Online Crit Racing during Sweet Spot Base

I’m living temporarily in a part of the world where, for reasons of climate and security, outdoor riding is pretty rare for me. I’ll be starting SSB Mid Volume 1 in a few weeks, but would like to incorporate some virtual racing (on that platform that starts with a Z and sounds like swift) one day per week for entertainment and some form of competitive/social riding. These races tend to last between 45 minutes to an hour and I’d say they resemble crit racing. My sense is that the best TR day to substitute during SSB with one of these races would be the first workout of the week or maybe the third.

Does this sound right? Do I run the risk of sabotaging my SSB benefits by incorporating these race pace efforts once a week?

It depends on what category you are racing in. If you are racing in A (or at the top end of your ability), you’ll probably want to swap the Saturday/4th/over-under workout for the Zwift races.

If you race down one category, I’d suggest the Sunday/5th/long tempo workouts.

You won’t sabotage the benefits per-se, provided you recover appropriately, but as you get into SSB2, I’d recommend reducing the frequency of the races to focus on the true over under work.

This is a bit pedantic maybe, but in my experience, Zwift is a lot different to real world racing. Crits have more coasting, more full-on sprinting and sudden attacks in zone 6. Zwift races you tend to be constantly pedalling, and the attacks are less sudden in nature - more like over-unders at times. So I’d consider replacing Saturday with it.

These are both good points. Thanks.

I guess I was seeing similarity with days 1 and 3 more in terms of duration and TSS, based on the Zwift races I’ve done before. If I did do a race between 45 minutes and an hour that yielded 70-90 TSS on Saturday or Sunday, should I tack on a TSS filler to get me to what is prescribed?

IMO, just do a 30 minute warmup prior to the race. I usually do a version of the LSCT warmup (6 mins at 50%, 6mins at 72%, 3 mins at 96%) and just spin endurance until the race automatically kicks me into the warmup pen. That usually gives me around 20 TSS.


Yeah, why not just keep going on Zwift after the race finishes and ride around for another half hour at Z2/3 pace?

I think comparing a Zwift race with the Mon/Wed workouts in SSB1 is very much in “not all TSS is created equal” territory.

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I’ll be the first to say no. But that would be from my personal experience racing over a winter/base period. I was never away from a race save for 2-3 weeks from Jan to July and by August I was cooked to the max and blew the rest of my year up.

I don’t know what your coming off of race/workload wise, nor do I know what you have for plans - but if it sounds like what I did, maybe reconsider.