I am 48 years old and have been a casual runner for the last decade. I added Zwifting to my workout routine a year ago with good results.
What Is Zwift?
I have been a casual viewer of the Tour De France for years. In 2019 I saw an advertisement for Zwift which showed a rider on a stationary bike racing against others on the internet. I was intrigued so started researching it in more depth and decided is was something I wanted to try.
In order to use Zwift you must subscribe to the service paying $14 per month. In addition you need a bike and a smart trainer. A smart trainer allows you to ride indoors and it adjusts based on what is happening in the game. For example, if you're riding up hill in the game, the smart trainer will increase pedaling resistance to mimic riding up a hill as you would encounter in real life.
Dipping My Toe In
There are several options for Zwifting, from budget set ups to stationary bikes costing over $3,500.
Given I had no idea if I would really like Zwift I decided to try the budget option. One of the cheapest Smart Trainers on the market with decent reviews was the Tracx Flow Smart Trainer costing $364. I also didn't want to have to always take my bike on and off the trainer when I wanted to ride out side so I bought a cheap second bike on Amazon which just stays on the trainer full time. A lot of the cost of a nicer road bike is weight, meaning the more you pay the lighter bike you get.. Given weight doesn't matter on smart trainer the $200 bike I purchased has worked fine. There is no reason to pay thousands of dollars for a light racing bike if it's just going to sit on your turbo trainer full time.
My First Zwfit Ride
As I stated earlier I have been running for years at the moderate pace of about 8 minutes per mile and 20 miles per week. I also did some very casual cycling outside, mostly in the summer months. Given this I assumed I would be rather fit compared to most using Zwift.
This was not the case.
The day my smart trainer arrived, I excitedly logged into Zwift and saw that there was a race starting in 10 minutes. I quickly joined, not noticing it was 30 miles and I rarely if ever biked more than 10. Being a runner I also assumed, although unlikely I just might win the race, or at least my cardio should place me pretty high up in the rankings.
This also was not the case.
The race started and I began pedaling. My heart rate quickly hit levels I did not know it was capable of. I was sweating profusely (you really want a fan blowing on you as there is no wind indoors and I did not have one) and became flushed and slightly nauseous from the exertion. This was a lot harder than I anticipated! About 5 minutes in I found myself "dropped" as they say in cycling verbiage, meaning I was riding solo as my competition pulled away at a rapid pace. Helpfully my wife walked by and said "oh, you're riding all alone, that's so sad". This was not motivating.
However, determined to at least finish I plodded through the 30 miles then got off the bike and collapsed on the floor a sweaty mess. This was much harder than running. But it was also in masochistic way, really "fun".
After A Year
After spending a year on Zwift using the platform almost daily I can say I am hooked, nay addicted. It blends the fun of video gaming with working out.
There are several compelling aspects of Zwift from Workouts, Group Rides, Racing and other challenges such as completing routes to earn badges. I have enjoyed all aspects, some more then others.
Personally, I enjoy racing the most. It fills a competitive urge and provides what I feel are the best workouts. I inherently push myself harder in a race than I do in a work out or simply riding on my own outside.
I feel Zwift has made me fitter over the last year. When I started Zwfit a year ago my weight was 170 and I lost 10 pounds over the course the year. Mostly this was due to working out for longer periods given it was more fun on Zwift. So instead of say jogging for 30 minutes, I would ride on Zwift for an hour effectively doubling the amount of calories I was burring per day leading to some weight loss.
As stated before I started Zwift with the cheapest set up I could find, a Traxc Flow trainer and a cheap online bike. Due to how much I have enjoyed Zwifting I have gone to the other end of the spectrum and purchased one of the more expensive Zwfit set ups, a $2,600 Wattbike. Although the price is steep, I believe it's a solid investment in my overall health. There have not been many times in my life where I wished I could work out multiple times a day. Zwift makes me look forward to my workouts and for that reason it was an easy decision to invest in a better set up.
That said, the Traxc Flow certainly met my expectations and allowed me to try Zwift and learn what is had to offer without spending a lot. If you are thinking about trying Zwift I would suggest the same, try a cheaper set up first. My cheap set up is now being handed down to may adult son. I look forward to him becoming as hooked as I have and being able to ride with him in the World Of Zwift.
My Current Zwift Setup A Wattbike Atom
Discount Code For Wattbike Atom
© 2020 shuck72