Week 4 Workouts Discussion - Women's Cycling Challenge


Welcome to week 4 of the WCC!!!

This is a recovery week. We will take the intensity down while maintaining important skills work. Remember that the workouts only create an opportunity for adaptation. Recovery is when it actually happens.

So the challenges will be different this week, in that the workouts will require even more focus, control, and… patience! Please be kind with yourself. Also, please read the workout descriptions and watch the videos.

Another week of fun!!!


I’ve learned so much already. Can’t believe it’s week 4!
Looking forward to the workouts.

Thank you, @Coach_Theia! You rock!


Thank you so much @pilinkaba!


@Coach_Theia Some advice please? I’m away for work all next week from Sunday 16th to Friday 21st and won’t be able to to cycle at all! So shall I just do week 4 as normal this week and can we hold week 5 over until I get back home? I will have access to a gym at the hotel and plan to focus on my strength training and yoga whilst I’m there.


Hi Tracy,

Normally when I coach members of our training program, I am able to accommodate schedule changes and push weeks forward. But in the context of the Challenge I am not able to dedicate time to do so.

The way the Challenge is structured, it would require me to recreate a week 5 plan to share it with you to start at a new date. Unfortunately that would be a time-consuming process, and I would have to offer the same to anyone who needs it, to be fair with all the participants.

That is why in the webpage describing the rules of the challenge I specifically mentioned that workout weeks cannot be pushed forward. I can still share the week 5 plan with you, and you could move the workouts to the weekend you get back (that Friday/Sat/Sun) and to at least 2 of them that way.

Thanks for your understanding.


I did 4.1 today and loved it! Found a good stretch of quiet, flat road and had fun seeing how high I could go in the 20s intervals. If my mind wandered just before the start of an interval, I messed it up, but with concentration, I could grind up the power and felt great.

I was wondering today whether you plan to do an evaluation of the programme, perhaps by taking feedback from us by survey? If you do, please can you give us an idea of the questions ahead of time - I like to think about these things so I can give a considered response.

Loving the programme, thank you @Coach_Theia.


@Coach_Theia, no problem, I can understand that. I will get the week 5 ones done once I get back - good job I asked, now I know what I need to plan in once I get back. Thank you x


I will have the same problem as @Tracyligemagreen - in the last week, same dates, I will be on a business trip to S-Korea. I will try to find a Zwift Center there to do my workouts … I hope that works.


@Tracyligemagreen and @michaelafuetsch sounds good, please remember to submit the survey and you’ll be all set.


@Coach_Theia - For 4.1 - do you want us to slow down/shift up BEFORE the 10 sec interval so we can push for the whole 10 seconds? Really enjoying all these workouts - just want to make sure I do it correctly to get the most from it. Thanks!


Yes. I want you to start from almost a stop, and from a high gear. The most important part of the interval is the force you have to use to get the pedals moving, and spin them out by the end of the 10 seconds. The power does not need - and it should not be- constant for the 10 seconds. Hope this helps.


Did 4.1 yesterday and it was fun and do-able, but today my biceps and trapezius are sore! From biking! :open_mouth: Apparently it took a lot of force to hold myself in the saddle against ‘all out.’ Haha, I’ve been working on my core and upper body, but apparently I’m still mostly legs.


Wow that’s impressive for seated efforts! I guess we are all mostly legs… well, most of us I am guessing :wink:


Holy smokes!


Just read this after doing 4.1. Glad to know I appeoached it right! One question…on the power display on the bottom of the screen in Zwift should the red power surges be more like rounded/flat top hills or jaggy mountains? Just trying get a visual of whether I’m doing it right or not! My power goes up very sharply but doesn’t necessarily stay up there consistently. It’s like a mountain that’s steep and smooth on the way up and jaggy on the way down!!!


Also meant to say I loved that workout, lovely endurance and short sharp some power surges. Very doable for me. Which is just as well after my strength coach destroying my legs in the gym yesterday! Bike was what I needed to loosen up the quads after a day with two 1.5 hour car journeys.


Tracy, this is a very interesting question, and one I was discussing a few weeks ago with our members. The “shape” of the sprints in the power graph will depend on the type of rider you are. In principle, all sprints should be an “all out effort”, and not an interval in which you hold the power constant for the duration.

With that as a background, and as a general rule, classic climbers, time trialists, and all-rounders tend to have sprints that look more like a wave with a round top, as shown below (these are my husband’s sprints).

Puncheurs and sprinters (those with predominantly fast-twitch muscle fibers) tend to have sprints that look like a mountain with a sharp top (these are my sprints):

I hear from my husband and others who are of the same rider type as him that they couldn’t make their sprints look like mine if they tried to. And vice-versa!


4.1 done - really enjoyed it. It was a perfect recovery ride, mostly easy but with power surges to keep the interest but also fun, great planning @Coach_Theia :ok_hand:


Thanks Theia, that is interesting. My peaks were definitely more like yours than your husband’s but wider and more jaggy on the right hand side of the peak


This is very interesting… my intervals look definitely more like the ones of your husband. I needed the first 2 intervals to get the right gear and find a good shifting concept. Then I tried to reach the same max power in every interval but this didn’t work out. Especially in the second interval set the max power I could get out of my legs was going down towards the end. Is this how this is meant to be or does it mean I need to work on this to get the max out until the end of the workout?
I really liked this one.