Zwift Resources If You Know Nothing About Cycling
You can listen to this post via podcast by clicking the link here: https://anchor.fm/margsandmarathons/episodes/Zwift-Resources-If-You-Know-Virtually-Nothing-about-Cycling-epd5f9
Hello and welcome back! I'm trying something new this week. I wanted to consistently document my triathlon training, but since I started to train for Ironman St. George 70.3 my time has become an even more precious commodity. So instead of writing a blog post each week, I thought I would try an audio blog instead. What you are reading (if you're reading this) is a transcription of the podcast that I recorded about my training for the week. If you would rather listen to this post, click the link at the top of this page. I’m trying it out, so feel free to let me know what you think. I knew triathlon was going to have a steep learning curve and I came face to face with it last week. Last week was the first week that I had my Tacx NEO 2t smart trainer. I was very excited to finally have it set up and I hopped the bike on Monday morning and logged into Zwift. I quickly learned that there was so much I don't know about Zwift. Zwift was super fun, even not knowing what I was doing. I felt like I was playing a video game and I got really competitive seeing people pass me and then wanting to catch back up to them. Zwift has so many features which is very cool, but you have to learn how to use them. I spent a lot of time this week on Googling how do ______ on Zwift. Luckily there is tons of information out there about Zwift and how to get started. This article from ZwiftInsider.com I found the most helpful for someone like me who is brand new to cycling and has little to no base knowledge about Zwift:
Probably the biggest thing that confused me and threw me for a loop when I hopped on Zwift on Day 1, was I had no idea what ERG mode was. I decided to do one of Zwift’s workouts and that (undenounced to me) put my trainer into ERG mode. To my best understanding now, ERG mode simplifies the workout so that your only job is to manage your cadence and you don't need to worry about shifting. In Erg mode, your trainer’s job is to make you hold a particular wattage. Your trainer will automatically make adjustments if you're not hitting your target watts. For example, if your Zwift workout wants you to hold 200 watts for 10 minutes and you're spinning at a cadence of 90 and putting out 200 hundred watts, then you slow your cadence to 60, your trainer will increase the resistance so that you're still holding 200 watts even though you're pedaling slower. You can disable ERG mode and go back to regular Sim mode were the smart trainer then tries to replicate the “feel” of that virtual ride environment through its resistance on your drivetrain. This article from ZwiftInsider.com goes deeper into all of this and how to disable ERG mode in a workout:
As the week went on, I quickly learned a lot about Zwift. I am FAR from having it figured out AT ALL. But I did complete at FTP test and I am even trying to import my own courses and create my own workouts. Triathlon Taren rounded up some of the top Zwift related websites in this video below… feel free to go down the rabbit hole:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrDkobzZ7mM I have been humbled by actually having accurate bike data now that I am on the trainer. My speed and FTP on the bike are not anywhere close to where I want them to be. I know this is just my starting point is, but I have less than a hundred days to get ready for St. George. I am trying to remind myself when you're starting new, it is possible to improve quickly. I have proven I can do that with running. I nagging “fear” also, is I know St. George's bike course is tough.
I was reading RunTri.com’s analysis of the St. George 70.3 and it states, “it’s one of the toughest bike courses we've analyzed,” Link to the full analysis here:
I am just not sure why my fitness is not translating better to the bike. In the past, when my running fitness improves then my swimming times improve a little bit just because I am more aerobically fit. I feel like on the bike, my fitness is way behind my run and swim fitness. Maybe I am just being impatient, and a little time will help level things out.
I also had some challenges getting in the pool this week. My gym where I lap swim in having an influx of new members, because it is January, which is great but that also means that reservations to workout are filling up fast. It was a little frustrating, but I tried to remind myself to be thankful to have a pool access. I recognize that many people do not right now. I also know that if any part of training has to be cut short, it is good that it is the swim.
I do not even know what my training schedule is going to look like exactly for this coming week yet. I plan to tweak and rearrange some things. I had been doing my brick workouts on Fridays, which I enjoyed but I realized as they're getting longer, I just won't be able to squeeze them in on a weekday. It would be easier schedule wise, to get in my long run on a weekday then the brick workout. I enjoy trying to figure out how to make everything work into my life; it feels like a puzzle. A few times this week, I felt overwhelmed and I was wondering if I had gotten in way over my head. I reminded myself that anytime I start something new there is a learning curve, and everything takes longer because it's not routine. It takes longer to set up for a workout, it takes longer to do your workouts, it takes more brainpower, and I am more tired at the end of the day. I am in the learning phase and I'm sure as I get things dialed in, it will become more automatic. While listening this week’s episode of the AtoZ Running Podcast featuring Nathan Martin, an elite runner and running coach, Nathan’s mantra that he uses to get himself and the athletes he coaches through tough workouts really resonated with me: “Find a Way.” I have said it before and I will say it again, there is never a perfect time to train for a big endurance event and no training cycle will be without some bumps, but if you want to make it to your goal, you will find a way to make it happen.
Link to the podcast episode here: https://www.atozrunning.com/episode68/
My focus for this week of training will be finding the best workout schedule for me and working on getting faster on the bike. I hope by the end of next week I will have a solid triathlon training routine established.