ZwiftSince the lock-down lots of people have had to do more indoor bike training. There are lots of ways to do this but a really popular one at the moment is Zwift. It seems like everyone is on it which leads to the inevitable…FOMO.  Do you really need it?

Reasons you need it!
  • Everyone else has it!
  • You could be missing out!
  • It’s cool!
  • It gives you something to look at that’s in real time. E.g. you move on screen as you pedal.
  • There’s a route with scenery to ride around.
  • You can see other people riding and sometimes chase them!
  • You can feel motivated by actually riding somewhere rather than just on the spot
  • If you’re on an old school turbo without watts Zwift will give you an estimated power output based on your heart rate, cadence, and speed. This is a great way to start learning how to use power.
  • There’s all sorts of social networking with it. People give you a thumb up – ride on, you can earn badges, jerseys, win a sprint, get a king or queen of the mounts and stuff.
  • You can upload a workout file to Zwift and then you just follow the instructions which is kind of fun and takes some of the thinking out of the workout
    You can join group other clubs, group rides and races.
  • You can do “meet ups” with your friends.  This is a feature I’ve used lots during lock down and the connection with friends has been great.
  • If you have a smart trainer then the other cool features are that as you get to a hill your turbo adjusts resistance to according to the terrain.
  • Or if you’re doing a programmed workout the ERG mode will adjust the resistance according to your target power output and cadence.
Reasons you don’t need it
  • It costs money (try out the free trial).
  • It’s technical.  Getting the bike, HR, cadence, Zwift etc. to all to talk to each other can be a headache!
  • If you have a basic non smart turbo you’ll need an ant plus dongle, cadence sensor and maybe and blue tooth heart rate monitor to get everything to talk. So you might have to spend some money.
  • It can make weak!! After all training is meant to be hard….so what do you need all that distraction for? Just get on with the suffering!!!
  • It takes the thinking out of the workout so you stop thinking about what you’re supposed to be ding.
  • You don’t need all this tech and it can be a distraction.  All you need is to get on with the suffering!
  • By always having someone else to chase (even on a screen) you’ll never learn the mental toughness to suffer on your own like you have to in a triathlon or time trail.

In summary you definitely don’t need it!! But you might learn something from it!  For me, turbo training is a form of torture! So anything that helps me suffer is a bonus!

There are other apps out there like Sufferfest, Trainer Road and Rouvy so try out a few and see what it does for you. But remember…however you do you still have to suffer and it still hurts!