Author Topic: Zwifting - I think I need help!  (Read 1080 times)

gibbo

  • Riding for fun, cake and beer.
    • Boxford Bike Club
Zwifting - I think I need help!
« on: July 02, 2020, 09:43:49 am »
I recently bought a Wahoo KickR core, a direct drive smart trainer (for those that aren't familiar with such things), and also subscribed to Zwift. I've done a few meet ups with friends and then signed up for one of the training programs and now I'm hooked to the point where I've occasionally put off actual road riding in favour of sweating it out in my garage. I've got another five and half weeks left of this program, having already completed 7.5.

WTF is wrong with me? I know it's wrong but I can't help it!

I'm now managing my road rides around the training program and tonight, for example, the weather doesn't look great and I'm thinking excellent I can stay in and beast myself on the KickR.

On the positive side I'm riding more miles in a week than I would have done and the intensity/ frequency of the workouts mean I've lost almost a stone in about 6 weeks.

Anyone else hooked on Zwift?

fd3

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 10:11:20 am »
Neither my phone nor my turbo is smart.
[/I could be wrong]

hulver

  • I am a mole and I live in a hole.
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 10:38:19 am »
I've not used zwift yet, but I'm addicted to "The Sufferfest" training programs. Actually being able to see yourself get fitter is a big incentive.

I've only been out on the road twice since the lockdown started, but I've racked up on average 14 hours and 320km a month on the turbo since then. I was pretty unfit when I started doing this, sometimes not even being able to finish a session. Now I often queue up an extra short session after the main one, and an hour on the turbo just flies past.

I've also lost 2.5kg since then as well. Having power output, and having it adjust automatically is incredible. It really adds variety, and it's a great workout. So far different from just plugging away at tempo for an hour while trying to watch a film or something.

I might give zwift a try in a few weeks when I've finished this training course.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2020, 05:39:42 pm »
Trainerroad for me on a Tacx neo smart trainer.  I commute to work by bike (about 50 min each way) 2-3 times a week and enjoy them as a ride rather than hard work but my times are still coming down.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2020, 06:11:47 pm »
I spent about 2 and half years riding indoors on Trainer Road. By the end, if I had a workout, I would rather do it indoors. No riding at all for me at the moment though, injured. :(

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 08:21:27 pm »
I think the turbo is great for the high intensity efforts. But you shouldn’t be doing them every day as it will not be as productive to fitness than doing it less often.  If you’re not doing it to improve fitness then knock yourself out every day. So I like the high intensity turbo efforts twice a week. That frees up outdoors to be long low intensity efforts to complement the high intensity turbo efforts.

But 14 hours a month as you are doing is still quite low volume and if you enjoy it, why not?

zigzag

  • unfuckwithable
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 09:18:06 pm »
i like trainerroad during colder months, if the forecast is rain, i wouldn't go out anymore, unless it's an important event/ride. my trainer is not really suited for sprint training, so i do some sprints almost on every ride outside.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 09:24:04 pm »
I always used to use the turbo when I couldn't go out especially through winter. But it was always a slog and I could only do it to keep some sort of bike-fitness in my legs.

Now I'm back on the bike; turbo sessions are easier to squeeze in around life (and let me come back to a decent level of bike fitness without wobbling around in public ;) )... adding YouTube training vids and Planet Rock was a good start to the turbo sessions; once I found out my old computer could run Zwift, no stopping me. I like that it is not unlike riding around the real world - bumpy, hilly... and adds the option for proper structured training, which I intend to start soon. And still got Planet Rock on  :demon:

I do 5 or 6 rides a week... I'd only get one or two in if I was going out... there's no good reason for this, really... except you don't get drops IRL, and the hills don't count towards the Tron bike  :facepalm:

I do still love riding outdoors in the real world... and the Zwifting makes me better at that, when I get around to it  ;D
Back in the saddle :)

valkyrie

  • Look at the state of your face!
    • West Lothian Clarion
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 09:29:45 pm »
I’m pretty into Zwift at the moment too. I’ve never been keen on doing short rides outdoors, if I go out it’s usually for at least 4 hours. On Zwift I’m happy to just do an hour or two so it fits in a lot better with work/dog walking etc.
World Class Excuses for Piss-Poor Performances

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2020, 03:57:49 am »
We are late converts to zwift and I have to confess both pretty enamoured with it.
We have had the turbo (taxc neo) for well over a year now and after an initial dabble I lost interest and went back to road riding. Although my partner continued to use it sporadically.
We got pretty savagely locked down here for a month so turned again to the turbo. We had a knackered old bike set up on it and no way to switch it out (cassettes etc) during lock down. It wasn't much fun TBH.
Ironically after SHIP was lifted and we were able to ride on the roads again the LBS was also an option so the put another bike that was more user friendly on the turbo.
We are half way through the FTP "Build Me Up" on Zwift and both really enjoying it.
Neither of us have done structured training before despite many years of various cycling disciplines and are finding the guidance and goals helping us to focus. We both look forward to the almost daily visit to the pain cave :-)
We are doing a few casual rides on the road but with the training programme there isn't much left in the tank frankly.
I did go for one hard ride just after lock down finished and sadly came across a very nasty road accident that I assisted with. I think on some subconscious level after a month at home that has rendered me fearful of riding hard outside. WE live on a small Island too so the options are limited.
In conclusion Im really happy to have given zwift another go and while we both relish the day we can get out and tour in Europe again, the turbo sessions have turned into a fun regular gig that Im sure is improving our fitness too.
often lost.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 09:53:15 am »
fboab and I are both keen Zwifters - she more than me; she races on there. Against other people. Bollocks to that :D

It's a great alternative to getting a soaking or a punch in the face from some road-rager psych outside. Not that that's ever happened to me; my concerns aren't exactly rational!

TimC

  • Old blerk sometimes onabike.
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2020, 03:02:12 pm »
I ride to stay healthy. As a glasses wearer, I hate riding in rain, and as a wimp, I hate riding in the cold or in windy weather. I took to the smart trainer route when Bkool first started, and graduated to Zwift when it went into Beta (Jarvis Island and ghost riders!) and an F-EC mod became available for the Bkool trainer. I then got some F-EC (smart) rollers, which taught me that going round corners in Zwift on rollers was A Bad Idea, and so I went for better smart trainers, anding up with a Neo when they first came out around 3 years ago.

I absolutely love Zwift, though not enough to prefer it to riding outside when the weather fits my demanding spec. I also use Sufferfest (again, been on that since it was individually-purchasable videos), which I prefer for specific workouts. On Zwift, I'm happy just to go for a ride. If that happens to coincide with a group ride I like (PACK, mainly), great. But if not, I'll just noodle around. I have raced once or twice, but even as a D cat I'm wasting my time!

Solo Lockdown and the stresses of losing employment and being unable to see my family has hit my motivation (and weight) significantly, but I am getting back into it, and Zwift will be a big part of that.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2020, 07:31:59 pm »
I'm struggling a bit with Zwift, so I'd appreciate comment.

I've signed up and done a few runs with my club, which were fun. We use the feature that keeps a group together; I assume that you all go at a pace determined by the average power of the whole group or something - we refer to it as the "elastic". Last week they towed me round Muir and the Mountain, which was great. Sadly the one-hour ride ended a little before we got onto the final slope up to the chalet or whatever, and they shot off leaving me in the snow to make my own way up ;D But it was a good ride and I got up and back down in 90 minutes. Annoyingly, I had to abandon it three flattish miles short of the full loop, so I've not "scored" that full ride yet.

Today I tried the Etape event that went up the same mountain. Complete disaster. After the same 90 minutes I'd barely made it off the last bridge, so near the start of the ascent. Now I know I wasn't being towed round, but 3 and a bit miles in nearly two hours ???

I'm very much a low-end rider, about 1W/kg. I've no great ambitions - I did have a double bypass last year and, while I'm expected to push my heart rate regularly, I don't think I'll be doing proper intervals any time soon. Rather, I'm looking to do some leisure routes. Finishing the mountain properly would be fun, but not at less than 3mph, which is just dull.

I'm on a very basic set-up, a dumb trainer and an old fixed-wheel bike, but that's good enough for me. I had no idea whether Zwift's estimated power was sensible, so I ran some rough numbers through this calculator, and it looks in the right ball-park. I don't really care more precisely than that.

Obviously I could lie (a lot) and tell Zwift that I'm a lightweight, but at the moment I seem to be stopping dead on hills even more (and by quite a margin more) than admittedly happens in real life.

So I'm a bit frustrated. Is there any evidence of Zwift being too hard on bottom-end riders?

LMT

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2020, 07:39:47 pm »
Drop your weight to 45kg and your height to the lowest. This will help on the climbs and on the flats.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2020, 12:20:52 am »
Yes, that's the obvious, but it feels like cheating, and removes some of the incentive to lose a little real weight. I'm interested to know whether there's anything I've missed in my set-up.

pdm

  • Sheffield hills? Nah... Just potholes.
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2020, 10:45:47 am »
Alternatively, look out for the cheapest compatible power meter you can find - I got a 4iii off ebay for under £180 a couple of years ago - keep an eye out, you may get some cheaper. This removes all of the Zwift guesswork. I used it with dumb trainer when I started in about March time and it worked fine. Zwift works almost exclusively on power with the speed and climbing rates calculated though algorithms based on height and weight (and the bicycle you choose to use). You also get a huge lift from drafting others.
There are also several "low end" group rides at ~1W/kg - listed in the "events" section you could try. Don't worry about your slow speed - it will only improve as time goes on - enjoy the ride. It gives to time to enjoy the view (and the dinosaurs and fish)!

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2020, 11:01:12 am »
I think using a fixed wheel bike on a dumb trainer could be limiting. I think you need gears and a cheap power meter as a minimum.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2020, 12:18:38 pm »
Gears and a PM or a cheap (wheel-on) smart trainer.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2020, 02:12:22 pm »
I realise that a dumb trainer is a limiting factor, but not sure about fixed. The gear I have on there matches the trainer well, and I'm not going to want to go faster than I can spin the gear. Gears would make sense on a smart trainer with variable resistance but, the way I look at it, without it I've got enough resistance under all circumstances that can arise.

I know that a power meter would help, but I can't justify the cost, even though I could probably afford it. I'm still really a road cyclist, using Zwift as an additional opportunity. You could buy large pieces of bike for that money. The dumb trainer is a good choice because I'm out on the patio, and I don't even need to run a power supply out, also again it's not an area where I'm planning big spending. The trainer is one recognised by Zwift.

I'm not expecting a sudden, dramatic fitness improvement. I've been a club rider for 40+ years and, as I said, I had a heart bypass last year. So whilst I've got plenty of room to improve, it's not going to be in a way that sorts out my Zwift speed being lower than what my real speed would be if I went up Hardknott again ;D

Thanks for the comments though.

simonp

  • Omnomnomnipotent.
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2020, 02:17:18 pm »
I realise that a dumb trainer is a limiting factor, but not sure about fixed. The gear I have on there matches the trainer well, and I'm not going to want to go faster than I can spin the gear. Gears would make sense on a smart trainer with variable resistance but, the way I look at it, without it I've got enough resistance under all circumstances that can arise.

On a smart trainer, in erg mode, you don't need gears. I have mine in one gear pretty much all the time. The only reason to shift would be to change the feel from a climbing feel (low gear, low flywheel speed) to a flat feel (high gear, high flywheel speed).




Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2020, 02:36:19 pm »
Erg mode's a new one on me, so I looked it up. It's always worth asking dumb questions because the answers that come back are anything but :thumbsup:

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2020, 09:05:34 pm »
Do you switch resistance levels on the trainer depending on whether you are going up or downhill?  the advantage of the smart trainer with Zwift is that it will vary he resistance according to the terrain. If you are stuck with 1 gear and one resistance, you may be doing the Zwift equivalent of always climbing, while everyone else can ride the flat and downhills as well.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2020, 09:12:12 pm »
Thanks for the suggestion. There is no switch or control - it's a true dumb trainer. As far as I can tell, Zwift is measuring power input not speed, so when Zwift reckons I'm going downhill then the power input contributes to even more speed. When I got up the mountain last week, I was coming down at a good old rate, sometimes passing others.

So, ignoring any bits when I'm going better or worse, I'm basically doing constant power input while Zwift varies the terrain and my speed in tandem with each other.

Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2020, 11:21:10 pm »
I've been thinking about this and there was something odd about connecting the heart-rate monitor in Zwift. Two appeared. It's possible I chose the wrong one, though I haven't worked out what the other would be - my Fenix 5 broadcasting when it shouldn't, or what. I know Zwift uses the heart rate in calculating virtual power curves; how much impact does it have, do we know?

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Zwifting - I think I need help!
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2020, 09:13:10 am »
If your HRM transmits both BTLE & ant+ it might see it as two devices?

If your sole goal in zwift is social riding, there's nothing wrong with weight doping, it'll allow you ride with groups you wouldn't otherwise. One of my vTeam mates has a foot injury and is handbiking- she manages about 1.5W/k at her max and weight dopes for anything other than the steadiest group rides. I think that's perfectly reasonable. It's like using an e-bike for a club run.
As soon as there's anything competitive I'm much less comfortable about weight doping. Sure, you can but really, you shouldn't.

Lots of social rides are suitable for low D riders. And like you say, a banded Meetup or Group Workout will keep you together whatever you're putting out.

As to your setup, anything without power or feedback is going to be a very pale imitation of the experience, with.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!