When it comes to indoor training I’ve always been in the “short sharp suffering in the pain cave with intense intervals and no distractions” type of guy, but after clocking up a few rides in the virtual world of Zwift, I’m converted! I know it's coming into those cold, dark, icy winter months for you Northern Hemisphere folk so you'll soon be heading into your turbo torture chambers. This could be the change you're looking for.

I haven't spent this much time playing video games since the days of Doom II.

I've been making regular trips to my "Zwift Cave" to sneak in a quality early morning or evening sessions lately. It has really got me motivated to train harder again in order to recover some of that lost fitness. It really has changed my entire mindset when it comes to how I view indoor training.

An hour on the trainer usually feels like a whole day – but with Zwift time flies by in a blur of smashing up “hills” and chasing down breaks. You can even virtually “draft” other riders! During one session I spent over two hours on the trainer and you know what? It didn’t suck! 

I've got the CX bike on the rollers with my PowerTap hub. That bike hasn't seen any use since my Sigma Sport commuting days and it's great to be back using Di2 again, if only indoors.

I already had the rollers so the only purchases I made to "get Zwifting" were an ANT+ dongle ($30 eBay) and a USB extension cord ($10) to move the dongle closer to the rear wheel.

I can feel the positive effects already. Just that extra time in the saddle, even if it's just unstructured riding around the Watopia or London courses, has already made a tangible difference to my fitness levels. But best of all, I no longer dread indoor training! 

If you haven’t tried Zwift yet, do so before the end of the year! As a bonus, Strava Premium members get the rest of the year for FREE! This could get very, very addictive…

Middle Ringer is a born and bred Aussie who spent a decade living in the UK, where he honed his sub-par cycling skills on the mean streets of Surrey and Berkshire. He is currently cycling Tasmania and snatching KOMs from the locals.

Website: tempocyclist.wordpress.com

Twitter: @MiddleRinger

Stravaaaaaa: strava.com/athletes/758319

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Comment by Middle Ringer on December 16, 2016 at 1:53

Thanks Dave. I've put over 1000 virtual kilometres on the digital roads of Zwift and am still well and truly hooked. It's given me some high quality and intense training hours while still being "fun" in the pain cave.

Not getting dropped by the pixel peloton is one hell of a motivator!

Comment by Dave Nash on November 16, 2016 at 11:44

I have a club mate who is also a great advocate of Zwift and spends an inordinate amount of his time in his pain cave, but judging by the way he has been riding over the last few months, he is onto something!  We mock him about his 'virtual cycling mates' but his riposte is just to shred our legs a little more. 

Good to see you trailblazing as ever MR!

Comment by Middle Ringer on November 9, 2016 at 19:55

I'm still enjoying the novelty factor of chasing down other riders on the course and just to pass the indoor training time faster.

Comment by Corinne Black on November 8, 2016 at 18:58

I've used Zwift since last year. Love it for intense SST or HIIT and also for longer rides when the snow hits.

Though I have Zwift open on my laptop, I find it boring, so I always have something else going on on the PC: Training videos or videos of group rides.

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