I am noticing a major problem keeping up my watts when I am climbing on Zwift. On the flats and short hills, I have been normally riding around 180-210W. My FTP is currently 188. The other day, I did the Mountain 8 route on Watopia and went up the Tower Climb. This was torture from ground level, all the way up to the pass, and then onto the tower, all the while it was nearly impossible for me to maintain 150W. I refused to give up and finished the route 20 mile ride, and 2200 feet of elevation. My average speed was a pathetic 9.8mph! I felt absolutely destroyed at the end of the ride, worse than I have felt doing a century in the real world.
I am no pro rider, nor am I a speed demon, but I did 6 real world centuries last year, including 2 100 mile gran fondos, one with over 10,000 feet of climbing that featured category 2 and 3 climbs. Nothing I did in the real world was as tough as that Watopia pass/tower climb. I live in an area with hills, hills and more hills, and a typical ride for me will feature 2000-3000 feet of climbing. I have a hill around the corner from my house that has sections of 19-20% and 13-15% for stretches. This is something I can climb on a regular basis (sometimes doing repeats) without feeling like I have been through a war afterwards.
At someone’s suggestion, I lowered the training difficulty. I had it at the default of 50%. Here is something else I don’t understand. At 50%, the 13% Tower Climb should have felt like 6.5% to me, right? Absolutely no way. It felt like 13%.
So I lowered it to about 35%. I did 2 London loops last night with the Box Hill climb. No improvement. Much easier hill vs Tower, but the same results. I just can’t produce the Watts and it feels like I am riding in quicksand. I was doing a race, and people just passed me by like I was standing still. Again, I don’t think I am a special rider, but I am not that slow.
I have a Wahoo Kickr Snap smart trainer.
Any help would be appreciated.