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A while back I saw that I was late to a party. It was the Zwift party, and it rocks.

If you are already on Zwift, then you know what I’m talking about. If you are looking at the upcoming months with lots of time training indoors and have never heard of it, now’s the time to explore it.

Zwift is a virtual world where you can in real time with real dynamics get an amazing stationary bike or treadmill run session. It’s what I wish I’d had during my trainer sessions years ago when I kept searching for more good music to help me get through them. Zwift gives you a real world ride or run indoors that is completely engaging.

How does it do it? Here’s the simple version.

You connect to Zwift online. A window opens up and connects with your stationary trainer if it is Bluetooth enables. It also connects with your heart rate monitor. So immediately when you start riding you are going to see your power, cadence and heart rate. Those are the three ingredients when mixed together dial you in for the best workout minute per minute on the planet.

Next you see a whole host of riding options. You can ride different courses within the Zwift virtual world, including places like Central Park in New York City. You can go flat or do a king of the mountain epic climb. There’s options to create your own workout, or simply follow the terrain that already resides within each Zwift course. You can also join group rides or meet up with your own friends who can live anywhere and ride with them.

Now it’s time to start pedaling.

There you are on the screen with a camera following you from just slightly above and behind you. You see the names of riders as you pass each other. You see the terrain changes and get that same resistance or lack of resistance in your trainer. All you do is shift gears just like you would to respond to an uphill or a downhill in the real world. It’s awesome!

I had almost completely given up riding simply because of limited time. From where I live in an hour ride I don’t enough uninterrupted time without lights or stop signs to really make it worth it. But on Zwift, ever second is uninterrupted! For me and where I live, time on Zwift is like tripling the minute per minute benefit of what it would take to get the same amount of gains outside. Again, awesome!

I’m inspired to ride again after quite a few years of lacking it.

Or I should say after years of not really having time to get what I like to out of cycling, which is time really riding. Zwift solves that. And it’s just simply fun.

The virtual courses and worlds you can ride hold your attention just as much as riding on country roads. Then add to that the ability to watch your metrics change within each ride and ride to ride in real time because it’s all on the screen and you are completely engaged even without music. You can dial in every aspect of getting the most out of your cycling sessions. Yes, it is indeed awesome!

I will be having group rides coming up soon on Zwift. So get dialed in soon if you are not already. They are going to be fun. This time of year they will not be hammer sessions. They will be designed to help you recover from your racing season with just enough effort to also get you ready to get back to full throttle training when that time comes next year.


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About the author Mark Allen More information on the author

I am the Founder and CEO at Mark Allen Coaching. I am proud to have been voted in an ESPN global poll "The Greatest Endurance Athlete Of All Time." During my multi-sport career I won the Ironman Triathlon World Championship six time, the inaugural Triathlon World Championship at the Olympic Distance in Avignon, France, and at one point in my career I won 21 straight races across every derivation and distance. It was a great career, but that's all it would ever be unless I was able to share all of the experience and methodology we invented long before smart watches, power meters, and flashy uniforms. That's why I started Mark Allen Coaching, as a way to return to others at least the part of the gifts I received.

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