Let’s face it, we all want to ride outside, but with shorter days, cooler temperatures, and busy schedules, it isn’t always possible. And most of us dread indoor cycling, but Zwift has made it easier than ever to enjoy those indoor workouts. Zwift is online software that allows you to connect your trainer to a virtual riding/racing experience with people from around the world. I have been using Zwift for over a year as part of their beta rollout and now using it almost daily to kick start the 2016 season.
The first thing I noticed when I started using Zwift was how realistic the graphics and avatars are. You create an avatar depicting yourself and the accessories you want to sport including jersey, bike, wheels, etc. with options that get unlocked when you reach achievements in the “game.” The gamification aspect of Zwift is pretty motivating. Just like in a pro race, you can earn jerseys for sprints, king/queen of the mountain, and fastest lap while seeing your ranking in real-time on the screen. The mobile app let’s you communicate with other riders, change your view on the screen, and take screen captures along the ride.
There are multiple courses that you can select before riding that simulate different terrain (flat, hilly, and even a TT course) to keep things interesting. You can choose to ride with another rider, alone, or ride in “workout” mode where you can follow a stock training plan or create your own. This is a huge benefit for those of us that use a coach or have specific workouts that need to be completed, and the workouts can automatically be exported to Strava or Training Peaks for analysis and record keeping.
So are you excited to get started?!
All you need to get started is a bike trainer and sensors that measure various output such as power, speed, cadence, and heart rate that then transmit the data to your PC/Mac. If you don’t have a power meter, don’t worry, Zwift takes the metrics that you have and then calculates your virtual power (zPower) using your speed, weight, and cadence to simulate an actual power and speed output on screen.
What You Need to Get Started:
1. A bike – duh
2. A trainer – can be any trainer or even rollers
3. Sensors that measure your output and transmit that to your PC/Mac (Power, Speed, Cadence, HR, etc.)
4. A computer including an Ant+ dongle to read sensor data
There is a great blog you can also read http://kb.zwiftriders.com and I hope to see you out on the island!!!