Returning to Zwift after a hiatus. During that time, had a little medical thing happen and had to relearn how to walk. As such my fitness level is at an all time low, and reflected in FTP score of 90. My goal is to improve my fitness level. Would i be better served by using FTP builder, Build Me Up Light, or just free riding as a fitness plan. Thank you in advance.
I would do a couple months of free rides, robo pacer rides, and social rides at mostly low-to-moderate intensity, as frequently as you can manage. Gradually work your way up to riding 4-5 days a week for an hour or more if you can. The most important thing is to enjoy it and keep coming back, so if you really need a workout plan to achieve that, do it. But if you’re sufficiently motivated to spend a couple months building base fitness, I would do that before getting into the higher intensity workouts and training plans. In your situation, your FTP is going to go up if you do any kind of regular riding.
Several years back I had a cycling accident and broke my left hip, and had a total hip replacement, I asked a basic wheel on trainer and started out doing 20 minutes or so a day and built it up gradually for a couple of weeks, then I started doing shirt 10 mile round trip rides outdoors.
The combination of fresh air and exercise worked wonders, Thursday year I did over 7000 miles on the bike including the Dunwich Dynamo
if you are returning to zwift after a significant injury, i would not recommend starting out with a max effort to failure stress test
start out by doing whatever you enjoy the most, as you are more likely to keep doing it, but I would definitely keep the intensity LOW and seek medical advice from your doctor before starting any kind of intense workout plan…
good luck & ride on
I would just be doing free rides. I think fitness plans will make sense when your ftp is a bit higher, as it’ll be difficult for the trainer itself to dice up a low ftp into the many zones a training session wants to. Many trainers have a floor as well.
If looking for social aspect, I’d suggest also searching for group ride events on Zwifthacks that have the “Rubberband” enabled. These events will allow you to ride at whatever pace you want and hang with the group.
eg. coming up events:
I had a little medical thing happen too and also needed to learn how to walk again. My FTP was similar to yours - only about 95w. Down from 313w best.
First thing is just do easy riding to get the feel of it again so that the amount of time you spend on Zwift is at least comfortable.
Then once that is okay (and doctors are also okay with it) you can start doing more such as hills.
On this note, it might also be better to turn trainer difficulty way down to flatten any hills that you do come across (from a feel perspective anyway)
I can’t say anything about the OP situation but from my situation even just getting moving and overcoming the trainer resistance from standstill was hard.
And lack of physical mobility on my left side also made things very difficult. 5km was the maximum I could do usually. Your suggestion is a good one. Some resistance was still good for me, I preferred that over being able to spin quickly.
If the OP is allowed to consider some gentle weights exercises to try and avoid muscle wasting. That really impacted me.