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Old 11-12-15, 09:30 PM   #1
shovelhd 
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Zwift training/workout/racing thread

This is the thread for discussing your experiences with Zwift for training, workouts, and racing.

A brief primer.

By training, I mean JRA or using a non-Zwift training plan on the Zwift courses. You can ride alone or with others, competitively or not. You can use your own intervals on the course and ignore everyone else.

Zwift also offers a growing list of workouts, which could be individual sessions, or complete plans. A workout editor is coming in the future.

Races can be organized or informal, put together on the fly using the text feature. There are also organized races such as the ZTR series, the oldest of which is the TNW, which is broken into two fields, A/B and C/D. Each field is lead out with a neutral start by a volunteer. Distances and times can vary week to week depending on the course. Participants are identified with ZTR and their field letter.

You don't need a power meter to participate but it helps. If you don't, but have a popular non-smart trainer, Zwift will apply a power curve for you. Where Zwift really shines is when you use a smart trainer with it. Zwift will control the resistance to match the efforts of course features. With certain trainers you can have Zwift use the power data from your power meter as the reference to drive the trainer resistance.

Zwift started as a free beta but at launch (November 2015) is $10/month.
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Old 11-12-15, 09:36 PM   #2
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This Tuesday I did the Tuesday Night Worlds ZTR-C race and got my ass kicked. It was on the Richmond Worlds course. I got dropped from the lead group the first time up the 14% climb with my HR at 180. I rode with the chase group to the first sprint point but totally barfed the lead out and took 6th. After that it was dinner time. It won't be often that I will be able to finish these races as they start at 6pm EST.

I'm also doing the 12 week FTP plan just to mix things up with my gym strength work.
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Old 11-12-15, 11:51 PM   #3
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My time zone and schedule make it so I just miss the roll-outs for the training races and more "spirited" group rides. I usually ride solo and shoot for green jerseys and the occasional orange or polka dot. Makes the trainer time go faster, although it's hard to stick to a regimented program with so many rabbits to chase.
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Old 11-13-15, 07:42 AM   #4
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I want to do one of the weekday races, but im usually getting home from work by 6.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:11 AM   #5
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I did one lap with a ZTR type race.. I was off the front with another guy and then we both started soft peddling.. then a whole pack of riders just whizzed by us. I tried to bridge but it was not happening... they were gone. All the races seem to be at an odd time for me and I just don't have the time for 3/4 laps of Richmond.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:03 AM   #6
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I've been using it for a while (about 6 months now). For me Zwift itself is good just for the visuals - it's way better than movies or TV for keeping me entertained. I've had enough issues with ANT+ dropouts and truncated ride files that I don't really trust it for my workouts; when I do those I'm using Trainerroad in conjunction with Zwift. At some point I feel like I should start doing some of those organized rides, those seem like they'd be really good race prep.
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Old 11-13-15, 09:25 AM   #7
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I've been using it for a while (about 6 months now). For me Zwift itself is good just for the visuals - it's way better than movies or TV for keeping me entertained. I've had enough issues with ANT+ dropouts and truncated ride files that I don't really trust it for my workouts; when I do those I'm using Trainerroad in conjunction with Zwift. At some point I feel like I should start doing some of those organized rides, those seem like they'd be really good race prep.
almost as good race prep as riding...outside
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Old 11-13-15, 09:35 AM   #8
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Those group rides and races are no joke if you actually participate in them.
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Old 11-13-15, 11:46 AM   #9
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does it support VOIP so I can yell at noobs?
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Old 11-13-15, 11:53 AM   #10
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So, it is sounding like this is a decent training tool. I ride the rollers early mornings ~5 am AZ time. I am wondering how I find out if there are group rides/races at this time of the day so that I can determine if it is worth it to buy a ant+ dongle. Any input would be appreciated.
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Old 11-13-15, 12:03 PM   #11
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I like Zwift and used it quite a bit in the winter when it was free.
It was great to pre-ride the Richmond course before riding it in real life.

However, the change to $10/mo means it'll get uninstalled. I have nothing against Zwift for going non-free, but I have many other things I'd rather spend $10/mo on.
I already pay for TrainerRoad and CyclingAnalytics. No room for Zwift or Strava Premium.

As I've already sort of shifted into indoor riding mode and am 5 weeks into the Sufferfest Advanced Road plan, I don't find myself missing it. Having a structured plan to follow means there's very little JRA/boredom on the trainer.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:02 PM   #12
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Been doing Zwift rides for a month or so now, more due to time change and lack of daylight than weather. Mostly JRA, it's been fun. Agree the "Races" are brutal. Going to try one of their training programs sometime the next couple weeks.

The only downside I see so far is trying to do an easy day while getting passed by 100 people. Really challenges your self discipline.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:07 PM   #13
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So between Zwift and Strava, I don't have to actually line up to race anyone. I can do it virtually.

That $10 a month is going to be way cheaper than a year of race fees.
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Old 11-13-15, 01:16 PM   #14
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i used zwift during the beta and it's neat and all but I don't really take advantage nor have the desire to do virtual racing. Also, I always end up with some other audio/video and occasionally look at zwift, so it's not enough to keep my attention nor worth the money for another distraction. I like that they introduced workout mode and would potentially try a plan, but I may do trainer road instead because I like the workout interface more
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Old 11-13-15, 02:11 PM   #15
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I just passed 6000mi on Zwift for the year. Now that race season is over and the cold weather is here, I am essentially an indoor-only cyclist. From mostly training indoors I made PRs on nearly all durations during the outdoor race season in 2015.
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Old 11-13-15, 02:38 PM   #16
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I am wondering how I find out if there are group rides/races at this time of the day
This calendar seems to have all of the scheduled rides on it:

Zwift Rides - All Zwift group rides are welcome!
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Old 11-13-15, 02:39 PM   #17
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So, it is sounding like this is a decent training tool. I ride the rollers early mornings ~5 am AZ time. I am wondering how I find out if there are group rides/races at this time of the day so that I can determine if it is worth it to buy a ant+ dongle. Any input would be appreciated.
Like their Facebook page. There's a calendar on it for scheduled rides and races.
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Old 11-13-15, 02:42 PM   #18
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This calendar seems to have all of the scheduled rides on it:

Zwift Rides - All Zwift group rides are welcome!
Woah that's way better than FB.
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Old 11-13-15, 02:44 PM   #19
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So between Zwift and Strava, I don't have to actually line up to race anyone. I can do it virtually.

That $10 a month is going to be way cheaper than a year of race fees.
Let's can the sarcasm and keep this thread positive, okay? Thank you.

You all know my situation. If I could race outside I would. If this helps fill a gap then so be it.
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Old 11-13-15, 02:45 PM   #20
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does it support VOIP so I can yell at noobs?
Not yet, but you can group text everyone on the course.
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Old 11-13-15, 03:35 PM   #21
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This calendar seems to have all of the scheduled rides on it:

Zwift Rides - All Zwift group rides are welcome!
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Like their Facebook page. There's a calendar on it for scheduled rides and races.
Thanks gents.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:43 AM   #22
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Let's can the sarcasm and keep this thread positive, okay? Thank you.

You all know my situation. If I could race outside I would. If this helps fill a gap then so be it.
While I was being sarcastic, I think there is some truth to my comment. There are many people who believe that Strava has helped reduce the number of people lining up to race, especially cat 5. They look at Strava segments and think they can't compete, so they don't bother. Or they use that as the only source of cycling competition.

With the advent of Zwift, some can now actually race from the comfort of their living rooms. I know many will use that as a great training tool - and it certainly seems like it is (I haven't used it.) - but others can now use it to not bother racing a real race.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:47 AM   #23
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I don't really understand the whole thing. If you're on a trainer that changes resistance on a course feature like a hill, how do you race against someone on a non smart trainer like a kurt that won't recognize the hill?
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Old 11-14-15, 09:32 AM   #24
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I don't really understand the whole thing. If you're on a trainer that changes resistance on a course feature like a hill, how do you race against someone on a non smart trainer like a kurt that won't recognize the hill?
The speed of your virtual guy is based on the w/kg you put out. On a non smart trainer it uses your power meter, or if you don't have one, it estimates power from a speed sensor. So on a hill, two riders will go the same speed if they are doing the same w/kg, but the rider on the smart trainer gets the resistance feedback and the rider on the dumb trainer just has to pedal harder.

There are various ways to intentionally cheat (as simple as saying you weigh less than you really do) or unintentionally have an advantage (the estimated w/kg can be way off), which means that it's only fun if you don't take it all too seriously.

Last edited by globecanvas; 11-14-15 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:51 AM   #25
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I used zwift a dozen or so times last winter, but I'm not expecting to do so this winter. It's great for anyone who wants to do a lot of indoor training, but I enjoy riding outside in the winter. It will be interesting to see if there is a zwift effect at the spring races with a lot of guys coming out strong. The racers I know who used zwift a lot last winter would have been doing big hours on the trainer anyway.
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