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What can Zwift do for you? – Roller


This article was produced in partnership with Zwift

There was a time, just under a decade ago, when the idea of ​​turbo training in the winter was best defined as a necessary evil for many cyclists. “It was a horrible thing,” says Scottish pilot Gavin Dempster. Coach Ian Jenner is just as happy: “It was incredibly boring,” he moans.

Today, however, we live in a Zwift era where it’s possible to ride at all hours of the year from the comfort of your own home, whether it’s group rides, indoor runs or structured workouts to maximize performance gains.

The benefits of Zwift are numerous, but the single biggest benefit of the online training platform is how it has transformed winter riding. “If you go back 10 years when the weather was bad in the winter,” adds Jenner, “you wouldn’t get on the bike. It would be in the hallway or the garage. Now, you can just jump on Zwift and it’s made it possible for anyone who wants to be as fit as ever in the winter. Zwift has changed the game dramatically.”

However, it’s not just in winter that Zwift has its uses. It offers structured training to riders who have never done it before, introduced racing to the masses and even acts as a great social party.

So what can Zwift do for you?

For Dempster, a rider who has won many Zwift races since 2017 and represented Great Britain at the 2022 UCI Sport World Championships, Zwift has enabled him to become a better rider on the road.

“From a purely racing perspective, Zwift allows me to try different tactics and throw things at the wall, no matter how silly they are. You can’t take as many risks in an outdoor race because there’s an entry fee and you don’t run as often so you don’t want to throw it all away.

“But you can run for free on Zwift every five minutes if you want, so it allows you to be more experimental and see what sticks and what doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, you haven’t lost anything. That helps when running outside in the summer, as I’ve done a bold move indoors several times. It can pay off big.”

Racing on Zwift is now big business and it’s easy to see why. “You get the same buzz as running outside, but without the potential consequences of a crash,” says Dempster.

(Image by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

“There’s no downside: no travel costs, no three-hour drive home, no entry fee, and five minutes after it’s over, you shower and go back to the couch. It’s so easy and convenient, and being able to run virtually is incredibly motivating. My season is now 12 months.”

Thanks to the hundreds of structured and focused workouts available on Zwift, some designed by leading professionals and coaches, runners around the world can better track their improvements and make significant gains.

“A lot of my riders find that an outdoor workout has more obstacles,” says trainer Ben Thomas. “Finding a suitable route is not always easy and there are more interruptions, such as traffic lights, which means you can do a less effective workout.

“Training on Zwift doesn’t have any of those obstacles to contend with, so it makes it a much more useful form of training. It’s also much more time-efficient: the bike is ready, the kit is ready, the bottle is ready and you’re done. You go out in the winter and just putting on all the layers can take forever.”

The amount of structured training ensures that there is something for everyone, whether you are a rider looking to improve your FTP or coming back from injury. “I’m struggling to think of any rider I train who doesn’t use Zwift,” says Thomas.

Zwift’s interactive features are forever improving, but the original concept of leveling up remains a huge draw for any Zwifter. It’s also simple to do: the more trips, training and routes you do, the more experience points (and achievement badges) you’ll earn.

(Image by Alex Whitehead/SWPix.com)

It’s the variety of the platform that impresses Coach Jenner the most. “You can climb mountains, take part in a few races, go for a walk with some mates or just have a pootle. You can’t really get stuck for things to do.”

As Jenner points out, social group rides are a favorite activity for many, as riders can choose the difficulty level, the route, and who they ride and chat with. “Someday, especially on the weekends, you can go there and in some virtual worlds there will be thousands of people riding at the same time,” says Thomas. “It’s a really social way to ride and interact.”

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70 COMMENTS

    • Wow, its almost like not everyone shares your opinion. Some of us actually enjoy the convenience and variety that Zwift offers. But hey, to each their own. Happy cycling!

  1. I never thought Id say this, but Zwift is my new BFF! Who needs real friends when you have virtual cycling buddies? #GameChanger

    • To each their own, but Zwift offers a unique experience that caters to different preferences. Its not always about feeling the wind in your hair; sometimes its about convenience, training, or enjoying virtual rides with friends. Give it a try before dismissing it completely.

    • I dont get the hype. Why spend time on a virtual world when you could be out there in the real one? Nothing like the wind in your face and the actual scenery passing by. Each to their own, I guess.

  2. Zwift is like a virtual candy store for fitness junkies! Who needs real life when you can ride from your couch?

  3. Virtual roller coasters can never replace the thrill of the real thing. The physical sensations, atmosphere, and sense of danger simply cannot be replicated. Virtual reality is fun, but nothing beats the authentic experience.

    • I totally get what you mean! Zwift can definitely feel monotonous at times. But hey, its all about finding the right motivation and pushing through those hamster-on-a-wheel moments. Keep grinding, my friend!

    • Well, some of us actually enjoy the motivation and guidance from instructors. If you dont like being pushed to your limits, maybe you should stick to your cozy couch instead of trying out Zwift.

  4. Comment:
    Wow, Zwift sounds like the perfect solution for my lazy butt! Who needs real exercise anyways? #VirtualFitness

    • Well, if youre content with substituting real exercise for a virtual experience, thats your choice. But remember, nothing beats the feeling of actually pushing your body to its limits. #GetOffTheCouch

  5. No, Zwift cant magically fold your laundry. But it can help you break a sweat and improve your fitness. Maybe you should focus on getting yourself in shape instead of expecting technology to do your chores. Just a thought.

    • I tried Zwift and was thoroughly disappointed. Its just a fancy video game for lazy people. Real cycling is where the thrill is at. Dont waste your time on this virtual nonsense.

    • Virtual reality can never replace the thrill and challenges of the real world. Zwift may be a fun alternative, but nothing beats the feeling of conquering the open road or hiking up a mountain. Real life offers endless possibilities that no virtual candy store can replicate.

  6. Wow, Zwift sounds like the ultimate virtual cycling experience! Im curious though, can it simulate uphill battles accurately?

    • Absolutely! Zwift does an incredible job simulating uphill battles. The resistance on your smart trainer adjusts according to the gradient, making it feel like youre actually grinding up those hills. Its as close to the real thing as it gets without leaving your living room. Happy cycling!

  7. I never thought Id be saying this, but Zwift has changed my life. Who knew virtual cycling could be so addictive? #ZwiftAddict

  8. Honestly, I think Zwift is just another excuse to avoid going outside and enjoying fresh air. #TeamNoVirtualRides

  9. No thanks, Id rather enjoy the real thrill of cycling outdoors. Nothing beats the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and the feeling of accomplishment when you conquer those hills. Virtual parties cant compare to the real deal.

  10. Virtual cycling is definitely a game-changer, but for me, nothing beats the thrill of hitting the open road and feeling the wind in my hair. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Keep enjoying your virtual rides!

  11. Zwift is like my virtual escape, where I can ride in beautiful landscapes without leaving my room. Love it!

    • I couldnt disagree more. Why settle for a simulated ride when you can experience the real thing? Explore the outdoors, feel the wind on your face, and immerse yourself in nature. Theres no comparison.

  12. Zwift is the ultimate virtual cycling buddy! It keeps me motivated and entertained during indoor rides. Plus, the virtual races are a thrilling way to challenge myself. Who needs real roads when you have Zwift?

    • Virtual rollercoaster? Please, nothing beats the thrill of exploring the great outdoors on a real road. Zwift may have its perks, but dont forget the beauty and freedom of riding in the real world.

  13. No, Zwift cant magically transform you into a world-class pancake flipper. Its a virtual cycling platform, not a cooking school. If you want to become a pro at flipping pancakes, I suggest you hit the kitchen instead of the bike.

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