Going into the winter 2021-2022 season, I could barely keep up with D.Diesel at 1.5W/kg.
About 5,000km of riding in Zwift (and a summer of outdoor riding) later, I’m easily keeping pace with D.Miguel at 1.8W/kg. I can drop off the back to go stir a pot on the stove and hop back on, sprint for a few hundred meters and catch up, at least when Miguel is on a slight upward incline. On a day I’m well-rested and fueled, I can hang with D.Maria at 2.2W/kg.
For what it’s worth: I don’t think I’ve ever done a training plan in Zwift. It’s basically been all “steady state” with Pace-Partners/Robo-Pacers, and route badge hunting. (though I suppose something like “London PRL Half” or “Ven-Top” qualifies as a “workout”) If I do enter a race, I’m shooting for “not last” and end up somewhere in the back of the pack.
Further, after a long day at the office or doing something like home renos, I might be inclined to just sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Oh, there’s a two-stage race available today that checks a box for a monthly racing series? I’m on the bike. Time-limited rides for an unlock? (Pizza. Socks.) Riding. I’m pretty much the poster child for gamified fitness: middle-aged dude in a country with 6-months of winter who has lost weight and gained fitness over the pandemic.
I’m looking forward to seeing what this winter brings and wondering if I’ll plateau or be able to keep up with Coco by the end of it.
Thanks for attending my TedTalk. Ride On.
I’m in the same boat Been training for years–triathlon, then gravel racing and generally enjoying Type 2 fun so why not on a bike In the past my indoor training was TrainerRoad with something else (typically K-Dramas on Netflix) to stare at and try to keep away the boredom. The workouts were hard, but not enjoyable in themselves. Didn’t find wheel-on trainers super enjoyable either (totally a ymmv issue there), as they didn’t feel enough like riding a bike to me.
Got a direct drive smart trainer just in Sept, jumped on Zwift to try it out. Have done 1 workout so far–self-designed, waaaaay too easy for what I wanted that day, lol. The rest has been PPs, some group race-er, I mean, rides, solo riding, and a few races now in the last several weeks. And if the data is to be believed, my FTP is significantly higher now than it ever has been in the past, even at the height of my training blocks previously. And I’m not younger now, lol. I’m just a C cat with an okay sprint, but just riding around for Type 2 punishment/fun is getting results. Because I actually enjoy it. And, bonus, I feel like my outdoor riding can just be for fun now, which is just as satisfying as seeing a higher FTP.
PS, the Plato’s Cave meme above is brilliant.
Oh yeah, I should have added that I had a magnetic, wheel-on trainer years ago I basically just spun away on while watching TV. There was nothing engaging about that.
I think the lightbulb moment for me was riding the direct-drive smart trainer through Watopia’s “The Esses” route segment, part of Watopia’s original Flat Route and Hilly Route. It’s a masterpiece of design and if you’re riding it “right” (gear and cadence management) you practically float through it, in complete suspension of disbelief.
100% agree with that. I ride harder and faster indoors. PRL Half had me stop a couple of times to change my kit, eat and rehydrate. I can do all that and push hard with zero risk.
Did you feel like a “prisoner” during those times?
EDIT - I’m a dummy and read that wrong.
deleted an undeserved mess of a rant
Erm, I was referring to your avatar.
Forgive me for not reading the room, or my own avatar. Edits incoming…
Such a great show. I gotta do a viewing marathon one of these weekends…been years since I’ve watched this.
Or at least listen to Iron Maiden.
“I didn’t get where I am today without failing to read the room and going off on an unprompted rant”
Speaking of gainZ: despite usually joining D.Miguel at 1.8W/kg, I jumped into a ride with D.Maria at 2.2W/kg today and stuck with her for 30km, getting a good threshold/tempo ride in. Maybe I try Coco next…