Week 1 Workouts Discussion - Women's Cycling Challenge


Ah ok, that makes sense. The workout you describe is definitely a different kind of workout, targeting threshold and VO2, which our first workout was not. So, again, comparing workouts is tricky unless you know both are targeting the same power zones - and even then, there are several ways to “skin the cat”.

I’d wait until this week is over and see if the workouts still feel easy.


Thanks Theia.


Thank YOU for the feedback and for checking in!


Workout One done. Really enjoyed it - stayed within the watts and cadence give or take a few numbers either side. Hopefully that’s ok? I got cramp in my right leg calf towards the end of the workout when spinning fast. Cramp is something I get a lot not just when cycling, I drink plenty so don’t think it’s dehydration. Thank you @Coach_Theia


Hi Theia, I did the first workout yesterday. The low cadence was hard and during the last 2 intervals I quite felt my legs. The big challenge for me was to maintain the power and cadence at the same time as I need to get used to workout without ERG mode. :wink:


Workout 1 down, yay!
I’m one who has switched between having ERG on and off several times since being on Zwift. I’d been doing ERG on for a while so I’ve turned it off. Definitely makes for a more “active” workout than just zoning out and pedaling. I did notice that I tend to drift a bit under the prescribed wattage, although close enough to get all of the stars. I was having a hard time not going too far over the wattage, especially while trying to maintain the cadence. If memory serves, that’s one of the reasons that I switched to using ERG for a while but I see the benefits of doing it the old-fashioned way. :slight_smile: Also had to pause the workout and get off of the bike to rest my seat for a few minutes at the 50min mark.
Workout 1 was my strong zones so I’m interested to see how the next few go.


Week#1 workout #1 :white_check_mark:. Liked the switchups in the ramps-the spinups were a great HIIT-heart rate right up! Look forward to the rest!


Awesome work :muscle:

I am excited that so many of you have accepted the challenge within the challenge, which is to not use ERG. Like others who have gone through the same learning curve over a year ago said, be patient, stick to it… it’s worth it and it will get better.


Yes, you are still working the prescribed zones/cadence and therefore achieving the goal!!


Thank you. I saw an “ERG On” button during my workout but hitting it did not change anything. I will try to sort it out next workout.


First cycling workout done tonight. This was my first ever experience of workouts on Zwift so wasn’t sure what to expect. I turned off ERG as advised. Found it hard to stabilise my power output- I didn’t feel overly physically challenged so I tended to go over on the power output then backed off to reduce power and ended up too little power!! Is there a trick to keeping the power steady?

Also on cadence if I was going at the recommended cadence (especially the one near the end with recommended 100rpm my power was way over the 150w it was supposed to be.

So in summary- I enjoyed it and it was great to try something different on Zwift. I just clearly need some cycling lessons to get the hang of getting the power and cadence on target more consistently :roll_eyes:


I liked the workout, it’s tough for me to get use to being on my trainer for over an hour, the most I’ve really done is 45min! I found it tough to get my power and cadence dialed in without the ERG mode… and for my last interval which is FTP +1, I had to drop a gear or 2 to reach the correct cadence or I was pushing too many watts. It will take some getting use to! Thanks for the workout!!

Was is written somewhere how to replace a workout with a ride IRL?


@NUGirl I’ve sent a support question kinetic also, fingers crossed we can sort it out


This Forum is a HUGE plus to the coaching, I’m finding lots of useful insights and answers to questions I haven’t thought to.

Thank you all wonderful ladies!!!


This is really what it is all about, @Tracyligemagreen, @PneeZee, @stacypro and others who are finding the power to be “easy” but the control to be hard. As I mentioned in the ERG mode thread, cycling is a sport and technique matters.

What if I told you that I am able to hang on with a group of men who are Cats 1/2/3 racers going hard at 25-40 mph (40-64 km/h) on flat roads for 2.5 hours on a group ride? Check out the ride I am referring to here. I saw huge improvements in my ability to go fast in the last 18 months when I changed my training to have consistent focus on technique and skills (yes, my power went up too, but not by a lot).

Another example is the last Zwift race and Tour of Watopia I participated in. When I looked at the results, I noticed that many riders who finished behind me had higher average power/weight (w/kg). So I was able to go faster with less effort.

One of those techniques is control. Being able to control your power, cadence, and shifting. It is hard for a reason - you are having to engage more muscles and work on firing them in the right pattern to deliver more of the power you produce to the pedals and avoid wasting energy (or “bleeding watts” as my coach would say).

We do a lot of simulations in our training program, where athletes have to go through various scenarios like the ones they would encounter out in the road or group rides/races in Zwift, by matching cadence to the terrain, power with cadence for speed, etc. You will get a sample of that during the 30-day challenge.

So going back to technique… Let’s use soccer as an example. Would a soccer coach put the players immediately into a game and turn them loose to try to win it? Nope, a soccer coach spends most of the time teaching technique- dribbling, kicking, passing, etc. Same with baseball, basketball, tennis… With cycling there is the interesting phenomenon of people just riding, or just doing an effort because there is this misconception that power - and power only- is what matters, without much thought to technique.


Thanks Theia,

So the secret ‘technique’ I’m looking for is really just get better at cycling then! :roll_eyes::rofl:


I have a question about my FTP because in inside (Zwift-Wahoo kickR) it is different than with the outside (garmin V2-power meter). The FTP I use in Training Peak should I change it to Zwift FTP?


Hi Nancy, if you will be doing the workouts in Zwift, then I’d use the FTP from Zwift/Kickr, so yes, use the Zwift FTP in TrainingPeaks.




Did the first trainer workout yesterday and I forgot to post! So I have always used ERG mode in Zwift so I was really struggling with the gearing and the cadence. I was going from small ring to big ring and up and down the cassette🤷🏽‍♀️!

I finally thought I was where I should be but who knows!!

What do you usually ride small ring with a lower gear or big with with a higher gear?

The other thing I always wonder is which chainring makes the most sense… I have mid-compact 52/36 with 11/32 but I know a lot of women used a compact 50/34 and 11-28 or 11/30 and are very speedy?


Thanks in advance!