Which workouts to replace with Zwift races?

So I realized that I’m a TR workout junkie and due to current lockdown situations I have not done any races (real world or virtual) this whole season. I am using high volume training (went thru a base, build and speciality phase and going back into base). Which day(s) should I change out for some racing to change things up and still keep to the overall plan of improving?

Just went through this myself and chose the steady state workouts to pull out and replace. If you are doing the ultra short races maybe V02 max sessions would be better but for the typical 30-60 minute stuff it seems many do on Z, steady state (or O/U slightly below/above FTP) near FPT workouts seem like the best fit.

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So a non-answer here, I think it depends on the races you pick and your approach to how you want to combine racing with your workouts. You could replace individual workouts or drop to a lower volume plan to free up a day or two for Z2 and/or racing, or find races that hit the same effort levels and durations and swap individual workouts, or drop to a lower volume plan to add in free days for z2 or racing. I tend to go deep in zwift races and learned the hard way to space them out and ensure I get adequate recovery.

Replacing individual workouts:
SST -> You can probably hang out at steady SST pace on any flatish course but will have to deal with surges.
Threshold/SST workout -> Mountain 8, Lutscher x2, Achterbahn would all give you 2x20-25min at threshold or SST
105% FTP intervals -> Surrey Hills
3-5min V02 -> Surrey Hills, Watopia Hilly Reverse, Everything Bagel
1min Anaerobic -> Richmond, Watopia Hilly Forward, London Classic, Yorkshire

If you want to just blow off some steam and have fun, can you pick something you’ll enjoy and just replace the workout even if the targeted power levels don’t match up, or you can try to find races that would require similar power output and durations for a more complementary approach.

Weekday races tend to be shorter (<1hr) and harder / more surgy but there are more options on the weekends for longer races (1.5hrs+.). KISS has a Sunday race that tends to be 2:15 -> 2:45 in length for front A group. There are also longer climbing races on Saturday and Sunday. Weekend fondos and long group rides could also be an unstructured way to blow off some steam without the full intensity of a race, those also tend to happen on weekends. You could pick ones that complement your current training, or not and just have fun. I do both.

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Thanks for this! I’m looking at replacing Fuji on Thursday with a race to keep the competitive juices going so I’ll look for those 1min Anaerobic courses and I’ll let you know how it went :slight_smile:

I replaced Fuji last week with with a Crit City race and I did not have quite the surges that I wanted to mimic Fuji exactly during the race, but I did push it incredibly hard. (1.01 IF for 20min) with a couple 20s at 200% surges during my “warmup” and “cooldown”. Overall I think I got a much better workout in by doing the race, even though it wasn’t quite as specific.

This week I have Dade - 1, and I’m going to do something similar I think.

Last year I did a Sunday KISS race on the London Classique course. 2.25hrs with IF of 0.9 and I don’t know how many 500w 20-30sec surges on the little hill. I don’t think I’ve felt that smoked since. If I was doing it as a training effort it would have been counter productive, but as a way to blow off some steam, race and try to hang with the front group it was worthwhile. Well, I felt that way once I recovered after a couple of days. :slight_smile:

I think the shorter the race the harder it is. Aside from a 11 mile TT I use for power testing I try to aim for 60+ minute long races as they usually calm down a bit in the middle instead of being flat out the entire time. Glad you enjoyed it!

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