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Old 02-01-21, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
I agree that The Sufferfest programs and videos push you a lot harder. Zwift is great for casual riding, groups, even racing if you are into that, but as a training program I never could find something I could stick to. The problem with Sufferfest is that the videos do start to get repetitive. They are definitely corny but they do keep you motivated. The strongest I've ever been on a bike by far was after a winter of Sufferfest with only a smattering of Zwift rides. I should add that the Sufferfest training I did was with their own produced videos. I don't find the rest of the stuff they've put on in the last year to be as good at keeping you involved even if they are good training and staying involved is about 3/4 the battle.
Long, and just what my gripes with Zwift plans/workouts and most indoor dedicated platforms:

It's whatever floats your boat. To say that any one program is easier or harder is to totally not understand structured training.

If you've tested properly and chosen targets properly, then most plans will present challenge. I can surely set you up on a horribly painful Zwift plan if the ftp is setup honestly.

The problem with Zwift training plans is that they were written by morons. A lot of the plans have too many days in a row, or per week, of zones 4,5,6 in a 6 zone system. To truly perform in those zones you have to have some level of form available (TSB isn't in the floor negative). When these plans put stuff like 30/30's and under overs and all this stuff 3x or 4x a wind up underperforming on all of them.

Ideally, week to week in a plan I'd say most folks can handle two "hard" days.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that they often don't have hardly any off days. To build fitness you need rest days also.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that time-wise they are uninterruptible in a linear fashion. You cannot revisit a workout you skipped because you had a lovely winter day. If you write your own plans, or a coach does, or use a different usually can "push" the plan's end date out if it doesn't bump into a targeted race.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that a LOT of the individual workouts are trash. When you do structured training, the point is to target specific parts of your fitness. Not smatter every single possible zone into the same workout at the same time. Zwift does this likely to keep people interested in the workout mentally. Sometimes the best structured training workouts do tend to be boring or repetitive. If you want to maximize time spent in Z5, why would you design a workout with 10min spent in Z4 during the workout? Some of their workouts look like they gave a kinder student a sheet of paper and some crayons.

The glorious part though is you can write your own workouts or plans and push them to Zwift. Then still enjoy the free-ride and racing aspects. Free-ride your Z2 and Z1 workouts. Or, be smart and if you're doing some 2x20 do repeats up Epic KOM during a free-ride.

I would tend to say a combo of Zwift, Trainingpeaks, and a then either write your own or buy a plan once in a while to push into Zwift when you need indoors workouts. Also lots of good books with plans and workouts in them out there.

I don't like the inflexibility of the dominantly indoor training plans. I like to push the workouts to the indoor trainer, not have the indoor trainer lasso me and tie me up. I respect that flexibility.
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