by Alan Dempsey
It’s Week 3 of the Canadian Cycling Magazine Zwift winter-training plan. Below are the activities for the next seven days, which build on the work you did in Week 2.
Zwift winter-training plan: Week 3
Approx. TSS: 390
Week 3 is the toughest week. It’s all about intensity and developing top-end power. It’s not as important in the winter have a gut-busting sprint or your best-ever, one-minute effort, but it’s still important to keep your legs sharp and snappy.
Monday – Rest
Monday is going to be a rest day. Take a day off, or ride easy in Zone 1 for a maximum of 40 minutes. As we’ve said before, rest days are a good time to spend 25 to 30 minutes doing some core-strength work off the bike. Planks, side planks, crunches, mountain climbers, bicycle crunches and leg raises are all great movements that will help strengthen and develop your core. Don’t be afraid of doing some push-ups.
Tuesday – Threshold Efforts
We’ll start this week by spending some time working at or near FTP. There are more effective ways to improve FTP, such as the sweet spot work we did in Week 2, but these challenging threshold-effort workouts help develop fatigue resistance and build mental strength. (Download the Week 3 Threshold Efforts .zwo file here.)
Wednesday – Zwift Race using the Zwift Event module
Time: 40-60 Minutes
Use the Zwift Event module to pick a race that is approximately 40 to 60 minutes in length. Warm up with 20 minutes of easy riding that incorporates two to three hard efforts lasting no more than one to two minutes. Cool down afterwards with 10 to 20 minutes of easy spinning.
You should be getting the hang of effort management now. You’ve had some practice in races and in our free-ride workouts. During this day’s race, whatever group you end up in, try to attack the bunch. The Zwift draft physics make it very hard for a solo rider to escape the pack, so the key to an attack is splitting the group on a climb. Push yourself and try to be the one to dictate the race. Don’t be afraid to blow up. These are just practice races.
Thursday – Moderate Tempo
Time: 65 minutes
Harder workouts require more recovery time. Instead of the usual hard workout, we’re going to take it a little easier and do some low tempo/endurance work today. We have VO2 max workouts coming up on Saturday so the legs need to be fresh. (Download the Week 3 Moderate Tempo .zwo file here.)
Friday – Rest Day
Rest Day. No workouts. Try to avoid any physical activity today. Rest as much as you can.
Saturday – VO2 Max Over/Unders
Time: 48 minutes
Over/unders are a staple workout. You’ll find yourself undulating between just above threshold, tapping the bottom end of Zone 5, and just below threshold. This a tough workout, not too long, but very effective. (Download the Week 3 VO2 Over/Unders .zwo file here.)
Sunday – Zwift Endurance
Time: 150 minutes
For this workout, do a free ride within Zwift for 150 minutes. Whatever course is available on this day (Richmond, Watopia or London), pick a hilly route (but not the Epic KOM or Volcano climb) and ride a steady endurance pace targeting the full range of Zone 2.
Congratulations. You’ve done Week 3. Next, on to Week 4.