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Getting back into training which apps to use?

Old 01-19-22, 04:41 AM
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Wyoguy
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Getting back into training which apps to use?

Just getting back into cycling and put a pair of sensors, an HRM, and a cyclo-computer on my indoor trainer. I have signed up for Strava. A friend suggested Zwift but not ready for it yet as my pace is around 16 mph for 35 minutes, so not ready to pay for an app I can't keep up with or take advantage of yet. I currently plan on riding 6 days a week and using Strava to chart my progress. Is there any other App I should look into to help me train or to help motivate me? Are there other videos to watch while cycling?
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Old 01-19-22, 11:35 AM
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How about a book to read about training?

I am looking for another recommendation. How about a book on training. My knowledge is based on a few decades old and comes from someone who wears sold yellow wristbands and is currently discredited for PEDs. What book(s) now represent the most current training techniques and technologies? Nothing too intense or obscure, I am just starting out so need the basics and don't have power meters or anything technologically advanced. Is there a book that will help get me up to speed on current training techniques?
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Old 01-19-22, 11:39 AM
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16mph is pretty normal, I wouldn't use that as a Zwift disqualifier. I use Strava for final consolidation. Garmin Connect for collection and real-time on the Garmin 130 plus.
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Old 01-19-22, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
16mph is pretty normal, I wouldn't use that as a Zwift disqualifier. I use Strava for final consolidation. Garmin Connect for collection and real-time on the Garmin 130 plus.
It's just going 16 mph is all I can do and only for about half an hour. I don't want to pay for the Zwift subscription until I can push myself some more. Also with Zwift is it possible to pay for winter then drop the subscription when the weather improves?
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Old 01-19-22, 01:04 PM
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Zwift is good for indoor training at any level. There are plenty of people there with whom you'[ll be able to "keep up". Plunge in.

Also "16 mph" is pretty meaningless. Once you are training in zwift, you'll think in watts, as you should. Even without a power meter, Zwift's estimated power (zPower) is a good way for you to track your progress.

You can suspend your Zwift subscription for months when you are not using it
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Old 01-19-22, 03:35 PM
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I use RideWithGPS and have a paid subscription for it. I also go to GarminConnect with a free account because there are some things that it shows that I want to know sometimes. I have a Strava free account too, but Strava has always been the least of my favorites. For some reason I liken it to AOL. However it gives everything the other do. I just don't quite mesh with it though so I'm not going to fault you no matter what you choose.

There are also programs like Golden Cheetah and such that you can use.

If your riding is indoors then Zwift will be the one to keep you motivated for riding 6 days a week or what ever you wish to do. For riding outdoors a bike club or just a lot of friends that like to ride on different days will help. It's hard to turn down a ride when someone asks you to go riding with them.
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Old 01-19-22, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
I use RideWithGPS and have a paid subscription for it. I also go to GarminConnect with a free account because there are some things that it shows that I want to know sometimes. I have a Strava free account too, but Strava has always been the least of my favorites. For some reason I liken it to AOL. However it gives everything the other do. I just don't quite mesh with it though so I'm not going to fault you no matter what you choose.
What do you not like about Strava? I used Endomondo in the past and thing Strava gives me similar features in that I can chose my activity other than cycling to get results when I kayak or xc ski. Is there another app that can be used to get an 'accurate' input from other sports? I have a month trial of Strava to see if it is good for me or not.

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post

If your riding is indoors then Zwift will be the one to keep you motivated for riding 6 days a week or what ever you wish to do. For riding outdoors a bike club or just a lot of friends that like to ride on different days will help. It's hard to turn down a ride when someone asks you to go riding with them.
​​​​​
Thanks for the list of apps, I will look into all of those. I do have a friend I ride with in the past, she is 60 and I sometimes struggle to keep up, hopefully with some offseason training I may do better. this summer. I think the local club will be way too hard-core for me for at least a year, riding season is only 6 months here if we are lucky, so I will give Zwift a shot.
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Old 01-19-22, 04:30 PM
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What do you not like about Strava?
Probably just the way I'm wired. I tend not to go for the super hyped stuff and Strava has always been that though they don't do anything better than the others. Although my son does get a badge or two from them every time he rides. Garmin is almost as bad about giving out badges. Thankfully RWGPS doesn't give out badges.

Twelve years ago MapMyRide was my goto site for cycling with Garming Connect, Strava and RWGPS last. However the last five years I've mainly gone to RWGPS. Any time I have a question or issue, their support will get back to me the same day.

As for Zwift I don't use it and never have. However I can see the appeal since it lets you compete with others. There are other training apps that do similar I think but lesser known. For my indoor riding, I have found watching cyclocross or other cycling events on youTube or where ever I can find them seem to distract me from the drudgery of an hour or two pedaling to nowhere. Big box fan or pedestal fan helps too! <grin>

In my climate here, I'll still put in more miles outdoors than I will indoors. Nor am I really actively training for anything. I just like to ride hard and fast... well fast for me. I won't win any races against others. <grin> Though I might get to the top of a short climb first if I catch someone at the right moment.

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Old 01-19-22, 04:46 PM
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There seem to be some misconceptions here. Strava works fine for keeping track of your ride and stats, as do several other programs. But it is not comparable to an indoor workout app such as Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, etc.

If the OP is looking for an app to help him stay motivated during indoor workouts and to possibly even enjoy them or look forward to them, it's the latter group.

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Old 01-20-22, 10:48 AM
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I use TrainingPeaks Premium to track my training and training plans to give me direction. TrainingPeaks has many training plans available which plug right into it. I've heard good things about TrainerRoad from riders who post here. Strava is fun, but it's not that interesting from a training perspective. Zwift is certainly all the rage here. Personally I don't need that sort of thing for motivation. My motivation is internal - faster, stronger, better.

On another topic, if you are really getting into training, you should put a power meter on your bike, and you might as well get a 1000 series Garmin to display info, put outdoor routes into, and upload into whatever training app you're using. Money, though. Heart rate monitors are great for recording effort on outdoor rides, but are not that useful for doing prescribed intervals on an indoor trainer.

The standard training book is The Cyclist's Training Bible by Friel.

This is all technical stuff which does offer advantages. However the main thing is simply to ride lots and outdoors to ride hills, lots of them. Gradually increase the length of your efforts and then increase their intensity. On the bike, not much happens in under 45 minutes, so that's the first thing to work on. It is said that distance equals strength. The longer your individual rides, the stronger you get. In my 50s, I went from dead in the water to a double century in 3 years with only a heart rate monitor, no software, and I'm not talented.
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Old 01-20-22, 11:33 AM
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There's no minimum speed for Zwift. If your trainer set up is compatible with it, I'd say give it a try. I would sign up for one of the beginner FTP improvement training blocks. If you do the workouts as prescribed, you'll see improvements.
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Old 01-20-22, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Probably just the way I'm wired. I tend not to go for the super hyped stuff and Strava has always been that though they don't do anything better than the others..
I am beginning to see what you are saying about Strava. It seems like an extension of social media. I have about a dozen friends that were on it and post and show their results. I used it to monitor a walk yesterday and got congratulations for walking to the bank from my brother in law. I want to monitor my work out not get participation awards from friends and family for exercising.
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Old 01-20-22, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
There seem to be some misconceptions here. Strava works fine for keeping track of your ride and stats, as do several other programs. But it is not comparable to an indoor workout app such as Zwift, Rouvy, TrainerRoad, etc.

If the OP is looking for an app to help him stay motivated during indoor workouts and to possibly even enjoy them or look forward to them, it's the latter group.
I don't see the misconception. The OP is looking for recommendations on multiple things. Or so I thought. One being what's a good place to track data for rides outdoors and maybe indoors.

And then what's a good program or way to keep motivated for pedaling hours on end when indoors on a trainer.

I didn't take "Training" in the title to mean only when on a trainer.
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Old 01-20-22, 12:06 PM
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The nice thing about Zwift is that it's fine if you want to toodle about at whatever speed you can handle. If you want to do that and try to collect badges from all the different routes, that can be a fun motivator in and of itself (that's where I started). I still sort of like that video game aspect of going places and doing things. If you want to do workouts, it'll give you those and some changing scenery to look at while you suffer (so you're not just staring at graphs - I have a short attention span and just looking at graphs always killed my motivation). If you're more motivated by group workout classes, there are group workouts. If you want to be social, you can find people to interact with. If you don't want to be social, you can either ignore the chat or turn it off. If you want to race once you think you're ready, there's that too. If you want to do a little of all those things, there's that as well. If you want to just try it out, you can ride 25 km for free each month (actually, as long as you start your last ride before you've used up your 25 km, you can keep riding to the end of that ride no matter how long it is.

Sure, the graphics aren't top of the line, people may argue if there are better workouts elsewhere, some of the physics may not be 100% real world, there's definitely some cheating in the races, and the user interface could use some work, but it's once place you can go and get all the different things, which sort of makes it the 800 lb gorilla because it has the most other users doing those things to interact with (and it has the most money to try new things).
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Old 01-20-22, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
I am beginning to see what you are saying about Strava. It seems like an extension of social media. I have about a dozen friends that were on it and post and show their results. I used it to monitor a walk yesterday and got congratulations for walking to the bank from my brother in law. I want to monitor my work out not get participation awards from friends and family for exercising.
On Strava, it's your choice to decide which, or any, of your activities can be seen by other Strava users. Others can't see activities marked "private". So if you are getting unwanted social attention, you have the means to stop it.
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Old 01-20-22, 12:57 PM
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You can also use apps like strautomator to be more selective in what other people can or can't see. For instance, I use it to mute all walks and activities under a certain amount of time (basically warm ups or things that get aborted for whatever reason) so that they don't show up on people's feeds. That allows me to do challenges that require things not be private, but still keep me from spamming people's feeds with simple stuff. When I was recovering from getting hit by a car, several people were well-meaning by commenting on every walk I did, but it got annoying being congratulated for walking half a mile (even though it was a big effort at the time).
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Old 01-20-22, 01:02 PM
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I just set my default to private and then I have to consciously decide to let my friends (or todo el mundo) see my rides. Numerically, most of my rides are commutes, and I figure no one wants to see my same 4 mile ride to work every day.
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Old 01-20-22, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
Just getting back into cycling and put a pair of sensors, an HRM, and a cyclo-computer on my indoor trainer. I have signed up for Strava. A friend suggested Zwift but not ready for it yet as my pace is around 16 mph for 35 minutes, so not ready to pay for an app I can't keep up with or take advantage of yet. I currently plan on riding 6 days a week and using Strava to chart my progress. Is there any other App I should look into to help me train or to help motivate me? Are there other videos to watch while cycling?
The thing about Zwift is it has something for everyone from beginners to pros, it’s the Swiss knife of cycling apps. There are better apps for specific things that are better then what Zwift offers (for example if you like realistic scenery and only care about that primarily then FulGaz might be better, if you like training programs then Sufferfest, and so on etc., Different Apps for different chaps.). Don’t let the idea that you’re not ready for whatever because you don’t feel ready, the reason to get these aids is to improve not wait until we improve enough to get something to improve. You improve by challenging yourself beyond your comfort level with frequent ‘shocks’ to the system.
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Old 01-20-22, 02:52 PM
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Thanks guys,

I have purchased two Joe Friel Books The Training Bible and Ride Inside. My wife and I are both working towards getting into shape. We will look into all the ride-along and training apps like Zwift, She is a gamer and might enjoy the graphics and gaming aspect. She is not very competitive so might just want to spin leisurely while watching a video of anything. I will try out Zwift and others to see what i like.
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Old 01-20-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
I am beginning to see what you are saying about Strava. It seems like an extension of social media. I have about a dozen friends that were on it and post and show their results. I used it to monitor a walk yesterday and got congratulations for walking to the bank from my brother in law. I want to monitor my work out not get participation awards from friends and family for exercising.
You are correct that Strava has a significant social media components, but it also captures data from your rides that tracks progress. If you don't want the social part of it, set your account to private. I'm a social guy, so the social part is valuable to me.

Two years ago, after being off my bike for 15 years, I started doing some indoor trainer work to start rebuilding my fitness. It was dull, and 30-45 minutes was all I could tolerate before being too bored to continue. Then, I learned about Zwift. Zwift is what you make of it. For me, the important component is interaction with other riders in real time, and my usual choice is to join group rides that are appropriate for my level of fitness. However, sometimes I choose to do a structured workout that dictates how long and how hard to go based on what the structure of the workout is, adjusted to my current level of fitness. Other times, I just want to ride at my own pace, as easy or as hard as I want. If you want to race, you can enter a race. If you don't want to race, don't. For me, Zwift continues to be an important part of my riding/training diet.

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Old 01-20-22, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
Thanks guys,

I have purchased two Joe Friel Books The Training Bible and Ride Inside. My wife and I are both working towards getting into shape. We will look into all the ride-along and training apps like Zwift, She is a gamer and might enjoy the graphics and gaming aspect. She is not very competitive so might just want to spin leisurely while watching a video of anything. I will try out Zwift and others to see what i like.
Two thumbs up for Joe Friel books
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Old 01-21-22, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
You are correct that Strava has a significant social media components, but it also captures data from your rides that tracks progress. If you don't want the social part of it, set your account to private. I'm a social guy, so the social part is valuable to me.

Two years ago, after being off my bike for 15 years, I started doing some indoor trainer work to start rebuilding my fitness. It was dull, and 30-45 minutes was all I could tolerate before being too bored to continue. Then, I learned about Zwift. Zwift is what you make of it. For me, the important component is interaction with other riders in real time, and my usual choice is to join group rides that are appropriate for my level of fitness. However, sometimes I choose to do a structured workout that dictates how long and how hard to go based on what the structure of the workout is, adjusted to my current level of fitness. Other times, I just want to ride at my own pace, as easy or as hard as I want. If you want to race, you can enter a race. If you don't want to race, don't. For me, Zwift continues to be an important part of my riding/training diet.
I don't mind the social media aspect of these apps, I might even appreciate the encouragement and to show off any progress and accomplishments in the future. It is just that I am such a shell of my past athleticism, it is embarrassing I just want to make sure the apps are relevant beyond just the social media aspect.

I signed up and did a ride on Zwift yesterday. It is as bad as I thought. I got a badge for being a "Master Drafter", I think I was also upgraded to second level. I don't need participation trophys, still I got to admit it was a lot of fun and motivating. I pushed myself harder in the 25 minute ride than the previous day's 35 minute ride.

I will be going on another Zwift ride this afternoon after replacing the cables and rewrapping my bars.

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Old 01-21-22, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
I don't mind the social media aspect of these apps, I might even appreciate the encouragement and to show off any progress and accomplishments in the future. It is just that I am such a shell of my past athleticism, it is embarrassing I just want to make sure the apps are relevant beyond just the social media aspect.

I signed up and did a ride on Zwift yesterday. It is as bad as I thought. I got a badge for being a "Master Drafter", I think I was also upgraded to second level. I don't need participation trophys, still I got to admit it was a lot of fun and motivating. I pushed myself harder in the 25 minute ride than the previous day's 35 minute ride.

I will be going on another Zwift ride this afternoon after replacing the cables and rewrapping my bars.
I'll never be the rider I was 20 years ago when I was an active racer, but Zwift has been an important part of being able to return to a moderate level of fitness mixed in with the schedule demands of my family. They tend to throw a bunch of "gamer" awards at you in the beginning, but those fade away pretty quickly. Spend a little time getting familiar with it. I used it for a while with a "dumb" trainer, and it worked to keep my motivation up. Upgrading to a "smart" trainer made it significantly more immersive, and an even better experience. If you're interested in learning more about the Zwift world, and its features, check our www.zwiftinsider.com. As I said before, Zwift is what you make of it.
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Old 01-21-22, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyoguy View Post
I don't mind the social media aspect of these apps, I might even appreciate the encouragement and to show off any progress and accomplishments in the future. It is just that I am such a shell of my past athleticism, it is embarrassing I just want to make sure the apps are relevant beyond just the social media aspect.

I signed up and did a ride on Zwift yesterday. It is as bad as I thought. I got a badge for being a "Master Drafter", I think I was also upgraded to second level. I don't need participation trophys, still I got to admit it was a lot of fun and motivating. I pushed myself harder in the 25 minute ride than the previous day's 35 minute ride.

I will be going on another Zwift ride this afternoon after replacing the cables and rewrapping my bars.
The second part is important and the first part isn't. It holds one's attention, is motivating, and encourages one to sweat more and for longer than one would otherwise. Alone and in one's basement.

there's lots of stuff on Zwift and Strava (badges, challenges, etc.) that would annoy me if I paid any attention. So I don't.
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Old 01-22-22, 05:17 PM
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PeteHski
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Apps I currently use:-

Zwift - as others have said there are a LOT of ways to use Zwift. Racing, group rides, workouts, solo riding, collecting badges and virtual gear etc. You don't have to like it all, but there is enough variety to keep most people motivated while riding indoors.

Rouvy - basically video based virtual routes. If you prefer a more real world experience vs Zwift's "gaming" world then Rouvy is well worth checking out. It's pretty cool actually riding iconic big mountain climbs, especially with a decent smart trainer.

Wahoo SYSTM - This provides my structured training plans and I find the video workouts both motivating and effective. This is my main focus when training for specific events during the season.

Training Peaks - I have a premium account and previously used this for my structured training plans and analysing performance metrics, but now I'm using SYSTM for training plans I will probably drop my premium account when it expires.

Strava - I have a premium Strava account too. I find it useful for logging all my workouts in a single place (outdoor rides, Zwift, Rouvy, SYSTM workouts all sync to both Strava and Training Peaks), although I find the performance metrics very limited. It's also good for keeping track of what your friends and rivals are getting up to. I can't imagine not using Strava to be honest, but the value of a premium account is certainly debatable.

Last edited by PeteHski; 01-22-22 at 05:20 PM.
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