Last year I raced on Zwift all winter. By the time March came & the weather broke… I was OVERTRAINED! My whole year was screwed up & a roller coaster as I never recovered!?

I cannot repeat that mistake.

Can you help me in designing a sensible training plan that I can use Zwift, but do workouts and make sure I am strong in March/April/May?

We all love to train and improve, that’s one of the reasons you are on this mailing list!  Our goal as cycling coaches is to share our knowledge, so that you can shortcut through years of trial and error and achieve your goals using your available time.  We are all time constrained and that’s one of the reasons that indoor riding has become so popular.  It allows you to train whenever you can, regardless of weather, time of day or where you live.  Zwift and other indoor apps have been incredible in providing “Trainertainment” and gone are the days when I used to ride in the basement on the rollers, starting a concrete wall beside the cat litter box!  

With our new indoor training tools, the temptation to just race inside Zwift or ride hard everyday is strong, but this is a mistake. Riding hard or racing 5-6x a week inside a virtual world is a recipe for disaster as not only will you not be training the energy systems correctly, you risk riding poorly when the spring comes and you can ride outdoors.   You see, our bodies don’t like continual stress.  We need rest, we need a progressive ramp up of intensity and we need the correct combination of volume with intensity.   Just riding as hard as you can indoors everyday is not a plan for success. It’s no plan.   If you do not have a plan for success, then you are planning for failure.   

If you do not have a plan for success, then you are planning for failure.   

We can help you plan for success using your indoor training apps!   All of our coaches use them as well, and designing a plan using these new popular indoor training tools, coaching you along the way, riding with you in a virtual world, all of that is part of becoming a coached athlete here at PCG.   Let us help you MAKE 2019 great!

–Hunter Allen


  1. Great point Gary. I’d also add that lots of riders use a free ride scenario for a group ride or two and then ride in smaller groups, or solo, for interval days. It’s a different vibe from the big group ride and also super fun!

  2. I’m 7 weeks into the zwift “build me up” training plan. A series of workouts have been designed by a professional coach. Each workout is different. The load is increasing progressively. And it’s free on top of your regular monthly subscription. So if you can resist the urge to race every time you jump on the trainer and follow one of zwift’s structured training plans, it could be a game changer.

  3. Any training app for self coached athletes provides the danger for over-training. Zwift is not alone in this category. Zwift does have training plans available that mix hard/easy days, correctly target zones and are specific to a discipline and/or race. We all can’t afford a coach. If you follow these plans and use common knowledge of training principals, you should be able to stay clear of trouble. I use Zwift plans with, (and at times), Trainingpeaks plans and workouts. I enjoy being my own coach and the process of learning the science of training.

  4. This applies to maybe 5 percent of the people. It’s a great tool! If you are so out of control on zwift with your winter riding then what are you like on a social ride? Probably the one pushing the pace to race pace every time you got on your bike!
    So I believe it is how insecure the rider is about their ability rather than zwift and probably they need to pay for a therapist.

  5. I find Zwift to be a very effective training tool, but like all training, it does take some discipline. Do not always “close the gap”, when Zwift tells you to do so. Stick to whatever workout you have decided to do that day. The same distractions can occur on group rides outside. Someone will inevitably go harder than you should (according to your plan for the day) and you are tempted to grab their wheel and go. The key to training, inside in Zwift, or out in a group ride, is have a plan before you start and stick to it.

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