Zwift Workouts suggestion re: recovery segments

Hi…I’m on Week 5 of the 6wk Beginner FTP Builder plan, and for the most part I’ve really enjoyed it. One thing that’s helped keep me motivated and focused is chasing the stars that each WO offers. For those not familiar, for each segment/interval of a given WO, if the athlete hits or is within a certain range of the recommended power and/or rpm targets for that segment they earn a star. Half stars are awarded too. The number of stars available for a given WO varies, based upon the number of overall segments that make up the WO.

Here’s my frustration:
Stars are awarded for the work segments as well as for the recovery segments. Sometimes after a hard work segment, however, I simply want to stand for a bit and stretch the legs. This usually means power exceeds the target power for that segment and rpm is too low, and if I’m out of the saddle for more than 15 seconds, I usually get docked a half star and sometimes I lose the whole star.

I like my stars - they help keep me motivated. :slight_smile: I don’t like losing any stars - half or whole - and especially on a recovery segment, but my a$$ needs a break every now and then.

Suggestion: How about doing one of two things. 1) Allow the recovery interval to be taken at whatever rpm and power, and as long as the cranks are turning and power being generated the athlete gets a star OR 2) Just don’t track stars for the recovery segments.

Thanks for listening.

I’m not sure I agree with this. Workout rest intervals have their meaning after all. Besides most workouts aren’t that long that an actual break would be necessary in-between.

Unless your FTP is set too high and then the without is too taxing for you?

Bear in mind that you can also pause the workout in the companion app, but you’ll still have to complete the interval when you resume.

Yes, completely agree w/you and know that RIs have their place, but I hate being taxed a 1/2 or full star, because I chose to spend some time out of the saddle stretching my legs vs spinning at 85rpm at x watts. That’s my only point. It has NOTHING to do with my FTP, which is set properly, and everything about simply wanting to stretch legs and give a$$ a short break. And pausing/unpausing…meh…no thanks.

What length workout presents the need to step down and stretch? And how often? Do you do the same outside?

Why are you nit-picking? Length of WO has nothing to do with it, and when I ride outside, yes, sometimes I’ll stand up - even on a flat - to stretch my legs and give my a$$ a break. And to be clear, I’m standing while pedaling, not “stepping down and stretching” as you suggested. Kudos to you if your bum never wants a break or you never stand to stretch your legs a bit, even while still moving/pedaling.

When I stand, naturally, my wattage increases and my cadence decreases. On the trainer and in the context of a Zwift WO this fact can lead to stars being deducted, because I’m not riding at the prescribed 85rpm at x watts. It’s that simple.

You can somewhat control the change of power by shifting up.

Also, cadence has no impact on the stars.

And if your bum needs a rest in a one hour workout then you need a better saddle, pants with better padding or a proper fit. Could also be a combination of above.

It seems that you’re projecting yourself and your opinions as the standard. I simply wrote to offer a suggestion in the context of a Zwift WO plan, and as point of comparison, I followed a Hunter Allen plan in the context of Training Peaks several years ago, and the recovery intervals were just that - a time to recover for the next work interval. This meant sitting and spinning easy/standing and stretching while still spinning or any combo thereof. And then it was back to the forge.

Probably like you, I’ve been riding for many years and understand how to control power/cadence. And contrary to what you might believe, cadence does indeed impact the stars. If I’m out of range on cadence or power, the numbers change to red and Zwift starts nagging to increase/decrease either or both metrics accordingly. This may not be true for every workout, but for this plan it is.

And re: the rest of what you wrote, very solid Fizik saddle that’s served well, good chamois in my riding kits, and professional fit by Eddie O’Dea (Check out freeflite dot com/about//bike-fit-pg952.htm) - one of the best fitters in Georgia/Southeast.

Thanks for playing and enjoyed the back and forth; have a great rest of your day!

Why not pause the workout?
I did not test it, but I think you don’t lose stars (and XP) when pausing.

The problem for him is that after your resume you still have to finish the rest interval as intended

Power, sure. For cadence every source that I find says no.

E.g. “Cadence targets” at How Zwift Calculates XP for Cycling Workouts - Zwift Insider

During my next scheduled WO - an easy Active Recovery ride - I will purposely “miss” the recommended cadence target for a segment or two and report back.

I agree with the original post. I lose my stars because I can’t maintain the low wattage dictated for the RI. I do all my riding on rollers. Today on a MVDP WO , the intervals were at 160% of FTP and the RI was at 30% of FTP, riding the rollers, I would not be able to stay upright and thus lost the stars and XP for completing the intervals just because I had to do the RI at 135 watts instead of 80 watts just to keep from falling over.