Normally I do not ride on Fridays. However, yesterday turned into a busy day – work wise – due to interviews and whatnot. So I ended up not only missing my ride, but missing my lunch as well.
That meant I pushed out yesterday’s ride over to today. No big deal, as in theory that meant that Stage 6 of the Tour de Zwift 2023 would be available, should I wish to ride it. Looking at the routes, there’s either Three Sisters, or Climbers Gambit, both of which have a decent distance and climbing ratio – with Three Sisters throwing the Radio Tower into the mix for good measure.
I figured the Radio Tower would be a bad idea at my current stage of recovery.
That left Climbers Gambit, which is still a fairly intensive climb on a recovering knee.
Which led me to think that perhaps I ought to get another ERG session in, with a view to tackling one of those two on Sunday, all being well.
I’ve been meaning to use MyWhoosh for a workout for a couple of weeks, so this seemed like as good a time as any to get one done.
For this one I picked a tempo session. And I have to say, their menu system for picking out workouts is a noticeably better experience than Zwift:
There’s a variety of options on the left to choose from, giving quick access to workouts in your target range. I picked “tempo”, which admittedly would mean bugger all to a beginner, but to me it quickly narrowed down the list to only workouts in the power zones I wanted to target.
Once filtered down, there are options to sort by name, duration, intensity, stuff like that. You can sort both ways – ascending / descending. Very cool. And obvious. Why Zwift lacks this, I have no idea.
There are plenty of workouts to choose from, and you can edit them, if required, to make your own using theirs as a starting point. Very nice, and all intuitive.
There is room for improvement here though. It would be nice to see some numbers on the lines on the graph view. Colours are helpful, but not enough. You can click on each block and it pops up above to show you wattage and time in the zone.
Another thing I’d quite like is for the next screen after picking a workout to be the Course selection. As it is, you pick your course first and then the workout takes you to whatever you chosen (or the default if you forget, as I did, first time). The game loads significantly faster than Zwift though, so mistakes aren’t quite as laborious to fix.
Course wise, I picked Colombia map, and the Bogota City route. This route is 13.2km, not sure of the average grade, but has 94m of climb – mostly via one hill each lap.
The map is clearly more detailed than anything Zwift has, with better visuals and overall a look and feel from this decade.
The workout had some on-screen prompts.
Whilst Zwift’s on-screen prompts can take up the majority of the view port, I found MyWhoosh’s prompts far easier to miss by comparison.
Why this mattered was the prompts – briefly – told me what cadence I should be at. Unfortunately I missed the second prompt so wasn’t sure what I was targeting. This doesn’t sound like such a big deal – ERG mode, right? – until you realise that the target cadence is not enforced… nor shown. So … yeah. Basically it told me to do 75rpm in the 1 minute gaps between the 5 tempo repeats, but I missed what it said for the main blocks so I just went with 95rpm.
Also, they seem to hide the chat window during workouts. No idea how to bring it back. But it does make the whole ride seem like a very solitary affair.
Unfortunately though, the same issue that effects me on every other platform than Zwift affected me here as well.
The cadence and power sensors I use come from my Assioma pedals. They report one wattage – let’s say 220w.
The “controllable” sensor works from the Tacx Neo 2. And that reports a different wattage – let’s say 210w.
So there’s a gap. And there’s no way to make the two meet.
Which means that the workout I did today was always 10-20w higher in intensity than it ought to have been. It’s super frustrating, and basically makes this unusable… or at least extremely tough going. For example in the final two blocks I needed to hold ~270w for 2 minutes. But in reality I was hitting 290w which is a much harder effort, relatively speaking, particularly after a 4 minute block at 220w.
All in then this was a harder workout than initially planned.
It likely means I won’t use MyWhoosh for workouts going forwards.
But for free rides it’s definitely got lots of new routes to explore, which I fully intend to do so.
It’s a shame as the workouts, whilst not perfect, are decent. With a couple of tweaks to the UI, and enforcing the required cadence, or at least showing that on screen, this would be better than Zwift currently is, for sure.
My one other gripe with MyWhoosh is that I only just made it to level 1.
If they want to welcome beginners, make it so that you get to level 1 much faster. Give me hope. I shouldn’t need to ride for an hour to get some kind of reward. Also… what did I get for making it to level one?
I don’t know the answer to that … and the screen overlay disappeared before I got chance to screen grab it. But then I was on the hard effort, so forgive me.
Anyway, I can’t moan too much about the “glitch” / disparity between my wattages. It’s something weird in my setup that won’t impact 99% of you, I’m sure.
I’d recommend you try it out. It’s good. Like, really good. Very polished, but not perfect.
However, if you were paying for it, I genuinely don’t think you would find it much different in terms of overall standard (for want of a better word) to Zwift.
If you have tried it, leave a comment and let me know what you think of it.