After Work Watopia Sprints and KOMs

Friday night. Always a good time. I managed to get my work-work to a good point in time for clocking off, and blogged my Richmond ride from earlier this morning. With some time to kill waiting for the wife and kids to get home from grand parental activities, I figured why not hit the bike and see what I could achieve in the time I had.

Without much of a plan, I opted for Watopia’s Hilly Route. I haven’t even completed this circuit as a standalone lap. I am fairly sure it was part of the Tour of Watopia, but that must have been a while ago as all the leaderboards with their ridiculous 30 day limit on personal times showed me as having nothing to report.

The Watopia Hilly Route plonks you on the Zwift KOM, a 0.9km climb averaging 5% only 1.1km into the lap. That’s a bit crazy.

I decided to heck with it, I wouldn’t try to put in a sterling effort, but would instead just spin at a high cadence in an easy gear.

And so spin I did.

A time of 3 minutes was good enough for 89/124 on the circuit. Nothing to write home about, but an interesting way to get the heart going.

I got confused that this was the other Zwift KOM. I ended up hitting that one as well, which we will get too soon.

I pootled around Watopia, not really sure where I was going, or what I was doing. Essentially I wanted an easy ride.

At least, that was the plan.

Instead I ended up cracking 600w for the first time.

As a result of that sprint effort I put in a new person best, dropping under 30 seconds on the sprint to the bridge.

Really pleased with this. Good progress, on not super fresh legs. Great stuff. During this sprint I think I tried pulling up on the pedals as well as pushing down. It might not be the right way to pedal, but it brings me extra power.

Putting in that effort absolutely thrashed me, and the following hill after the sprint totally had me bushed. I think I managed a steady 100w up the slope. It was… meandering.

With no one in the house, I had the tunes absolutely pumping out. Some classic trance mix I found was keeping me company. However, Windows Media Player kept bugging out and stopping. I ended up having to pedal whilst internetting, downloading and installing VLC to solve my problems.

Solve my problems it did, but it meant I got no screenshots for the rest of this segment. I missed the 3 hour goal screenshot which annoyed me.

Often when pedaling around Watopia, Zwift has popped up the Hilly Loop time board for me. I’ve never known, perhaps somewhat naively, which circuit it is that puts a time on this board. Now I do.

I probably could have put a better time on the KOM board the second time round, but I didn’t fancy doing that circuit again.

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I ended up unexpectedly on the other Zwift KOM. I think this is the Hilly KOM Reverse, but do shout up if I’m wrong.

I like the steep part of this climb, with the two Zwift climbing statues.

I don’t like the rest of this KOM as it’s a weird mix of flat and descents. It doesn’t feel like a climb once you’re past the first bit, and it goes on a bit too long.

Again, I’m sure I’ve put in a time on this before, but it must have been a while ago. Such a shame Zwift doesn’t do life time personal record leaderboards. Easily my biggest pet-peeve.

I continued this route back to Watopia down time, and then the kids got home, so I had to get off.

Hot, sweaty, and ready for my takeaway pizza.

Probably not the best way to kill all of today’s earned riding calories.

So, colour me confused.

Today I cracked 600w+ for the first time.

I did that on this ride. Yet Zwift is saying I did both 607w, but my previous best is 610w? Eh?

All in, this was about an equivalent effort to this morning’s ride.

The heart rates on this ride were scary.

I’m almost at my 100km weekly goal now. That’s good. In some ways it takes the (perceived) pressure off me to ride longer over the weekend.

The nice thing to takeaway from this ride is that even after a morning ride, I still had the legs to do a better max effort on a sprint in the evening.

I’m a bit all over on the ride planning at the moment. I think I should do a ramp test and then switch over to more structured workouts.

Anyway, good enough for the day.

43km total, 1.5 hours on the bike, feels like I did the right thing with my time.

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