I picked this file to review because I knew the rider was really working to make the power, based on in-ride chatter, and I wanted see if they tapped into the mental side of training to get it done. This workout required a lot of mental focus and was perfectly timed with Wednesday’s Rusch Hour Live with Travis Macy.
Most of the files we review look pretty spot on compared to the prescribed workout, because we're on Zwift and in ERG mode; workouts seldom look that "clean" when training outdoors. This one is different. I'm assuming the rider turned off ERG mode for this workout.
Let’s just look at cadence and power. What do you see, especially in MS2?
As I noted before, this rider was really digging, and he broke the 30-minute Tempo section into 3-minute blocks with a lower cadence and higher power, most likely standing surges in between. Was this prescribed? No. Does this make for a perfect file? No. But you know what? The rider got it done. When you look at MS2 in total, as well as MS1 and MS3, the average wattage and power matched the power and cadence targets (a little low on cadence, but close).
What does this teach us? The rider wanted to get through the workout, and he knew it was going to be really hard. He decided to tackle it just like he would eat an elephant: one bite at a time. Breaking the 30-minute interval into smaller pieces allowed him to wrap his head around one segment at a time, get a reward (change of power/cadence), and then settle back in.
Huge props to this athlete for opening his mental toolbox, finding the correct tool for the job, and executing!