This afternoon I tried to join a Zwift group workout for the first time.
I signed up for the event via the Zwift Companion App about 30 minutes or so before hand, and was looking forward to getting into my first group session. This would take place on New York.
With about ten minutes to go, I jumped on Zwift, loaded New York, and … nothing. I could see the map. I could see riders going past. All looked normal.
Except, I didn’t get a prompt to ride with the group.
As this was my first attempt at joining a group ride, I tried as many things as I could think of to make this work. I restarted Zwift. Left the event. Signed up for the event via the desktop game mode. Closed and re-opened Zwift a few more times…
Most frustratingly, I was registered to the group, so took a scan of all the people in the group. I then noticed one of the names from the list ride past me, workout in progress, riding with the pack. Gutted.
I asked on chat how to join, but got no response. Really disappointing.
Instead, I ended up riding Fuego Flats, which was probably a bad choice of map, for reasons I will cover later.
Only a couple of km into the ride, the Fuego Flats 0.5km sprint sprang upon me, and I decided to get some of my frustration out of myself with a full effort.
I did as best I could, putting out over 600w again, which is really cool.
I was well chuffed to see my name up in third place out of 316 riders.
And taking 3 seconds off my previous record was icing on the cake.
Sadly, I didn’t stick in third for my full ride duration 🙂 Still, it was fun whilst it lasted.
Putting out that initial effort absolutely smashed me.
With barely any recovery I jumped into somewhere between 80-100% of my FTP (189w at the moment) for as long as I could. God knows why.
I did my best to stick with a couple of riders for as long as possible, but they dropped me soon enough.
I didn’t take note of this at the time, but was pleased to see a 10km time in the 18 minute range when looking back at the screenshots.
I’ve had a ride where I didn’t make this for the first time in a while, the other day. And it’s bugged me since.
Once around the UFO roundabout, Fuego Flats reverse timed segment is to be found outside the neon lit bowling alley (I think it’s a cycling shop, but in my mind, it’s a bowling alley in America near Las Vegas).
Crossing the start line for the Fuego Flats reverse, I was … ahem, surprised to be gently reminded that this is a 7.1km segment. I thought it was another sprint 🙂
Ok, so aside from my initial out-of-the-saddle excitement, I settled into trying to put out my FTP or greater for the full 7km.
Or, at least, the first 5 minutes.
I didn’t manage that. I did manage to for about 3.5 minutes, and then I needed a breather.
You can see the lull in the graph.
I managed to finish strong enough. I resisted the sprint at the end until the final 300m, and the two riders above seemed of the same mindset.
It was as strong a finish as I was capable of, but both of the other two riders still had plenty of legs left and promptly left me behind as I cruised towards the other Fuego Flats roundabout.
My time was nothing spectacular. I gave a good effort. Not much more I can ask for. Endurance is something that I am always working on, but right now my legs feel like they want a rest.
After passing the roundabout I hit Level 14 Zwift Rider status. Amazing. Patterned gloves. Thanks.
I didn’t think I’d have the legs for another 600w attempt on the sprint.
And I was quite right. Fully 5 seconds off my previous attempt. No big deal. As long as I give a proper effort, I’m happy.
I decided as the Sprint Leadout workout was planned for 45 minutes, I’d finish up having done 45 minutes, too.
Happy to have put another 25km on the week.
It looks like I’m going to have to put in some serious practice to break past the 180w weighted average power mark.
I’m really struggling with the 20 minute effort averages at the moment. I’m wondering if I need to sacrifice on sprinting or climbing on a ride if I want to bump this up. Would trying to ride solidly at, say 200w, for 20 minutes be a better way to attempt this? As in, if I hit a hill, refrain from pushing so hard I blow up for a few minutes after. And if I see a sprint, stay in the saddle?
Methodic focus might be the way forward.
Or ERG mode 🙂
Along the way on this ride I hit the 100km for the week goal. Happy with this.
All in all, another solid 450cal ride, and my legs are feeling decent enough still.
Happy with the weeks progress.
Tomorrow morning, the old Sunday 9am start, will be “racing the sun on world bicycle day“.
As I remembered later in the afternoon, this will also take place on Fuego Flats. Fail.
I like the flatness, but riding it twice in a row… not so much.
I wish I’d kept to New York now! D’oh.
Oh well, should be a good event anyway. Hopefully there’s a fair few people there, and hopefully Zwift doesn’t crap out on me this time.