WEDŪ Everesting Challenge
By Charlotte Backus
The Challenge Runs May 22nd - 29th
WEDŪ Suffer Sundays culminate this week with a virtual Everesting, known as zEveresting. As we draw nearer to the day, here are some hot tips to prepare for the effort.
For Everesting purists, May 29th is the day to circle on your calendar. 8.5 laps of Zwift’s legendary Alpe du Zwift climb.
For those sūffer-lovers wanting a tough, but more tapered effort, WEDŪ is offering a category to complete the elevation over the course of the week, May 22nd - May 29th.
Everesting has been around for a hot minute and you may be wondering how to prepare for such a massive undertaking?
The ride can last for hours, 7 to 12+ hours, depending on your pace and the breaks you take along the way. And being an uphill pursuit, you’ll want to channel your inner mountain goat.
There is a lot to consider when on a stationary trainer for so long. It’s a long time in the saddle, so let’s start with the basics: your set up, your clothing and you!
Load Up All Your Fans!
Riding indoors generates a lot of heat and even having a window or garage door open won’t cut it. Consider not one fan, but two or three. You need a lot of fans to keep you as cool as possible while you ride up the alpe. Point one fan directly at your chest and another on your face. Additional fans are recommended for optimal cooling action.
Keep Your Chamois Fresh!
Keep a full bottle of chamois cream within arms reach. Yes, chamois cream. If you haven’t used it before, now is the time to start . You might be thinking, ‘Ehhh I don’t need that’ but logging so much time in the saddle, especially on a stationary trainer, doesn’t allow for much movement and creates a lot of friction in those nether regions. That can lead to discomfort and can be a ride stopper.
What’s on Your Table?
Whether you have your Zwift set up on your computer, TV, or an iPad that’s propped up, it is crucial to take a walk around your house and find a music stand, plant stand, stool or a table that you can easily reach down to. Now go and find another. That’s right, one to put on each side of you. Use one for your nutrition and one for everything else.
Sweat towels are a must have for indoor riding, but a zEveresting calls for a towel upgrade. Not two or three, but four! Why four towels? While it might seem excessive, each one serves a unique purpose.
Towels one and two should be folded and put on each of the hoods of your bike. The salt from your sweat can get under bar tape and wear away to your handle bars leading to corrosion. The last thing you want is for your handlebars to corrode and snap in half.
Towel three is for face sweat and the occasional nose blow. It is not uncommon for your nose to turn into Niagara Falls when the riding starts and having a good place to blow it is a must.
Towel four should be within reach placed on your table or chair. This is for all things backup. It sucks when you are in the middle of a ride and you go to wipe off dripping sweat that’s rolling right to sting your eyes and whoop, all the way down to the floor. The dreaded towel drop! This is bound to happen so make your back up a priority.
Raise the Bar!
When it comes to indoor riding, being low and aero isn’t as important as it is outside. Get a front wheel block or some books or raise your KICKR CLIMB all the way up or to a position that you feel your chest is open. This allows for improved airflow, more power through your legs, and less back pain.
Drop the Beat!
Having music to ride to can make the world of difference for a moment when you are having a difficult time concentrating or are struggling. You don’t have to listen to music the whole time. Podcasts are another great way to help pass the time. Having that beat and external stimulation will help make those hours seem more manageable.
Eat and Drink Your Way to the Top!
Nutrition will make or break your zEverest attempt and is one of the most important aspects to consider and you’ll want to practice in advance. With an endless possibility of gels, bars, treats and other solid foods available, choose what you always use for riding. Consider a good amount of carbohydrates and less fiber, protein and fat. If you forget everything else, remember this, NEVER TRY SOMETHING NEW ON EVENT DAY!
Pacing is the key for such a long lasting effort. You don’t want to overcook yourself and max out at hour 3. You want a pace you can sustain for the long haul. So how does one go about finding that pace? Practice.
Practice doing a lap up the Road to Sky course so you can get a feel for the lap time you will do and how you can pace each lap to make it the total of 8.5 laps needed. The Alpe du Zwift climb on Road to Sky is a great Everesting route as you can strategically make every other switchback something different. Try out of the saddle, or 80-90 rpm goal, or a higher tempo sweet spot. Mix it up.
No one said completing an Everesting would be easy but WEDŪ’s SUFFER SUNDAY weekly rides helped build the foundation to tackle it. Soak in this information in order to be prepared and have some type 2 fun.