Coming to the limitations of a simple home trainer

During the training session today I came to the limitations of my Zwift setup. I needed to maintain about 170 watts of power but I struggled too. If I pedalled too hard the wheel would speed up and the power reading would increase and if I pedalled too slowly it would read a much lower reading. 

The challenge is being gradual enough to react to the lag in power reading. A few training sessions ago I tried pedalling hard, overshooting the watts required but found that it was hard to catch the momentum just right. I then tried the opposite. I tried pedalling faster, to get to the desired wattage and then changing gear and keeping the wheel going at that momentum. This worked for a period. 

Today I hit the wall. The methods that I mention above work well on rested legs but because I have been playing with Zwift frequently, including fun rides after the training sessions I have fatigued my legs. They are unable to hold the gradual effort changes that are required by the training courses. 

As I saw that I couldn’t maintain the required effort for the required time I aborted the effort in the hope of trying again in two or three days, when I recover. 

It is frustrating and the natural thing would be to blame the tools and buy a smart home trainer with erg mode to do the mental maths for me. The second option would be to buy pedals with power metres. I am not going to do either of these things. I am going to rest my legs by going for easier rides for a day or two and, then, when my legs have recovered I will start playing again. 

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