Training Log: Build Me Up, Week 6

Welcome to my week 6 “Build Me Up” (BMU) training log.

About this Series:
I’m journaling my way weekly through Zwift’s “Build Me Up” training plan and calling out tough workouts, minor bugs, and Zwift feature suggestions along the way. For your reference, my FTP is set to 321W, as detected by Zwift’s ramp test at the start of the plan.
Past weeks: Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4 // Week 5

Finishing this week felt good, as it meant I was halfway through the BMU plan. Read about week 6 below!

Workout Journal – Week 6

Saturday, April 22: HWBTWTDWH

See activity on Strava

This was the only 90-minute workout of the week, so I decided to do it first. And it wasn’t bad at all!

HWBTWTDWH (Hard Works Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard) is basically a sweet spot workout. 4x 15-minute blocks around the sweet spot zone (90% of FTP). It featured plenty of cadence and position changes to keep it interesting, but in the end it was just a combined 60 minutes of sweet spot work.

Last week‘s long workout was 4 blocks of 12 minutes at sweet spot, so this week was a bit longer. BUT… last week also featured the 30/30s at 480W, which were just killer. This week had no such silliness, which makes this workout much easier than its last-week equivalent.

Monday, April 24: Attack!

See activity on Strava

With 5 workouts this week, I needed to do 4 in a row with no off days. So I decided to alternate the workouts easy-hard-easy-hard. Having flagged “Attack!” and “C.A” as my two easy workouts, I jumped into this one Monday morning.

While some of the text instructions from coach Shayne during the workout (as well as the title itself) might lead you to believe it’s a tough workout, it really isn’t. Basically just 34 minutes of tempo work around 80% of FTP. Yes, each of the 3 long tempo blocks began with a 30s effort at 150% of FTP… but that wasn’t hard to do, given the rest block right before each effort.

My legs were still sore from a short yet ill-advised jog I’d taken two days before, so I welcomed the opportunity to not push myself to the limit today.

Tuesday, April 25: Uphill Battle

See activity on Strava

A solid workout, but not one that pushed me to the edge. This workout consisted of two sections:

  1. 3x sub-threshold blocks (5 minutes at 95% of FTP, with a 30-second ramp up to 150% at the end of each).
  2. 2x 5 30/30s. First set was 415w/225W, second set was 450W/195W.

The 30/30s at the end were the toughest part, but the required wattage wasn’t as high as the nightmarish 30/30s a couple of weeks ago. I just kept my cadence high and pushed through. They were tough but doable, with my heart rate going just over threshold.

For some reason, Shayne decided this was the workout to introduce “Bike Facts”. Once in each of the 5-minute sections he shared a bike fact like what you see below:

Being a bike nerd, I found this interesting and entertaining, and would welcome it in other workouts.

Wednesday, April 26: C.A.

See activity on Strava

“C.A.” stands for Cadence Adjustment. This workout consisted of a 6-minute set of intervals, repeated 5x:

  • 3 minutes at 90% FTP (290W) at 90RPM
  • 2 minutes at 85% FTP (275W) at 100RPM
  • 1 minute at 75% FTP (240W) at 110RPM+

This one actually felt like it got a bit easier as it went on. I think my legs initially didn’t want to turn over quickly, but they came around. For the very last 1-minute interval I decided to try to hold the highest cadence I could – and ended up averaging 128RPM! That is, I’m quite certain, the most pedal revs I’ve ever done in 60 seconds.

With a VO2 workout coming the next day, this workout was a bit tougher than I would have preferred. But I’ll cross my fingers and hope I can pound my way through the VO2 intervals tomorrow!

Thursday, April 27: 15.9

See activity on Strava

This VO2 workout was a key workout for the week, since we’re in a VO2-focused block. This week’s VO2 workout was a bit tougher than last week’s, with the intervals 30 seconds longer and a 10-minute block of sweetspot (110% of FTP, or 290W) tacked onto the end. Happily there were only 5 VO2 intervals this time, instead of last week’s 6.

The VO2 intervals were tough – pushing me pretty close to my limit and making this the hardest workout of the week. The final 10-minute block of sweetspot was tough but doable, emptying my legs quite nicely.

Whine of the Week: Ride Summary Graph

This is admittedly a minor thing to whine about, but here we go: I wish Zwift would fix the graph shown in my post-workout summary screen. Because it’s always off on both the horizontal and vertical axes. This drives me just a bit crazy!

Summing Up Week 6

While the VO2 workout was tough, the other 4 workouts this week were all quite doable. I feel like Shayne made the workouts a bit easier this week, so we could survive having 5 workouts instead of 4 and build endurance/resilience. Even with 5 workouts, we still haven’t surpassed week 3’s TSS:

  • Week 1: 274 TSS
  • Week 2: 343 TSS
  • Week 3: 363 TSS
  • Week 4: 212 TSS
  • Week 5: 312 TSS
  • Week 6: 358 TSS

One to Keep, One to Throw Away

I think each week of BMU features a key “cornerstone workout” and another which doesn’t really need to be done, so I thought it might be useful to call those out each week, in case your schedule is tight. For week 6, here are my picks:

  • Key Workout – #15.9: With the focus on VO2max this block, finishing each week’s VO2 workout is what’s most important.
  • Throw Away – Attack!: easiest workout of the week, and I’m not sure it achieves what it says it’s supposed to achieve (“The focus here is on your ability to attack the group and recover after”.) The attack interval is fine, but the long tempo intervals that followed are well below the pace you’d need to hold to stay away from the group. Not a bad workout for an easy(ish) day, though.

Coming Up Next Week

Week 7 is next, and it’s by far the toughest week to date. Total workout time is 6 hours (the most yet), resulting in 430 TSS (also the most yet, by a good margin). My goal: survival! I’ll be happy if I can finish all 5 workouts without needing to hit “pause” or lower my FTP bias.

Questions or Comments?

Any advice or encouragement as I head into week 7? Or perhaps you have other questions or comments? Share below!

Eric Schlange
Eric Schlange
Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava


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6 months ago

Still loving these updates. Agree with everything you said too. Week 6 was pretty easy – I think the previous weeks just prep you well for it. Agree 15.9 was key. Just finishing Week 7 . . . wow – the whole thing went up a notch! Ouch.

Rich Law
Rich Law
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Ha yeah. I actually did LOX & Spaded Sweetie via a hilly route outdoors together in one ride, which as you can imagine was a lot of work! I actually found Kirizuma the hardest – I think because my legs were just tired when I did it.

Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith
6 months ago

Apparently my 60 year old knees don’t like seated, low cadence/high power output grinding anymore. Hurt my right knee during one of the Unicorn workouts and am now on the mend. Listen to your body, not your testosterone levels. Zwift even warns you to use higher cadence if the low doesn’t feel right for you. But did I listen? But nooooooo. I will next time. I hope.

Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor
6 months ago

The “Fun Facts” are indeed fun. The only problem with the one on display is that in the UK cyclists ARE subject to speed limits. I also think that there is an offence of “Riding Furiously” but as it’s been around since before bikes it relates to riding a horse!

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