We all know that feeling; wake up at 7am on a Sunday morning to do a training ride, look out of the window and its proper Manchester weather raining cats & dogs. We all then have the dilemma do we or don’t we go out. Get wet or get back in bed?
By using modern technology we no longer have to decide; do we or don’t we train. I’ve recently started using Zwift, which is an app for cyclists. It takes away the tediousness of using a indoor turbo trainer. It’s an app that puts you the cyclist on centre stage within a global online cycling game.
Ideally you need one of the new generation smart turbo trainers (there’s now loads on the market from the likes of Wahoo and Tracx) though you can still use the app if you don’t have a smart trainer, it’s just that the experience isn’t likely to be as good.
The app and your smart turbo are connected via either Ant+ or Bluetooth. The app essentially controls the turbo, so for example when you are riding up a hill more resistance is applied via the turbo, thus making it feel like you are actually grinding up a hill!
The app is very interactive, so you can communicate with other users, see who is in front or behind you. The app allows you to join group rides and pick different destinations to ride.
It’s been a wet weekend in Saddleworth these past few days, so on Saturday I rode around London and on Sunday I hit some alpine passes.
It’s not an understatement to say that using an app like Zwift has transformed my training in the winter months. Previously I found it very hard to do more than half an hour on a traditional indoor training session. Today I did a solid 1hour and 50mins. I’d have been happy to do more if it wasn’t for other commitments with the family.
The app is not cheap, neither is a good smart turbo. The app costs just under £10/month, though you can usually try it for a month free before subscribing. I use a Wahoo KickR turbo, they cost about £900, though there are other makes and models around which are around £300.