Coaching – Week 49

This was the week of the Zwift Team World Championships, plus finding a new job, so it has been a hectic one…

Day 2

Zwift Race – This can work.  If you could find a shorter race than 75 minutes that would be a bonus but if not don’t worry 75 minutes is OK. Aim to finish strongly so control your effort in the first 30 minutes.

After trying to find the right sort of race I opted for one that would be about an hour in length and not on a course lots of hills. It was 4 laps of the Watopia flat route.

As normal the start was mad as you try and get in to a group that you can work with, probably too much effort at the start, but if you do not get in a group you have got virtually no chance of pulling back through the field.

Eventually it settled and I opted to ease back a fraction and drop back a bit in to a group behind. This gave a bit of recovery time, but it was pretty much full bore all the way.

I did not contest any sprints on the way but was keeping focused on riding hard. Some of the riders did not display which category they were riding in so it was not easy to work out who else was B, but I just kept pushing.

When it came to the finish though there was nothing left in the legs for a sprint but it was a good race.

At the time I was actually disappointed with how I did 14th or 17 in cat B, but when I have analysed the outputs I saw that I managed top 3 performances from 1 minute to 10 for power outputs, with 9th & 6th for 20 & 30 seconds respectively. It surprised me as I did not think I did that well, but it was also my highest average heart rate at 156.7 (87.5% of my absolute max, 91.1% of my cycling max!). OK, that shows that I was at full tilt for the 1:02 minutes of the race.

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Day 3

elliptical: 45 minutes easy – As you are at a hotel tonight and we are cutting back a bit before the weekend this can work. 45 minutes relaxed, boring I am afraid but get it in the bank

Sadly I have had so much to do in terms of getting ready for the new job I did not get chance to get up to the gym.  Plans changed about staying at a hotel

Day 5

20 minute recovery swim

A nice easy swim first thing in the morning at the hotel.  This was one of the quicker swims I have had at the hotel.  It is only a 15m so lots of turns, but they can benefit but also slow things down (especially when not a great swimmer!)

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Day 6

Zwift Team World Championships

It was the day of the team worlds. The basic format was 3 laps of the Watopia Figure 8 course on Zwift, which would make the race just under 90km. The team I race for had numerous sub teams on the course and I was paired with 4 others of similar types of ability.

We grouped together on the start line with 20 minutes to go, after I had done a warm up. We were still sitting on the virtual rollers keeping the legs moving and talking via an app so we can motivate and talk to each other.

There were around 180 other riders with us in the start, which meant we all had to blast off and then try and group up. After a few km’s we started to get together and by the end of the first long flat section 4 of us were together. The 5th rider had done a great start was up the road.

The problem though was that when we started the climb I noticed that my w/kg looked very high and the climb was feeling easy. It had felt OK until then. I quickly checked the app and my weight had changed from 69kg to 37, which is why the climb was easy. I changed it back, but it did not change the settings.

This meant that I had to make a decision on how to race. If I went up the hills at normal effort levels I would have flown up them and no doubt been dq’d, but the downhills and flats would be challenging. It was going to be looking riding an inverse of the course. Given this I decided to help the team rather than taking advantage of the settings. I was still putting out the watts and the effort, but how this translates in Zwift is different.

Unfortunately 1 of the remaining team riders suffered from a recurring injury and had to drop back and then out and at that point we split slightly and agreed for the other 2 riders to go up the road and I would pace Mark, the other rider round for a couple of laps. It was his first race and that definitely blooded him!

It was a really tough challenge trying to judge the right pace with the changed settings. I was having to do lots of little surges and easing off to try and keep the pace right, especially on the hills. The flat were easier and I could set a really good tempo, but the downhills were full bore for me.

The most annoying fact was that another member of the team got sent on the wrong route by Zwift and as such eventually did 15 miles or so extra. Massive shame as he was riding well.

After 2:25 though it was time for the finish and I had managed to get Mark to the finish and both of us pushed for the line and were incredibly relieved to get it done.

Was I at full tilt all the way? No. However, given the way I was having to ride it was a lot of effort with the surges and easing all the time, where as I would normally have been at a good steady tempo.

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Day 7

2 hours relaxed throughout

After yesterdays ride and some celebrations last night the body was feeling quite tired for this. The legs not bad, but not too lively.

I decided to do the same route as the day before, which would give me a couple of laps in the 2 hours. There was no way I was going out on the road, the weather was not exactly favourable for outdoor riding! So it was on to Zwift again.

The first 20 minutes or so were quite sluggish, but I was trying to get up to a power of around 170w (2.5kg). I was well under that to start with but gradually started to ramp up as the legs started to come to me.

The first lap was OK but I was starting to struggle a little bit and doing some stretching on the bike and some standing up, but after a few more minutes I was able to get back in to it.

I was keeping everything nice and steady and at the end o the first lap was about on target power, but this dropped back a bit during lap 2. Each lap being about 30km.

I did decide to stretch the legs a bit at the sprints, not going flat out or out of the saddle, but lifting the power as much as I could. I was actually pretty pleased with what I was able to do with those and when I have looked at the data I managed to get top 10 power outputs on Zwift for 10, 15 & 20 seconds. The longest spring being around 27 seconds.

These did actually help spin the legs out, but I was pleased to get to the end of the 2 hours!

As with when I had the bike fit and saddle adjustment (I now have a new saddle) I am starting to get sore in the parts you do not want to be sore! If this is like last time though it will wear off with a few days of non riding.

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The Current Week

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4 Week Training Durations

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Targets

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Author: The Mr Smith

Photographer, Gourmet, Cook, Oenophile, Traveller, International Athlete, Investor, bit of a Geek and observer of life

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