Erg/kickr - difficultly questions

Hello everyone,

I’m sort of out of shape and just getting into Zwift more and more. I can ride along for 45 minutes with 160 avg Watts and 18-20 avg speed on mostly flat courses. I decided to try Jon’s short mix with my kickr in erg mode, and after the first 600 Watt 10 second sprint I was shot. In fact I came close to the spiral of death and just made the 10 second sprint. I then quickly slowed my cadence after making it and the trainer grinded to a halt, disabling erg mode. I was spent. My question is, are the workouts like this really that much harder than free riding around? Even 10 seconds of 600 Watts killed me. Am I just out of shape?

Have you got your FTP set too high?

Some of the Zwift workouts are badly designed with power targets that are unobtainable. My FTP is 302 and there’s a workout where there were some short sprints at 900+ watts. I’ve never hit 900 watts in my life. 10 seconds is short enough that by the time the trainer started to bog down I was through and into the recovery.

Slowing your cadence too quick tells your trainer that you’re struggling to hold power so it piles on more power. You’ve got to gradually ease back down although I thick some of the higher end smart trainers are much more forgiving.

Hi, I have similar problem.

Yesterday I took a workout 6+1+3 and power was set OK, I can handle it.

But RPM is killing me! I was supposed to produce 175W with 85 RPM which was really hard to get. It was either 175 with 55 RPM or 205 with 85 RPM and always the same message: ‘‘Spin faster’’ or ‘‘Less power’’. I tried to shift gears down to get more RPM but power was going down too fast.

I am doing something wrong? Or my logic is OK but I have to get a grip for those changes?

Also, ANT+ is sometimes ‘‘loosing’’ connecition, so I have a feeling that I am st the same RPM level, but it drops form 95 to 45 in second and then again goes up.

Ok so sounds like some are really hard. I actually set my ftp lower to 198 as it was at 228 previously because I failed even harder with jons short mix at 228. So what do you do if you can’t hit those high numbers? Just spiral out to a halt and wait until erg turns off?

No, I am driving with goal to get the power and try to be as close to RPM as I can.

I don’t have problem with power, my FTP is 278 and I had 450 W to get as maximum and I can do it without a problem for short time.

Jon’s short mix has 10 second intervals that I can’t hit. The 2 x 1 minute efforts at the start are damn hard but doable. The rest if your FTP is set correct are quite doable. 

Trainerroad workouts that I generally do are much better thought out. I highly recommend using them and their plans  instead of what Zwift offers. Quite a few Zwift users have Trainerroad running one on one device controlling their trainer and Zwift on another purely for some entertainment.

Thanks Nigel. I thought about trying that out. To be clear, I can hit the rest of the intervals… its just the 10 second ones that seem tough. Also, I wanted to ask… if you guys don’t hit the interval or go into the spiral of death and grind to a halt, do you just wait until ERG disables and start up again? Wish there was a way to instantly go back to non-ERG mode instead of waiting for it to disable.

Hi Eric. I just go as hard as I can. The 10 seconds is over before the spiral of death takes over. I then just keep going.