What do you do when you want to exercise, are in the midst of setting up a new training routine, and want to get on but it’s cold and icy outside?
You get on your turbo trainer and log in to Zwift!
Zwift is a virtual world and I guess a game. I don’t have a smart trainer so I just connect my speed and cadence sensor via an ANT+ dongle to the system, and ride. It knows how fast I’m going, and I see myself riding round one of a couple of courses. You can see other riders on the course which I find quite motivating. When there are hills, or downhills, my power output, which Zwift estimates, changes and I either pedal faster or change gears to affect the power. In effect, it simulates riding outside. There is the ability to type messages to other users via a mobile app, though I haven’t tried that yet. And it all links in beautifully with Strava so you can track your rides as if they were “real”!
There is an active Facebook community for Zwifters – ladies only, UK riders, slower riders. There are organised “group rides” which you can join up with. It all makes training just that little bit more fun, and sometimes that is what we need.
When I first started my fitness journey I posted on Facebook that I was going to try at least 7 different sports in a week. Posting updates really kept me motivated. I’m a different person 18 months on, but what with the changes in my life recently I’m struggling to get back to a consistent training regime. So! I am announcing that this week I am intending on doing nothing more than riding on Zwift every day.
The cool thing about training for me is that it doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you enjoy it. Obviously when you have specific goals and challenges you want specific training. But when you’re me, in January, and you just want to get something done, you want to make it something you enjoy. Then you’re much more likely to do it, see results, and then develop your routine into something more focussed. But as my big challenge this year is riding to Paris, my Zwift challenge isn’t exactly inappropriate!