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Updated May 31, 2024 | By Bob Fugett

Zwift and my World Record 1-hr Time Trial

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Zwift, c'est le pire outil d'entraînement de précision mais le meilleur d'outil de motivation.
zɥift   se   lə   pi  ʁu.ti   dɑ̃.tʁɛn.mɑ̃  də  pʁe.si.zjɔ̃   me   lə  mɛ.jœʁ   du.ti   də  mɔ.ti.va.sjɔ̃   
Zwift is the worst precision training tool but the best motivational tool. - Bob Fugett

Zwift Sucks

Zwift sucks as a training tool but shines as a motivational tool.


My Goal

World Record
steady state 465 watts
for 1 hour


My Notes

Hi, I'm (phwuh, whuh, whu...) SlingShot.
B SLINGSHOT (on Zwift)



# prioritize   the maintenance of   #
#              position discipline  #
############ Ben Williams ###########


Unique Character of the World Record 1-hr TT

The World Record 1-hr Time Trial in cycling has an extremely unique character.

For the world record deadlift shown above, the weight is 1,104.52 pounds which is double the weight of the piano shown beside.

Imagine replacing the barbell plates with two pianos.

The average untrained individual could not even begin to budge that weight.

Most sports records hold that same level of inaccessibility for the typical person.

Now imagine replacing the plates with two cycling water bottles such as the one shown mounted on the bicycle above but each full of sports drink.

The amount of force required on the pedals for the 1-hr record is equal to what is required snatching two full water bottles off the floor and placing them on a table.

Virtually anybody can produce such power pedaling a bicycle, easily, even without training.

Of course, there is the little matter of holding that effort smooth, steady, and perfectly circular for one hour straight.

So that is what I am working on here: a steady state 465 watts for one hour.

Nothin'to it!


Bad, Garmin... bad!

Just a quick word about problems beyond Zwift.

Primarily Zwift falls short as a repeatable, reliable, precision training tool due to its: 1) lack of data persistence, 2) latency in data transfer, 3) poor granularity in timeline reports.

Beyond the app's inherent imprecision, the tools we are using to measure performance can exhibit similar problems themselves, adding to the confusion with no clear path to resolve the issue because manufacturers do not publish actual specs.

The most fundamental problem we do know about is that all current measuring devices have pitifully low sampling rates.

For example, I have my Garmin set to record my power output every second (the fastest rate offered), people take it for granted but that is insanely slow!

Even a lowly MP3 file can have a sampling rate of 24 kHz (24 thousand samples per second), so a higher rate for power meters and head units is not outside the realm of possibility.

Think about it, only 1 single reading per second vs 24,000... not to mention a careful listener can easily hear the difference between a 24 kHz MP3 and a standard 44.1 kHz music CD, so power meters offer only a beginner's guide toward full use of one's haptic sense and proprioceptors.

No wonder the "dead spot" myth persists.

And no wonder my Garmin easily misses data points, dropping them out of the already wild and various algorithmic reports given by Zwift's delayed take on the matter.

If automobile ABS braking systems tracked so poorly, everyone would spend the first 3 hours of each morning reading about all of last night's deadly car crashes.

Thank goodness for floor exercises and my legacy Saris PowerAgent software.

Torque: --- Watts: --- Speed: --- Heart Rate: --- Cadence: ---

The front rider in the final ¼ mile of a competitive club ride
shown holding Watts = 44.6 × Torque

Click for larger image
(Thanks to Kevin Haley for sending his ride file)



Trouble right here in River City

The video linked below uses another arcade game to provide a perfect glimpse at: 1) how Zwift works, 2) why it sucks as a precision training tool, 3) and why it shines as the perfect motivational tool.

Click for YouTube's best description of Zwift's reality

Below is the exact moment my Garmin recorded 637 watts but Zwift saw 916.

Click for larger

Here is the Zwift timeline report showing that I learned from my first two failed attempts, set up perfectly for the third, called my shot and took the game:

Click for larger

Obviously Zwift caught the moment arm of my crank a half second or so earlier than Garmin, but it could have just as easily gone the other way and often does.

Neither Garmin nor Zwift have adequately high sampling rates, so some data will always slip through the cracks.

But if you finished the video above, about the scam arcade game, you may have noticed the kids don't give a shit about accuracy and only want to keep playing.

Same for typical users of Zwift and power meters.

Fortunately for you, it is always possible to compare Zwift and Garmin as part of your own precise notes just like I did.

And hopefully you will avoid letting such devices and processes sucker you into showing up in our nation's capital (more specifically at our nation's capitol) and wrecking havoc.

In any case, all you really need is truthful feedback from correct bodyweight floor exercises... and to stop eating so fucking much!


Despite all the problems described above with Zwift, Garmin, and Power pedals, it is possible to cobble together enough reliable, repeatable data to be useful... if you look closely enough.

Below are screenshots of my Zwift workouts of 08/27/22 and 08/28/22.

They show averaged cadence intervals using a known gear against a uniform and repeatable resistance.

Externally one more rpm in a given time frame is an improvement while internally a smoother graph is also an improvement.

These images are of four two-minute intervals, and they define my program for the foreseeable future.

Image 1
Click for larger

Image 2
Click for larger

Image 3
Click for larger

Image 4
Click for larger


Note that Image 2 shows a marked improvement in spin smoothness compared to Image 1 from the day before.

The focus, however, is on the first minute of Image 3 (enlarged in Image 4), and it illustrates my goal for the World Record 1-hr Time Trial.

That extra smoothness gave me one extra Watt of power for one less rpm in cadence.

I will smooth my spin until it is consistent throughout all intervals then increase the interval times while decreasing the rests between until I finally reach multiple 15 minute controlled intervals ─ eventually assembling them into a single 1-hour 110 rpm 465 Watt steady state performance.

At this moment the power shown is quite modest, but if I tried to increase power before correct smoothness is ingrained into muscle memory, it would be irretrievably counter productive... see: Impulse and Strength.

Below is a Poweragent graph of the smooth first 53 seconds discussed above, and it shows plenty of room for improvement:

Torque: --- Watts: --- Speed: --- Heart Rate: --- Cadence: ---

Image 5
Click for larger

Like I said, one has to carefully compare and contrast data from both Garmin and Zwift (along with one's own haptic sense) to really see what is happening.

My process is to perform intervals with a known gearing against a known resistance in the Zwift Velodrome... a route that doesn't exist (yet), but I am a genius so devised my own.

I wish we had better tools for observation, but we have what we have; plus most of the work can easily be accomplished with floor exercises.

Musicians will recognize that what I have just described is just exactly this:

Major 6th set
click for video

Major 6th grab
click for video



The recent move to ride control via cadence in a known gear against a known resistance has reliably proven that correct smooth pedal engagement at any given cadence does in fact have a positive impact on power; such as results of today's ride showing that a series of 2m 80c ints achieved in summary:

82c=151w, 149w, 146w
         125h, 130h, 134h
81c=143w, 142w
         140h, 143h

...with rising max watts due to struggle trying to hold cadence.

The efforts were not very hard physically but extremely hard mentally as in,

"OMG, another 10 minutes of this shit left? another 8, 6, 4, 2, 1... 30 seconds? Fuck!"

All were completed with mild breathing.

In order to formalize a training concept, I have coined a new use for the following two terms:

external: the raw average cadence numbers for a given interval
internal: observable graphed pedal smoothness within interval

It has become quite obvious that for any given external average (raw cadence), a smoother internal performance increases p/c (power per cadence).

Power meters do not do a great job of reporting this truth, so I always track my progress by observing both external and internal performance to confirm improvement.

Below are my intervals abstracted by hand from a soft-pedal workout dated 09/07/22 in my notes (and Poweragent) but 09/08/22 on Zwift:

nt00: 2:03@ 68w[127] 44c[66]  95h[ 97]
nt01: 2:01@107w[151] 61c[70] 106h[111]
nt02: 2:02@151w[200] 82c[85] 124h[131]
nt03: 2:02@110w[179] 64c[77] 126h[131]
nt04: 2:02@149w[217] 82c[95] 131h[138]
nt05: 2:01@105w[133] 63c[70] 131h[138]
nt06: 2:02@144w[203] 81c[88] 134h[139]
nt07: 2:02@104w[133] 63c[74] 134h[140]
nt08: 2:02@142w[201] 80c[85] 137h[143]
nt09: 2:02@103w[130] 62c[72] 136h[144]
nt10: 2:01@144w[194] 81c[91] 141h[147]
nt11: 8:47@ 95w[121] 58c[69] 129h[147]

 Zwift actually can help make sense of these numbers but will not give them to you on its own. See above: Otherwise.

Filippo Ganna - 1 hour record 10/09/22

Quote regarding final 20 minutes of any given 1-hr attempt from video linked above:

"...prioritize the maintenance of position discipline." ─ Ben Williams



My 1-hr World Record TT is nothing like Filippo Ganna's shown in the video linked immediately above; mine is better.

There is absolutely no way I could ever hope to compete directly with Ganna.

First off, I will never come close to having enough money to be given my own velodrome totally free of other riders for one hour straight.

Even before considering the cost of custom lycra, aero-framed wunderbikes, specially lubed chains, sweet wheels, extreme helmets, support teams, media production crews, officials and timers, I will certainly never be mistaken for a member of the appropriate generationally wealthy status-group in order to be given a chance to try.

It is unlikely I would even be allowed onto one of those board tracks, given my obvious status as a homeless guy living under a bridge where people are perennially afraid I will shake the foundations.

That is not to say that I have put less than an embarrassing amount of money into my own basement pain-dungeon, but all things considered it is still a pitifully tiny sum.

On the other hand my own setup is plenty good enough for my own purposes because I have no interest in using my performance to sell any other person's product.

I care not for the titanium skewer mongers and am interested only in what I can achieve myself compared to a known reliable and repeatable standard.

The UCI 1-hr record is nowhere near reliable, repeatable, nor standard.

They wouldn't even let Ganna ride with an onboard power meter in order for him to check his performance in real-time and report those facts worldwide, also in real-time.

My goal is merely to achieve a steady state 465 watts for one hour straight, and my contention is that such a performance will easily beat Filippo's TT effort.

The limits of human capacity for such a performance have long since been settled science while the current record is based on speed (as measured by wealth and equipment) not power.

Comparing my own performance to Filippo's will always remain an impossibility, not to mention nobody (least of all me) has the slightest interest in doing so.

I ride for myself, and that is all.

A comment in the video (26:10) referring to Ben Williams statement, "In the final 20 minutes of any 1-hr attempt it is crucial to prioritize the maintenance of position discipline," refers to something that has always been part and parcel of my overall program.

But why should I wait for the final 20 minutes?

Holding one's form during the final quarter of a race was a well known concept back when I ran the mile in high school (1960s), so my 1-hr program has always been based on preparing for that final 20 minutes by means of a studied observation of my every position throughout the day ─ every day.

Floor exercises, my friends, floor exercises.




More to come lest I return to looking like this fella:

   Never forget from whence you've come.


Salvation Dungeon (The Zwift Velodrome)

 Never forget from whence you've come, and never go back.

  Serotta Ottrott, Garmin 530, Powertap P2 pedals, eTap shifters
e-Motion Rollers, iPhone 11, etc.

  More of the pit
Dungeon photos by: Mary Endico, 12/14/2021


   Fewer watts for every mph
   Fewer newton's for every watt
   Fewer bpm's for every newton
   Less effort for every bpm

"Your potential is never defined by any metric
other than the results of your own development
piloted by an informed investigation of data
derived from a simple objective repeatable
reference." - Bob Fugett

Soon to be Famous Quotes

"B's command: don't train til you can win; train til you can't lose."  —SlingShot

"For training: speed is incidental; power is the thing."  —SlingShot

Bob preparing to return north from Florida spring training camp 03/21/09
photo by: Mary Endico




click larger

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Sure made it great
again alright.
Guy at center bottom will attest
he does his own research
and can think on his own.
Here's what caused it all,
and why Bob fights back
with science.

Bob was a lifetime registered Republican
until 5 years previous to the Jan 6th scene
shown above.


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