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Who's doing or done a Zwift BMU plan?

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Who's doing or done a Zwift BMU plan?

Old 01-22-22, 10:58 AM
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bmwpowere36m3
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Who's doing or done a Zwift BMU plan?

I started (heading into my 4th week) a 12wk Build Me Up plan... first time using an indoor trainer and any structured training. Completed a FTP ramp test, prior to start of training plan. I'm starting to feel fatigued, while I'm able to complete every workout... their all "hard" in different aspects, some need to dig deep to finish. I'm finding as the weeks progress the intensity increases, but days off or recovery rides are not.

I was visiting my bike fitter, who happens to be a physio and former racer herself. We chatted about the plan and her take was too many interval days per week and not enough recovery or Z2 efforts. Said, she would never follow a plan like that, nor did when racing. We agreed, part of it might be the "inflated" FTP, but in addition cut down to 2, 3 max intervals per week.

I'm reading similar sentiments regarding Zwift's plans (FTP, BMU, Gravel Fondo, etc...), a hodgepodge of "efforts" mixed into training sessions (possibly to keep riders engaged thru variety) and not enough recovery.

Whose doing or completed the BMU plan? Any stories or feedback?

Last edited by bmwpowere36m3; 01-22-22 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 01-22-22, 02:19 PM
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I don't bother with Zwift plans. Too much of a short-term mentality. You would be better off following a structured plan from Trainer Road or Wahoo SYSTM and mix it up with Zwift for the longer endurance rides etc when you can't get outside.
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Old 01-22-22, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I don't bother with Zwift plans. Too much of a short-term mentality. You would be better off following a structured plan from Trainer Road or Wahoo SYSTM and mix it up with Zwift for the longer endurance rides etc when you can't get outside.
My goal was to stay riding indoors over winter and boost my fitness while at it with some structure vs. free rides as the mood struck in Zwift. Really only looking for to fill in 2-3 months.
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Old 01-22-22, 09:17 PM
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I did it once. It was my first structured workout using anything. And i thought it was a bit scattered, there did not seem to be any actual goal though the program. It seemed just a little of this and a little of that. It was all easy until a few toward the last one or two weeks. What i really did not like about it was that if i missed a day i could not make it up, i got locked out. sometimes my schedule just did not align with their pre-programmed schedule. i wouldn't mind trying a trainer road but i just don't want to shell out for another program. one is what my budget allows. right now i am using Rouvy and am just getting used to it. they have some workouts but i have not found any training programs as of yet. but i do hear a lot of good things about TR.
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Old 01-23-22, 08:34 AM
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I will be the opposite and say it was good. I really enjoyed the training plan. I did the build me up last spring, the full version and it was not to tough until the last 1/4 of the plan, then it really was an obtainable challenge.

I liked the structure of it. But as mentioned you have to be vigilant to get all the workouts in. No super flexible in the options.

I only Zwift full time about 4-5 months a year so I did the plan right before summer riding season came in. I thought it was decent and I did gain some FTP. Could it be better in a few ways, no doubt but still worth it IMO.
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Old 01-23-22, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I will be the opposite and say it was good. I really enjoyed the training plan. I did the build me up last spring, the full version and it was not to tough until the last 1/4 of the plan, then it really was an obtainable challenge.

I liked the structure of it. But as mentioned you have to be vigilant to get all the workouts in. No super flexible in the options.

I only Zwift full time about 4-5 months a year so I did the plan right before summer riding season came in. I thought it was decent and I did gain some FTP. Could it be better in a few ways, no doubt but still worth it IMO.
That reinforces that my FTP is likely set too high, as part of the problem... heading into week 4, I feel like the last 2 weeks have already been challenges.
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Old 01-23-22, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bmwpowere36m3 View Post
That reinforces that my FTP is likely set too high, as part of the problem... heading into week 4, I feel like the last 2 weeks have already been challenges.

Did you do a FTP test first? I did one and then knocked it town about 15 points because I was worried about the workouts at the end being out of reach of my fitness level. I was glad I did too.....the end was tough on me.
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Old 01-23-22, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
Did you do a FTP test first? I did one and then knocked it town about 15 points because I was worried about the workouts at the end being out of reach of my fitness level. I was glad I did too.....the end was tough on me.
Yes, the ramp.
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Old 01-24-22, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwpowere36m3 View Post
Yes, the ramp.

while the ramp test is a fun one its a very hit and miss accuracy test. Your results probably were not as accurate as a 20 minute test or for certain a one hour test. I did the 20 minute version and I still think it was off for me.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwpowere36m3 View Post
My goal was to stay riding indoors over winter and boost my fitness while at it with some structure vs. free rides as the mood struck in Zwift. Really only looking for to fill in 2-3 months.
Yeah I understand. Just don't expect too much from the Zwift structured plans. I don't think they are very effective compared to the better alternatives. I use Zwift too, just not for their structured plans. But it's all better than sitting on the couch surfing Netflix all winter! I use Zwift as an alternative to outdoor rides in the winter, while following structured plans from Wahoo SYSTM alongside. I just find it more effective. I do wish Zwift plans were up to the same standard because that would be one less subscription.
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Old 01-24-22, 12:31 PM
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I use a variety of the Zwift workouts, but my objectives are based on the Strava Fitness/Freshness measurements. I'm looking for smooth, steady growth on that chart - which means I'm gradually increasing the weekly cumulative "relative effort" that I'm getting from my rides over time. Sometimes I feel like I need HIIT, sometimes I'm looking for a tempo, sometimes it's a "blue day" with some long slow distance. The numbers tell me whether I need "a 30 or a 60" today. I'll pick a workout that fits the time/effort I need to "make the week's target." And, I do create a lot of my own. That's a really useful feature on Zwift.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:40 AM
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I'm not a racer but once or so each year I'll have a long ride planned, like the Seattle to Portland 2 day 209 mile ride a few years ago. I'll try to add some structured training on Zwift 8 weeks or so in advance of the ride. Early on I tried the plans in Zwift but they didn't seem to make much sense to me.

I bought a book "The Time Crunched Cyclist" by Carmichael and Rutberg. It has lots of info and workouts plans for century/fondo rides. Back then I entered them into Zwift as custom rides and it seemed to be a great help for that ride.

Now you can find most of the individual training ride types (Over/Under, etc.) in the Zwift workouts that you can string together individual workouts and implement their plan on Zwift
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Old 01-25-22, 08:34 AM
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As others have said, lower your FTP setting. I have found that I can do the first part of a workout, but near the end it can be difficult to even finish.

In the app, go to edit your profile and lower your FTP number by 10 or 15%. You can always change it back, lower it more or whatever.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jpescatore View Post

Now you can find most of the individual training ride types (Over/Under, etc.) in the Zwift workouts that you can string together individual workouts and implement their plan on Zwift
That's quite a good approach. I sometimes use the Zwift plan builder to re-create specific workouts from third party plans so I can ride them on Zwift. I don't know why Zwift doesn't hire in a professional coach to build some proper structured plans for specific purposes. Their own plans are just a random mash-up of intervals with no focus or target. It might seem like a niche market, but I would have thought most Zwift users are into structured training in one form or another.
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Old 01-25-22, 09:14 AM
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I find the ramp test over-estimates my FTP. If you are a sprinter-type person, this is likely to happen as it emphasizes short-term power over long-term endurance. If this is the case, then your workouts are going to be very difficult.
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Old 01-25-22, 02:12 PM
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If i recall, you can lower the effort level while you are in teh workout. maybe by as much as 10%. i seem to remember doing this once when i was about to die during a workout that i really wanted to finish even if at a lowered power level.
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Old 01-25-22, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by spelger View Post
If i recall, you can lower the effort level while you are in teh workout. maybe by as much as 10%. i seem to remember doing this once when i was about to die during a workout that i really wanted to finish even if at a lowered power level.
Yep, you can bump it down by up to 10%. Quite a useful feature.
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Old 01-31-22, 07:44 AM
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Just to chime in I did the BMU this time last year. Agree with all of the previously mentioned negatives. But I think for me at least being a recreational rider just looking to improve fitness, 12 weeks is a bit long. If you do all of the workouts or at least most of them you will not have time or energy to do anything else. I will say though that I did get an FTP boost.

I'm thinking about doing another plan I rather pay a little bit to do one of Training Peaks plans which integrate with Zwift.
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Old 02-07-22, 01:17 PM
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*Update*

Started week 6 and things are feeling good. Let's see, week 4 I basically took most of the week off and skipped the unicorn workout. The other two were shorter and I reduced the in-"game" difficulty, 20% is the max IIRC. I also added 1 recovery ride (Z1) for an hour in the week (so 3 easy 1 hr rides). I did another FTP ramp test that Sunday and my FTP was 270W as compared to the initial of 250W.

I reset my FTP to 250W in Zwift and continued on with week 5 and now starting 6.
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Old 02-08-22, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bmwpowere36m3 View Post
*Update*

Started week 6 and things are feeling good. Let's see, week 4 I basically took most of the week off and skipped the unicorn workout. The other two were shorter and I reduced the in-"game" difficulty, 20% is the max IIRC. I also added 1 recovery ride (Z1) for an hour in the week (so 3 easy 1 hr rides). I did another FTP ramp test that Sunday and my FTP was 270W as compared to the initial of 250W.

I reset my FTP to 250W in Zwift and continued on with week 5 and now starting 6.
In-game difficulty in Zwift refers to how realistic road gradients are represented and has no meaning when riding workouts in ERG mode. But you can manually adjust your FTP % level for an individual workout, which then re-scales all the power targets accordingly.
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Old 02-08-22, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
In-game difficulty in Zwift refers to how realistic road gradients are represented and has no meaning when riding workouts in ERG mode. But you can manually adjust your FTP % level for an individual workout, which then re-scales all the power targets accordingly.
Maybe the wrong terminology, the Up/Down arrows in the workout will rescale the wattage targets... all my workouts are in ERG mode.
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Old 02-09-22, 12:13 PM
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same thing
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Old 02-20-22, 12:12 PM
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I did the 12 wk BMU plan a year ago- about half way through it at this point last year, in fact. I increased my FTP and decreased my enjoyment of riding for the sake of riding. It was worth the goal, but it was a bit on the brutal side. I thought about doing the “Active Offseason” plan this year. Looked it over and said, “Nope.” Waaaaaay too many long rides. I have other things to do in the limited hours of a day. Several 2-3 hour rides per week? Otherwise, I like some of the Z plans, and I love several of the individual workout rides.
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Old 02-20-22, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by AdkMtnMonster View Post
I did the 12 wk BMU plan a year ago- about half way through it at this point last year, in fact. I increased my FTP and decreased my enjoyment of riding for the sake of riding. It was worth the goal, but it was a bit on the brutal side. I thought about doing the “Active Offseason” plan this year. Looked it over and said, “Nope.” Waaaaaay too many long rides. I have other things to do in the limited hours of a day. Several 2-3 hour rides per week? Otherwise, I like some of the Z plans, and I love several of the individual workout rides.
Next year if I continue with Zwift, TR or something else... I'll stick with an 8 wk plan. I already have events coming up in March and I prefer to be outside.
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Old 02-21-22, 07:26 PM
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Scanning to see if anyone else already responded:
- A recent (2021?) change increased the flexibility of the plans. You now have access to the entire week's workouts on Monday, and must do all of them (in any order) by Sunday evening. This lets you pick when you do the long rides.
- You are "locked out" from subsequent workouts for only 8 hours. Meaning, you could complete a workout after work and then ride again the next morning. (Rest considerations aside, the choice is now yours).
- FTP can now be adjusted on the fly +/-25% while doing a workout, versus the previous +/-10%. (In any workout, not just plans).

I'm currently in BMU Week 2. Too early to have an opinion. I've done plenty of single workouts, this is my first structured plan.
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