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  1. #1
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    Zwift workouts / 10-12 wk ftp builder

    I don't have much experience with doing structured workouts but I decided to try and do the zwift 10-12 week ftp builder. I did the first workout (week 3 day 1) last night and found it unusually easy. I ride harder doing non structured rides on zwift. Day 2 and 4 look a little more involved but overall it still looks easier than a typical 1 hr non structured ride I would do on zwift. I've done single workouts like the SST or 2x15 or 2x20 workouts in the past and just looking at the numbers for those vs this 10-12 week program makes them seem harder.

    10-12 week program for reference:
    https://whatsonzwift.com/workouts/10...builder#week-3

    Would I just be better off doing 2x 20s and some of the other workouts a couple times a week in addition to a couple days of unstructured zwifting or does all this easy riding on the 10-12 week program serve a purpose?

    All the workouts on zwift:
    https://whatsonzwift.com/workouts/

  2. #2
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    How did you determine your current FTP? Maybe it needs to be a bit higher? Is your trainer calibrated?

    Not all workouts are supposed to be leg rippers.

  3. #3
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    I had done an ftp test at the start of winter (Nov) when the calibration was off and had gotten a result of about 277, it was around this time that I got a power meter for my road bike so I put it on my kickr and noticed the values weren't matching. After some googling and firmware updates and running the the calibration stuff I got the values matching between the power meter and the kickr. I manually dropped the ftp to 220 because that was about the wattage difference I was seeing between the two prior to calibration and after a few hard rides with sustained 20+ minute efforts it worked its way back up to 228 (zwift gives option of updating when it improves).

    I suppose I could run another ftp test but I don't expect the results would be much different from the 228 as I haven't seen any ftp updates from zwift in a couple months, which given I'm only riding an average of 3 times (50mi, 2h28mins) a week seems about right. Up to this point the goal was to not lose too much fitness and not put on 20lbs like I did last winter between holidays and family visiting for a whole month, but with possible riding weather coming up towards the end of march I wanted to start ramping things up a little.

    Quote Originally Posted by Finx View Post
    Not all workouts are supposed to be leg rippers.
    I guess I'll see how tomorrow's workout is when I actually do it, maybe the 6x 160watts was supposed to be more recovery pace or something as there seems to be 2 of these a week between some workouts with more variance, though even the tougher ones don't look much like leg rippers.

    2x20s definitely aren't easy at my current ftp setting, and neither was the bike radar group workout from the other day. I thought that maybe this 10-12 week one might have been more for beginners or something but again, I'm not familiar with structured workouts or this 10-12 week one in general to know for sure.

    The 4 week ftp booster one looks more intense, I just can't dedicated 7 days a week this time of year without my wife flipping out but I guess I could just work my way through it about 4 per week or something

    https://whatsonzwift.com/workouts/4wk-ftp-booster

  4. #4
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    This is a 10-12 week (3 month) workout plan. To get the desired results, follow the plan. There will be a lot of time that is "easy." That is by design and is IMPORTANT. To get fast (raise FTP) you need to put in a lot of slow. A LOT of slow. Most riders spend way too much time riding hard. Go too hard when they go hard and not easy enough when it's supposed to be easy. That's the point of a plan.....to keep you doing things that will lead to real improvement.

    If you are really wanting to improve, I suggest you re-test current FTP now. Then follow the plan as strictly as.possible and test again after you finish.

    When I got tired of never really improving on my own and hired a coach a few years ago, one of the first things he told me was that for the first 2 months I was going to hate him.....because ALL the workouts were going to be at or below zone 2. After that we got into some specific interval work. But the ratio of easy to hard was usually still 75/25 each week. After 5 months my FTP had increased nearly 15%. Which for a 60 y/o dude was pretty good. And I no longer cramped on hilly rides.



    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Also, just because a ride is "easy" based on power/hr zones, doesn't mean there can't be purposeful work. I'm currently doing a lot of Z2 with some days incorporating low cadence strength intervals and other days focusing on high cadence intervals. I'm a masher and 5 X 9 minutes at 100+ rpm makes for a hard workout, even at Z2 power.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by floralagator View Post
    To get fast (raise FTP) you need to put in a lot of slow. A LOT of slow.
    Well, that's just not true.

    Going slow makes you good at going slow. Recovery is important, of course, but you recover by doing nothing, too.

  7. #7
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    Just skip to week 4-5 or whatever you feel is commensurate for your fitness.

    It's not like an actual person is prescribing this for you. It's a very generic plan for a person coming into it with little fitness.

  8. #8
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    Same experience as the OP with the FTP builder on Zwift. I got bored and switched over to the Gorby and SST 1-2 times a week. I experienced big gains in power and stamina a few weeks after that. Mind you that when I began Zwift I had just gotten the trainer and was riding more per week than I had before. That might have something to do with it. I can say for certain that when I don't hop on the trainer during the week, my rides on the weekend are harder and a little slower.

  9. #9
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    I ended up switching to the 4 week ftp booster starting Monday and have done the first 2 workouts, these are noticeably tougher and I expect will produce better results. Now I just need to solve all my zwift power drops which has been a long ongoing problem.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by taodemon View Post
    I ended up switching to the 4 week ftp booster starting Monday and have done the first 2 workouts, these are noticeably tougher and I expect will produce better results. Now I just need to solve all my zwift power drops which has been a long ongoing problem.
    Do you connect via ANT+? I was having big problems dropping my sensors with ANT and the computer with dongle was right in front of my front wheel. I got a USB extender cable, connected to the computer and wrapped it around the top tube to get the USB dongle around the rear brake or seat tube bottle cage. Haven't had a sensor drop since.

  11. #11
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    The new TACX ANT+ Antenna is really good for this.

    I have my USB dongle hanging about a foot off the ground just behind my trainer. I also cut down on some of the unecessary WiFi devices I had in the area. I cut my ANT dropouts significantly with these things.

  12. #12
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    +1 for using a USB extension. I have the dongle on the floor right next to the trainer. Drop-outs have stopped happening. After we move I'm going to get the TACX ANT+ antenna setup in the new pain cave. Shane Miller's video sold me on it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsiPIOKKa-U

  13. #13
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    I don't believe the problem is the ANT+ because neither my cadence or heart rate monitor drops signal only the kickr. I've gone through all the solutions I've found on zwift support from removing wireless devices, updating firmware, disabling 2.4ghz antenna on router, not running the fan, etc and none of it seems to work. I get the drops both on ANT, the ANT FE-C, and bluetooth when going through the mobile app on phone. The dongle is on a USB extension and sits right next to the flywheel. I'm using a desktop PC that is directly wired to the modem/router and none of the power saving options or usb hub sleep settings are on.

    Last night I put my outdoor bike that has an ANT+ power meter on the kickr and using that for power there were no drops, though by default when setup up this way when in workout mode it doesn't seem to adjust the resistance based on the wattage you are supposed to maintain for that segment (even with the kickr selected as the controllable trainer). I've found a possible work around on google (connecting the power meter to the kickr via wahoo app prior to zwifting then shutting wahoo app off) that I will try tonight but all of this defeats the purpose of having built up my old frame just to sit on the trainer. Plus if the issue is something with the kickr as I suspect, funneling the power meter through it could still result in power drops. Also I would rather not have the outdoor bike on the trainer at all as that is how I cracked the dropout on the old frame (user error that I'm unlikely to repeat but rather not risk anyways).

    Last night I also tested the kickr directly with the wahoo app and had power drops there too. So I'm fairly certain my issue is something with the kickr itself. I'm going to work through some of stuff from the wahoo site tonight like possible dirty sensor or bad power supply stuff and see if any of that is the cause.

    I've always had the power drops but since I don't do any of the races, and didn't do workouts that often in the past it wasn't as big an issue. Now that I'm doing workouts more regularly it gets incredibly frustrating when you don't get credit for segments because the power randomly drops out a few too many times.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by taodemon View Post
    I don't believe the problem is the ANT+ because neither my cadence or heart rate monitor drops signal only the kickr. I've gone through all the solutions I've found on zwift support from removing wireless devices, updating firmware, disabling 2.4ghz antenna on router, not running the fan, etc and none of it seems to work. I get the drops both on ANT, the ANT FE-C, and bluetooth when going through the mobile app on phone. The dongle is on a USB extension and sits right next to the flywheel. I'm using a desktop PC that is directly wired to the modem/router and none of the power saving options or usb hub sleep settings are on.

    Last night I put my outdoor bike that has an ANT+ power meter on the kickr and using that for power there were no drops, though by default when setup up this way when in workout mode it doesn't seem to adjust the resistance based on the wattage you are supposed to maintain for that segment (even with the kickr selected as the controllable trainer). I've found a possible work around on google (connecting the power meter to the kickr via wahoo app prior to zwifting then shutting wahoo app off) that I will try tonight but all of this defeats the purpose of having built up my old frame just to sit on the trainer. Plus if the issue is something with the kickr as I suspect, funneling the power meter through it could still result in power drops. Also I would rather not have the outdoor bike on the trainer at all as that is how I cracked the dropout on the old frame (user error that I'm unlikely to repeat but rather not risk anyways).

    Last night I also tested the kickr directly with the wahoo app and had power drops there too. So I'm fairly certain my issue is something with the kickr itself. I'm going to work through some of stuff from the wahoo site tonight like possible dirty sensor or bad power supply stuff and see if any of that is the cause.

    I've always had the power drops but since I don't do any of the races, and didn't do workouts that often in the past it wasn't as big an issue. Now that I'm doing workouts more regularly it gets incredibly frustrating when you don't get credit for segments because the power randomly drops out a few too many times.
    Are the drops random, or do you notice any pattern? I've been experiencing some drops also, but it seems to be mostly after shifting and its only for a brief second or so. I'm not doing any.of the races, so it doesn't impact me seriously.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

  15. #15
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    Seems pretty random so far. I've been mainly doing the workouts lately so no shifting involved as it automatically adjusts the resistance so you that power goes up while maintaining same cadence. I've had drops at low wattage and at high wattage, during workouts and during normal rides, no rhyme or reason that I've been able to work out so far.

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