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Zwift SST(Med) Question

Old 03-06-19, 05:05 AM
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Quiglesnbits
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Zwift SST(Med) Question

I find this to be a challenging workout, and feel accomplished after I do it, but I have a question about 1 min, 110% section in between the two sweetspot intervals.

See Here: LINK

Most other interval or sweetspot workouts that I've seen have a simple steady state section between periods of work, and I am wondering if this one minute period has any functional training purpose, or if it is just random.
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Old 03-06-19, 05:40 AM
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Random. Actually probably more likely it's there just to break things up a bit like those recovery sections. Sometimes mentally if you do something a bit harder right before something easier, then it "feels" easier to back off and do a bit less. But anyway, do it if you like, skip if you don't.
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Old 03-06-19, 08:38 AM
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fstrnu
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+1 ; Random for (a) entertainment or (b) illusion of sophistication or some secret sauce. Variation = Bad. Arbitrary variation = More bad. Best bet is to perform this and all workouts using simple repeats in manual ERG mode. That way, you can understand + add/extend/split intervals as needed to ensure proper stimulus or preserve workout quality when you are in trouble. Sadly, most Zwift plan workouts are impossible to translate into anything remotely coherent, thus these plans devolve into a one-size-fits-all mystery riddled with failed workouts because "it's okay because I can't complete them all either" and from which you learn nothing.

By contrast, most TrainerRoad workouts are at least coherent enough to translate into actual interval workouts.
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Old 03-06-19, 09:03 AM
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Compared to workouts you'll see on Trainer Road or in books like The Time Crunched Cyclist, most Zwift workouts have "random" elements thrown that don't translate into any scientific based training rationale. But, a lot of people aren't training for races and don't have the motivation to stick to long, structured plans - or even long intervals in one zone within a workout.

You can see this big time in spin classes - lots of random, short duration stuff thrown in, mostly just to keep the spinners from getting bored.

One local spin instructor is also a cycling coach - he had a real live 90 minute series that was a winter-time "Increase your threshold" kind of workout with 20 minutes Over/Under kind of workouts, long Sweet Spots, etc. 75% of the class was gone after two sessions! But, they were better off spinning and getting some overall benefit than doing nothing.

You can add custom workouts to Zwift - I've done that with the Time Crunched Cyclists Experienced Century/Fondo workouts.
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Old 03-07-19, 07:57 PM
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I've never thought the Zwift workouts were anything special myself. I did one last night and felt like I barely worked up a sweat. On top of that, in ERG mode I find them boring. The thing I like about Zwift is it can make a realistic ride with hills and chases and sprints, but in ERG mode you follow a program, you can't chase anyone down, the only sprints are pre-programmed but still limited to the program, and all hills do is impact your speed but not the effort. Maybe this is why I got bored with the Sufferfest too, all of the ERG mode workouts start feeling the same and only the narration is going to motivate you. The narratives got repetitive.
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Old 03-08-19, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I've never thought the Zwift workouts were anything special myself. I did one last night and felt like I barely worked up a sweat. On top of that, in ERG mode I find them boring. The thing I like about Zwift is it can make a realistic ride with hills and chases and sprints, but in ERG mode you follow a program, you can't chase anyone down, the only sprints are pre-programmed but still limited to the program, and all hills do is impact your speed but not the effort. Maybe this is why I got bored with the Sufferfest too, all of the ERG mode workouts start feeling the same and only the narration is going to motivate you. The narratives got repetitive.
Yep. ERG mode is definitely not for everyone. For example, I'd rather do steady state stuff in ERG mode while watching TV any day over Zwift, but that's me. I can't stand having to pay attention when things are boring, if that makes any sense. For me, I'm either bored stiff or suffering with nothing in between. So I watch TV when I'm bored or simply relish the rest intervals when I'm going hard.
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Old 03-08-19, 03:11 PM
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Variation is not bad in the least. Variation is precisely what's necessary in real-world application. Utilizing variation is precisely what enables some people to survive group rides and races when others can not.

Again, if it breaks up the monotony and you're able to complete something you'd likely abandon, there's much more usefulness there than purely adaptive physiological reasons.
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Old 03-08-19, 03:12 PM
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You can also just skip that interval on zwift.
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Old 03-08-19, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Variation is not bad in the least. Variation is precisely what's necessary in real-world application. Utilizing variation is precisely what enables some people to survive group rides and races when others can not.

Again, if it breaks up the monotony and you're able to complete something you'd likely abandon, there's much more usefulness there than purely adaptive physiological reasons.
Agreed.
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Old 03-09-19, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Yep. ERG mode is definitely not for everyone. For example, I'd rather do steady state stuff in ERG mode while watching TV any day over Zwift, but that's me. I can't stand having to pay attention when things are boring, if that makes any sense. For me, I'm either bored stiff or suffering with nothing in between. So I watch TV when I'm bored or simply relish the rest intervals when I'm going hard.
I did my ride last night in simulation mode and averaged at FTP + 7w for just over 20 minutes, but with lots of variation while doing it, surges, chases, and a final sprint to the top. It was a lot more engaging than if I did a workout with fixed intervals, and I worked a lot harder. I still had more in me too, so if this were an actual FTP test I may have increased my number since I was already right at my current FTP. I also didn't get sore after.

Today is looking like an outdoor day finally. And no matter how much I appreciate Zwift through the winter, outdoors has it beat every time.
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Old 03-09-19, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
And no matter how much I appreciate Zwift through the winter, outdoors has it beat every time.
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Old 03-09-19, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fstrnu View Post
Yep. ERG mode is definitely not for everyone. For example, I'd rather do steady state stuff in ERG mode while watching TV any day over Zwift, but that's me. I can't stand having to pay attention when things are boring, if that makes any sense. For me, I'm either bored stiff or suffering with nothing in between. So I watch TV when I'm bored or simply relish the rest intervals when I'm going hard.
For me, indoors or out, if what I'm doing doesn't require me to concentrate the whole time on what I'm doing, I'm not training, I'm just a person on a bicycle. Nothing happens unless I'm forced to concentrate on what's going on. Awareness is everything. Mentally, it's easier for me to have the awareness forced upon me rather than me having to force it. I rather think that's part of the pleasure in riding outside and one of the reasons I prefer rollers. Last year a friend walked in while I was on the rollers. I said "Hello!" and was on the floor immediately. Lost concentration. One-legged pedaling on the rollers is kind of fun. I'm never bored training. If the workout, on its face, isn't that interesting, there's always pain mitigation to work on.
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