Introduction to Zwift
While some (very) dedicated cyclists may be seen in the dead of winter still training outside, we here at Performance would like to challenge you to take this winter to enjoy yourself and improve the way you train.
Enter Zwift. With an input device of either an interactive trainer, a smart trainer, or a power meter, this brilliant training aid not only has the ability to collect and analyze your training data, it also provides you with a training avatar. With the use of a tablet or TV screen, this avatar allows you to enter in to a virtual gaming world where you can cycle and train with people from all over the globe. You can ride in groups, or by yourself. You can train or race. It puts your wants and needs with cycling in your hands, regardless of weather, riding schedules, or time of day.
To get started you’ll need a few things before you begin your Zwift experience.
- Your bike. It is an obvious must have, but we added it to this list just-in-case!
- An input device in the form of a resistance trainer.
- The best experience will be with a fully interactive smart trainer, but a regular smart trainer or even a fluid trainer will suffice as long as you have a power meter or cadence/speed sensor to rig to your ride.
- A computer and an ANT+USB dongle. The ANT+USB dongle allows you to connect your trainer to your computer wirelessly.
- From there you can also use a device such as Chromecast to display what’s on your computer to your television, for a better view.
- The Zwift app for your smart phone. This app is the way you can instantly track your progress and data, change workout plans and destinations, and more. The full Zwift experience is now available on iOS.
Setting up Zwift is easy and user friendly. Follow these instructions and you’ll be ready to start your adventure in no time:
- Go to Zwift.com and register
- Download Zwift app to your computer
- Install USB ANT+ dongle in your computer
- Put your bike in the trainer and get it set up
- If you have a smart or interactive trainer, make sure you’ve calibrated it (for most trainers this can be done with the trainer’s smartphone app)
- Open the Zwift app on your computer and sign in
- Pair your trainer/power meter / cadence and speed sensor with Zwift
- Select the course you wish to ride
- Start pedaling and enjoy!
- Don’t forget, you can use the Zwift smartphone app to control your ride, text with other riders, give other riders a thumbs up, and more. The full Zwift experience is now available on iOS.
Zwift is also packed with training plans tailored for all cycling abilities from beginner to pro. And its clear steps and automatic ERG resistance control make structured training a breeze. The training plans and cycling data are excellent tools to use to challenge, modify, and improve the way you train. If all of this wasn’t awesome enough, Zwift also has digital destinations which include London, Richmond, and Watopia. We advise you to treat yourself to exploring these areas on an interactive trainer, because it can mimic the actual terrain of the destination you’ve selected. Imagine, training on the cobbles of London with people from around the globe on a Tuesday night. Or scaling a mountain in Watopia on the weekend. We think it sounds exciting!
You won’t miss out on much outside and you’ll be strengthening your training abilities with Zwift this winter. That way, when spring rolls back around, you’ll have an entire arsenal of new information and skills to push you ahead of the pack when training and racing, or you could continue to enjoy your Zwift!