We have always used indoor sessions for our cyclists and triathletes, all through the winter and during race season. They enable very individualised planning and consistent data sets that we can track and make future informed decisions. In simple terms, they are a great to way to maximise an athletes time and coaches input.
A couple of our athletes have used Zwift for a long time and to be honest, we never took too much notice of it apart from making sure we stuck to power values taken from the power meter rather than the app. But like many of us, our interest in the app is peaking because of the situation we all find ourselves in, and certainly now that we cannot ride outside at all.
So for the next couple of weeks we are Zwifting to
There is a significant lack of social interaction at the moment, never mind outdoor miles. These online sessions help us maintain contact with our training partners (and clubs) - a social situation where people are chatting, messaging to meet up or having banter in game. We think that's important. A virtual glass half full and some welcome engagement
Maintain some aerobic volume
Triathletes especially are used to volume and multiple sessions per day. Whilst we are used to 'sessions' on the trainer and it's easy to get motivated for them, it's a little tougher mentally to ride longer / aerobically, no matter how we vary the detail. Our aerobic miles underpin everything, rides that connect our 'session' days, and again Zwift is a great enabler whilst being stuck indoors. The mental distraction, the groups, the game. This weekend we had a group ‘long ride' - 30 of us meeting up at 9am on a Sunday morning and 'rolling out'. We even had a quick café stop after 90mins before picking up the pace in the last 20mins, some of our pros adding on some extra volume to make it 3hrs.
> We are constantly asking athletes to slow down ! and on Zwift it's no different, so a slight note of caution too. Don't get too caught up in it, in terms of going hard all the time, especially since we don't know when the real racing will start.
Retain discipline / accountability
There isn’t a 5min rule on Zwift! ...and in times like this, the easy thing would be to sleep on for that extra hour. When we make meet-ups or plan to join a group, there is that little extra push and motivation to be there, to get it done when we said we would. A discipline that could easily slide at the moment.
Cycling Ireland have launched their online league and many of our athletes are jumping in. It’s a super idea. It was Ireland's largest sporting event this weekend with over 900 riders logging on. We aren’t looking at the results and we need to be mindful of the balance of the week but we do like it in terms of the psyche. One of our guys was pissed this weekend as he was a little further down the leader board that he might normally be . . . I loved that ! His competitive mind had been stimulated and that was good enough for me.
All things in moderation, keep your motivation, keep routine, keep positive