Viewing 40 posts - 81 through 120 (of 385 total)
  • STW Zwift Racing League – Spring 2022
  • stumpy01
    Full Member

    Yeah. Stick with it reluctantjumper.

    It’ll come.

    giggsmaster
    Free Member

    @reluctantjumper I’ve learnt to hammer it from the 10 second count down, it seems to keep me with the group until it starts to climb or there is a sprint.

    Sometimes I can be with the front group for 5-10 minutes, then once you get dropped, there will be stragglers who will pick you up in their draft for a while, which helps out.

    Definitely helps me if I can sprint hard for the 1st minute or so, while everyone else is just trundling along at an easy pace.

    savoyad
    Free Member

    What a great start to the series. The front group was quite big for quite a long time. I thought the split after the sprint in neokyo might get away (me, @robbo1234biking, @j-r and @yanboss I think), but we never established a gap and eventually got reeled back in.
    Then Rob just dismantled the field with a perfectly judged effort up the hill. The gap went up steadily and nearly everyone dropped away. @yanboss was up there, and ended up solo in no man’s land. What a ride to to hold off the chase for 3rd. I knew Rob was sprinting well from the way he was grabbing points (he isn’t moaning about his chainring today I see…!) so I tried to pull away from him with 1km or so to go, but he was like a limpet and that was my effort spent. A really deserved win.
    Congrats @bails on the overall.
    And @reluctantjumper stick with it. The gap is in reality much smaller than the times say – once you manage to hold a group in those first few minutes, it’ll all be worth it again.

    benman
    Free Member

    Well that was fun. Turned the laptop on 45 mins before the race, and it spends the entire time updating windows. Restarts itself with about 5 mins to go, and then I just get Zwift booted up and into the race about 5 secs after it started. I hoofed it at 400-500W for as long as I could, but the group just left me for dead. Couldn’t get back on at all. Debating whether to upgrade my laptop, or get an Apple TV for next winter…

    jeff
    Full Member

    I managed to be still browsing the frame store when the gun went off – dead last the entire race 🙂

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    while everyone else is just trundling along at an easy pace.

    🤣😂🤣

    robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    Thanks all for the kind words! Was a bit of a shock to actually win the race (might start giving points for the winner).

    I stayed out of trouble mainly surfing the back of the pack apart from the sprints when I didn’t want to get dropped. Got lucky on the first one as I got a bit of momentum from being at the back of the pack and slingshotting through to win it.

    It was a really big group still as we approached the hill. I just started pushing hard as I did in Yorkshire on the last series but this time people were more fatigued so I was able to gradually drop people. 3 of us went over the top together and the power stayed on. I thought it would be a bit of a ttt until the end but yanboss dropped back. I managed to stay with a few Savoyad bursts but think I got lucky as the course was downhill which suits my higher power and weight. 9min30 seconds at an average of 356w.

    I was hoping to get a podium this series so pretty pleased after the first win. Well done Savoyad and yanboss for making it hard for me. Double header next week!

    crazyharry
    Free Member

    First of these races for a while (September) and ended up being a bit of a disaster. Thought the group initially set off quite steady (less frantic than the old days) so I found myself trying to hold back a bit in an effort to pace myself and use the draft, and ended up losing my rhythm and lost the group completely on the second sprint, leaving me 26/29 and cadence all over the place an barely able to hold 160W for a couple of mins.

    Was hovering over the “give up” button but then steadied my cadence, found my rhythm and last two thirds of the race were epic, but left myself too much to do. Recovered to 11th which in the end I was pretty pleased with.

    Different tactics I think for the next race.

    crazyharry
    Free Member

    Oh and that late surge saw my FTP go up to 314W… highest it’s been for a while.

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Crazyharry….

    Came past me like an absolute missile at the top of the hill.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    @crazyharry – came up to me like a god-dayum express train.  I wondered why you were back there

    robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    @reluctantjumper

    If you decide it isnt for you anymore then no worries – the series is there for people to have fun and that should be your main aim when getting on a bike (indoors or outdoors).

    I would however be sad to see you go and a 230w FTP should be close to keeping you in the front group at least on a flat course for the first part of the race. Stumpy has a similar FTP. Looking at the data from last night you were within 5w of his average power so the gap isnt as big as you think. There was one surge that he did for about 40-50 seconds at 340w to cover the sprint but other than that your power could get you on the back of the group.

    You have been doing a lot of training work on the Build Me Up plan but this will also leave you more fatigued until you get used to it.

    RANT ALERT NOT RELATED TO RELUCTANT JUMPER

    Zwift training plans work for some people but they are also a lot of intensity very quickly. The Red Unicorn (Week 1) has 8 min O/U with only 2 mins of recovery between each set! That is far too much intensity in a short space of time 1/2 weeks into a training plan. They also focus far too much on specific cadences. Your natural cadence looks to be around the 80 mark – forcing you down to 60 rpm is going to cook your leg muscles and increasing it to 90-100 rpm is going to tire you quickly. The focus should be on small adjustments to your natural cadence in order to achieve the most efficient cadence for you. Everyone is different hence i cant understand why they are so prescriptive. That’s not to say that cadence work isn’t beneficial but doing it every single workout is wrong. Even going as far as specifying a cadence for a recovery segment!! You should be able to focus on recovering not worrying about what cadence you are doing.

    I would think the compliance rates to the Zwift workouts are very low because of the reasons above. A training plan should gradually build intensity and confidence not start hard and get even harder.

    END RANT

    Dont be too harsh on yourself and I believe you are close to making that breakthrough.

    haloric
    Free Member

    The usual for me, hung with the main bunch until there was a hill, then hung no more.

    Managed a ‘after-you sir’, ‘no after-you I insist’ gentleman’s agreement with Zilog for the last 4k until the last 1k when my aero helmet won out.


    @reluctantjumper
    – check the stats for the race on Zwiftpower – despite being 13kgs heavier than you, and putting out less average power for that race I finished ahead – I put that down to being able to hold the initial surge for a teensy bit longer is all. Staying in the draft is everything in the first part of these races.

    You are so close to being *in* the last bunch of tail end charlies with me and the other usual suspects, rather than just off the back of it.

    Having you just behind me also keeps me honest when I think I’ve done all I can. It might look like we are cruising ahead, when in fact I’m close to jacking it in.

    If I can suggest anything it is a proper full half hour walm up, and managing that initial surge from the off for as long as possible – you have to micro manage your position in the blob – if you are just near the back when there is a push, it can be gone in seconds.

    The other thing is lots of races – the ‘category enforcement’ series is great because it ensures those in the race with you are similar speed – meaning less sandbaggers, so tactics are more important.

    Hope to see you at the bottom of the next hill.

    n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    @reluctantjumper From just reading your frustration of being spat out the back soon after the race start, it’s something I can very much see where you are coming from, because it happens a lot for me… Especially since recently being marginally promoted back to Zwiftpower B (and also the new “in progress” Critical Power based ZwiftHQ pen enforcement category races that are now spreading to some community events) on the back of now two relatively good 20min+ power days.

    It’s still very much a work in progress, but short 10-15min races like the Mon-Fri 1215 sprints such as https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=2858212 today (pen enforce test now) and the Monday Arena Games Super Sprint Races such as https://zwiftpower.com/events.php?zid=2771644 (which had ~170 riders a couple of days ago for second week) are helping me stick with fast starts and then not blow up so soon.

    List of current races using pen enforcement https://zwifthacks.com/app/events/?key=621b895261613

    Fun race predictor https://zrace.bike/

    Congrats on the win last night @robbo1234biking

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    The bad: You lot just buggered off as usual after 30-40 seconds. I thought I had a chance to hold onto the group for the first 30 seconds but then everyone just went up a gear and pulled away despite me going balls-out.

    yeah, as above, think you need to just get the hang of the start! My tips (apologies if you do these already): proper warm up, some high cadence, high power output brief sprints to get ready. Join the race as early as possible as this will put you on the front of the start line! I joined with about 12 mins to go and there were only about 4 people there already so started at the front. You can still warm up on the start line. I am doing 300 watts ish from about 5-10s BEFORE the start which (looking at stats) I held for about 30s (peaking at about 400-450 VERY briefly). It eased a bit after that and then at about 1.15 settled. So you just have to work really hard for that initial phase to stay with the main group. I was then right at the front until the first sprint when it all fell apart 😀

    Managed a ‘after-you sir’, ‘no after-you I insist’ gentleman’s agreement with Zilog for the last 4k until the last 1k when my aero helmet won out.

    haha, was trying to rest up but didn’t have a power up, not that it would’ve mattered! Well done! 😀

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    Well my legs are cooked today!

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    Reluctantjumper…..

    Stumpy has a similar FTP. Looking at the data from last night you were within 5w of his average power so the gap isnt as big as you think.

    It’s true! 🙂
    I used to be in a similar position to you in these races, I think. As mentioned above, it is the start & keeping with a group that really makes the difference – hanging on for 15s more can make all the difference.
    Regular training has got me fitter, but also more confident of my ability to push & recover. I used to tire in the initial burst & then feel that I needed to back off or I’d be dead, whereas now I understand my ability a bit better I know that there will be the opportunity to recover at some point.

    Don’t get me wrong – the slaughter still happens at some point in the race; it’s just normally a bit further down the road, than it used to be. 🙂

    EDIT to add: – anecdotal perhaps, but I bought some Bulk All-in-One recovery powder at the start of the year & have been using that after every workout, race & hard session.
    It’s hard to say whether it has made a real difference as i have no ‘control’ to measure against. But, I definitely feel fresher the day after than I used to & it seems to help with the tired legs feeling. Perhaps this might be something to try?

    haloric
    Free Member

    @reluctantjumper – One other metric I find interesting – look at the race on ZP, reverse sort it by finish time so us tail end charlies are at the top – put the power chart into watts mode, and select the little pie chart on the end of each users row to see their power lines.

    This will add/remove them from the power chart – add yourself also.

    You can then compare others with your own chart.

    You and I are quite different for up to 1 minute power – but after that pretty much the same. Generally those who finish just ahead have either an elevated one minute power or can hold it for longer than a minute, but after 5 mins are not far different profiles.

    One other thing to bear in mind – these STW races have quite a small field and wide range of ability – so inevitably a wide spread of finish times. Larger fields and in a closer range are a lot more fun.

    Zwift races are also not comparable with general outdoor performance – after a year and a half on Zwift as a strong C nearly B I changed my trainer from a Elite Direto (which I kept religiously calibrated) to a Neo 2, and went straight to D, dropping 50+ watts the same day. Only just clawed my way back into C. The absolute finish position is largely meaningless – its about your own personal fitness improvements.

    J-R
    Full Member

    That was another 37mins of type 2 fun, even though it was a disappointing result with my end of race FTP estimate 15W down on normal.
    Maybe it’s the effort I put into the sprints this time, especially a mistaken early solo effort on the first one before being overtaken in the last 100m by @robbo1234biking and @straightliner. Or maybe I’ve got a virus (not The Virus) or am feeling the effects of not riding much the last couple of weeks. But when we got to the hill I couldn’t thin out the group or shake off @paul-s, which I had found easy up the hills in Yorkshire a few weeks ago. And when we all sprinted for the finish line I just didn’t have enough left in the legs to stop him just inching past in the last few yards.

    Well done everyone – a good start to the series.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    Was an enjoyable first race. I quite like the flat ones, as i can now stay with the front runners a lot longer.

    I managed to stay in the top ten up the only real climb and about 6 of us stuck together until the end. The sprint went off early and despite cranking out 600 plus watts i couldnt get anywhere near.

    So happy with a 10th place finish (on the road).

    Although i am very aware that numbers are down a few these days.

    One thing i do struggle with is extracting the last 5-10% of effort out of my body. It feels like a bloody good work out and at no point is easy, but once i finish i always feel like i could’ve given more… i just dont know how to! Maybe its a subconscious fear of leaving nothing left for the final few km’s…. i dunno??!

    But yeah, cheers everyone, was good fun 😀

    slowpuncheur
    Full Member

    I noticed how well you climbed on that hill @v7fmp. Big improvement since autumn I reckon. As for sprints, some Vo2 workouts might help you.

    I had nothing left when Robbo engaged his inner Wout van Aert so was happy to ride in with you guys. Those 3 sprints fatigued me alright. I like that fast downhill sprint at the end. Just about held off a fast finishing @straightliner on the line.

    Big congrats to @robbo1234biking. Must be pleasing to see the training pay off.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    Stumpy has a similar FTP

    Don’t be fooled – stumpy’s race pace includes typing at 90 words per minute

    woodiwoodwood
    Free Member

    @robbo1234biking – Cheers for the insight Robbo.

    That makes me feel significantly better about struggling with the elements of the ‘Build Me Up’ training plan.

    Straightliner
    Full Member

    I noticed how well you climbed on that hill @v7fmp. Big improvement since autumn I reckon. As for sprints, some Vo2 workouts might help you.

    I had nothing left when Robbo engaged his inner Wout van Aert so was happy to ride in with you guys. Those 3 sprints fatigued me alright. I like that fast downhill sprint at the end. Just about held off a fast finishing @straightliner on the line.

    Big congrats to @robbo1234biking. Must be pleasing to see the training pay off.

    Ah yes, the FOURTH sprint at the end…. I was late reacting to you guys going and was struggling to make up the gap. I thought we might reel in @yanboss before the line but he must have put in a solid TT effort on the run in.

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Was planning on joining last night, but had an ibs attack and felt bloody awful, went to bed instead! Hopefully nothing will set me off next week and I’ll be back on it 👌

    stumpy01
    Full Member

    scaredypants

    Don’t be fooled – stumpy’s race pace includes typing at 90 words per minute

    HA HA! Genuine LOL at that.
    I even annoy myself, so I dread to think what you lot think of it.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Thanks for all the encouragement everyone, still undecided though as doing the races and the FTP Builder stuff is working but leaving me probably over-tired at times.

    Might sound daft but when are you starting, are you waiting for zero or pedaling hard from 5-10seconds to go?

    I figured that out after the first ever Zwift race I did! I tend to build up my power in the last 30 seconds of the warmup from 50-60w to just under FTP with 15 seconds to go with a full-on effort at 5 seconds. I just can’t keep up that effort for more than 30 seconds, yesterday’s race for example I was up with the top 10 15 seconds in but from then on everyone just pulls past and away. Looking at the figures on the leaderboard during the race no-one really eased up until they were a good 10 seconds ahead. I’ve never had a great top-end though, I’m more an endurance and climbing type of power.

    If you made it to 30-40 seconds you were probably really close to hitting the first lull in the pace. It doesn’t feel like it because the speed of the pack+draft means it keeps pulling away but nobody* just smashes on at full gas beyond around a minute.

    I don’t drop my power after those 30-40 seconds, everyone else just has more so leaves me behind! I can go full-out for about 90 seconds at the start but it’s nowhere near good enough to keep with the group. I think I’m just suffering from there being fewer riders around my level so there’s no-one small group for me to latch on to.

    Will think it all over the next few days and see how I feel. It has become my regular Tuesday night ritual though so I may well find that hard to drop.

    dangeourbrain
    Full Member

    I was up with the top 10 15 seconds in but from then on everyone just pulls past and away

    It might sound silly but that could be part of the issue – once you start to fall back through a group you need to push harder to get back into the draft (made up numbers alert)

    Say you’re doing 250w and lose the draft at the front, you’ll fall back through the group and clean out the other side at 250w. You need to kick to 300w to catch a wheel but can then draft the back of the group at 100w and stay with the same riders you fell past at 250.

    If you’re on the ragged edge in the front of the group you will fall off but when you do you won’t have the extra kick to give to “hook up” you’ll just see the group sod off down the road despite actually having the power to keep with them. A lot of it is technique (and I’m crap at it as my (comparatively good) numbers from last night to place in 17th will show)

    torchtaylor
    Full Member

    Hi Rob,

    Sign me up please, 97kg & 210w FTP

    Ta.

    yanboss
    Full Member

    @reluctantjumper I really recommend thr team time trial for learning how to draft. Adding extra probably doesn’t fit with your training program but it really helped me. Nothing like Phil’s encouragement to teach you how hard you can push yourself.

    With big groups I find the moment you start sliding back you have to do something serious. But once settled in near the back you can gently ease off without dropping out the draft.

    Looking at my race I started at 400w but by 15s in was down to 275 and then by 30s was down to 200 ish. But a minute in I lost concentration and eased off too much and needed a big kick up over 350w to avoid losing touch. Popping out the front then sliding back makes it really hard to hold even power. Getting it just right makes a massive difference. In the group on the flat bits I was averaging 230w so really not that different to you.

    I definitely overdid it last winter and didn’t rest enough. Just couldn’t raise my power when there was a surge and so kept loosing the draft.

    Just focusing on the Tuesday race and TTT is working for me this year as I find them much more fun than training plans. Good luck figuring it out

    jamesoz
    Full Member

    Well, it seems I’m ‘race fit’ again. Got a podium in Cat C in my first race for a very long time. Also my FTP went up to the old level (ish)
    No numbness in my leg and I think the Pelvis is fully healed.

    If I could join in again that would be great.
    Cheers.

    302FTP 98kg.

    karnali
    Free Member

    @robbo1234biking

    Can I get a late entry to series, won’t make all events so not bothered if handicapped or not. On that front I’ll try a FTP test over weekend as been under weather for a number of weeks and way off my current zwift alleged FTP.

    Also echo your comments re zwift training plans. I used to use sufferfest and found their plans more manageable. I’m going to re sign to a zwuft plan but I will plan my training days and then pick out the workouts from the weeks plan to match those days and miss out some. My previous experience was just being knackered after about 2 weeks trying to do full plan and jacking in

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    Weight change to report – down to 82kg.

    robbo1234biking
    Full Member

    What ftp @reluctantjumper?

    retrorick
    Full Member

    I tend to build up my power in the last 30 seconds of the warmup from 50-60w to just under FTP with 15 seconds to go

    Reading this it sounds like you aren’t warmed up? 50-60w is barely anything, just above freewheeling?? The warm up I would suggest should bring you comfortably to at a guess 70% of your ftp
    You need to be near your FTP 5 seconds before the timer gets to zero and then 2 times your FTP at the start gun so pushing out 400 – 500w for the first part of the race. Everyone will then taper to a sustainable output for the next part of the race, hopefully you’ll be drafting in a group with others doing the harder work at the front at this point?!
    When you sprint at the start of the race or any sprint you will output lots of Watts. My FTP was around 270 before I quit zwift but during sprints or starts I could scrape 900/1000 if I had the right gear selected or enough energy during the race.

    reluctantjumper
    Full Member

    @robbo1234biking – 232w FTP.


    @retrorick
    – I do a 5-10 minute warmup similar to the training rides then drop down to 60w for the final minute then build it back up. It gives me enough time for the muscles to get warm but not still be in shock from the warmup so I can hit the start flat out. The issue is I top out at 350-400w and that’s just not enough to keep me in the group for long enough to get to the tapering bit! I did try a longer warmup last series, 20-30 mins freeride beforehand, but that left me empty by halfway through the race. I’m trying my best and am always willing to try new things to see if I can get better.

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    @robbo1234biking – having said I’d not make another race beyond the most recent one, seems I’m in with a chance this week too, though it all sounds a bit hilly
    Please could you send me a link ?
    (as before, no handicap/points required but if it helps, seems I’m about 265W, 79Kg)

    DrP
    Full Member

    Not liking my chances with a 22 minute handicap… savoyad is only 3 min…. 🤭😄

    DrP

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    That’s what you get for publicising your training plan, DrP

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