That’s was the toughest thing I’ve ever done. A brutal mental and physical challenge.
10000m was ‘fine’. I’d done it before. And it seemed to go quite quickly. But the realisation of having to do the same amount again was extremely daunting!
Back in April I vEverested. Something I had wanted to do for a while. Then the following week I decided to vEverest again with the hope of doing the double (17,696m of climbing). I got to 10,000m and decided that was enough. I was mentally tired from the previous week and lacked motivation and my ‘why’.
So doing the double vEverest has been on the back of my mind since then. I don’t like to be defeated and knew I could do it.
I told my coach Dave that I wanted to do it and when did he think I could do it. ‘This weekend?’ ‘Ok…’😬😂
I decided that I would start on Friday morning at 4am so that I should be done around 4am on Saturday morning.
I had food prepared and after every climb up Alpe du Zwift, while my avatar freewheeled back down, I would eat, fill bottles if needed, go to the toilet if needed, apply anti-chafe cream and try self massage my legs. My frozen smoothie bowls worked a treat – highly nutritious and helped cool me from the core. Despite having a fan and a wet cooling towel the heat is always tough to bear during these long indoor sessions/challenges.
I use Nuun electrolytes and I probably should have worked out how much I should consume but I just went on feel. And I checked the colour of my pee every time I went to the toilet.
There were a few others vEveresting on Zwift which was great to see (rider names are displayed down the side of the screen and those Everesting normally have vEveresting after their name). It’s always encouraging when people give you ‘ride ons’ and riders nearby send you messages of encouragement. Thanks all!
I started way too hard, even though it didn’t feel hard to begin with. And I would have managed around 3w/kg if I had just been doing a single Everest. I kept my heart rate around 130 for several hours but it slowly dropped to around 110 during the 27hrs.
Dave joined me for my 12th climb. It was great to have some virtual company and chat. A change from watching GTN on YouTube, Modern Family on Netflix or listening to music and just watching my avatar slowly zigzag up Alpe du Zwift!
I remember it being 8pm (I had just finished eating chicken strips and chips which Cobus has made me) and thinking wow I still have 4hrs til midnight and then another 4hrs after that to get to 4am, which would be 24hrs! I was climbing more slowly now so wouldn’t be finished the 20,000 in 24hrs but would hopefully be finished the double vEveresting by then.
OMS started setting in during the second half. No delay…DOMS! I had to slowly lower myself onto the toilet! Fortunately a couple of minutes into each climb my legs would feel a bit better again.
Into the early hours of the morning I started feeling a bit sleepy despite all the caffeine and now onto the chocolate (kept til nearer the end so I could look forward to and also I didn’t want sugar spikes early on) but the fact my double vEverest achievement was in sight kept me awake and motivated! The last few climbs seemed to go quite quickly although I did start to feel a bit delusional – seeing my avatar on the screen slowly cycling up the climb I kind of felt like I was there. I climbed the real Alpe d’Heuz two years ago so my mind was playing tricks with my memories!
At 07:20 on Saturday morning I had reached 20,000m of climbing (19 and a bit times up Alpe du Zwift) and let my avatar free wheel back down to the bottom (to gain some extra kms and Zwift XPs!) I clicked on ‘end ride’ and to my horror Zwift crashed! A little panic but fortunately when Zwift loaded again it asked if I wanted to ‘resume activity’. Phew!! Saved!!!
After almost 27.5hrs I was finished! 20,003m virtual climbing and a total of 479km. Apparently 13,660kcal used, average heart rate 110 (max 142), average power 144w (max 476w), and 1,214 TSS!
You can check out my ride on Strava – https://www.strava.com/activities/3849207683
My knees felt tender and quads were shot!
Amazingly I had barely any chafing, thanks to my Pavé cycling bib, ISM saddle and Blue Steel anti-chafe cream.
I was showered and in bed by 8am; falling asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow despite all the caffeine. I had a couple of hours sleep and then a nap in the afternoon.
Sunday I felt much better. Human again. I went for a walk to try and get rid of the stiffness in my quads. And ate lots all day!
By Monday my face had broken out in spots – from the stress on my body and the sweat. I had an easy swim and a walk. I actually felt more tired today than on Sunday.
I’m done with vEveresting challenges now…. but I might need to do an outdoor Everest though sometime! 😂
Alpe du Zwift climb times:
Actual bike: Trek Speed Concept
Zwift virtual bike: Specialized Tarmac Pro with Meilenstein wheels