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How to train with Zwift

Words by Kathryn Dickinson

on 31/03/2020 11:46:00

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We find ourselves in very interesting times fellow cyclists! With the Coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world, our day to day lives are changing rapidly - including our training plans. Right now, there are some government provided rules for exercise during coronavirus with us advised to exercise outside once a day, close to our homes, and maintaining social distancing rules.

If you’ve had a big event planned for this year, or are wondering how to keep your fitness up during lockdown, don’t worry - with the emergence of Zwift and the boom in smart turbo trainers, indoor training has never been more enjoyable and you can keep your form up until we’re back in the real world.

Zwift has taken indoor cycling to the next level with its stimulating and entertaining virtual worlds where you can ride with cyclists from around the globe. What’s more, with its vast amount of training plans, workouts and races, it is a very efficient way to spend your time on the bike and give your legs a good shot while you’re staying safe indoors.

If you’re new to Zwift it’s easy to get started. Hook your turbo trainer up to the app on your mobile, laptop or Apple TV and you’re away! Zwift will work with a range of turbo trainers and indoor bikes, and you can add your cadence sensor, heart rate monitor or power meter via ANT+ or bluetooth to get all of your data on the platform. To get the most out of Zwift, we’d thoroughly recommend a smart trainer.

To find out more about Zwift, check out our guide, or if you’re new to turbo training, take a look at our beginner’s guide to indoor cycling.

Stay safe

Even if you’ve been riding for years and know your local roads like the back of your hand, riding outside at the moment carries a slightly higher element of risk than normal. You are, at time of writing, absolutely recommended to exercise outside but if you’d prefer to stay a little safer, heading inside for some Zwift rides could be a safer option.

It will allow you to do your training properly without worrying about taking a tumble, or not being able to hit up your favourite coffee stop. With Zwift you can perfectly replicate your session indoors and be confident in the fact that you won’t fall off of your bike! So you can get in those valuable sessions regardless of what is going on in real life.

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Convenience

Even if you’re working from home, fitting in a workout can be a challenge. Likewise, you might have all the time in the world right now but don’t fancy faffing about to get ready for a ride outside. With Zwift, you no longer need to miss a session because you haven’t got the time to squeeze it in, or you don’t know where your best looking socks are. There is next to no preparation time as your bike will be set up and ready to go.

So instead of hunting around trying to find kit to second guess the British spring weather, you can spend a few minutes finding the right playlist so that you can attack your session quickly and conveniently. In addition to this, your bike will stay perfectly clean (apart from the inevitable sweat) meaning you do not need to spend any time with a bucket and warm, soapy water.

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Social and competitive

One would think that riding indoors would be very unsociable and a lonely pursuit to those gains that you so desire, but that’s where you would be wrong. With Zwift you can practically ride side by side with your friends, and ride as a group where you stay together no matter your ability and even chat whilst you are doing it (or in between efforts).

If you’re more focused on performance or interval training, there are a ton of Zwift workouts to suit you too, whether you’re training for road racing, triathlon or time trials.

What’s more, there is also that competitive edge which Zwift brings. With races on Zwift you can rank yourself based on your ability and power output (functional threshold power (FTP) or power to weight ratio) which really pushes you to work harder, whether you are racing your friends or a total stranger in a country hundreds of miles away! Not only does this make time fly, but it also makes it very fun!

Ride with pro’s

It isn’t just everyday riders who are using Zwift. There are many pro teams out there who are using this platform too, often in organised events which means that you get to line up next to your cycling heroes and see how you stand up against them. With the pro cycling season on hold, many World Tour pros are now taking to Zwift to train with many teams hosting their own rides.

But it is not just organised rides where you might bump into a pro. Often you will see them flash up on a route nearby you which means that you can hop onto their wheel and try to stick with them, if you so dare!

Find your nearest Rutland Cycling store

For any advice on turbo trainers, make sure to get in touch with your local store or talk to our expert Customer Service team via Live Chat, or on 0330 555 0080.

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