Hey everyone! I have a confession. Ellie and I have been secretly working out pretty consistently for the past couple of weeks. She has been doing weekly sessions at Reform Fitness, which as our friends found out for Ellie’s birthday, is a super difficult workout. She’s also been using the elliptical quite a bit at home, which has been great. I, on the other hand, have been using my bike four days a week inside on an indoor trainer. To spice up the indoor bike life, I have been using Zwift.
The first question that should be addressed is, why am I using an indoor bike trainer when the weather is still nice out. That is actually pretty easy to answer: consistency. I found myself not wanting to go through the effort of getting all the bike gear on, heading outside and getting a quick ride in the limited day-light
hours. Indoors let’s me hop on the bike at any point in my evening, and as many of you know me and Ellie are night owls so a 10:00pm workout session isn’t out of the ordinary. The second reason, is actually the same: consistency. By all accounts, indoor trainers lets me dial in the bike training program and remove the variables that I can’t control, like weather and traffic. I can sit on a bike inside for an hour with no interruption, targeting the metrics that I am interested in.
So, what is Zwift, what is my setup, and how do I like it. Zwift is an interactive bike-ride simulator. I have sensors on my bike, that move my digital self through the various rides in Zwift. From Innsbruck, Austria, to made up Watopia roads, my progress in the world of Zwift is tracked based on my effort on my bike. To use Zwift, you do need a few things, so the startup cost is not trivial. The first, is a bike trainer. These can be pretty expensive, but I went the cheap-but-good-enough route of picking up a Cyclops Fluid 2 trainer off Ebay used, for half the cost of what it would normally retail. This trainer is a “dumb” trainer, as in it doesn’t automatically track the various pieces of information (cadence, power etc). Instead, I also picked up a Garmin Speed, Cadence, and heart rate monitor. To interface with Zwift, I also needed an Ant+ sensor. Whew, quite a lot of setup.
Everything has been setup for a couple of weeks, and so far, so good! I even learned how to replace my bike tube, change out a tire, and reset my front derailleur. These are all good things, because I feel like I am starting to feel more comfortable on the bike, and that should translate to the triathlon next summer.
With that, stay tuned! I plan on covering some of my workouts in more detail in the next few weeks. One of my major goals is to understand how I can start maximizing new metrics like wattage, power, and cadence. How can I measure improvements, and analyze my FTP (functional training pace).