last week I did The Shovel, and that was really the first time my App-to-Kickr link posed a very noticeable and even annoying problem.
In most cases I have virtually zero delay in the power steps, but occasionally there is one, and when there is, it’s usually in the range of 7 to 8 seconds.
Now in a 2 min effort, those 7 seconds might be disturbing but they are not the end of the suffering. Even if it occurs in a very short opener during warm-up, well, you always have the time to rewind and do it again.
In the short sprints of The Shovel however, such delays can kill the entire idea of the workout.
I also have the feeling that the shorter the effort (or recovery period), the more frequently these delays occur. But that might just be perception, I should run some statistics on that. Anyway, even if true, this would be stuff for the minions to deal with.
Now I have Violator scheduled for next week, and looking at the profile of this workout, it is bound to be a disaster in ERG mode. So, the obvious advice would be to ride it in Level Mode.
But: As the inexperienced ride that I am, I will NEVER even remotely hit these power targets on the nose. Put me on a running track and ask me to do the 400m in x seconds, without any GPS or stopwatch, I’ll run the lap in x +/- 2 sec (provided x is in a reasonable range😉).
Ask me to do x W on a bike and I’ll ride x +/- 150 W
Joking aside, Violator has many many very finely graduated steps and efforts. If I do this in Level Mode, my power will be all over the place and the idea of the workout will be ruined.
So, any useful suggestions?
Use level mode and hit every single interval as hard as you can, and don’t worry about the power targets
(Seriously… it’s called Violator for a reason!)
Passed along to me when I first joined up…
Looking forward to the updated chart for the new videos (minions…hint, hint).
I’d second this. I’ve found that the targets in these sort of workouts make it too easy in ERG mode - I get to the end without too much trouble. Switching to Level was a revelation. I change down a gear at the start and nail it, and if necessary, change down again if my cadence gets too high/power drops too low.
If you lift your head and watch the video, the Minions put a warning to switch to Level mode at the end of the warm up. It’s there for a serious reason. One, you are going to blow up if you reach each and every power target. The first five second interval is at above your NM level. Second, you can seriously hurt yourself if the trainer suddenly locks up when you aren’t reaching those power levels. More than one person has limped off the trainer and had to visit Injurylandria after doing this.
So, what does a Sufferelandrian do: Warm up in ERG mode. about 15 seconds before the first interval and when the warning displays switch to level mode (2 or 3 % climb is recommended). CRUSH every interval not worrying about the next. With sufficient punishment, you will not be able to get off the bike when finished without a nice long warm down.
Having read this I can barely hold myself back from running to the pain cave right now…
Hey, it’s only 64, how hard can it be?
As hard as you make it. However, be aware that the first set can lead to the feeling that this is an easy workout…
I’ve had issues with slow ERG responses when I connect my trainer via ANT, but never with Bluetooth.
But as others have said, doing Violator in Level mode, and working hard on every interval is a great way to go. Don’t worry too much about hitting the power targets, as long as you’re in the right ballpark.
The advice already given by our awesome community of Sufferlandrians is spot on. Use level mode and give it all you’ve got. You can also use the RPE targets as a guide for each effort (or group of efforts). Using level mode for this type of workout and experimenting with your gearing or level choice, will help you better learn how to gauge your effort and gear choices, just as you’ve learned to gauge your pace so well while running.
Best of luck!
Thanks to all of you for these useful and consistent tips and advice!
I will do as I’m told, and might let you know how it worked out…provided I’ll come out alive at the other end of the 64…
Just back from the shower.
This workout felt exactly how it I expected it to feel. Brutal.
For GvA’s sake, I’ve been an endurance athlete for 2 decades!
I’ve never done anything like this, be it on the bike or on the running track. Shortest I do are 200m running reps, and they are still sub-max. I can accept that sprinting might make me a better athlete, but my body definitely refuses to like it.
This slow build of Nine Hammers, until that final minute, that’s the kind of suffering I’m used to. But these short all-out efforts make me feel sick, see stars, and drain my legs in no time.
The first set was tough, the second one was brutal, and the 3rd… thank GvA I have a memory lapse after the first two sprints of that one. For the last few I could only stand the first couple of seconds, then my knees gave in and I had to sprint sitting… awful…
And I’ve never been so wobbly coming off the trainer.
So, all in all, tons of fun
Oh yeah, and this advice, hit every interval as hard as you can: Great one! Thanks guys! A very warm thank you also from my legs!
Joking aside, having done it, I think it’s the only reasonable way to do this workout for a Sufferlandrian.
Awesome! Well done. I have it scheduled for tomorrow evening (having just been comprehensively smashed by Nine Hammers last night)
Was that you who crawled into the Nine Hammers Tavern last night talking about ‘those damn sprints’ last night? Good on you.
I was still able to talk?
Well, sounds like me, yes, but I can barely remember anything of last night
Last thing I remember is somebody saying something about recovery duration matching the sprints. Then all gets blurry…
You mean bleeding eyes? Good for you. I can’t do this ride right now and I enjoy reading about everyone who finishes it. Huzzah from the Nobility.
Violatoir is diabolical. Anyone with any sense would say the only good advice is to avoid it. But of course none of us have any sense.
Does anyone ACTUALLY ride violator performing every sprint as hard as they can? What does this look like - show me a power chart. I have to imagine you are a puddle of jelly halfway through and just barely getting above FTP?
I have it in 2 days and I’ve always aimed for the targets, sometimes in Erg, sometimes not.
Or do we hit the targets? Why does SUF give us targets AND say go as hard as possible? Bad “requirements” I say.
Ok I’ll bite.
It was genuinely a ‘flat out’ every time, though whether I reached peak power (or even peak possible power) every time is a different thing. I’m not quite sure what happened with the first few efforts. I’d just done a 15 min warm up + strength so maybe my head was still wondering why I still can’t balance properly the same on each leg.
Looking back I’ve only done Violator twice. Once almost exactly a year ago when I only made half way through the second set of efforts, and then the above a month ago. My notes from that session simply look like this:
I feel like I need to revisit this soon.
Leebo- Ouch! That looks like you really hurt yourself. Were you ok after that? Guess I need to try it the hard way.