Hello and Welcome back to Tuesday Chat with Team Strava.
Today we have a special guest joining us; Welcome Jimi! Strava employee, and cycling enthusiast, he's here today to talk about his experience using the Zwift training platform.
I remember back when I first experienced winter as a cyclist. I put my bike on the trainer, put on some music, and stared at a wall or watched old bike racing videos. A lot has changed since those early days of training solo in my basement waiting for the weather to get better.
The world of indoor cycling and virtual training has witnessed a game-changer for indoor riding and racing, enter Zwift. Combining the power of technology, social connectivity, and immersive gaming elements, Zwift has revolutionized the way cyclists and fitness enthusiasts engage in indoor riding. Let's dive into what Zwift is, how it has helped me to become a better cyclist, save time, and why it has become such a popular platform.
What is Zwift? I remember asking this in 2014 when I first installed the beta program onto my computer. I soon realized how much of a positive impact this would have on my motivation and fitness during the winter months.
Zwift is an interactive online platform that allows cyclists, runners, and triathletes to train and compete virtually in an engaging 3D environment. With Zwift, individuals can transform their stationary bikes or treadmills into dynamic training tools, enhancing their workouts and providing an element of excitement. Zwift records speed and distance using virtual GPS points that will display on a map when your activity is uploaded to Strava.
You can easily connect your Strava account with Zwift to show off your hard earned miles and achievements, while also getting some kudos from your friends. Zwift rides automatically upload to Strava as virtual rides. Since they contain real world GPS data, they will match Strava segments and they get their own set of segment leaderboards separate from rides done outdoors. You can also create your own private virtual Strava segments for your Zwift rides.
Zwift has a huge library of workouts, or if you prefer to race for segment times you can claim KOM/Sprint jerseys, go after some timed segments, and even race against your PR live on screen (your previous PR will appear as a hologram of yourself)
Now when I log into Zwift I am able to see other riders from all around the globe, represented by their avatars, and can even train with them or race against them. I finally had a sense of community in the winter
The best part of Zwift is the ability to interact with other riders in real time. I am able to strike up conversations with cyclists from different countries, exchanging tips, stories, and motivation. The community aspect of Zwift was incredible, and I formed connections with riders in countries and places that I would have never met otherwise.
The variety of worlds to ride in and scenery in those locations ensures that I never experience a dull moment all from my cozy trainer room. Once the weather warmed up enough for me to get outside I realized that I had actually gained fitness over the winter instead of staying stagnant or having to start from square one all over again.
If you enjoy Strava Challenges, you'll be happy to learn that Zwift rides count towards many cycling Challenges on Strava. Just check that "virtual ride" appears in the list of qualifying activities on the Challenge page:
Whether you are a person who thrives on a community and connectedness, gaining fitness, or friendly competition, Zwift has the ability to fulfill all of those areas to make you a better, and more importantly, a more motivated and encouraged cyclist. Then when you are finished you can upload your activity to Strava where a map is displayed, PRs are shown, and kudos can be received (because if it isn’t on Strava did it actually happen?)
If you have a bike and a trainer I highly recommend giving Zwift a try and seeing where it takes you on your cycling journey. Already using Zwift? Drop us a reply below and share your Zwift experience!