Alpe Du Zwift – 10-12wk FTP Builder Week 4 Day 1

For tonight’s ride I opted to ‘climb’ Alpe Du Zwift whilst taking part in the 10-12 Week FTP Builder.

There were three reasons for hitting Alpe Du Zwift.

Firstly, I have only ever climbed Alpe Du Zwift once.

Secondly, it’s among the most visually interesting routes on Zwift, which is a big deal on this workout as it’s fairly tedious.

The third reason is because I am taking part in the L’Etape Du Tour Mission, and at the time of starting, had about 1.2km of climb left to go.

I’m not sure I consider this truly fair.

Climbing in ERG mode is not really climbing, in my opinion.

It’s much, much easier to chip away at the meters when you don’t have to grind up the real gradient.

That said, I think I will take on the Alpe Du Zwift course again for my next workout, as it is predominantly all up hill (except for the first ~5km of the route), and that is a great way to make sure I meet this mission target.

Essentially this workout is not very taxing.

It’s 6 repeats of 6 minutes at 140w, with a 1 minute break between at 100w.

I think I’ve done this workout about 5 times now.

The only previous time I have tackled Alpe Du Zwift was in the final stage of the 2019 Tour of Watopia.

On that occasion this climb was significantly harder.

One thing to note is that the Alpe was fairly busy. This contrasts with say, the Epic KOM which from past experiences, usually only has a small handful of riders on the course.

I was wondering how far up the Alpe I’d get on this workout. Even though it’s only about 12km in length, the Alpe Du Zwift is very steep. Much steeper than anything else in Zwift, on average.

My main question was what corner I’d reach. I had no expectation to reach the top.

Last time I rode Alpe Du Zwift, including the run up to the climb, it took 75 minutes to complete the journey.

That was full on.

That said, I’d say it was easier than the FTP test I took.

Using this run as a measuring post, I’m thinking I might hit it again with a slightly different workout – the next one in the series – and see how I fare.

Once done with that, I’m considering hitting the Alpe for real again. Maybe aim to keep around 180-200w for the climb.

According to my leaderboards, the previous climb took 75 minutes at 185w average.

I believe I can do better than this.

The only problem, as such, is the time it takes. Getting over an hour on the bike, uninterrupted, is a pretty big ask.

After the workout completed, it was 21:50, so I couldn’t have pushed on for the remaining 12 bends or so, even if I’d wanted too. I needed to bathe, and bed.

Definitely this was more interesting – visually at least – than previous editions of this same workout.

I didn’t find it overly annoying for people to pass me by either, which I sometimes do when forced into ERG mode. There was enough happening on screen at any one time to keep me satisfied.

It does, however, feel a bit… meh, to have started a climb and not fully finished it.

I was particularly happy with my cadence on this ride. It is an easy spin, but I managed to keep over 90rpm average for the full hour. That’s something I couldn’t do a few months back.

I’m hoping that the next workout pushes me extremely close to, if not over the remaining metres of climb. I’m not fully sure how many I have left at this point – 600 or so at a guess.

With a bit more power over the hour, it should be possible.

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