ERG Mode During Training


As I’ve gotten comfortable with Zwift (6 months in), I’ve been using the training sessions more. I finished the 6-week Beginner FTP Builder, and I’m using the individual workouts to structure my time in the morning.

Some of these integrate high-intensity intervals, e.g. Jon’s Short Mix (10s at > 500W, 1 min at 300 W). Normally I stick to ERG mode, but from the FTP builder, I understand it may be good to disable ERG mode and switch to incline for these.

That said, I still haven’t been able to get it right. I either dramatically overshoot power and then flounder while I try to re-stabilize after the push, or I never quite make it to the desired level. Either way, my power vs time typically goes from looking rock-solid to looking like random spikes, since it seems to take a long time for the ERG mode to kick in and keep things under control.

Is there a strategy for doing this right? I’ve played around with shifting, but nothing so far has clicked. There’s probably a lot of skill involved, but I’d appreciate some tips in making these smoother.

Two notes:

(1) First, I’m a big guy (250 lbs) - In shape enough to keep up, but I’m not going to be winning any marathons. That means it’s extremely difficult to do things like stand and maintain high rpm (> 70 rpm). It probably also means my FTP in W/kg is rather low compared to what is used to test the typical workouts.

(2) I’m using Zwift companion on Android (bridge mode), linked to my PC through the Wifi network. Connectivity works, but this may be introducing significant lag.

Thanks in advance!

@Nicholas_Fitzkee, My preference is using ERG mode. It makes it easy to make the power transitions on the intervals without getting stuck in the mode of constantly chasing the target, spending all of a short interval just trying to get to the target then the interval is over, or for long intervals playing around with gearing and swinging either side of the target. I also then don’t have to always be on a steep inclined route to enable hitting those high power targets. I can be on any route I want. I also don’t have to dink around with trying to hit just the right gear to enable the target power output or shifting the front derailleur. Maybe others have strategies to deal with this, but for me, ERG mode is the answer.