Zwift for a beginner

I have joined the wonderful world of Zwift. I want to share with you my journey on Zwift. If you don't know what Zwift is its an online subscription training program for cyclists and runners. Zwift is an interactive cycling program. It has amazing graphics like a computer game but it is so much more than that it is also a very social and friendly way to improve your fitness and have some fun whilst doing it. Imagine an interactive cycling game perfect for the fitness freak and tech geeks

I have joined up as I want to improve my cycling fitness. It is a bit hard to get your head around. I thought I should share my experience with you and we can learn together.

First up, My set up.

I purchased a Tacx bushido smart trainer for my bike. I have just upgraded my road bike to a Genesis bikes zeal 20 from a basic Halfords bike.

I spent a long time looking at different smart trainers. I wanted one, which was quiet and could do a decent incline. I wasn't that bothered about having a wheel off trainer. I got this one for £299. I was delighted with the price.

I use Zwift on my laptop. So I can also use the iPad as the companion app.  I will explain that in a min. I will do a full post on my set up.

So you need to download the Zwift app to your laptop or tablet. Then I recommend downloading Zwift companion.

When you first enter Zwift you need to sign up. Very straight forward. I have mine set up to PayPal. £12 per month. If there is more than one of you in your house wanting to use Zwift you will need an account each. This was super simple to set up. This is a free trial of 20kms to see if you like Zwift.

Next up pairing your smart trainer. You need to be on your trainer spinning to get Zwift to recognise the sensors. If you have not woken up your trainer in time, you may need to redo this step to get it all up an running. Make sure you leave enough time to do this. if you are attending an event or group ride. 

Next, this is your home screen. When I first logged on I was very confused.
There are always two worlds available on Zwift.

Watopia (This is Zwifts permanent world) Zwift is amazing. You ride in different landscapes and the graphics are like an amazing video game. It really motivates you and keeps you interested throughout your rides. 

Watopia It's a good place to start.

Let's explain.
If you tap on routes this is all the available routes in Watopia. You can sort this by alphabetical, Distance and Elevations.
Let's pick Distance for an example. routes start at 2.5 miles to 45 miles. Thought out your Zwift journey you unlock new levels and kit but I will explain that later. Also in this section is surprise me where Zwift will pick you a route and group ride nearby where you can join the nearest group ride. 

Zwifts New Training section.
This is a great tool if you want to actually train on Zwift. There is a huge number of different workouts to do on your bike and this is where your fitness test is located. But I will explain that in another post.

This is the basics you need to know to do your first ride.

The other worlds on Zwift change every week. This week is Richmond. It has all different routes and the 

Zwift companion let's explain that.

This is the home page of your companion app. 
This shows you how many people are using Zwift at the moment. 
The next event that is about to start and your activities. 

Next is the events tab. Here is where you can find out what is happening on Zwift. ]
You have a huge range of options but don't get overwhelmed. 

First, the cycle symbol is where all the cycling things are. I like to apply filters here. I am currently a beginner in Zwift.  I filter for beginners which are category D. These categories are graded in your riding ability and stamina. This can be determined by your fitness test. D is for beginners and it goes up until A is the athletes.  

There are four options

Group rides - Join a group of like-minded people to ride together. I recommend the beginners and slacker ride groups. There are also female only if you are a girl. 

Group workout - This is categorised E, Just like the workouts in the app it's self here you can work out with others. 

Race- If you have a competitive side this is the section for you. Go for it race till your heart's content. 

Fondo- This is a special event style training program. This one needs a post on its own. Which I will link it when I have written it.  

Activities tab -This is where you can see what you have done. and also anyone you follow has done. 

The goal section is where you can get a goal. I have set 30.1 miles a week. This is my Zwift goal.

Here is a fun bit. Find your Zwift friends. I have my husband and hopefully when I get more of my friends to join I will have them here too. 

Zwift is so sociable. When you join a group ride on the companion app you can also chat to your fellow Zwifters. Chat about the ride or whatever you like. I have found the community really friendly. So when you are joining a race or group ride say hello. 

Shop - You can buy everything from trainer to Zwift branded kit. 

Help- here is the option if you are struggling and need help. 

Settings- This is where all your normal settings are located from change password to notifications and divine connections. 

This is everything you need to know for your first ride. Don't forget to check back for the next in this Zwift series. Let's learn to ride Zwift together. 


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