Author Topic: Zwift Build Me Up.  (Read 1651 times)

Zwift Build Me Up.
« on: June 21, 2020, 02:16:17 pm »
Zwift  "Build Me Up"
Anyone else doing this 12 week programme?
We have just completed week 4 over here.
I need someone else to comment on how ridiculously challenging it is please!
 Otherwise I'll have to conclude that Im getting older, weaker and going downhill faster than I thought.

I'd be interested to hear of any decent gains folks have made after completion too. Preferably something spectacular as we trudge through the remaining 8 weeks.
All that high cadence spinning! Its like learning to ride all over again. I think we were doing it wrong.

Any recommendations for another training block after the Build Me Up?
often lost.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 08:30:14 am »
I don’t know anything about this programme, so the first thing I want to ask is if it uses your age to construct the workload - effort intensity and duration.
If not, then I’d be refiguring it for myself.
It would also be interesting to learn what hard wear you are using. Some activities I’ve recently been involved in have exposed big variations between different “ smart” trainers.
My suggestion would be to look at a more personalised programme from one of the coaching companies, that can be used with Zwift.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 08:58:12 am »
I recommend putting the TSS numbers in to a performance management chart in advance. That way you can see if the projected TSBs are safe given your current CTL, and work out where you will end up so you can adjust accordingly.

In contrast. I did their winter one a few years back (before I understood TSS/ATL/TSB/CTL) and ended up with a lower CTL.

Greenbank has done a spreadsheet you can put the numbers in to. It's really useful - https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=109950.0
 

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 11:55:41 am »
Thanks both.
The trainer is a taxc neo. The bike set up is not ideal (small frame) Reason being is it "just about" fits me and my partner. We just have to switch seat posts/saddle. Its 10sp and means we don't have to be taking cassettes etc off or using thru axle conversions for our other regular bikes that Im loathe to do. My theory is a long as you can comfortably turn the pedals being a little squashed and upright on a trainer where there is no wind resistance is no biggie. No knee dramas etc.
I don't think the Zwift programme takes into account age (mid fifties in my case and a few years older for partner)
We did a 40 min FTP test (20 mins for actual FTP and 20mins build up) and plugged in our weights which is what it uses to set the intensity of the programme.
I retook my FTP test, perhaps foolishly, on the second week as I felt the first one was sketchy ( I went out too hard at the beginning) That pushed it up 14 points but left me tired in the middle of the weeks training block and struggling to hang on to the increased demands of the programme. You can bump it down mid-ride if you cant sustain a session though.
I do like the convenience of the programme. You have several days to choose when to complete each session. Its free after paying the Swift subscription, no extra charge.
Thanks for that link DrMekon I'll take a good look at that. Like you my goal is to be able to do longer rides more efficiently.
My gut feeling 4 weeks in is that it is improving our fitness. It is certainly teaching us both about pedalling efficiency too.

often lost.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 04:51:38 pm »
I've started and not finished this programme twice.

a) I got irritated with the incessant pedalling drills (I am too fat to spin these trunks for minutes at >90, stop asking it, I'm not a pro)
b) I found I couldn't do anything else- it was sufficiently intense that any social riding (or god forbid racing) would just destroy my ability to follow the programme.

At least 2 of my virtual teammates have done it and both the ones I know of upped their FTP sufficiently to move from C racers [2.5-3.19w/kg] to B [3.2-3.69w/kg]. They're both in their 30s so maybe that's how they stuck to it and I (50s) couldn't- it didn't have enough rest built in.

It suffers from the same as all zwift training plans in that you have to follow a 7 day week, and if you need more recovery you can't really have an extra day off or you miss the window of opportunity for that workout.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 06:12:11 pm »
I've started and not finished this programme twice.

a) I got irritated with the incessant pedalling drills (I am too fat to spin these trunks for minutes at >90, stop asking it, I'm not a pro)
b) I found I couldn't do anything else- it was sufficiently intense that any social riding (or god forbid racing) would just destroy my ability to follow the programme.

At least 2 of my virtual teammates have done it and both the ones I know of upped their FTP sufficiently to move from C racers [2.5-3.19w/kg] to B [3.2-3.69w/kg]. They're both in their 30s so maybe that's how they stuck to it and I (50s) couldn't- it didn't have enough rest built in.

It suffers from the same as all zwift training plans in that you have to follow a 7 day week, and if you need more recovery you can't really have an extra day off or you miss the window of opportunity for that workout.

a.) Haha! yup I feel you on that one. Up at 115rpm and bouncing like Im on  a space hopper. I have found its re-teaching me to select lighter gears and be kinder to the knees though. Less knee throb than when out on the road. Muscles seem less savaged afterwards too.

b.)Yes!  All racing is off here for now anyway but the TT's kick in soon so thats a conundrum. Ive managed a few shorties but an all day ride is pretty much out of the question. The TT's are usually 30 min max.

Your mates are in about the ballpark I'm in. (currently a tad over 3 but shooting for 3.5+ wpk. Plenty of timber to lose to help it along as well

Think I'll stick with it. We are locked down on a 20 square mile Island. The airport is closed and its humid as hell outside anyway.






often lost.

valkyrie

  • Look at the state of your face!
    • West Lothian Clarion
Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 08:03:15 pm »
I’m on Week 9 and I’m enjoying it so far. Week 9 is where they kick in the high power work so today’s session was the toughest I’ve done yet, lots of 15 second intervals at 200% FTP. If you’re finding it too hard just reduce your FTP in your profile. I haven’t been outdoors on a bike this year, my outdoor exercise has been walking the dog so Zwift has really been the only thing keeping me fit and keeping the weight off. Once this is done I’ll try one of the TT training programs, I like having a program to commit to.
World Class Excuses for Piss-Poor Performances

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2020, 12:55:45 pm »
I’m on Week 9 and I’m enjoying it so far. Week 9 is where they kick in the high power work so today’s session was the toughest I’ve done yet, lots of 15 second intervals at 200% FTP. If you’re finding it too hard just reduce your FTP in your profile. I haven’t been outdoors on a bike this year, my outdoor exercise has been walking the dog so Zwift has really been the only thing keeping me fit and keeping the weight off. Once this is done I’ll try one of the TT training programs, I like having a program to commit to.

Thanks, I'll look forward to that. Well done on sticking with it.
Middle of week 5 here and seem to have found my stride. Ive been able to bump up the workload to 110% for the final set of intervals in the last few sessions.
 I think doing another FTP test mid week on week 3 overcooked it for a few days, but the body has recovered now.
My wife is really enjoying it too (if thats the right term) Its a regular topic of conversation in the house. Its cool that the same programme can be set at different intensities and accessible to all comers.
Its the only kind of structured cycling training we have ever done really. I never really got into the pre dawn race training with my team, choosing to ride solo later in the day. It will be interesting to see if Im of more use after this once the road racing kicks off again.
Its been a bit of a mental healer TBH. The cabin fever has been ramping up. We were supposed to have been touring along the Loire about now, and TCR had been on the cards next month. Instead we are locked down on a 20 square mile Island, the humidity is through the roof and I just can't face bashing out endless circles on roads I know too well right now.
often lost.

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2020, 09:44:29 am »
A friend of mine was doing this so I decided to follow and I'm at the end of week 8 and am enjoying it in some sadistic way. I started the program with my "wheel-on" turbo at a constant resistance and set my FTP to the value I thought it should be (about 25% too low as it turned out), I then got my smart trainer a few weeks back. I did the FTP test after a couple of hours rest post completion of a one hour session, not ideal, and found my FTP was much higher than what I'd initially set meaning the following sessions became much, much harder. My FTP would have been even higher had I have gone in fresh.

The coloured Unicorn workouts are killers imo but all of the workouts are based on percentages of your FTP.

I don't bother with the pedaling drills as they don't seem realistic (they get you to pedal in circles!).

The biggest benefit I've found it losing weight due to the frequency and intensity of the workouts, however, I went out on the MTB last night and struggled in the same way that I always do but haven't compared any timings for the same segments on Strava as yet.

I'm going to stick with it as my working from home/ Zwift routine suits me well at the moment. My mate says he misses the routine since he finished but I believe there are other workouts available.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 04:49:30 pm »
Well done Gibbo.
I just completed the last workout on week 7.  I rammed em all in before the weekend so I can do a TT event on Sunday.
I'm absolutely battered TBH and looking forward to a day off tomorrow.
Yep its shedding the weight alright.
I do try and stay with the peddling drills. The high cadence stuff feels awkward but interestingly Ive had less issues with a dicky knee and I suspect its the high RPM's giving it a bit less stress rather than my usual instinctive start to finish mashing. The single pedal drills not so much.
Today was The Cucumber and I didn't think I would make it through without toggling the percentage down but just hung in there in the end. There is no doubt that I would have stepped off the gas if I was my own out on the road.
Im really impressed with how the programme is put together and regret that I didn't jump on it right at the start of lock down here. Ive been really resistant to the whole concept of turbo training but am now eating my words.
 A private coach for 15 bucks a month, whats not to like.
Yup, life after Build Me Up. There must be something else interesting to do on there. Another month of "The Horror" for now though!

often lost.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2020, 06:11:42 pm »
I’m on Week 9 and I’m enjoying it so far. Week 9 is where they kick in the high power work so today’s session was the toughest I’ve done yet, lots of 15 second intervals at 200% FTP. If you’re finding it too hard just reduce your FTP in your profile. I haven’t been outdoors on a bike this year, my outdoor exercise has been walking the dog so Zwift has really been the only thing keeping me fit and keeping the weight off. Once this is done I’ll try one of the TT training programs, I like having a program to commit to.

Jeez did that one today. (Circus week 9)   I couldn't hold on in the final block of intervals.   Yet another 510 watts.. head down gritting the teeth and suddenly the pedals weren't turning any more. Like someone put the handbrake on. Relishing and fearing tomorrow in about equal measure.
You must be nearly at the end now Valkrie. Did you stick with it?


often lost.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2020, 09:31:27 pm »
Interesting reading this thread, thanks for the info.
I'm currently doing the 4 week "FTP Builder" program - I may try this one next.
The 4 week one is also pretty brutal - the last session asked me to maintain 475W for repeated 45 second intervals which was a wee but testing....  :P

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2020, 03:59:55 pm »
We are through week 11 now. The final week coming up is a light schedule and the FTP test at the end of it.
Its going to be odd not chained to the turbo next week and tempting to do some extra bits and bobs.
I'm curious what others have done after completing the BMU.  A weeks rest perhaps first.
Anyone have any recommendations for some other (hopefully shorter) programmes?
often lost.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 09:41:45 am »
Interesting reading this thread, thanks for the info.
I'm currently doing the 4 week "FTP Builder" program - I may try this one next.
The 4 week one is also pretty brutal - the last session asked me to maintain 475W for repeated 45 second intervals which was a wee but testing....  :P

I doubt if it would ask me to do that.  My last ride I got over 400 for precisely 12 seconds :(  I think I can improve a little tho'.
 
Sic transit and all that..

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2020, 06:03:14 pm »
I finished the programme today. At nearly 60 hours and 12 weeks it was quite a slog but over all we were both really impressed with the format.
My FTP only squeaked up 4 points (256 to 260) though I felt I had a really good day on the initial test. Today felt okay but not great.
Strangely my cadence was way higher on todays test. A result, I think,  of the training schedule. Im not sure if thats a good thing or not.
My W/KG have increased a fair bit as a result of weight loss. (about  6 or 7 KG) So about 0.32 W/KG  This is largely as a result of dipping into a ketogenic diet (accompanied with plenty of wine)
 I have heard that keto can rob you of power, but I'm not sure that would be applicable to a longer FTP type situation.
When I can muster the energy I'll likely do the other FTP type tests. The hour one, and the ramp test, and an "all in" up Alpe Du Zwift It will be interesting to see if they all tally.

often lost.

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2020, 01:27:26 pm »
I just cottoned that when I did this last test the other week I  forgot that the trainer comes out of ERG mode for the actual measured section. Thats why I was spinning at 107 average. Way faster than comfortable. Im not sure if that would have affected the result or not.
Since the test I havent done a lot of riding but have taken a couple of the zwift ramp tests. (different test) They put my FTP higher at 280.
Im suspicious though as they feel easier than the other test.
I guess as mentioned the best way to get an accurate reading is to do a series of tests several varieties and take an average.
Anyone else finding large variations of results on the different tests?
often lost.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2020, 02:19:48 pm »
I'm never too worried about what the test(s) say - for me the purpose of the FTP is to set my workouts correctly, and they haven't been far enough apart. Your 'racing FTP' on Zwift is 95% of your 20 minute max, and I get better 20 minutes mid race (o, OK, start-race) than I do in a test.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Re: Zwift Build Me Up.
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2020, 12:13:44 am »
Hmm. Having peaked so far at 225W for a few seconds, I don't think I'm going to be trying this soon...