By: Coach Paul Ozier
Just as you would when you head out the door for a ride, you need to make sure you are prepared when you ride inside. But once you have your setup dialed in, it’s literally a breeze cranking out an indoor training ride. Check out my 5 Tips for Riding on Zwift, to make your next training ride a little more enjoyable.
5 Tips for Riding on Zwift
#1 Load up Zwift early! – 30 minutes before the ride starts.
Zwift does a lot of updates to keep everything going smoothly, and some of these can take several minutes. This also should give you some time to do a warmup workout that is appropriate for your event (10-15 minutes), followed by that last minute bathroom break.
#2 Read the actual ride description.
Ride leaders put specifics that will override a possible default Zwift power range, or ride length/duration. An example is the ‘event’ is a 1-hour workout…but after the workout we continue as a free ride group for another hour. Or maybe the event has a secret code or question in the description for a prize or two. Read those details.
#3 Grab extra towels, water, ride food, etc. Be prepared.
Make a checklist and keep it near your Zwift setup. No sense spending tons of money on that ultimate setup, only to forget that $5 water bottle full of your event calories. Have extra on hand close by. Your indoor setup should include a table or desk close enough that you can grab some extra fuel if needed. Hunter really enjoys using the Saris TD1 Trainer Desk. This desk is adjustable and sits right in front of you keeping everything right where you need it when you need it. No more struggling trying to reach for an extra energy bar, or to adjust a setting in Zwift.
#4 Prepare for your indoor workouts just like you do for outdoor workouts. Fuel, hydration, etc.
Just like you would for any other ride, make sure you prepare for your workout. Eat what you would normally eat before a ride. Stretch! It is so important to stretch out before your ride. This should also include preparing your environment. Make sure everything is ready to go before you get on your bike. Do you have your fans on? One of the most important parts and most overlooked aspect of any indoor training setup is airflow. Do you have fans close by that you can adjust to keep you cool? One thing Hunter always talks about for indoor training is to make sure you are not thermally stressing your body and overheating. Check out this video where Hunter goes over his indoor training setup.
#5 Most importantly, why did you choose today’s workout or event?
What is your goal/purpose for this decision? How does it affect the rest of the week, or your long-term goals? Stick to the plan. Stay disciplined and committed. I see way too often an athlete jumps on Zwift, sees tons of hammerfest going on, and they simply throw everything out the window and do random stuff, trashing their body again in the gray zone of plateaued training. Focus on the focus! Commit to a determined practice!
How did you get into cycling?
Cycling started when I was 15 or 16 years old. Just my brother and a few friends were always riding. I remember riding our bikes to school when I was in 5th or 6th grade…a whopping 4 miles each way! Somewhere along the way I got a copy of cycling magazine. I was captivated by all the cool bikes, races, etc. Somehow a seed was planted. I never looked back.
What is your role at PCG?
At PCG I am an Elite/Master Coach. I coach remote athletes online as well as in person. I come to the various PCG Camps and play mechanic and coach. Camps are great! I do mechanic work both before and after the training rides, as well as ride with the athletes. Long days, but very satisfying and fun! I also am one of the main coaches that lead the PCG Zwift Training Rides.
Other than cycling, what are some of your hobbies?
Hobbies include ham radio, flightsim, and a slew of other outdoor activities like hiking, camping, anything outside is good 🙂
Favorite coaching experience with an athlete?
It is hard to pick a favorite coaching experience. There have been so many great moments. Seeing athletes win an event or get on the podium is always a super moment. Coaching athletes in person is a blast. I was in Sint Maarten a few years ago with an athlete. She won her National Championship in the TT event. That was very happy day 🙂