Welcome to my week 5 “Build Me Up” (BMU) training log.
About this Series:I’m journaling my way weekly through Zwift’s “Build Me Up” training plan, calling out tough workouts, minor bugs, and feature suggestions along the way. For your reference, my FTP is set to 321W, as detected by Zwift’s ramp test at the start of the plan.Past weeks: Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4
This was the start of the next 4-week block, which is VO2max-focused. The first workout of the week was a killer, but the other three weren’t nearly as bad. Read all about it below!
This one wasn’t bad… until it was suddenly terrible.
This looked like it would be the toughest and longest workout of the week, so I “ate the frog” and did it first, on Saturday. The bulk of this workout is made up of 4x 12-minute blocks that consisted of (basically) 4 minutes just over sweetspot and 12 minutes just under it.
These blocks weren’t bad – just steady work, even with Shayne’s devious cadence and position changes thrown in.
But then, after 48 minutes of solid work, you’ve got 2 sets of 5x 30/30s. And these aren’t easy 30/30s. 30 seconds at 150% of FTP, 30s of recovery. For me that was 480W… which is a lot to hold repeatedly!
Here’s what these intervals felt like:
Whew. That was tough, but not terrible.
OK, that was hard. Can I do three more of these?
Good heavens. What was Shayne thinking? 480W is a lot of watts. Why is my heart rate so high, and why won’t it come down?
OK, I’m done. Legs can’t do that again.
#%[email protected] Shayne!
And that was just the first set of 5. I had to do a second one.
Toughest finish to a workout yet – by far. Which is exactly what Shayne said earlier in the workout. I find it quite amazing how Shayne can predict how each workout will feel for me. Startlingly accurate, considering this program wasn’t created by Shayne for me personally.
Not too bad – just a solid amount of solid work, with 5x 10-minute intervals starting at 240W and increasing to 275W then back down.
Plenty of cadence and position changes thrown in, of course. But happily I finished this workout feeling like I hadn’t overextended, considering I was doing another workout the next day.
Easiest workout of the week, for sure. A simple workout with 3 sets of Zone 3/4 pyramids. For me that meant 3 minutes at 255W, 3 minutes ramping from 290W to 320W back to 290W, then 3 more minutes at 255W. So only 27 minutes of actual work, and that work wasn’t hard work.
This second block of 4 weeks seems to be focusing on VO2max development, with each week featuring a VO2 workout. Those workouts build in difficulty from week to week, and this working, “#8”, was the first VO2 workout of BMU.
I know VO2 workouts are really tough, but looking at this one beforehand, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be too bad. The intervals were only 2 minutes long, with 3 minutes rest in between, and the 2 sets of 3 intervals were separated by an additional easy 10-minute span.
My VO2 power (115% of FTP) was 370W, which is a solid number for me to hold for a minute or more. But I knew I could do 2 minutes without being on the rivet.
In the end, this workout was tough but very doable. Future weeks will be tougher.
First, I’ll readily admit that I’m more “info hungry” that the average Zwifter.
That said, I would love to have more details provided with each workout. I’d love to know specifically how the intervals I’ll be sweating through will help me become a stronger rider.
I’ve read a fair amount of material on bike training, including the well-known “Training and Racing with a Power Meter” and “Cyclist’s Training Bible“. I’m no n00b in this area – but I still struggle at times to look at a workout and pin down exactly what it’s intended to do. If Zwift could build a stronger case via a text description, it would increase my willingness to put in the work.
Apart from the first workout, this was a fairly easy week. In fact, it has me wondering if perhaps it should have been a bit tougher! Check out the TSS totals thus far:
Week 1: 274 TSS
Week 2: 343 TSS
Week 3: 363 TSS
Week 4: 212 TSS
Week 5: 312 TSS
I think each week of BMU features a key “cornerstone workout” and another which doesn’t really need to be done, so I thought it might be useful to call those out each week, in case your schedule is tight. For week 5, here are my picks:
Key Workout – #8: With the focus on VO2max this block, finishing each week’s VO2 workout is important.
Throw Away – Tine: easiest workout of the week. That said, with the way this program is building, it’s important to keep adding training stress week to week, so if you do skip a workout like Tine, try to get some solid sweet spotish work in elsewhere.
Week 6 coming in hot! This is the first week of BMU featuring 5 workouts (vs 3 or 4). Total workout time is 5.5 hours, resulting in 358 TSS. Our biggest week yet!
Have you done the Escalation workout? What did you think of those final 30/30s? Share below!