, but it was the first time he'd done something on zwift other than relaxed group rides.

    If I wasn't too cheap to pay for a TR subscription I suspect that would do me a lot more good. but I don't regret doing a zwift training plan.

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Cycling Fitness / Training Advice

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