Weekly Review November 20th – 26th 2023

Each week I try to review and reflect on my previous week on the bike. This allows me to see how my fitness and ability is progressing on a wider timescale than day to day. For previous weekly reviews please click here

Generally happy with the week’s progress, but a couple of things to cover really now as we head into December.

The first is that I had been wondering whether or not to do the Advent of Cycling challenge again this year. Last week I was err’ing on the side of yes, and this week I have swung back to no.

More on why below.

The second is that the December / Quarter 4 FTP test is looming. Fun times. I only just remembered that on Saturday. Well done brain, I could have happily not remembered that for a while longer.

Here are this week’s rides:

For reasons that I still don’t understand, I made the decision to race on Wednesday this week, rather than the usual Thursday.

That actually translated into a good performance. Not in terms of results, but my personal effort in the race saw me get one of the automated / end of ride Zwift FTP bumps (by 1w, but still) that I haven’t had in ages.

Is that something to do with the hard work going into the Zwift Academy 2023 series?

I’d say yes, probably.

Not only are the workouts taxing in themselves, but they are making me do longer rides and they are pushing me out of my comfort zone, and giving me back the belief that I can sustain some higher figures for longer than my protesting legs suggest.

It’s partly because of the demands of the Zwift Academy Longer workouts that I am almost certainly not going to bother doing the Advent of Cycling challenge this year.

24 days riding in a row is killer at the best of times, without the necessity to do hard races and workouts until the 17th December to finish off the Academy.

The other reason is that I was going to do this challenge I got set called The Winter Wheelers.

I mentioned this last week.

But it turned out that only outdoor rides count towards that challenge, and I have no desire right now to head outdoors. It’s cold, which is one thing, but more than that it’s dangerous. Especially with it generally being darker earlier.

Then the other reason is the FTP test.

I need to get the Quarter 4 FTP test done before 31st December. And ideally before Christmas.

So I’m thinking the week before Christmas is my current target.

I’ve not yet come up with a figure to aim for, and I still don’t think I’m going to eclipse my all time best of 249w. From what I’m getting out of Garmin at the moment, 237w is accurate, and so maybe 240w would be a solid target. That would mean a 20 minute effort of 252w, which seems sufficiently challenging (if not a touch unrealistic).

Anyway, another solid week ahead. I have cramp sores to contend me, but assuming they go I will potentially be racing twice this week and doing one Zwift Academy workout. That’s because I have 3 workouts left, 2 races, and only 3 week’s remaining to get it all done.


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