TL;DR How do i get more powerful for mid race zwift climbs?
This is something I should have been working on for the last 3 months, but here we are anyway. Back to doing 1 or 2 zwift races per week, and remembering how much I really enjoy them. For whatever reason I can push myself WAY harder in these than a TR threshold workout and every year I set new power PRs for 20-70 minutes doing these. Thats great, i do low volume and slot these in as a 4th day and make great progress.
The problem, I frequently cant hold the lead group in the series I am in up some climbs. The lead pack is going tempo-ish before this. I am nowhere near threshold, have plenty to give. If i can keep up they drop back down to SS or below and I can recover, but the way zwift physics work if you get dropped you are never catching that lead pack no matter what you do (unless you have team with you).
Example from this week. Hour long race, 5 min hill in the middle of the loop for 2 laps. Race going along at 2.35wkg (C low race) or less to stay in pack for most of the flats. Do 5min at 250 and a 1min at 300 for the climb. Just manage to hold on during climb first lap but not second lap. Hold second group but first group gets away and wins 7k later with 20 seconds on us. I have 1 min PRs in the high 400 but obviously not in the middle of a bigger effort like this. (here is the race in question and my profile is public)
How do I get better at these? I finish the race with something left in the tank and often win the reduced group sprint from the 2nd group. I can do the KJs, i just need to sharpen the blade for that 1 deciding point.
Long term I know raise ftp everything gets easier… Working on it.
What about shorter term, 6-8 weeks?
Do i do something race specific, extreme over unders? 130% → 85% which sortof matches the race? Seems plausible but they are so hard to recover from they seem to derail other training. Probably hard to actually push myself as hard as in the races anyway.
Swap short interval vo2 workouts for longer stuff? Right now AT is giving me a lot of 50-90 second vo2 stuff. Do i hunt down some 3 min versions and swap them in and work up to 5min?
Can i get some bang from anaerobic capacity work? Will spending some more time at 400 watts not make it feel so crazy and maybe help me do it when the competition lets me push myself? AT is giving me a bunch of anaerobic stuff right now but it seems pretty weak. Stuff like Mendel +1 "Mendel +1 is 4 sets of ‘descending intervals’ from 120% FTP for 90 seconds to 150% FTP for 30 seconds. " which feels like a less hard vo2 workout more than anaerobic.