Like a lot of you I’m going back to base and building that solid strong foundations and hoping that racing returns later this year.
So far I have found suitable Zwift/Indoor alternatives for most of the workouts except the Sweet Spot Group Rides.
Lets here you best solutions for trying to replicate these in these difficult times.
Pick a course such as Watopia pretzel, 3 sisters, Muir and the Mountain, Mountain 8 or etc and every time you come to a climb do a sweet spot effort from bottom to top. That is probably my favorite thing! This way you are not looking at a timer and the efforts vary in duration.
There are also numerous group rides you can join or race down a category so its not a threshold effort. But here the efforts won’t be as consistent, unless you find the good group ride that works for you.
Tried this yesterday on Zwift/Pretzel. It was a blast ! Thanks Jake! I was thinking Chapman/Four Mile/Gold Hill might be a fun way to do this outdoors here in Boulder until Covid dies down.
Not very creative but I just went out and rode solo for 2.5 hrs at endurance pace with a couple 20 min SS intervals thrown in.
Another option on Zwift would be to select the group ride option (edit - pace partner, couldn’t remember what is was called) and choose a pace that would correlate to your
endurance pace and ride on the front to get your sweet spot efforts in.
Couple of options that have been working well for me, especially since it’s been too dodgy to get out on the roads due to ice recently have been to use the pace partners on Zwift to get a workout matching the prescription without over thinking it, for example if I have a two hour Z2 ride on the plan I’ve been using the pace partners Coco Cadence and Barry Brevet, combining these two usually means I add a little more tempo which lessens the time sat on the trainer a touch.
For the group rides I’ve tried using events on longer courses, there’s often an event or two using the Quatch Quest route, I drop into a W/KG group that my sweetspot falls into and stick to my sweetspot zone. Yesterday I used the jungle loop, as it is fairly steady and I just rode sweetspot for as long as I could manage, having the goal of seeing how many loops I could do before I had to ease up, ended up getting a solid hour in, then rode Z2 to the Epic Kom reverse and did sweetspot up that to finish. Result was best 60mins power in a while, got all the TSS as prescribed but didn’t have to think about intervals. Also managed to do it in just over two hours which is enough for me on the trainer at the moment. Prescribed workout was 2.5 hours at 150 TSS, so slightly shorter and therefore a little more intensity but better than breaking myself out on the ice.
I just had to return to my job in West Africa where I am not allowed to ride outdoors for safety and security reasons. C’est très malheureux! So mine is an extreme case of being confined to indoor rides. However, I do plan to be in the U.S. for my daughter’s birthday in the Spring, and am signed up for a hilly 54 mile gravel race that is around the same time. I think I’ve found a creative way to prepare for it whilst riding 100% indoors, though it does cost a little money. Here’s what I did:
I signed up for a month of Best Bike Split ($19.99) and created a race pacing plan after uploading the route of my gravel race.
I then exported the .mrc file from Best Bike Split to a website called ERGdb (trainerday.com). What this did is essentially take my race pacing plan and convert it into a workout with intervals based on %FTP.
I was then able to sync that workout from the ERGdb site to TrainingPeaks.
Where my 18 Weeks of Sweet Spot plan calls for a 3+ hour sweet spot group ride, I can now slot in my race pacing plan workout and ride it in Zwift. It looks like it ticks many of the boxes in the FasCat workout description, while also getting me familiar with how the efforts will feel on race day.
I’m happy to follow up later to let folks know how it works out.