Newbie .... Am I just being rubbish?

(Nick Taylor-Komar) #1

Newbie Question - Hi, I am following the Zwift Academy using an Elite Qubo Smart + Turbo with Garmin Vector 2S pedals, and all appears to be working fine. FTP came back around 390 watts. Got to this program …

Zwift Academy 2017 Month 1 2. Zone 3 with Sprints

and the last sprints are asking for 1115watts for 15 secs. A) I’m giving it full beans and getting to around 650 - 700 watts but there is nothing left (am I being rubbish?) and B) It takes 15 secs for the system to catch up with the increases. 

I have tried changing the resistance on the turbo … but B) is still the problem.

Eitherway, I keep “failing” this program!. A little frustrating! 

Any suggestions other than get better equipment and stronger legs! :slight_smile:

(Joe Daknis) #2

I just looked it up. Those sprints are 300% of FTP.  That’s not an easy target to hit for a lot of people - at least those of us who aren’t sprinters by training (or just gifted with massive quads).  

It’s something I need to work on myself, since much of my Zwift riding & training to-date has been geared more toward losing weight and increasing endurance than building muscle and increasing explosive power. I’ve been able to get to 300% FTP, but barely - and then only for a few seconds. (I’m 42, 63 kg, FTP 3.5 w/kg). I’m not built for sprinting, and really never have been!   15 seconds out, I’m already down to 240%.

I wouldn’t get hung up on trying repeatedly to complete the session - just give it all you’ve got and move on to the next one.  Or, bail on the academy for now and choose other workouts tailored to improve your sprinting - then re-visit later.  

Re: B) lag in ERG mode can be a problem for short intervals.  You can try turning it off to see if that helps you get there - but you’ll need to shift gears accordingly to hit those sprint targets.

Good luck!   

(Nick Taylor-Komar) #3

Awesome, thanks Joe! I’m training for full distance triathlon so that’s great news. Just tried again (same program) and hit 850 ish each time.

I shall take your advice and move on. Knowing I can sit at a fair watt, at a sensible cadence, with legs enough for the run, I’m feeling better about it all.

I redid the sensors etc and the lag was much less this time. 15 secs at 1115w was always going to be tough from 190w. Need a super computer!

I shall now get a shower and then have a look for my lung that popped out.

Really appreciate the feedback, Joe. Thanks again.

(Cary Sporinsky TeamZF ZHR(F)) #4

Hi Nick,

Those super high wattage workouts destroy your chain within hour(s). I’ve even seen a picture of a broken derailleur drop out. Remember, the smart trainer just applies a brake to add resistance. Think about how that compares to real life stresses on the bike. No badge in Zwift is worth that.


Avoid Power Zone 5.

(Joe Daknis) #5

Cary - 

First of all - one rider’s zone 5 might be another rider’s zone 3 (in terms of wattage and forces acting on the bike) - so speaking in absolutes about ‘avoiding Zone 5’ is nonsense.

I’m not buying that the strain on a chain or other drivetrain components is any different for a big rider on a trainer pushing 1000W than it is in real life for the same rider pushing a big gear up a hill at the same power output.

Frame damage only occurs when people forget that they’re riding a bike that’s fixed rigidly in place on a trainer (w/ few notable exceptions) and they start trying to rock the bike side-to-side as they might IRL.  Obviously, if you’re going to sprint all-out, out of the saddle on a trainer, you need to take care not to do this (!) - but how the trainer applies resistance has nothing to do with it. 


(Nigel Doyle) #6

Looks like there’s something not right with the calibration of the power meter. Anyone with a FTP of 390 should be able to knock out a 1000 watts for a few seconds. That said, with my FTP of 306 I can’t hit 918 watts as a couple of the Zwift workouts require. 800ish watts is about my limit but 650 - 700 that the original poster has to do “full beans” is very doable.

(Vince Kim) #7

seems like you should be able to hit 1000+watts. you should check the specs on your trainer. not all trainers are built to hit super high wattages. you may have hit your wattage limit.

(Nick Taylor-Komar) #8

Thanks all for the feedback. Some great info for a new there. I have decided just to accept that with the equipment and the targets I have, this is the output I get. I will just move through the programs as well as adding my own. The long and short of it is, I don’t actually “need” the figures to be that accurate as long as I feel I am giving it the full beans. 

The good news is according to my original question, I appear to be doing ok re FTP figures and watts available :slight_smile:

Thanks again.


(Danny Boyd) #9

as nigel said, anyone with FTP of 390 should easily hit 1000 watts.  what is your weight and age?