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The Ultimate Guide to Getting Started With Zwift

Zwift is the training “video game” that has taken the cycling world by storm.  The Zwift app allows cyclists from around the world to connect with one another.  They can ride alongside each other from all corners of the globe, and the virtual environment allows people of very different fitness levels to ride together.  With the right equipment, your indoor training can closely mimic an outdoor ride without the cars, bugs or potential for crashing.

I'll show you how to get started with Zwift and how you can jump online today and start your Zwift training adventure!

Things You'll Need To Get Started On Zwift

Getting started on Zwift doesn't have to be difficult.  If you have an indoor trainer, you're already most of the way to starting on Zwift.  The only things you'll need to start training with Zwift are the app itself and a way to connect your bike and sensors to the app.  You can do this in a number of different ways, each with its own pros and cons.  Check out the recommendations after the jump and figure out the best way to connect to Zwift.

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The Ultimate Guide to Indoor Cycling Training With Zwift

Indoor cycling training has been changed forever since the introduction of Zwift.  For those of you who are unaware, Zwift is an online platform for “virtual” riding and training.  It is set in a variety of places, from the London and Richmond UCI World Championships courses to an island in the south pacific known as “Watopia.”  Wherever you end up riding, you'll be thrown together with thousands of other cyclists from around the world.  It only takes a few cheap pieces of technology to interface with the program.  Once connected, each cyclist can pedal on their own or join friends from around the world in a virtual training environment.

Nobody has to worry about bad weather, traffic, flat tires (hopefully!) or wearing the right clothing.  Everything is accomplished from your own trainer in your own home.

But what is it that makes Zwift such an efficient indoor cycling training tool?  How can you use it to improve your fitness more than you ever imagined?  I'll guide you through a ton of different ways to use Zwift.  I'll give you a bunch of ways to add variety to your workouts and get the most out of your free riding time.

Click through the jump and start learning how to build the best fitness possible with Zwift:

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The Best Training For The Zwift Island Volcano Expansion

The virtual training paradise known as Zwift Island (also called “Watopia”) has recently gotten a little bit bigger.  On Monday, January 23rd, the Zwift island volcano expansion dropped.  An entirely new route has become available, offering yet another training ground option for riders to conquer.

After riding the route several times, I've got a few tips to help you get the most fitness possible out of the volcano loop.

I'll start out by saying that I'm a huge proponent of using a smart trainer (like the Elite Drivo or Wahoo Kickr) with Zwift.  One of the biggest complaints of riding a trainer is that it doesn't feel like riding outside.  A smart trainer goes a long way towards mimicking the feel of outdoor training.  By utilizing Zwift with a smart trainer, it also mimics real world conditions.  This means even a “flat” road isn't really flat.  Slight variations in gradient can change the type of training significantly.  This is where a smart trainer shines, and you can read more detailed posts about training on Zwift with a smart trainer here.

That being said, click through the break to find out what kind of training I recommend on the new volcano expansion.

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Muscular Endurance Cycling Training With Zwift

Zwift has revolutionized the way we train indoors with a trainer.  The emergence of smart trainers has turned Zwift into an immersive virtual riding experience.  Muscular endurance (ME) is one of the basic fundamental skills that create a well-rounded cyclist, but it can be boring to accomplish on a trainer.  Combining the two together provides you the opportunity to get tons of high-quality training and keep things from getting stale.  But before you can go about building a ton of muscular endurance and making your body bulletproof, you have to understand what the goal of a ME interval is.

So, first of all, what is muscular endurance and why is it important?

Muscular endurance is your body's ability to resist muscular fatigue under pedaling tension.  That pedaling tension is where the magic happens in your pedal stroke.  The more tension in the pedals, the more power gets to the rear wheel and the faster you go.  I'm sure you've experienced a time when you have to really dig in and push hard to catch your riding buddy.  After a short time, your legs start to get heavy and tired and you have to rest.  The more times you have to repeat this kind of move, the harder it becomes because your legs are just tired out.  Maybe your legs cramp up or maybe you just can't make the move.  No matter what the outcome, you just need more ME training in your program.

In this article I'm going to give you tips to improve your muscular endurance training with Zwift.  Click through the jump to find out how:

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The Ultimate Guide To Off Season Bike Training

If you're a cyclist looking to improve your performance, winter is the perfect time to adjust your bike training routine for the coming season.  You can get your plan for next season down and start attacking your goals and objectives early.  And by starting early, you can ensure you don't panic as you get closer to your season targets.

The thing to remember is that your offseason isn't a mashup of cross training, strength training and riding.  All of your training should be carefully evaluated and scheduled to maximize the effectiveness of each workout.  In order to do that, you need to get your off-season preparation started NOW.

Click through the break and I'll show you how to get started on building your most effective off-season bike training program ever!

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