Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.

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  • Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.
  • Premier Icon weeksy
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    It seems the world has fallen out of Zwift racing at the moment. How much of that is down to the GDPR issues for Zwiftpower and Zwiftrankings and both platforms being down i don’t know or how much is down to it being summer.

    I’ve done 5 races in the last week and i think the biggest field i got was 50. I’m looking for todays races and can’t find any with more than 9 riders ! usually you’ve got a few 20+ by this stage of the day.

    Results last week were decent enough for me, but i’m still not hitting the power and performances i could do on the Isaac and at my peak…. but i’m doing my best. Usual problem of not having what it takes in the last seconds. Yesterdays was Volcano flat and i went at 1.9km to go coming down the snakey bit…. Only reason was because i had an aero so thought i’d put it to use…. Got a 4s lead but the all pulled me back on the kick and i still finished in the exact same position i would have if i’d not gone 😀 Had to try though.

    Premier Icon njee20
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    I see we’re getting ‘part’ of the Innsbruck World Champs course soon too. Could be interesting. Hopefully better than Richmond.

    Premier Icon scaled
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    Right, i’m back, and frankly it’s a bit of a rude awakening, I was dead last in the CVR postseason race last night.

    I was all good, well, mostly, right up until the first climb where it all went horribly wrong, i couldn’t get up the bloody hill. What happened? I’d gone out of got myself a Direto over the weekend, not had a chance to try it out before the race other that to actually build the thing and do 2.8km to try and sort out the rocking from my apparently not-so-flat garage floor. My god, it was like trying to ride up a wall, 2% gradients were killing me. All i can think of is that my winters worth of turbo training has left me with a fairly decent power but in such a small envelope of cadence that i’m buggered outside of that band.

    The other factor is obviously that the old turbo was over reading something chronic 😀 I’m pretty much going to be starting again, I can’t even trust that the old one was consistent with itself, i’m 99% sure that the warmer it got the more power it reported. I’ll do an FTP test once i’m feeling less shagged (2.5 week old baby, so not much sleep!)

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Oh…. that’s most interesting, you were our A god ! What are we going to do in the big events now without you.

    We’ll need to get Crosshair and NathB racing again.

    I’m debating whether i jump on the 12:15 in a short while. 6 laps of Volcano CCW. It’s a course i like, but the kick to the line doesn’t exactly suit me. 🙂

    I noticed on yesterdays race that the B’s got a massive jump as their starting gate was WAY ahead of the Cs, so it’s tempting to enter B…. .but the Bs are fast fellas as we know. LOL. Whilst i may be able to hang with the odd B…. it’s not many of them

    Premier Icon nixie
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    I’ve been doing a few races.

    Got my first B medal (according to zwift end of race score board). Four laps of Watopia Hilly. The hill seems to be pretty effective at breaking the bunch up. The A’s and a couple of B’s disappeared up that on lap one and I again ended up in a no-mans land between the front the the bulk with another rider. By the time we got to the top the lead group had split again and on the downhill we caught an A and a B. This group split and recombined a few times over the next two laps (caused by me on the big as I foudn it relatively easy to pull away at that point). Going into lap four I went for it up the hill however one other B had a bit more in the legs and was 10 seconds ahead by the top. I tried to real them in but nearly blew up doing it. Those behind were 30 seconds back now so I settled in to try and not let the gap ahead grow too much. It stayed this way to the end. Another nice FTP increase, up to 305 now!

    I seem to be OK doing 55-70rpm in a high gear but struggle with a higher cadence (HR shoots up). Need to work on that I think as currently have to get out of the saddle to climb at a decent rate. Also running out of gears for that cadence (bike fitted with compact double).

    @scaled My directo rocks a bit too on carpet. I actually managed to move it far enough in one race that I pulled the plug out of the wall!

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
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    All i can think of is that my winters worth of turbo training has left me with a fairly decent power but in such a small envelope of cadence that i’m buggered outside of that band.

    Was your old trainer controllable? ie: did it ramp up the resistance when you hit a hill or was resistance simply constant with your avatar just slowing down with progress. The hill feeling like a hill makes a whole lot of difference.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    I was due a rest today, but saw a decent 6 lapper of volcano.

    Went off hard and was with the A/B’s in a group of 27… did about 9km with them before being dumped, my target/plan was to hang with them as long as possible and see where it led.  The problem as always came on the kickers, they all throw down 6w/kg due to weight and whilst i can get 4.5 i can’t get 6 when i’m pushing hard.

    As it was still nevr going to make it onto Zwiftpower or Zwiftrankings i was happy to go all in for a short effort and then bail. The next guy behind was 40s and then a bunch at 55s which made me think “nah, can’t be bothered” so jumped off..

    I did set a PR of 5:22 for the volcano lap, which was 30s ahead of my best ever, along with 295w average. I couldn’t have maintained that for the distance though i openly admit.

    Nixie, 55-70rpm ?? Wow, that’s REALLY low in my world. I average 90-97 generally in a race…  I wonder what everyone else is doing

    blader1611
    Member

    I have been doing some racing of late, in fact i had an overall victory last week. Sadly there were only 10 in the race and only one A rider but i beat them all by over 20 seconds.

    i did a race yesterday and was in the bunch sprint with the A group but was towards the back. Pace was really high and i ended up with a race avg 284w.

    Today though i did stage 5 castelli ride  with very tired legs and to compound that my network died about 2 mins in to the race so abandoned. Did the next one an hour later but by that time i had been warming up for over an hour so wasnt expecting much. 92 people took part and incredibly i finished 10th and increased my ftp to 312w. It was a surprising result considering all the faffing about at the start and makes me wonder what my ftp might be with fresh legs.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    There was no way i could consider sticking with you when i joined !

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Nixie, 55-70rpm ?? Wow, that’s REALLY low in my world. I average 90-97 generally in a race…  I wonder what everyone else is doing

    I’ve never been a proper roadie so was wondering if this came from MTB pedalling style. If I tried 90-97 I think my heart rate just would jump up and on past faster attempts it feels like my legs are in an uncontrolled spin (I start getting a stuttering effect as I’m not smooth). Do need to speed it up though as I can feel I’m pushing the muscles quite hard.

    blader1611
    Member

    My cadence tends to average about 85 which i find comfortable for the pace i ride at in a race but outdoor riding it does seem to be much higher than that.

    Until getting my Direto and then later this year getting a crank power meter for outdoor use, my natural cadence was ~95rpm.

    But both power meters told me I produced more power in the 70-80rpm ballpark, so that’s now my PB-chasing cadence zone climbing Hampshire’s cat3 and cat4 hills this year, I’ve got very few left to have a good go at where I’ve not improved from last year’s best attempts.

    crosshair
    Member

    We’ll need to get Crosshair and NathB racing again.

    For the first time since Nov 2015, I’ve stopped my Zwift subscription. Fairly sure I’ll restart in the winter but I can’t bring myself to ride indoors at the moment. Even my TR intervals get done outdoors.

    My SNAP had to go back again too (after 18 months or so and a lot of use) as the roller bearing has gone.

    I’m hoping I get a Kickr Climb compatible replacement 🤞🏻🤞🏻

    Premier Icon scaled
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    I need to get used to this new turbo so thought what the hell and entered the WBR 3 sisters. Entered as a B as i’m having a crisis of wattage and reset my FTP on everything till i get some better numbers.

    900M of climbing and a trip up the radio tower should see what the old legs are capable of, usual array of excuses, skin full of beer last night, bugger all sleep thanks to the new baby and toddler and i’ve been a generally grumpy bastard cos i can’t get out to ride in the sunshine.

    It wasn’t the biggest of fields, 8 A’s i think on the start line and i spent a fair bit of time on the front and tried a few different ways of getting up the ramps and hills. It’s much more realistic, if i go to stomp up a ramp and misjudge it and dont make it over the crest i pay for it massively, probably more so in the game for some reason, getting back to speed takes more of an effort and there is a probably 1 second lag between the on screen gradient changes and the turbo kicking it in, why it can’t sync that up I don’t know. I’m wondering if i need to get a USB extension lead for this one, there’s a fair bit of electrical stuff going on in my garage now!

    Came in 3rd in the race with a new FTP of 294 and managed 3.7q/kg for 84:33 round the 3 sisters.  I should probably do a proper FTP test at some point and pick one of these new fangled training plans.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    seems the world is not all WOE then 🙂

    294 is a cracking number.

    Premier Icon nixie
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    I was going to do the three sisters last night but wimped out and did the KISS two laps of Volcano climb instead. Same distance but less height 😁. I mostly cruised around trying to keep my HR I’m the 140s or less and legs spinning at 80 or over. Went ok though got outsprinted by a sandbagging ‘C’.

    Saturday night was better. Did a short race on volcano KOM. Not a massive field, just three As, two of which disappeared. The other A and us Bs were in a group till around 3.5km to go. I somehow got a small gap at this pipoi and decided to go all in. Went flat out to the top and ended up with quite a big gap. I think that was my first class win, or was according to the in game score board. FTP up to 308 now.

    Scaled, I’ve noticed that slight lag on gradient changes, enough to be noticeable but not enough to be annoying.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Well done on the win Nixie 🙂

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Thank you 😁. Shame still no zwiftpower to record it.

    matt_bl
    Member

    Yeah, I’m missing zwiftpower as well, since I usually have to lie down on the floor for five minutes at the end of a race and miss the Zwift breakdown of the results.

    Did the Kiss First Base D race on Monday. I thought it would be a dozen riders battling it out as it was just two laps of London flat. Not a chance, flag goes and off they sprint like scalded cats, head down I try and hang on but there’s no way I’m holding 300W for more than 30 seconds! And………..that was how it stayed, the leader finished 8 minutes ahead, on his own, not really sure what the point of the race was for him. I was about 7/8 over the line, after a great ride/battle with a guy called ‘Keto Carnivore’. I saved a feather for the small ramp after the underpass and then turned myself inside out to the line. Best bit was an ftp increase to 237 from 232, if I lose any more weight on the chub club I’ll be in danger of having to race C!

    Thanks for the Ride On Weeksy, came at a good time!

    Matt

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Anyone on tonight? Thinking of doing one of the races around 8.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    I don’t know if the current results going round are related to ZP and CVR not being working, but yes, there’s a few (lots of) riders battering the Cat limits in the races i’m seeing, more so than i’d usually expect to see. Yesterday i ended up racing twice as my Snap started throwing out random power, from 0 up to 1250w… neither of which i was doing at the time. I think it was down to incorrect tension on the adjuster as it worked again in the next race.

    Yesterdays race i ended up doing was Aussie Crit series and it was pretty hard. I bailed on lap 5/6 as i’d done too much earlier… but there was a cracking group of 20+ out there, all going at a decent clip and a few guys flying along at around 4w/kg in B pushing us all on hard at times.

    Usual story of me finding the H-G hill kick VERY hard though, it just seems a LOT easier for other people to hit 5+w/kg than it seems to be for me… But i hung in there on all the laps until i bailed.

    The lack of ZP means though that bailing is now more of an option as there’s no consequences to it, even though they’re just silly ranking points, they matter.. So the sooner it all come back, the better IMO.

    If i’m going to race today it will be 9:15am i’m afraid Nixie.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Today, i can’t even get a power output out of the Snap… 0 that’s all it shows. Tried multiple Android devices, multiple laptops too… Nothing, nada….  Dead as… .well….. something that’s dead.

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Premier Icon scaredypants
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    Ouch !

    If you can be arsed collecting from Romsey you can borrow my drivo while you get it sorted

    (although “losing” my indoor option would obviously guarantee 40 days of rain for everyone in southern England – that’s your risk !)

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Awwww thanks mate. I’m ok though, i’ll just scoot outside anyway. Waiting for Wahoo support to tell me a plan, but they’re on US time of course so slightly complex. But hopefully they’ll give me an RMA etc and get it back to Evans.

    blader1611
    Member

    Well given all the outdoor miles i have done lately on pretty hilly routes i thought i would test my new deluded vision of being a mountain goat (fat goat) and try a double lap of greater london loop. I was so deluded that i thought it might be fun to do large stretches of box hill out of the saddle. I hadnt even got to box hill yet and i was hanging on to the back of the A group and blowing hard. Box hill arrived so closed my eyes, didnt bother getting out of the saddle and tried to maintan 400w all the way up. Not sure if i managed it but got up in 6:47 which is my best time in a race. Most of the A’s went up over 20s faster than that so had to solo the ne t lap which wasnt fun at all. I was leading B but way behind the A’s.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    I spent an hour messing about with my laptop and Zwift and eventually got it working. Mrs Weeksy was updating our Garmin Sat Nav the other day and messing with Garmin Express on my laptop, that conflicts with Zwift. But when i removed G/E it screwed up the Ant+ drivers too and i couldn’t get it to even see my ant+ dongle.

    Once i’d got that done i had a working Zwift after an uninstall and re-install of Zwift itself.

    It was too late then to get a race i fancied but the 15:35 was a shortish flatish race but a TT due to my avatar and weight being big, i suit a draft not a TT. But in for a penny in for a pound as they say.

    I went off well and was leading C…. 10th out of 25 on the road. I had 4 Bs behind me too. I was sticking to about 305w approx which is pretty strong for me ! As the race progressed i was caught by 1 guy but passed 3 others… So was sitting in 8th overall…. I was trying my hardest to maintain around 300w, but every now and again i’d drop below into the 250s and have to recover my head and kick on again. I wasn’t sure on which gear, the smaller cog was giving me 80rpm, but the power was good.. 1 click up the box was 95rpm but felt like my heart rate was climbing more.. So i settled on bottom click for anything slightly down or 1% incline, 2% or over was a click lighter. That seemed to work.

    Coming into the last 4km i had a guy on my wheel, he’d put out 4+ and then down to 2…. then up, then down… I think he was just trying to get the power in but the legs/heart wasn’t playing, he passed me, i passed him, and again and again. With 1.5km to go though i broke him and pulled away, 2s, 3s, 6s, 11s…. I was over a minute ahead of the next C riders and no-one else was closing. But i tried to keep putting the power in..

    I rolled over the line a mess… destroyed. Surely i’d increased my FTP which had been stuck this year on 275w… YES !… Oh…. 278w….. all that for a 3w increase LOL.

    I enjoyed the ride, it was full on effort, heart race creeping, creeping…. but i enjoy pack racing more really… But at times it’s frustrating trying to break a bunch… in the TT, it’s just you and your pedals… get on with.

    Sadly, Zwiftpower is still dead… but hey ho…

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Glad you got it working again. With that ftp your going to be in B soon surely?

    Zwiftpower missing is also making it hard to pick a race based in distance (given that quite a few don’t include that vital bit of info on the event list).

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Nah Nixie. I can mix it in B on some shorter flat races, but anything with a hill and my 89kg is destroying any chance I have of seeing a B. When I was riding on a roadie I wasn’t a bad B. Now I’m on the 29er full time I’m not quite as fast. It would be slightly interesting to try a road bike again and see if I improve power with a better riding position, but I’m enjoying the 29er.

    Premier Icon nixie
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    AHH I’m being silly, was comparing FTPs without taking weight into account (I’m 80kg and even that is hard work up the hills).

    I did the EVR two laps of Greater London this evening. Mixed with the As group till Box Hill on lap one. They then disappeared along with two Bs. Me and one other B ended up together at the top and then picked up a straggling A (TBH they waited for us). Just before the ramp on lap two the A disappeared, just couldn’t match their power. I pulled out 30s on the other B up Box hill on lap two which just left holding a reasonably high power output for the 5k to the end. Didn’t even need to sprint. Finished third in B I think. I spent a lot of this race using lower gearsbamd higher cadence. Managed most of it over 80RPM including both big climbs. Also working on smoothness as I’m very lumpy.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Good work Nixie 🙂  nice one.

    blader1611
    Member

    Great effort Nixie, that second climb of box hill is tough if you have gone hard on the first.

    Weeksy – glad you are up and running but that sounds like a ball ache if you are going to have to do that after every garmin update.

    rest day today, done 120 miles in the last 3 days with over 7000ft of climbing.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    I will wait and see Blader, i’m not convinced both things are completely related. When i was getting 0 power rating, the laptop was working fine and happy. So whether there’s still an issue with Turbo i don’t know.

    I’ve got a case open in Wahoo and Evans should i need it for warranty anyway… So we’ll see.

    I was planning a rest day today… but it’s been drizzling outside so currently no KTM riding.. So it’s generally either/or… If i’m not riding the KTM, i’m riding the turbo/outdoors. But if i do ride, will be a 150w effort and cruising for an hour.

    Premier Icon lunge
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    1 race in the last 2 months for me, I may as well cancel the sub in truth. The draw of outside is too strong at the moment, running is I’m short on time, the bike if I have time spare.

    Re. cadence, there are some proper spinners on here I see. 75rpm is normal for me on the road, just over 80 in Zwift.

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    I’m in for the wbr 11:20 short and classique 3 lapper today

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Thanks both. Bizarrely I thought I’d gone harder on the second Box hill climb but actually was two seconds slower! Think I’m going to try a three sisters race when we are back in Watopia!

    Out for a ride IRL today, do wish I had more time to escape outdoors however I’m definitely noticing an improvement in my real riding from using zwift (better fitness).

    Premier Icon weeksy
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    Bleeuuurrrgghhh i was rubbish today. LOL.

    257w average, could have gone a bit harder, but was no point as the group was impossible for me to split. I did try at the start of lap 3 and got a 4s lead on them, but i’d have had to maintain 340w to hold it i rekon… No way that was happening today, so settled back in…. then got destroyed in the sprint as usual 😀

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Sprints, urggh, I’ve been going easy on those since I made myself sick a few weeks ago!

    nathb
    Member

    @weeksy – “We’ll need to get Crosshair and NathB racing again.”

    Think I may restart, getting married in 4 weeks or so and dare not risk another Hillingdon crit 😆

    @scaled – kind of saw that coming sorry! I guess it’s hard to benchmark if you don’t race road bikes outside too?

    (Congrats on the baby)

    It does show you can’t take zwift racing results seriously unfortunately, it’ll always be a game/motivational tool not a sim.

    General update from me:

    – Swapped the Tacx Vortex for a Elite Direto – much quieter and feels much nicer on the bike too, both feel and general position (was never convinced the block riser was the right height) plus I can move my arms left and right to turn 🙂

    – I did a free trial with trainerroad – and wow I’ve never experience pain like this before, it’s brilliant!! I started in the speciality phase skipping all the base so it threw me right in at the deep end! I’ll be using this to train with and zwift to log miles as Zwifts plans look lacklustre in comparison!

    – My FTP is up to 335w (4.8w/kg) – which I’m incredibly happy with as it’s off 0-6 hours of riding a week since end of Feb after 2+ months off the bike. My weight is fluctuating between 68-72kg as my diet is all over the place. It seems coming off a keto diet has boosted my cycling tenfold, but clearly it’s done some remarkable stuff in regards to my ability to fat burn on the bike. Will be returning to the diet in base phases of cycling for sure.

    Premier Icon nixie
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    Three laps of Volcano circuit for me last night. Not a huge amount happened till near the end. Lead group stuck together with no serious attempts to break away. I lost 30s on the lead group at around the 6k mark. Managed to get back to 3s down but couldnt close the final gap. Ended up one minute off the first finisher. Third placed B I think and sixth overall. I did then manage to grab both the bridge sprint jerseys for some light relief.

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