The “Watts up with Power?” ride is likely the slowest group ride you’ll find on Zwift, because it focuses on learning the basics of power based training while riding together on Zwift. Each ride is streamed to Zwift LIVE by ODZ on Facebook, and focuses on teaching specific principles of power-based training. For viewers that are unable to attend live, the teaching is made available for all to review afterwards.
Here is the summary for September 27th from ride leader Taylor Thomas.
The end of race season is an important time for all athletes. It’s not only a time to rest and reset, but also a time to perform a critical post-season review. A detailed review of past season workouts and performances helps to inform the training approach for the upcoming season, and should be an integral part of every athlete’s planning.
1: Perform a Broad Season Review
Begin with a bird’s eye view of your past season performances to look for major trends. What did your CTL, TSB and ATL look like at key points in the season? Did you accomplish your goals from a fitness and racing perspective? Compare the quantitative and qualitative metrics to paint the entire picture.
The Performance Management Chart is a great place to start your overview. Looking for peaks in fitness and form and understanding how those metrics may have impacted key performances is a good jumping off point.
Analyze peak power numbers throughout the season. Are the peaks appropriate for the type of training and discipline you were preparing for? Overlay these numbers with the PMC chart to understand how it all fits together.
The Power Duration Curve in WKO4 allows for a detailed look at broad shifts in your power profile. Ensure that the durations that saw the most change aligned with your broad goals and race focus.
2: Perform a Detailed Performance Review
Use your general overview to pinpoint key performances. These could be peaks in fitness, form, breakthrough workouts or particular races. Use these time periods to go into further detail and look for insights.
Reviewing peak powers during a race, or particular date range, is helpful in understanding how your training may need to be adapted to fit the demands of specific events. Also, look to see if those peak numbers align with what you had hoped to accomplish during the race or time period.
Using the Time in Zones chart is a great way to quantify the effort or output. Comprehending what a race effort looks like from a physiological perspective helps to further inform your planning in the future.
The Power Distribution chart is also a valuable tool for race day analysis. Are there places where power distribution could have been more effective? Where do strengths and weaknesses lie? These are great questions to ask when looking at distribution charts.
3: Plan Your Transition
Use core metrics such as CTL, TSB and ATL to inform your decisions. Map out what your goals are for the off season as well as the season to come. Understanding how these pieces fit together will make for a productive off season.
How much time will you be taking off? Do you need a mental and/or physical break? The answer is different for every athlete, but the transition period between seasons is the time to take a break if one is needed.
Work backwards from your goals using key metrics to determine when an appropriate start date for season specific training should begin. Be sure to allow for an appropriate base and build period before moving to race specificity.
Use an Annual Training Plan to establish goals for CTL, TSS and ramp rate. This approach will ensure you allow enough time to properly build and prepare for the season to come.
4: Develop Your Training Plan
Now that you have an idea of what you’ve accomplished during the last season, and what the efforts looked like, you can begin to plan your upcoming season/training.
Don’t wait to develop your plan. Lay out the runway and understand what it looks like early on so you know what to expect and stay on track. Will it get you to your goals? Is it too aggressive/not enough? Have specific answers to these questions and use the data to guide your decisions.
Include your off season as well as transition and build-up in your plan. The only way to know if you’re going to be prepared is to factor in the entire approach. Seeing the runway in front of you allows for a comprehensive approach to off time, rest periods, and focused training.
Integrate race specificity 8-12 weeks out from your first A priority race. Make sure that you’ve incorporated an appropriate base and build period before starting. This should be easy to plan for once you’ve laid out the entire plan.