All out efforts in virtual events (Zwift, IRONMAN VR, etc) in a training plan? | 80/20 Endurance

All out efforts in virtual events (Zwift, IRONMAN VR, etc) in a training plan?

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  • #10685
    tedc
    Participant

    With all of the virtual events we now have access to (Zwift, IRONMAN VR, etc.), any week of the year, would it be advantageous or disadvantageous to incorporate an all out effort in a virtual event (either a same day virtual duathlon, or a pool swim followed by a bike/run later the same day) in a tri training plan? For my specific situation, training in the north east, with a mid-May 70.3 in Florida coming up, right now I have my 80/20 Level 2 Training Plan and workouts each week in the lead up to the race, and I see the CAe8 + RAe1 race simulation workouts in weeks 15 and 17. Which would be better – to do the CAe8 and RAe1 workouts (which seem below 70.3 race intensity overall unless all of the Zone 1-2 is done in Zone X, right?) What’s the best approach to polish myself up for my 70.3 and be strong and fresh on race day, not beat down by too hard simulations. Take advantage of virtual events (which give a sense of an “observed event” and elicit a harder all out response) or stick to the standard workouts?

    If this were a normal year, and I lived in a warm (enough) climate in the months preceding my A race 70.3, it would be common to do a local Olympic tri to polish up – polish up on multiple levels: all of the logistics of what to pack, setting up transition, morning pre-race going through all the motions of breakfast, etc., doing all 3 legs in sequence in a race environment, and practicing the transitions, etc. But this isn’t a normal year and I’ll have no opportunity like that. Is doing a virtual event of all out intensity of some duration a good idea or a bad idea in the last 2 months before an A race?

    #10694
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    ted,

    First, check out out document Planning Your Race Season. It lists the “ideal” weeks to add a B or C race. It might be just the answer you are looking for.

    Virtual races (or any tuneup race) is a great idea for just the reasons you articulate. 1-2 is good, more than that can interfere with building new fitness. Our guide, I think, finds the right balance for each distance.

    David

    #11342
    tedc
    Participant

    Thanks @david. I reviewed doc you linked to and it’s helpful for determining when to do a warmup race – whether real or virtual. For my current training plan/calendar, Half Iron Level 2 with a race date of May 15th, it indicates an Olympic tri in week 16 preferably, or week 13 as a backup. I’m already in week 14 so that rules out the backup. Week 16 is weekend of 4/23-25. I’ll keep an eye out on Ironmanvirtualclub.com for an Olympic distance virtual race that weekend. My next important question is how to adjust the remainder of that week.

    Looking at the Sunday of week 16, it’s got: SF3, CFF14, and RAe1.

    The distance/time of each seems close to an Olympic race. But if I look at the intensity of those 3 workouts they seem much lower than what the intensity would be in an Olympic distance tri. SF3 feels like it is significantly below my race intensity for either Olympic or Half Iron swim distance, so that swapping a higher intensity swim (likely 100% above Zone 2) in for SF3 would require a recalculation and adjustment of what the swim workouts are for the week with a 75/25 (distance) split. CFF14 seems like it might be close to race intensity, but still too low – I’m guessing my Olympic would be a mix of Zone X and Zone 3, with a Zone Y-4 fast finish. RAe1 is entirely Zone 1-2, but I think I’d probably be running the 10k in Zone X.

    So, basically, the swim distance, and the bike and run times for the Olympic tri would be in Zone X and above, so part of the 20% mod-hard for the week. I get that, and I can do calculations and swap workouts to make the week align to 80/20 overall. Probably not going to be able to do the RT3, CT12, STT1, RAn3, SMI1 that week. Should everything else (other than the Olympic virtual tri) that week just be Zone 1-2? Keep the total weekly volume close to the 5350 yards swim, 4 hr bike, 2:40 hr run? Any tips on what to swap (from this to that), and why to help guide me? Seems like I should rewrite the whole week – which I can do, just would love to know among the Zone 1-2 workout options which are best for Week 16.

    Thanks!

    #11349
    David Warden
    Keymaster

    Ted, this demonstrates the consequences of racing when training. It’s a good idea to have a tune-up race, maybe two, but you can see how it destroys your 80/20 intensity balance. In general, it’s worth the tradeoff however, to get the experience.

    Drop all intensity from the workouts that week, make everything Zone 1-2 but keep the duration. The RAn3 becomes 60 minutes Zone 1-2, for example.

    You’re scheduled for about 102 minutes of =>Zone X in Week 16 as-written. The Oly will put you at about 150 minutes =>Zone X, so you’ll be over for the week by 50 minutes. In a 19-week/185-hour plan that is adhered to every other week, 50 minutes (or less than 0.5%) is not an issue and I would not worry about compensating by dropping even more intensity in Week 17.

    David

    #11352
    tedc
    Participant

    This is a great help. Thanks!

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