Workouts: MAX power and us poor slow twitchers

(Duane Gran [Vision]) #1

I’ve tried two runs at Jon’s Mix which has some 10 second intervals at max power and it hasn’t gone so well for me.  I feel like a short person being told to stand up after I’m already standing.  :)  

I’m strongly typed as a time trialist with slow twitch muscle fiber.  I’m not making excuses here but my max 10 seconds is a pretty pathetic 700w and not even very reliable at that.  As a consequence I always FAIL the max power target (which to be honest, I have no idea what the target really is because no target value is displayed).  I do the interval and the whole time the system just tells me to increase power.  In my best impression of Scottie from Star Trek possible, “I’m givin’ it everything she’s got, cap’n!”

Okay, enough sulking about it.  What I think may be necessary here is to replace max with some specific value or even better to read it from past performances.  If we take our best 5 seconds power then our maximum is probably within 10% of that.  Either way, instead of saying to do MAX I would benefit from having the number shown.

On another matter it can be pretty hard to go from a sedate 160w to puke-hard watts instantly but in my experiments with ERG mode it is neigh-impossible.  I use a CompuTrainer and it was like hitting a wall and my cadence fell to 25 RPM within seconds.  Sim mode is better but I still can’t hit the theoretical max value.

(Ed Buckel) #2

Going along with this, when I hit the 10s all out max watts sections, my trainer (Tacx Bushido Smart) put on tons of resistance, so much that I was pushing as hard as I could and my tire was just slipping on the drum. It’d be nice to ease into the resistance so there’s be less slippage.

(Michael Henasey) #3

I’m was pretty skeptical about doing any type of brief burst/sprint for an interval with these workouts on Zwift and you guys are sort of confirming that this isn’t probably going to work. 

It’s simply a limitation of being locked down to a trainer with resistance. It can’t replicate and allow you to perform as you would on the actual road.

I love doing the MicroBurst workouts from Hunter Allen et al. which is 15 sec on, 15 sec off of max effort and “recovery” while attempting to maintain the same cadence. On the road this is fun but on a trainer and Zwift, it may be a nightmare!


(Jamie Shardlow) #4

I tried Jon’s Short Mix for the first time today. When I hit the 10 second Max, the resistance on my Wahoo KICKR goes through the roof, so much so that I end up standing static on my pedals. It takes a while to get moving again, and in one case Zwift figured what was happening and dropped out of ERG mode.

I can’t say I’m particularly impressed, as it really interrupts my ride. I’ve not got much power at the best of times, so asking me for 400W+ is a bit much!

(Michael Henasey) #5

I understand your frustration Jamie. 

Zwift should not have jacked up the resistance to maximum for these 10 sec Max or Sprint intervals. That’s the equivalent of finding the steepest hill in your area, putting your bike in the 53/11 and then trying to sprint up the climb.

You don’t need maximum resistance to perform a sprint effort/interval. Just yesterday I did a couple of sets of 12 sec sprint efforts on my KICKR and used the Wahoo App. I simply switch between the different resistance modes in the Wahoo App when I go from sprint to recovery. There was no need to set the resistance to maximum using the app. I still was able to put out a sprint-like effort with only 50-60% resistance.

Zwift, I hope you are listening and take this into consideration :slight_smile: