What would you do?

So this is my current Xert profile
Would obviously need to work on short power duration, I am mainly training indoors on Zwift racing twice a week (generally one TTT and one scratch race lasting 40 to 60 minutes) + 1 long outdoor ride in the weekends (with around 1hr climbing over 3/4 hrs total) or long indoor race (3 hrs)
FTP is 3.9 w/kg, weakest power point in the power curve is between 5 secs and 1 min (1 min power is 5,72 w/kg =430 W, weight 75kg)
The thing is, I would like to improve short term power without losing too much in my actual form in longer durations, going towards outdoor IRL season and some outdoor fondos but still racing indoors during the week.
In Zwift racing, I can get to the final sprint in top positions in B races, sometimes even with A racers, but always getting beaten by most of my competitors in that final sprint
I know there are muscle fibers limiters playing here for me, but I am also sure there is something that can be done in training to improve my short term power.

Set your rider type to Power Sprinter and do a short block of the workouts that pop up perhaps?

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There is some conflict between indoor and outdoor goals, but maybe not as much as it seems

Could be your absolute power in which case yes, as @carytb says, you can do a sprint block. Can also add heavy weight training. Some sprints or other HIT work can help ‘raise the ceiling’ as some say, which can help aerobic capacity longer term too. If done for too long, though, that can (will) reduce general aerobic capacity or ability to ride long at lower powers below LTP, which it sounds like is what you want for outdoor rides (and also relevant for the next point).

Could also be that other riders are just fresher at the end, so it’s not absolute power, but general aerobic capacity (and even race craft) that you need to build (so being able to keep up riding at a lower % TP for the first 98% of the race… or being able to limit MPA drawdown in Xert speak). Focusing on that will help you both for Zwift races and outdoors.

Between the two, it depends whether you think you can further build aerobic capacity (given hours available, how focused you’ve been on that recently and over the years). If yes, I’d do probably that, if no, then sure, do a sprint or other short focus block and build explosive power for a bit, then come back to endurance training.

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Excellent point

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That’s a (first) good point.
I know that the two things (racing indoors on ~60 minutes races and going for IRL fondos outdoors) are not perfect together but I like when you say their potential conflict could be ‘not as much as it seems’.
I relate that to your second point, where I think you really nailed it.

As for race craft, after my first year of Zwift racing when I was really bad in that, I think that now in my second winter indoors I have improved my race skills; now I can sit in the draft saving energies, knowing when to push, etc.
So, the main issue could really be not being fresh as other riders at the end, as you say. This is how I feel, at least (not sure how other riders feel just before that final sprint, but they beat me, so they must feel better than me :joy:).
When I get back home to my PC I will post here a few screenshots of some races, to show my MPA drawdown before the/ in the final sprints; I think a further try to build aerobic capacity would serve me well even outdoors, and here is where I go back to your first point (or as I understand it, at least): the ‘conflict’ between indoors and outdoors goals could not be that big, if I keep working on aerobic capacity.
As for time available, I can train ~10hrs per week, including a weekend long ride (~4hrs outdoors). I must add that this was the first winter where I tried weekend long rides indoors too (for bad weather on most weekends) taking part in Zwift (or RGT) long races (~3 hrs). I liked them because they were a good mix of steady pace, virtual climbs (going in the range between 5 and 10 minutes hard efforts, repeated a few times if there were laps to be done) and that dreadful final sprint.
This to say that I think I have been (partially) focusing on aerobic capacity for the last 3 months, if these long indoors races can be considered contributing to that goal.
My overall average w/kg in those indoors long races was usually between 3,1/3,2 W/kg (~82% FTP) with some stronger 5-10 minutes repeated pulls, as I said, and final sprints.
Am I getting it right, thinking that aerobic capacity further building would be a good overall option to combine outdoors and indoors?
In that case, which kind of workouts shall I do, apart from keeping doing those long indoor races (as I think they can be useful, are they?) or a long weekend ride outdoor with a good deal of climbing?

I would look at your spider chart and conclude you are strong all around.
No real weaknesses there.
IMO power sprinters are born more than made.
While you can certainly train your sprint power and possibly improve through weights, at some point it is what it is. :slight_smile:
If your goal is to compete on the road IRL there are other ways to ensure those power sprinters don’t reach the finish line before you do. It appears you have what it takes to do that.

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Thanks, good confidence boost.
I must add, to further clarify, that my goal is double:

  • improve my indoors racing results, as I can get to the end of any race in the first group, but no matter how big or small is that group, I always end in the last 25% of that group after the final sprint;
  • by doing something to improve that, not to ‘damage’ too much my IRL outdoor goals (racing longer fondos, >110/120 kms with ~2000/2500 mts climbs, usually w/long climbs lasting from 20 mins to 1hr)


It’s about building volume so if you recover well after the races (can do a hard-ish ride two days later) and enjoy that, keep at it - whatever helps get the volume.

I’ve personally found a long easy day once a week (or every two) to really help build volume with little fatigue. As in HR around 70%, maybe 80% LTP (but depends on your signature hence HR is another guide) which should feel easy. Depending on how hard your harder days are, you can also ride harder than that on the long days eg add some LTP efforts in the hills (kind of what your adoring, minus the sprint). You can just follow Xert endurance workouts too if you recover well.

And harder days could be long intervals LTP or a bit above… or shorter intervals close to threshold… you can also let Xert be your guide assuming your athlete type isn’t too short a focus

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Sound advice, thanks a lot.
Best day for a long easy day time-wise would be Sunday for me, right after a harder long Saturday (Saturday is long hard race indoor or hard ride outdoors with climbs, done as you suggest).
May sound a bit back to back, this Sat-Sun sequence, but weekend, as for many, is when I can train longer. Zwift or RGT indoors shorter racing or workouts (~1hr) are perfect for week days, for working reasons.
I just have to try that and see how that Sat-Sun sequence would leave me for the weekly Zwift shorter race, which is always on Tuesday night (I race in a weekly series).
How do you see having that long easy day on Sunday after a hard long Saturday ? I am recovering well in this period, considering my age group (I’m 53). Might be another side effect of having ‘digested’ my current training scheme.
Monday would be a shorter easy ride of course, just to move the legs a bit (in my personal experience, I see it’s better for me than full rest)

Go for it… may take a bit to adapt, but I used to do similar, and back to back does help fitness… just don’t go too hard Sunday (or long maybe?) to begin with i.e. add volume slowly (XATA is good for managing ramp rate)… depends a bit what you’re doing already on Sunday though.

A typical 1hr recent Zwift race where I ended up 13th in the final sprint, in a bunch of 26 riders left for that (one of my best, indeed; usually I would have ended around 18th or worse). Threshold power has gone from that 283W to 297W right now (that race was one month ago)

Right now, just an easy 1hr ride on most Sundays, only once or twice I’ve been trying a shorter (1h-1h30) second indoors race (but that left me too cooked for the following race on Tuesday night :laughing:)

Yeah that looks hard… you can go into advanced MPA and see how it looks (and difficulty score) if you hypothetically increased TP by 10 or 20w (just type the new number and refresh)… the MPA drawdown should be much less meaning you’ll have more available for that final sprint

Good hint, I’ll try that

Same race, using current TP (297w instead of 283w at the day of that race).
Really shows the difference!

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Yep, and another 10w or so will be another big difference. I do find the advanced MPA analysis good for that kind of thing

(And your HR response will be much more moderate as well)

I had read TP while it is LTP. WIll try and check if my 70% HR corresponds to 80% LTP, should be more or less the same, I guess.

Yes though everyone’s different… should be easy enough to speak comfortably. It’s above what I’d call a recovery pace though. And when I say 70% max hr I treat that as a ceiling, so target a bit below that, and for sure average below that. Power is in ‘traditional’ zone 2 (5 zone model, so 55-75% threshold) but at the lower rather than upper end…