Strava and Zwift Inspire Me to Keep Going Further
If you asked me what is Strava or what is Zwift a year ago, I would have looked at you funny. But today, those two online apps are a huge part of my life, especially my triathlon life.
I’ve been training with Zwift using my CompuTrainer, which is a smart trainer, for a few months now. Zwift is “a turbo trainer game that enables you to link you turbo trainer up your computer, your iPad and iPhone, letting you ride with other cyclists who live anywhere around the world, in a virtual environment.”
Do you remember Second Life? That was a virtual world where you could go shopping, go to work, go to a disco or just hang out with new people. Well, Zwift reminds me of that.
When you sign in to Zwift and hop on your smart trainer to go for a ride, you are riding on a road up steep hills or speed along the city of London on a time trial.
What’s interesting about Zwift is that there is a mobile app that enhances the experience. You can customize the kit and bike, once you’ve ridden some time and have unlocked the rewards.
You also have the opportunity to customize your camera angles for different set of viewing. If you want to turn around on a steep hill, you can use the uturn symbol on your mobile app.
I noticed that I get a bunch of power ups while riding. These are circles on the top of your screen that have various symbols in them. I never use these power ups but when you draft, you can use them to help you go faster using the same amount of power. (I never can get it at the right time, so I opt to not use this feature.)
What I love about this program, you can see the grade of elevation you are climbing, before and during the ride. You also can see what is coming up and who is coming behind you! I love the opportunity to ride with people from all over the world, including the UK, Sweden, Japan and other places!
There is also an option to chat with your fellow riders or you can send a private message to someone.
Zwift is hard. It’s just as hard if not harder than any of the Computrainer programs and it helps you to maximize your training because you have other people on the road. When you see your fellow riders, you are inspired to go faster and try to pass them or at the very least draft on them!
The other thing about Zwift, is you will go faster and get stronger. I started riding Zwift in April and rode 23 miles in 1:30 with an average wattage of 82. In June, I did the same course, rode 24.2 miles and my average watts were 90! That’s significant.
One of my favorite parts of the Zwift ride is when I end the ride and it automatically downloads my workout to both Training Peaks and Strava.
From there, although I feel a little intimidated by my speed, distance and watts, my friends on Strava give me a “kudos,” and it actually encourages me to keep riding and to ride further! Ride on!