Hunter’s Challenge Day 4 & 5

I’ll be completely honest, I did not ride on Wednesday (Day 4). I was exhausted from lack of sleep, I felt that I had to take a day off, so both workouts got done on Thursday. Thankfully these were two workouts that could be paired together nicely.

Also, I was also able to connect my heart rate monitor through my ANT+ during Pirate Pedaling. This was not an ideal set up as it constantly kept dropping the signal.

Day 4 – Cadence Drills

So just as it sounds, this workout was spent at various degrees of cadence. Once you entered a new interval/power you were given a cadence to aim for, these tended to be anywhere from 65 to 140 RPM. I’m not sure if its my skill level or my set up but I seem to bounce like crazy if I try to hit high power and over 100 RPM, so unfortunately I tended to aim for the lower end of the drills, I spent my time in the 70 to 100 range.

So how was this workout laid out? For 20 minutes you switched every minute from 85% FTP to 115% FTP and you were given the cadence to aim for; for the lower power minute you essentially had to hit 65-85 RPM and for the higher power 100-140 RPM.  After those drills were done, you had a 5 minute recovery at 75% FTP and a 20 minute “Sweet Spot Pedal” which you held at 85% FTP and they changed the cadence you had to hold.

I really enjoyed this workout. I think I had mentioned before that I enjoy the 1 minute interval drills, it allowBikes me to ease into the power and get comfortable in it. Bursts of power just don’t seem to be my thing, I’m more of a long distance rider then a sprinter so this makes sense. I prefer to settle into my work. Overall a very solid workout. I even got a perfect 24 stars!

Day 5 – Pirate Pedaling

I did not really enjoy this one. My skill is not at the level where I can one-leg pedal comfortably. I was jerky and awkward; not an enjoyable experience. So essentially it was 20 minute one-leg intervals, each interval was broken down into 2 minutes so 1 minute per leg; these drills were spent well below FTP at 35-40%. There was also some cadence drills thrown in. I’ll be honest, I didn’t always do one-leg pedaling for the full minute. My left leg was jerky and my right leg would have too much power. This is obviously something I will need to work on after this challenge is complete.

The rest of the workout was spend two leg pedaling, so after the above 20 minutes was completed you had a 5 minute “recovery” at 75% FTP followed by 40 minutes of intervals; 1 minute 85% FTP, 1 minute 75% FTP. The end of the workout was a 10 minute ride at 85% FTP. Bike2

I did not like this workout at all but that had everything to do with my skill and not the workout itself. This was probably my hardest workout to date, the others were hard but this was the first that I wanted to completely end early. I was counting down the clock and had to distract myself with other things so I could get through it and not focus on the time remaining. It really tested everything I had.

Stats:

Route: Watopia Volcano Flat
Duration: 2:40
Distance: 82.8km
Avg Power: 167
Avg Cadence: 81
Calories: 1746

 

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Hunter’s Challenge Day 3

Day 3 – Cadence & Heart Rate

For this workout I had to switch over to my phone so I could run both the heart rate and cadence/speed sensors through Zwift. For some reason, my ANT+ will not pick up the heart rate monitor so I tend to not use it or run it through another app on my phone. With my phone in play, I ended up utilizing my computer for Netflix; Fuller House is a pretty good, but boy such a cheesy show, thankfully it helped the hour and a half go by fast.

The idea behind this workout is to see how riding at difference cadence affects the heart rate. Essentially you ride at 85% FTP for 50 mins and 75% FTP for 20 mins. For 10 mins you alternate every minute between 85% and 75%. After 10 mins you ride 3 sets of 15 mins at 85% FTP and 3 sets of 5 mins at 75% FTP.

For the first 10 mins you alternated between roughly 100 RPM and 70 RPM; switching every min. When it came to the 3 sets at 85% FTP, you changed your cadence each set. Set 1 was spend at 110+ RPM, set 2 at 90 RPM and set 3 at 75 RPM. The 5 mins recovery between each of the efforts above was spend at 65-75 RPM.

bike

This workout was pretty great, I really enjoyed it. Unlike the Cadence Crusher workout, this one gave you prompts on screen for what cadence you should be riding. I liked the beginning of the workout with the switching of power, it allowed me to settle into the effort as I had an entire minute to gain power and keep it unlike yesterday’s workout where I had 15 seconds to hit the power outlined.

I had an issue hitting the cadence efforts. It seems for me to hit 85% FTP and the cadence I was bouncing around a lot on the bike; which was not good on my knees or for the bike. If I switched gears, I was not hitting the RPMs I needed. So I decided for the safety of my bike and my knees (which were aching by set 2 of 15mins), I’d aim for 100 RPM during high power output and 70 RPM during the lower ones. It seems anything over 103 RPM produced a lot of bounce. I’m not sure this is due to both my skill level and set up. So hopefully I will be able to improve this.

Stats:
Route: London Classique
Distance: 46.7km
Duration: 1:25
Avg Cadence: 82
Avg Power: 176W
Max Cadence: 111
Max Power: 247W

Apparently I burned 1001 calories?! Which is insane! And since I have a free trial of Strava, my suffer score was 35 which meant I spent the most time in Zone 2.

Zwift was pretty busy when I started the workout, seems there were a ton of group rides/races happening on the route I took. Thankfully I will also be experiencing some new scenery for Day 4’s ride. Watopia is the map in play.

https://www.strava.com/activities/918867004/embed/fe9deca5a88fa8b44cde4a47462ed9a96f786d8c

 

Hunter’s Challenge Day 2

Day 2, Micro Bursts.

I’m not sure if micro bursts is the right name for this workout. I think pain, soul breaking, terrible should all be included in the title because these were hard. Very tough and lasted about 5 mins and there were three rounds.

The workout was laid out as followed, 10 min warm up, 20×15 second at 150% FTP followed by 15 second rest at 50% FTP, which you repeated 3 times. Between each round was a 5 min recovery at 60% FTP, and lastly a 10 min cool down.

The first set of the soul breaking pain suckers as I’m going to call micro bursts from now on, went well. They were hard but the 20 rounds went by pretty fast.

bike 2

I was able to hit the 150% FTP pretty easily, getting down to 50% FTP was not so easy for me, and as a result I “failed” each of the bursts; essentially I was going from 325W to 110W. I think this issue was more due to my trainer, in the end I just pedaled backwards to lose the power quickly but keep the legs moving.

Overall I did enjoy the workout, my legs were feeling it at the end but a great workout. I felt it was very nicely organized and no major complaints from my end. It’s definitely a good workout to get the blood moving and work on some sprinting foundation. My fan also got a full workout being at full blast during the ride.

Stats:

Route: London Classique
Distance: 32.1km
Duration: 1:00
Avg Cadence: 75
Avg Power: 183W
Max Power: 355W
Max Cadence: 173

https://www.strava.com/activities/917416185/embed/d49c8bf09ea7d4564038714d38936b2698f119df

Hunter’s Challenge Day 1

So Day 1 came and went. I ended up getting a later start then I planned and ended up riding at 8:30pm rather than my scheduled morning time. I might end up switching the workouts to night since there seems to be less distractions for me. Who knew my house was so busy at 5:30am.

The schedubike 2led workout was Cadence Crusher. According to the description cadence should be the number 1 priority and power comes second. The goal is to “teach your leg muscles to produce the same power but at a high RPM”.

Cadence Crusher was a pretty good workout. It was interval training and the highest power/wattage I had to hit was 325W. I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out at the end of the workout but I definitely felt my legs had put a good ebike 3ffort in.

It guided you through the workout so I knew exactly how much time I was spending in each zone. It also outlined what was coming up during the duration of the workout. I had a hard time holding the exact wattage since I don’t own a smart trainer so I was about 10W above the prescribed power, which was ok.

I did not like that this workout did not have any cadence information. If cadence was the number 1 priority, I should have been told which cadence I should be aiming for. Reading the description I should have done 10 more than what my normal cadence would be. So I basically aimed to sit at 90-100 RPM and hit the power.

Stats:

Route: London Classique
Distance: 20.7km
Duration: 39mins
Avg Cadence: 87
Avg Power: 171W
Max Power: 341W
Max Cadence: 117

Overall I enjoyed the workout and felt like put some good effort in. If I could make one change, I’d suggest they add some cadence goals while riding.

Zwift Set up and Challenges

So let’s run through my Zwift set up, I’ll be using my Miele Road bike on a “dumb” Tacx Blue Twist Trainer. Wahoo Blue SC will be my cadence and speed sensors and I’ve got an ANT+ connected to my PC. I might split between using my PC and phone since the sensors can also use Bluetooth. My extra equipment is a fan, music player, water bottles and Skratch labs for hydration. Pretty basic set up for a pretty basic rider.

I’m not quite sure what to expect from the Hunter’s Challenge. I’ve not done any cycling training before, normally I just ride, so this will be a new experience. I’m already anticipating some positive and negatives about the challenge, so let’s discuss shall we:

The Positives:

My bike set up is permanent. Since I’m using an extra room in the house that sees little traffic, I don’t need to move my bike at the end of each session.

ANT+ has been a game changer with Zwift. Previously I had been using it on my phone, but the PC screen is so much bigger which means I’ll be able to see workout information a lot easier.

It should be quieter, fingers cross. Since I will be doing this early morning, I’m hoping to get it completed before the rest of the house gets up.

Overall fitness, I’ll probably improve my fitness levels a bit. That’ll be a plus.

Learn new cycling techniques/training. I’ll be doing cadence drills, one legged pedaling and more.

The Negatives:

Waking up. My aim is to do these workouts in the morning before work so I will have to be up by 5-6am. Not fun.

Technology sometimes hates me, so I might have some connection issues with my sensors.

Burn out. I’m not sure how my body will feel with everyday workouts especially at a high caliber of work. I’m also biking to work so I might experience some cycling fatigue.

Skill, these workouts might be to advance for my skill level which might lead to a loss of motivation.

Nutrition. I’m pretty bad when it comes to eating healthy and properly. So this might help with a downfall.

All in all though, I am pretty excited and nervous to take this on. I think I’ve got an equal amount of positive and negative vibes going on. T-minus 3 days until go time!

Hunter’s Challenge

Hunter’s Challenge

The Hunter’s Challenge is found on Zwift and is 28 days straight workouts. The workouts vary from cadence drills, intervals, pyramids and FTP work. The idea is that these workouts should be done on consecutive days with no breaks. While that is the purpose, it is mentioned you can take a rest day or two if you need it.

Seems pretty insane! But a great challenge nonetheless. I will embark on this challenge starting Sunday March 26. My goal is to complete it within 28 days as prescribed.

I am attempting to do these workouts early morning before work but there are some longer ones I might need to switch to a night workout.

I will try to update this blog at least every other day.

Let’s see how this goes!

Cycle totals to date

I will be attempting to Cycle My Year again, so 2017km in 2017. Last year I believe I completed this in Oct. Unlike last year I will be doing a combination of indoor and outdoor rides.

Each month I will also set myself a goal. It will be constantly changing based on previous months efforts. I will be starting Jan with 500km goal.
Week Jan 23 – 29 – 152.9km (on going)
Week 16 – 22 – 138.1km
Week Jan 9 – 15 – 81.3km
Week Jan 2 – 9 – 10.9km
Total km for Jan: 383.2 (on going)

KM left until 2017km: 1633.8
KM left until monthly goal: 166.8km

First, what is this?

My first official blog post, this is pretty exciting. So allow my to introduce myself and what Cycle My Year is all about.

My name is Nicole and I’m an avid cyclist from Toronto. You can see my zipping along the streets on my way to work or tackling the trails on the weekends. Every year, I’ve made a commitment to essentially Cycle My Year, which is to bike the year in km. Unfortunately, I have failed every year.

For 2016, I decided to start a blog that will allow my to keep a bit of a diary of my rides. This will not be updated everyday, because some days I only ride to work, and that can be boring.

Currently I am, 1156.2km in to my goal. The majority of these rides have been rides to and from work. But now that the weather has changed… I’m hoping to getting out for something other then a transportation ride…