Getting started with your 30-Day Cycling Challenge


#1

Welcome! I am very excited that you have decided to participate in the challenge. I am confident that you will gain valuable insights to take your cycling into the next level. You might also learn a thing or two about yourself in the process :slight_smile:

While I encourage everyone to give their best throughout the process, know that by just signing up and participating you are already moving towards your goals.

Please don’t get bogged down in the little details of the workouts, on whether or not you got all intervals, whether the numbers were “perfect”, if you missed a “star”… The body doesn’t operate or recognize “FTP”, and is not a computer driven by numbers. The body works in a continuum. Each power zone in training is a range, and that range varies, so even if you are a little off target in an interval, you are still working the targeted system/zone and will reap the benefits. Numbers are just tools, a language we use to communicate.

Bike workouts

You will have 3 weekly workouts on your schedule, as follows:

  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. These are intensity workouts targeting specific power zones and skills.
  • You may choose to do the weekly workouts on any day of the week that is most convenient for you. You could, for example, workout on Mondays, Thursdays and Sundays if you feel that you need/want more rest in between.
  • Avoid doing workouts on consecutive days. You will need at least one day in between workouts to recover properly and be ready to perform again on your next workout.
  • If you have a group ride or event, it should replace one of the workouts.
  • If you can only fit in two workouts in a week, choose the two with the highest Training Stress Score (TSS). Watch this video to understand what the numbers mean in TrainingPeaks.
  • If you have never done workouts on the bike, and/or are feeling fatigued, post your situation in the forum and I will provide guidance. You may need to start with 2 workouts in the first week.

Non-workouts days and active recovery

  • Recovery is just as important as the workouts. Think of your training as the making of a cake. The workouts are the ingredients and the recovery is the baking. You need both to have a cake (i.e., training adaptation)!
  • On the days you do not have a bike workout, you may do some core workout, gentle stretching, or a short and easy walk. Caution: all-day yard work is a workout!
  • If you are used to cycling more than 3 times/week, you can do an easy spin on a recovery day. But remember, recovery days should be EASY. We’re talking a 45-60 min gentle spin with no efforts. No group rides. That also means no 2 hour rides, no one or two “little sprints”, etc. You get the idea.
  • If you are used to riding more than 3 times/week, you may add a group ride or endurance ride to your week.

Also, please keep the following in mind:

  • Do not use ERG mode for any of the workouts.
  • I will be adding a link to a short video explaining each workout in the respective workout description in TrainingPeaks.
  • Workouts can be done indoors or outdoors with a power meter.
  • We have a dedicated category for questions related to Nutrition. Please post your questions/comments there so they can be esily identified.

Daily core workout

Core strength is of fundamental importance for cycling and everyday life. It protects your spine, neck and hip joints, allowing you to ride with better form- which in turn prevents injuries and increases efficiency by engaging the glutes and leg muscles properly. You will also move better when doing other, non-cycling activities and exercises. I cannot stress this enough.

Daily core workout is on your calendar on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Start with those three days and aim to make this part of your daily routine overtime. It only takes 10-15 minutes!

Uploading workouts from TrainingPeaks into Zwift

Follow these steps to have your workouts from TrainingPeaks appear in Zwift under the workouts menu.

Other

  • Check out our Zwift Women’s Group, and feel free to post a brief intro about yourself so that we get to know each other a little more. There are already a few posts about this amazing community - make sure to check them out!
  • Check out our channels and please follow us/subscribe! Your support is appreciated so that we can reach and support more women in cycling!

pinned #2

#3

Theia,
I am a duathlete and plan on doing a Duathlon in August, can I run on the days without a workout? And/or try to make it a brick?
Thanks,
Lindsay


#4

Yes, that should be fine.


#5

Thanks for asking this question as I have a 70.3 in August also, so will be doing the same as you on my rest days


#6

I admit i’m Going to have to break the skip a day btwn workouts rule the first week. I head out Sat for a work trip (ok, maybe a couple of days of fun beforehand :grinning:) but I will not have access to Zwift or a real bike (aka only fitness room kind of ‘bike’) until next Saturday, so, i’m Going to be in withdrawal for sure! Means I will have to do my first week bike workouts Sat and Sun. I will definitely get all the other stuff in though. Hard part is I’ve been Zwifting every day for the past 3 weeks, except tonight :confused: FTP builder, end of mixtape, workout in general, GIro. I didn’t know what to ride on Tuesday!

Question on the no-ERG - does it tell us which course to ride then? I’ve been doing Zwift workouts in ERG mode which means the course doesnt really matter.


#7

Hi Gail, you may chose any course on Zwift for the workouts, because when you are in workout mode (even without ERG), all roads are “flat”.

OK to do one workout on Sat and one on Sun on that first week (but please not 2 in a day!)

I am not sure I follow your comment about Tuesday?


#8

Thanks @Coach_Theia! Learned something new! I didn’t realize its all “flat” in workout mode, regardless of ERG. I promise not 2 workouts in one day! I will have other biking over the weekend, Sat bike marshaling for Soldier Field 10 Miler but that’s not a hard effort, Sun is Bike the Drive, but i just want to get the miles in riding IRL with clipless pedals - still very anxious/cautious there so not trying for any PRs.

I meant I didn’t know what to ride this week on Tuesday since I’d been focusing on first mixtape and FTP builder (finished Sat, test Sun) and then Giro Monday. Obviously I’m better with a little guidance - i still rode 15 before work but it seemed anticlimactic, it was only for me to workout and log miles :grinning: i’m Totally motivated by the virtual swag, etc.


#9

@Coach_Theia, I entered for 3 races within the 30day period:
19 May a 50km charity ride.
26 May a 165km Mountain bike ride (There is a possibility that I might skip this one).
8 June a 175km on a tandem with a friend.
Will that be a problem?


#10

Not a problem. These events replace one of the weekly workouts, and please make sure you take it easy 1-2 days before the events! And then let us know how they go!


#11

I have a question about training peaks. Do we just set up a free account and connect it in Zwift? it is free?


#12

Correct - the basic TrainingPeaks account is free and that’s all you need. You then connect it to Zwift.


#13

Thanks, @Coach_Theia, will definitely share my experience in the races. Thanks for starting this initiative, it is great being part of such a diverse group and already learned quite a lot.


#14

Hello!!!

Every Thursday I have 60 minutes of racing. It is very intense for me to stay with the group because they are like 40 men and 3 women and average 39-40 kph. So far I only resist 30 minutes because I have difficulty turning.


#15

Theia, could you please explain briefly why not to use ERG in the workouts? I´m on a smart trainer and use ERG for all workouts bc I love to focus on proper pedaling, right pedaling frequency and so on. TIA.


#16

Yes, I have the same question and rationale.


#17

Hi,
I was wondering do I have to fill in my FTP (and where jn TP…?) or is it autimatically downloaded from Zwift after I made the connection between Zwift and TP?
Thanks!
Looking forward to start the challenge!
Kirsten


#18

Yes, you have to manually enter your FTP in TrainingPeaks - here is how to do it: https://help.trainingpeaks.com/hc/en-us/articles/204073584-How-to-Set-your-Thresholds-and-Calculate-your-Zones


#19

@bdiepenseifen and @pilinkaba, ERG is a great topic, which I believe merits a thread of its own. Please see https://discuss.360velo.com/t/why-i-dont-use-erg-mode


#20

Thank you, @Coach_Theia. That’s an interesting read and perspective. I will give this a try.