Hoping you are already a subscriber and listener of the Zwift Power Up Cycling Podcast! If not - check it out on iTunes, Soundcloud, PodBean and Spotify!
In each episode, we answer a few listener questions on anything cycling related, so please feel free to ask a question below and Greg, Kev and I will cover for you on a future Podcast!
I have been listening to the podcast since episode 1. I really like the format and content.
I would like to hear more Zwift related content, Like what is going on in the community, new and up coming groups, some tips and tricks you discovered while zwifting.
Like: where do you put your keyboard while zwifting, or do you just use the companion app.
How a bout a shout out to the awesome group ride you joined Sunday (Primetime climb), LOL. Just kidding it was nice riding with you.
Hi! Would you be willing to do an interview with Jason Stern of DIRT or anyone at the head of the IndoorSpecialist project? Thanks!!
Since episode 1 - top man. Glad that Greg hasn’t bored you that much yet!
Good shout re: more Zwift specific content. A load of community related activity is on Facebook of course, but it can be a minefield to filter through.
Keep an ear out for keyboard locations… will ask the question to the guys.
I think that’s the second one of your sessions I have done - enjoyed it both times…always tricky to reign those fliers in!
Do message here if you have any more items you would like to hear about - literally world is our oyster, so fire away!
Just checked out the IndoorSpecialist website - looks like you guys have plenty going on!
DIRT ‘Dads Inside Riding Trainers’ - I have previously wondered what it stood for. Now I know. Very good.
Would be more than happy to speak with Jason re: his project - I know there will be plenty of good cross over from what you guys are doing and what the community wants to hear about.
Can you send me a DM and we can arrange?
I’d love to know your thoughts on weight training and supplementation for cycling - and your take on adding power through training vs dropping body weight for performance.
I’m an occasional racer, 240w ftp, 5”10 and 75kg.
Hey guys! Thanks for the nice content, keep it coming!
My question and context:
I have been training on zwift quite some time, last winter did a 12 week program (great progression of 15%, starting at 330Watt and ending with 365Watt fTP) and this year I’ve been doing some Zwift Academy, racing and a bit of free wheeling. On my last FTP test I did 402Watt so 382Watt FTP (I’m 80kg) so I was pretty happy with my progress. This year however I started racing outside and I’m not living up to the numbers I produce on zwift… Obviously I have to get more racing experience, no brainer. But I also found the safety of my indoor trainer again (to boost confidence to get some structured training in on my weaknesses. That’s when I came across the Sufferfest 4DP test which gave me tremendous insights in my strenghts and weaknesses, namely that I’m a time trialist with a horrible sprint, 1min and 5min power. Since Zwift adjusts training only based on FTP, sessions with long intervals are quite easy for me (+10% every time) while the shorter intense intervals -10% is not enough and I have to quit quite regularly. I love zwift, the social aspect and watopia so I prefer to ride there (and I’ve copied some suggested trainings from sufferfest, don’t tell em) but I’m looking for a way to get more specific training for me (on my weaknesses), without having to -10% or adjust my FTP, this obviously a mental thing as well…
By the way, the Zwift academy trainings are brilliant, since they state between the intervals how horrible you should feel, so at least I know it’s ok instead of me thinking: I’m not going to finish those last intervals! So I hope you guys can add text to every training on there!
Hope to receive a reply and keep up the good work! RIDE ON!
Good question and one that comes up a lot. Increase power vs decrease weight - it is a balancing act for sure, and there is no one answer that applies to us all.
Generally, if you are a bigger rider, who is ‘over weight’ and has ‘plenty of timber to shed’ (a BMI of around 30) then you are going to see the greatest gains in speed and w/kg, by loosing weight. Maintain your fitness and power, but reducing your weight.
Conversely, if you have a BMI of 20 (so pretty low), not only are you going to struggle to lose weight (as you don’t really have it to lose), but also it would be unhealthy to do so. In this case, you would be far better trying to increase your power through training.
Looking at your position David (5ft 10" and 75kg) - you have a BMI of 23.6 - so whilst you have a little weight to lose, there isn’t any ‘low hanging fruit’. So you are the type of rider who I would argue is best to try and do both; lose a little weight, and focus on developing your power. You need to fuel well to increase your power, vs maybe some fasted riding and a calorie deficit to lose weight, so a balancing act. Your 240W FTP is so personal, it’s not possible to comment on whether you have plenty of progress to make or whether you are nearing your max, without looking at your training history. Give some ‘Over - Under’s’ a try - a great session for nudging your FTP up.
Will cover your whole question, inc. the weight training aspect on the Podcast. Kev will have plenty to add specifically on weight training, but check out Episode 23 - Track World Champs, where we talk about weight training a little towards the end.
Top question and thank you,
Thanks for posting the question - we will cover it in full on a future Podcast, so keep an ear out for it!
What you are describing is absolutely normal. You have strengths and weakness’, like the rest of us. Your strengths and weakness’ may be more ‘extreme’ in relation to each other vs other riders, but for sure it is normal, and you are lucky in many ways to have such a strong strength (382W FTP at 80kg is BIG!).
The nature of Zwift racing, is that you spend a lot of time (especially if you race in large groups) riding in Zone 4, so around the power you are very good at. What this does, is it further trains and develops your strength - neglecting your weakness.
To kick your performances on Zwift and IRL on a little, I would take a step back and look at the training you have been doing to date. How many times a week do you;
- Sprint flat out, on fresh legs, to really hit your max power? (Sprint training)
- Hit your Vo2 Max - going flat out for a few minutes? Not at the end of a race, when you are on your knees, but when fresh, and able to hit big power numbers? I am talking 500W+ for a few minutes?
To improve your race performances, I would take a step back from further developing your threshold, and work on developing your sprint and capacity over a few minutes. The good news is that given some real focus, you will improve fairly quickly!
So rather than joining a standard Zwift race tomorrow, I suggest you aim for some of the 2km Pursuit events, or even ride around and go for every sprint segment you come across? Maybe give yourself an aim to complete 3 x 1 minute max efforts in the ride too? In and amongst the efforts, you will need to ride steady - likely easier than you are used to, to ensure you are fresh enough to give the efforts the big beans.
Will see what Greg has to say on developing your top end - he’s the master!
Hope this helps,
I was wondering if you folks could talk about nutrition on and off the bike with examples using real home made food. I have found most discussions on nutrition that are available are often nebulous and unclear. Then there are some passing discussions online and in news papers from time to time about using ingredients that are not always available to people who don’t live in high density urban areas. I need you to really dumb it down for me with the understanding that sometimes a gel is what I need for those heavy bursts of work, but knowing that I would much rather eat something I made that is not gross and terrible for me or my teeth.
Love the show!
Thanks Fez… will figure out an answer and cover on the podcast. Not my area of expertise, but I will find someone who knows!
This has nothing to do with the podcast but I wonder if by some distant relative we are related. My dad always said we have Welsh in our ancestry.
Thanks for looking into it! Very tough topic considering there does not seem to be any real consensus on nutrition. I just want to avoid what I see a lot of cyclists doing such as eating candies and chocolate on rides. I used to be able to rely on my huge fat stores but they have depleted quite substantially over the past few years.
Hey guys, love the podcasts. I would like to hear a discussion about how important cadence is when training and riding overall. Depends on the goal I’m sure but I’m not sure how to incorporate low or high cadence in training, what’s the “right” level and whether it is even that critical.
Absolutely - in reality, a lot of what we do is educated guessing!
Good news on the fat stores reducing… bet your w/kg have benefited!
Maybe Mike… your eyes look familiar…
Nice question, Dave.
Typically, you complete strength training at a low cadence (even as low as 40rpm), for added training stress. I think low cadence, strength endurance training is hugely important for all cyclists - so definitely look to incorporate. This can be as unstructured as riding up say Epic KOM at 70% of your FTP at 55-60rpm. This should be fairly manageable - you can then increase power, or reduce cadence to increase the torque you generate. Play around with it - but as long as you are able to ride for 10 mins +, at a cadence lower than 60rpm and it feels ‘quite hard’ - you are likely doing a great job.
However, when it comes to ‘event day’ - you want to stay well away from riding at those very damaging, low cadences are aim to cycle as much as possible around 80-90rpm, which is broadly considered ‘efficient’.
Hope this helps and I will ensure we cover in more detail on the podcast soon…
Question: I have an event in Early September and later in the month. What should I do in the three weeks in between to maintain top form without pressing too hard and getting into a decline phase?
A very common concern riders have is around losing form between two target events, especially when the two events are so close together.
All you can do is ensure you hit your first target event in your best form, and then preserve. So assuming you have your training appropriately periodised from now until early September, here is my advice;
- Your form will be there, so after target event 1 - you need to recover! You have just produced a huge effort in your target event (this is now regarded as training stress for your second target event), so give your body plenty of time to recover. This could be 3-5 days if needed.
- You have about 10 days of training to do, before we look at a taper for your next target event. During these 10 days - really keep an eye on your resting heart rate. You don’t want to risk overreaching this close to your big day, so if you see your resting heart rate rising, that’s a sign to reign your training in and rest up more.
- During these 10 days, you could aim for for 2 x 4 day blocks of training with a good few days rest in the middle. In training - you want to try and replicate the demands of your event - whatever they may be. Try and rest well off the bike during this period too.
- Final week or so is a taper - if this is your final goal of the season, you can do a full taper, of around a week. Really knock the volume back - maintain the intensity and focus on resting up as much as possible!
Hope some of this helps - will cover in more detail on the podcast soon!
Thanks for posting!
Ok, this is an actual question. How should training differ for road races such as a crit, vs.gravel races (not cx) vs. mountain bike (single track) races?