Weekly Review November 6th – 12th 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

This week I learned I cannot sprint for 2 minutes, and that whilst I find it very difficult to ride at lower cadences, it is probably my quickest available win to embrace the grind.

Here are this week’s rides:

From the ride list it does look like I’m going easier on myself lately. However I am getting in a 5km walk on the Wednesday / recovery day, and a 10km walk on Sunday. So my overall activity has not massively dropped, but I don’t track the walks in Training Peaks.

This week has really been about 2 minute efforts. Not just in the dedicated Zwift Academy Stage 1 Workouts, but in the mid-week race as well.

I am a little surprised to see the weight above 67kg all month. I can’t think my diet has massively changed, and usually it fluctuates a between 66.5ish and 67.5ish, so nothing hugely out of the ordinary, but it caught me by surprise.

No changes here, just something I try to keep an eye on.

OK, so the big focus of the week was the 30 second and 2 minute anaerobic efforts.

Or, to put it another way, how hard can you go for 30 second / 2 minute, such that you end each effort at total exhaustion?

It turns out, there is a little strategy required here… at least, beyond the 30 second effort.

See, for 30 seconds I guess you can just hammer it. Stand up, stamp on it, and hang on. It’s impressive how long 10 seconds can feel. I distinctly remember looking up approximately 10 seconds in to the first of the two 30 second efforts on Tuesday, and being absolutely sure I must have been at it for at least 20 seconds… but nope.


That was brutal.

More so, really, because I wasn’t actually concentrating on the 30 second efforts as a target. They were the warm up, in my head, to the two minute efforts.

And for the 2 minutes I was, rather foolishly, trying to beat my previous PB – 382w.

I would say spoiler alert but then the graph above already spoiled it. As did the write ups.

As things went so badly in the Tuesday workout #1 I decided to re-do it on Saturday. The numbers say I did much better in my 30 second effort, but ever so slightly worse in the 2 minute effort.

However, I can say that the second attempt at the workout #1 saw a far more controlled effort, and far more consistency between the two efforts. Which is to say I didn’t blow up after 60 seconds.

That got me to thinking about what is in store for Workout #2.

In Workout #2 we are going to be tackling our maximum 8 minute effort. Sounds horrendous.

I don’t know if it helps or not, but I decided to look at my previous PB’s for 8 minutes and can see it’s sat at 261w.

That might have been achievable in isolation. But that effort comes after a bunch of other deliberately taxing efforts. So I’m probably going to aim for 250w and see how I get on. That’s 15w more than my current FTP, so should be achievable… but you never know.

Much like last week I’m going to do the two workouts again this week.

That will be Tuesday and Saturday, with racing thrown in on Thursday. Wednesday and Sunday will almost certainly be walks.

The other thing I need to throw into the mix is doing SST sessions at lower cadence. I actually really dislike doing this – it hurts – but as I said back at the start, it seems like the quickest win available to me right now.

However, when I’m going to fit in SST with the current schedule, I have no idea.

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