My First 100+ Mile Cycling Week In 3 Years
Updated: Oct 21
It was a goal that I didn’t know I created for myself this week. I finished the week with 112 miles and 8,789 ft of elevation gain on the bike. Some of you might be able to do this in a single ride, including both my brother and dad who are training for Ironman Chattanooga in September. While this was all done virtually on Zwift, I was still proud of my week on the saddle.
This week included possibly one of the hardest virtual rides of my life with a route on Zwift called Quatch Quest. It has a 5/5 difficulty level and 5,600 ft of total elevation gain over around twenty-nine miles. It includes the Alpe Du Zwift, a 3,400 ft behemoth of a climb, with twenty-one switchbacks. If you give it a go, make sure you don’t have a specific time you need to get done by. Four oranges, three bottles, and a handful of pecans later, I was happy to check it off my route list. It took me over three hours to complete and it was my longest ride in about seven or eight years.
My goal is to complete all route badges on Zwift. There will be much harder and longer routes than this one, but I’m taking it one route at a time. If you use Zwift, and haven’t completed Quatch Quest, check out my full recap on what you might be getting yourself into.
I was excited to hit 14 personal records between sprint and KOM segments on Zwift, which might be the most I’ve accomplished in one week. This is one of the addicting parts of Zwift. Beating your own records and/or getting a better position on the leaderboard makes indoor cycling much more bearable and engaging.
Sprint segments tend to be flat and short, and great if you want to go fast. KQOM segments are for climbers, and vary between length, elevation gain, and grade percentage. When you reach a segment checkpoint, a leaderboard will show up on the left of the screen. You can see how you stack up against others and your previous records from the past thirty to ninety days. It will also display your previous record as a ghost. As you work through the segment, and your ghost is ahead of you, it makes for a great motivator to up the power and get ahead of your previous record.
HRV Trending Upwards
I try to get at least three rides logged every week and supplement a day or two with stretching or a short jog. I logged five rides and saw a drastic increase in HRV. My average HRV was 97 ms, up 11% from the previous week. Since I only work out three times a week primarily, adding a couple more intense work outs seems to have created a positive trend.
HRV is personal to you and shouldn’t be compared to others. After you use Whoop for roughly 30 days, a baseline is created specifically for you. Generally, a higher number from your baseline correlates to an improvement in fitness. I’ll notice a decrease in HRV when I drink alcohol, overtrain, have poor sleep, or eat a bad diet. I typically recover from these factors within a couple of days, but I try to keep an eye on any downward trends.
After I finished the week, I kept thinking "100 miles isn't that big of a deal" and started comparing myself to others. However, I have to remind myself that this is a toxic way of thinking and that I should only compete with myself. No matter how big or small your goals are, it's important to take the time to reflect, appreciate, and be proud of the progress you've made.
Where are you at in your progress journey?