For today’s ride I opted for The Herd’s Thundering Turtles Endurance Ride, a 1.5 hour long group ride between 1.0 and 1.3 w/kg.
I’ve mentioned several times in the past that I’d like to get more into group rides. For hour+ rides I definitely prefer having people around me to pace against, and talk too. It’s just more fun in a group.
This ride was well attended with ~80 people signed up. The ride took place at 14:30 UK time, and I found it via the Zwift Companion App’s events section.
Outside of Zwift’s organised events like the 2019 Tour of Watopia and similar, I have not ridden with a big pack before.
Initially when we set off, the low w/kg pace really threw me, and for the first five minutes or so, I was regretting joining the ride. Mentally I was set for a good hour of fairly solid effort. With a restaurant meal laying ahead later in the evening, I wanted to get some calories burned.
What I decided to do was hang around the beacon, or drop back to the sweeper, and then sprint to catch back up, and make up my own small intervals.
I did this a couple of times, put out my strongest push, and reached 9.2w/kg. But then I realised I was in the little ring and so still, I haven’t broken through 10w/kg as best I recall. Typically my first effort (or first few efforts) are going to be my strongest, so I was a bit miffed about that mistake. Oh well.
After this I decided to stick in the little ring, and opt for a very spinny gear, and stick with the pack. Even at a gentle pace, with the oppressive heat wave, the sweat was pouring. Good times.
The group were very friendly, there was lots of chat. They even had a Discord server up and running which I missed the link for, but with the kids around (and no mic), I couldn’t really join in. So I stuck to my Sasha mix on YouTube instead.
This ride would have been perfect for me a few months back. The pace would have been ideal for a 1.5 hour ride. I’d be somewhat reluctant to join a ride at this pace again. Maybe 1.5w-1.8w/kg would be a better fit for me.
That said, I did really enjoy the social aspect it. As with many things in life, the people surrounding me are a huge factor, and all of these riders were very friendly and welcoming.
And even at a relaxed pace, it was a good workout overall. Not every workout has to be a killer thrash.
I’d been a little concerned about my average 30 minute sessions earlier this week. I’d not done a great deal of kilometres. This ride brought my averages back in line. Mid way through, I met my weekly riding goal. Which was nice.
I highly recommended this ride to my wife, who I think this one would be perfect for.
If you’re at all interested, check out this link in the screenshot below: zHerd on Facebook.
Thank you very much to L. Levy for running the ride, and to the sweeper J. Sanderson.
And also to all the other riders who made this a great experience.
If you are at all on the fence about a group ride, I would recommend you try it. It’s a great experience on Zwift.
After the ride ended, I was dropped back into Watopia. Good stuff. With 44km on the ride already, I figured I could push at a harder pace to cover the remaining 6km to get up to 50km on the ride.
Almost immediately after finishing I hit the weekly 100km riding goal. Not the strongest week overall, but a nice rest week which was what I had in mind anyway.
Pushing through I was really happy to get 50km on a single ride for this week. Not intended by any means.
After this one I felt really sick. I had only had a light dinner and some toast for breakfast. I thought I might be really dehydrated but it was that I was really hungry. Silly me.
Overall I felt I’d probably done enough to call it a week. No Sunday ride.
I had planned to maybe do the century ride on Tuesday this forthcoming week. Instead, I have signed up for a race – some Zwift series race or other. Likely do pretty poorly in this one.
It’s an early one – 10am start. Looking forward to it as simply finishing guarantees I get a new jersey. Between you and me, that’s the only reason I’m doing it.
I would also like to get a proper FTP test done this week. I have no schedule. It’s all a mess 🙂