The Zwift experience with Lionel Sanders

What happens when you take on a Lionel Sanders “bread and butter” intense workout? 300+ of us found out on Wednesday night, riding with him on Zwift!


The Zwift experience with Lionel Sanders – Wednesday 3rd January

Well, that was quite a way to kick off 2018 with the fourth TRI247 Winter Series Group Workout on Zwift. Wednesday night’s 70-minute session was set and lead by the current ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Champion (and World Ranked #1), Lionel Sanders from Canada.

Well known for his uber-biking ability, the session provided by Lionel was one of his “bread and butter” sets – and over 300 riders online, from all over the world, were going to ride it with him.

Thankfully, the wonders of the Group Workout function on Zwift meant that we could all work to our individual power (FTP) fitness levels, replicating the session that Lionel uses on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to attempt this at Lionel’s power numbers…!

Lionel Sanders Custom Workout TRI247 Winter Series 3rd January 2018
Lionel Sanders Custom Workout TRI247 Winter Series 3rd January 2018

Even at my own weekend warrior levels, this was going to be a tough set. Beforehand, Lionel had said, “If your FTP values are accurate, then about three quarters of the way through the 3 minuters you should start feeling the finger tips pulsating, and getting a little uncomfortable in your skin. The last couple are usually very painful, but in reality that is where the workout really starts.” No sugar-coating it then!

Lionel Sanders TRI247 Winter Series Group Workout
The beginning of the final block of 6*30 seconds efforts

At 7pm on the dot we were off, and after the initial warm-up period was complete, it was 6*3mins at 105% of FTP with just one minute of recovery in between – which seemed to get shorter and shorter as we approached the final rep. However, the ‘group’ dynamic really helps – and even though you can’t ‘see’ anyone physically, knowing that so many other people all over the world are doing exactly the same thing, at the same time, all represented by their Zwift Avatar on the Watopia course, is a huge motivation. Seriously, I’m not sure I would have completed the session on my ‘own’.

Lionel Sanders TRI247 Winter Series Group Workout
Last interval complete!

We’ve already had lots of great feedback on the event – if you’ve not tried it yet, join us in future weeks on a Wednesday night!

Even Lionel has told us post-session that the group dynamic improved his own performance:

Thanks for having me on. It was fun. I pushed more power than I would have had I done it by myself.

If you missed the session you can download the custom workout HERE.

The next session?

The next TRI247 Winter Series session on Zwift will be held on Wednesday 10th January 2018 at 7.00pm UK time with the ride leader to be announced shortly. If you are not on Zwift yet, then see the details below on how to RIDE ON!

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