vEversting with Tom
Today I will take a look at the challenge of an virtual Everesting on @GoZwift. A challenge as high as the tallest mountain above sea-level. Cause every triathlete knows Mauna Kea on Hawaii is the highest mountain from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the hill. So we will not look at the 10.200 meters of Mauna Kea, but we will look at the 8848 meters of Mount Everest. And what ever it takes to climb it all on Zwift.
A look at the rules
First I want to take a look at the rules of the virtual Everesting. You have to have a vertical gain of 8848 meters, of course. To make sure you achieve it ride a few meters more. The whole thing has to be a single ride on a single climb (which will be Alp du Zwift for us on Sunday). The device used must be a smart trainer that automatically regulates the gradient onto the resistance of the trainer. Apparently the app to be used has to be Zwift, which luckily we all have and love. Furthermore there are some guidelines, but let us dive deeper into what I will do to concur Mt. Everest.
Why Alp du Zwift
Maybe the first question that comes in mind is: Why in particular this climb on Zwift. There are climbs with better gradient or with shorter ride time per lap. Yes, there are. Apparently the Top of the Epic Kom towards the Radio tower has the best gradient of all on Zwift. And that is 14% in average for 1.09 kilometers. So a vertical gain of 150m per Ride.
But we decided for Alp du Zwift cause of other reasons: There are achievements on Zwift to unlock. One of those that I still look forward to get is: Ride Alp du Zwift completely for 25 times. I am missing serval rides up Alp du Zwift for this achievement. Second reason is, that you get extra XP on top of Alp du Zwift. For me the gamification with the XP really make me want to ride more and more and even more. So basically the addiction to the game makes me ride Alp du Zwift. And the last reason is the 10 to 12 minute downhill phase from the top to the bottom. It really is a short break we can take between each round up the hill.
How long will it take to Everest
I have witnessed some attempts in the Everesting. I have never seen an everesting below 11 hours on my own. So we will also aim for the 12 hour duration to get to 8848 meters of virtual climbing.
There is a very nice website to calculate the time required. You can find this on everesting.io. For us we calculated the riders weight (75 kg), the Specialized Tarmac Pro on Zwift (why this bike? Continue reading) and two or three breaks of 15 minutes:
This leads us to 12 hours and 44 minutes of overall time with an average watt of 206 on the up-hill. But it would not be me if I would not test all of this myself. So I went on Alp du Zwift yesterday with the exact settings I would use on Sunday and rode the hill up one time. It took me 1 hour 5 minutes and 15 seconds from bottom to top with 218 normalized power. I guess on Sunday we might be a bit faster than 12 hours and 44 minutes. Let´s aim for 12 hours and 15 minutes overall time.
What is the setup: Virtual and physical
I have already stated that I will use the Tarmac Pro from Specialized on Zwift. Why: Because it is the fastest setup for Alp du Zwift according to Zwiftinsider. The combination of the Leightweight Meilenstein (that you can get climbing Alp du Zwift in the first place) with the Tarmac Pro from the Dropshop (408k drops it was) is the best setup. Quoting the Zwiftinsider here: “The Tarmac Pro frameset coupled with the new Meilenstein Lightweight wheels beats all other combinations, whether you ride up the Alpe at 1 w/kg or 5 w/kg.”
So the virtual setup is arranged for the ride. Now to my physical setup. I have my TT bike and my road bike available here. I will start on the road bike for the first couple of ascents. If my but gets to sore it is likely that I will change to the TT for some change. I should be able to switch the bikes between the rides on the downhill. My trainer for the whole ride is a Tacx Neo. I will Zwift on my PC so that I am able to live stream it on Twitch (hopefully if the Internet keeps up).
Eat, Drink, Rise
Food and drinks are also an important issue when climbing for 12 hours straight. Until now my plan is to have water, ISO, coke and some energy drink for the riding prepared. I will not get everything setup on Saturday. Only the stuff I will need for the first two rides will be prepared beforehand. Everything else will be done on the downhill segments. Fresh water, more sugary drinks …
Eating. Yes. Also a big topic. I will rely on Gels in the first half of the whole Everesting and some chocolate bars. We plan to have a lunch break after 5 rides up Alp du Zwift. Most likely I will have some pasta ready to heat for a quick stop. So this will be a meal prep on Saturday that I will do for Sundays ride.
Other than that: Nothing more. Maybe some recovery shake that I drink after each ascent in the break. More information on what clothing I will use and how my strategy is for changing bib shorts and keep me from getting a sore but in my next post about “what ever(est) it takes”.
Until yesterday, Ride on, Tom