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How to mix Zwift FTP builder with outside riding?

Hi, I've started doing the FTP builder but it prescribes sessions every day on the Zwift trainer - with perhaps just the Endurance session that could be performed outside. That'd be fair enough maybe in winter but in summer I want to mix it up outside as well.

How do people do the FTP builder program? I am not accurate enough with the "feel" of the different zones to be able to do the FTP booster sessions accurately outside on the real road.

Thanks.

Posts

  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,526
    edited July 2021
    Without a power meter, id say your best bet would be to try and match intervals using your heart rate zones.

    Hopefully you have your zones based on your actual riding data, rather than using a generic one such as the default Strava one, where you tell it your max heart rate and it does the rest.

    I use zones provided by https://crickles.casa/ , a free site that you allow to look at your Strava data. I know that my Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (which is top limit of z4), crudely what I can hold for 20mins, is usually ~160bpm these days. For me, I know my zones are ~10bpm apart, so mine are quite easy to remember.

    So if a workout wanted me to do several intervals at z2 power, I would aim to get my heart rate in the 130-140 range.

    Alternatively, leave the structured workouts for the turbo and don't worry about doing them all if you are doing outdoor rides. The FTP Builder workplan at a quick look focuses a lot on sub z3 work, which does give FTP gains, but at a much slower pace compared to z5 intervals. If you have a loop of hills that take you 4-8mins each to climb right at your limit, you could climb them and then ride very easy to recover for approx 10-20mins before climbing another flat out. Try and start with three climbs and add another every week or so. Space out z5 workouts, try twice a week max to begin with and maybe over time trying spreading out three.
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  • Many thanks for that comprehensive answer, much appreciated.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,630


    Alternatively, leave the structured workouts for the turbo and don't worry about doing them all if you are doing outdoor rides. The FTP Builder workplan at a quick look focuses a lot on sub z3 work, which does give FTP gains, but at a much slower pace compared to z5 intervals. If you have a loop of hills that take you 4-8mins each to climb right at your limit, you could climb them and then ride very easy to recover for approx 10-20mins before climbing another flat out. Try and start with three climbs and add another every week or so. Space out z5 workouts, try twice a week max to begin with and maybe over time trying spreading out three.

    I would basically do this. Do the structured work on the turbo, keep the outdoor work fun, but maybe go out with some goals in mind (e.g., I am going to ride steady but do some hard efforts on certain climbs). I also normally do 2 club rides a week in the summer which include a lot of hard efforts.

    I follow the TrainerRoad plans in low volume (3 targeted rides a week basically) and then do another 3 rides (either outdoor or ad hoc TR), for 6 days a week/10-12 hrs total riding, if not more if I do a bigger weekend ride.
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 10,630

    The FTP Builder workplan at a quick look focuses a lot on sub z3 work, which does give FTP gains, but at a much slower pace compared to z5 intervals.

    Depending on which FTP builder plan it is (I assume they are all vaguely similar) it does mix in Z4 efforts later on. Seems to be a mix of Z2 workouts and Z3/4 ones later on.

    Personally - I would do the more intense/targeted ones on the turbo, and do the endurance (z2ish) stuff outside without worrying too much about the precise structure.

    Screenshot from the whatsonzwift website from week 10 of the 12 week ftp builder:

    Personally - I'd do that z3/4 (green/yellow) one on the turbo and swap the blue (z2) one to outside, as for those endurance workouts the structure isn't as critical (they're just about getting time on the bike really).

    The plan seems to have a lot of those criss-cross intervals (the green/yellow ones), but I see hardly any time over FTP (orange or red in Zwift) - I'd possibly bump some of those workouts up a bit so they become true over/unders, as the plan as a whole looks a bit easy to me. Unless you're totally new to it - in which case just follow the plan roughly as prescribed and think about changing it up next time when you have more experience.

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