Forged out of the first lockdown, the Hotchillee Gain Train has grown from a Meet-up, to a Private Event and is now an open to all public Event on the Zwift Calendar and one of the key sessions on the Hotchillee Winter Warmer Training Plan.
When is it?
It rolls from 1830 every Thursday with the Buffet (D) going first, Second (C) at 1834 and finally First (B) at 1836.
What can I expect?
Firstly, IT’S NOT A RACE but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy pace no-drop ride. It’s a paced “Category +” Hare and Hounds where you should be working predominately at the upper end of your category and hanging on for as long as you can in search of those gains.
We’ll typically choose flat(ish) courses and cover 35-40km.
Paces are based on what the Ride Leader for your group will average and our leaders are pretty accurate – check on ZwiftPower afterwards.
Buffet Class (D+) Leader will average 2.4 w/kg
Second Class (C+) Leader average 3.1 w/kg
First Class (B+) Leader will average 3.7 w/kg
Double Draft is enabled, so you should be able to sit in the wheels at significantly less. Our Ride Leaders also won’t hesitate to deploy their fence to deter flyers or riders not sticking to the advertised pace.
We AIM for there to be a catch/merge in the final 5-10km or so but this does depend on the course.
When a merge does happen, stronger riders are encouraged to “upgrade” to the faster group and, if you’re struggling, you can also “downgrade” to a slower one. The Ride Leaders will stick to their original group’s pace.
If you get dropped, maybe find someone to spin home with and try to hang on a bit longer next week – just like a IRL chain-gang, that’s how you get stronger.
With about 3km to go or at the bottom of the final climb if it’s an After Party route, your Leader will give a Go! Go! Go! shout and then, if you want, you can empty the tank.
Any tips for getting the most out of it?
Warm-up beforehand, spending 10 minutes or so riding with one of the Pace Partners does and decent job.
Be pedalling and up to power before the timer gets to zero – there’s no need for a “watt bomb” start but you don’t want to be left either.
Ride close to the Ride Leader (yellow beacon).
Don’t push the pace on the front above what the Ride Leader has asked for, this especially applies on any rises – it just ruins it for everyone.
Look out for instructions for your group’s Leader which will be in yellow – ignore those from the other Leaders.
Don’t be a “W/KG” pedant/moaner. The Ride Leaders will set an accurate pace but they’re not robots, the pace can be affected by other riders not playing the game but we’re all doing our best.
If you get dropped within the first 30 minutes, you can log-out, Late Join and get a virtual “sticky bottle” back into the main blob.
Sign up as a Premium Member on the Hotchillee App to get access to our Discord Channel for chat and motivation during the session.
How do I sign-up?
Simple, look on the Zwift Companion App for Tuesday at 1830 or just go to this link.
What is FTP and why it’s important to do a test
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Glen is usually behind the scenes making sure that the Hotchillee Ride Captains and event participants have fully functioning bicycles to ride but he occasionally makes an appearance in front of the camera to share his wisdom. If he’s not fixing or building bikes he’ll be out riding in #SweetSussex. If you want to know anything about Cyclocross, Glen is the man to ask.
Consultant with British Cycling and author of the Road Cycling Performance Manual. Lover of cobbles, gravel and Siberian Pine – not so keen on climbs! Nik is the author of all of the Hotchillee Training Plans, Zwift workout files and regularly posts tips and advice on the Hotchillee app. He’s also the evil genius behind the now infamous Hotchillee Gain Train.
Adele has worked within the health and fitness industry for over 25 years starting with a ballet and dance background herself, she has progressed to training and teaching all styles of fitness and offers Pilates, barre & yoga. As a keen runner, Adele appreciates the need for a strong healthy body and mind and incorporates many elements of Pilates, yoga and barre into her own training to ensure her strength and stamina remain.