There’s lots going on this week, but despite that somehow I haven’t managed to carve out time to write something down. So here goes.
I have decided to give Zwift a try. I still love TrainerRoad, but am finding that at 5:00 AM when I get up to ride I’m really not in the mood to watch Netflix. I spend more time trying to find something to watch than I do getting the other stuff set up to ride. It’s become almost near a real problem. Hearing such great things about Zwift but never really getting it, I decided to give it a try to shake things up. The free 25 km that it provides is enough to figure most of it out.
On Monday I hopped on just to spin a bit – no workout – and see what Zwift was all about. I ended up drenched in sweat an hour later trying to get up the big mountain before my trial ended. I didn’t make it. Naturally I had to subscribe so I can see what’s at the top. For $10, seems legit.
I have a dumb-trainer. It’s a Kurt Kinetic circa 2006 and while it is aged, it does the job reasonably well now that I have things set up properly. The Kinetic is a rear-wheel roller resistance trainer. I use Garmin Vector 2S to transmit the power and have a HR strap too. All in, I have what I need to Zwift away reasonably well.
This morning was the first “workout” with Zwift. I used their workout creator to mirror something close to what TrainerRoad would have had me do today. This worked quite well actually. It did more or less what TR does – gives you a target and expects you to hit it. Simple. When my 2 hour ride was done I’d covered near 60 km around Richmond (which I think is good….) and covered over 400m of elevation gain.
Zwift without a smart trainer is odd though. My cadence doesn’t change when I hit a hill – the avatar just slows way down. There’s also a real differential between how fast it looks like I’m going and what the speedometer says. I think there’s a real lack of a sense of speed in the game. But there is plenty of good too. It is obviously socially oriented, and if that’s your thing go for it. I also found that I was working harder than usual on my “up” intervals. That could be fitness gains (toying with a possible FTP test next week) but could also be people around me.
In general, it was good fun. I’m going to give it a fair try this month and see how I like it. Decide what to do next once I’ve logged a few more kms.
My back is getting better. I have seen my chiropractor a few times now and am getting better with his advice. The issue is still there – my bulging disc. Sciatica is also still there. This was the reason I had to stop running too, and this morning the Dr said I can get started on some slow, short work again. That was great to hear. I just got back in from my 15 minute shuffle and while the sciatica was definitely there still, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. The hills seem to make it worse, which is odd. Not that I did a lot of hill running today – there’s a short but reasonably steep incline on my loop.
Anyhow, lots of physio exercises and strengthening the core. Getting back to it and hopefully will be close enough to full strength by mid June so that I can race Guelph Lake!
The astute reader will note that my last post was both very emotional and detailed.
Yes, my pool is really giving me some frustration lately. They’ve decided not to update their pool schedule online, leaving it exactly as it has appeared for months. Also, not posting closures on doors or even letting the lifeguards know the schedule has changed. I made it onto the pool deck ready to go on Tuesday before I found out there was no swim. Rage.
I did manage to get the schedule for the next several weeks. It isn’t great but thankfully the weather is warming and the open water should be ready to go soon. I can still manage a strong workout schedule for the swim. But having not swam now in a full week (holiday weekend away with family) I’m kind of dreading tonight’s return to the pool. I’m sure it won’t be so bad but a week away is not nothing. I’ll have lost all feel for the water, and that’s a real drag (swimming pun!).
And on that, away I go!