Zwift Challenge – Day 1

Today saw me take on half of a Figure of 8 route on Watopia using Zwift. I would have completed the whole thing but I thought it ended at the finish line, whereas that was actually half way! The first session, I just rode it admiring the scenery and having a go at the QOM as this is the first time I’ve tackled the hilly route rather than the flat Ocean Drive loop. The hills on a dumb trainer are a little misleading. You keep riding as normal and your speed drops. At one point I was doing 7kph, even though I was cycling as I had been previously! But then I hit 50kph on the long sweeping descent, all without change in pedalling! It is just a game after all. 12km, 30 mins and 270 kcals so not bad! It offered to update my FTP (Functional Threshold Power) to 131w from a previous 125w but I didn’t click on it, so it didn’t.

I have found the crossing of the finish line to be somewhat demotivating to continuing as doing more than one lap of the same route seems a bit boring. Purely psychological, but I took a short break anyway before getting back on to have a go at a workout. This is a neat feature of Zwift. Based on your power output and FTP, there are a number of workouts you can choose that tell you how much power to produce (either through gears or cadence or both) based on your individual FTP.

zwift 2I took on Jon’s Short Mix which is a 28 minute workout, and I added a bit extra on for a 36 minute workout. I was shocked at how quickly the time went on this one! The intervals tended to be short, and the screen counts you down and makes it very clear what you need to do, telling you when you need to produce more or less power. As you complete each section you get a star, which is a nice touch. I believe you can also make your own workouts. This would be good for me when I want to do The Trainer set interval pattern of 500m on, 500m off, but I wanted it to seem more like a game. With a bit of thought I think you could get quite clever with this and create some nice workouts. Before I knew it I had missed the turn to the finish line, and was further into another lap, but I thought that 13km plus the 12km from earlier was a nice round 25km so I climbed off (under the sea, as it goes!).

I am motivated to get up at 6am tomorrow to take on more. These two sessions definitely left me wanting to try more workouts, and also to finish that Figure of 8 course! Much better than a standard turbo trainer session, and went even quicker than a spin class!

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