Let the Pushing and Pulling begin!

Today I did my first outdoor ride of the Semi-Finals of the Zwift Academy which was a Threshold
Push/Pull workout of 4 hours in total! The 'Threshold Pushing' blocks consisted of 2 x 15 minutes intervals riding just below FTP and the 'Threshold Pulling' blocks were 4 x 4 minutes riding somewhat above FTP. I was excited to be able to do this workout after having calibration problems with my power meter yesterday. Big thanks for Beukers Bike Centre for offering a replacement!

In this workout I first needed to ride easy in zone 1 or 2 for approximately 2 hours, before I continued with a brief warm-up followed up by the Push/Pull intervals. Especially in these longer and intensive workouts it is important to eat and drink enough through the whole ride. This meant that I did drink 1/3 of a bottle with Isotonic Drink every 20 minutes and eat something every 30 minutes (I usually switch between a bite of an energy bar or a energy gel).

The weather was great, so riding outside today was a real joy! Since there are no real mountains in The Netherlands I chose to do the intervals on the longest straight road we have in our country - I think - the Afsluitdijk. Not the most inspiring route, but it is ideal because there are few crosses, there is little traffic and there is always wind!

In the warm-up, that I did after 2 hours of riding, I felt that my legs were good today! So bring on those intervals! In the first 15 minutes interval, I needed to find my rythm a bit. Especially the wind gusts made it a little difficult at times, but as the intervals went by I could handle it better and better. In the 2 x 15 minutes 'Threshold Pushing' blocks I was feeling good and I could recover well in between. I took a 10 minutes recovery period utill the start of 4 x 4 minutes 'Threshold Pulling' intervals. The first 2 intervals were still reasonably good to do, but in the last 2 the fatigue started to hit in a bit after riding for almost 3.5 hours. Now I had to stay strong mentally! In both intervals I concentrated myself extra on a strong pedal stroke and controlled breathing, which helped me a lot in completing them. With a satisfied feeling I easily rode to the spot where I was picked up by my boyfriend.

All in all it was a tough workout, but one that I really liked to do! Especially with this wonderful autumn weather it was a wonderful ride!

See my ride on Strava below!


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