Why I love Zwift - One year update from a mountain biker

There are a lot of ways to keep fit at home and there are main reasons to work out to stay healthy. I want to talk to you about how I have managed to get fitter and healthier from the comfort of my own home. I have been on a fitness journey for most of my life. I am now the fittest I have ever been and If I am completely honest there is one thing to thank for this improvement. Zwift 

What is Zwift?

Zwift is an online cycling app. How to explain Zwift. It is half fitness half video game. Do not get it twisted when I say video game this is a sweat making fitness-enhancing platform used but novices and professional athletes alike.  I know this sounds strange but let me tell you more. There are so many ways to utilise Zwift. For a full rundown on what Zwift is check out my Zwift for beginners post. 

In nutshell, It is a fitness subscription service that you need a few bits of kit to get the best out of it but that is all explained in my other post. 

Why I Zwift? 

I was looking to up my cycling fitness for mountain biking and after a lot of googling, I found Zwift. As you will have read in my Zwift for beginners post I had to shell out a bit of money to start out on my Zwift journey. I was a bit apprehensive would I actually use this? Was I wasting money? Lots of hesitations but I have to say for my fitness this was the best money I have ever spent. 

You might not know this but I am a full-time blogger. I work from home. Contrary to a lot of peoples thoughts about this occupation I spend a lot of time working and I have to make time for my fitness. 

I have tried road biking around here but I am still very nervous about this. I get quite scared with some of the traffic here and I have been nearly knocked off a few times. I have also been verbally abused. I love in a gorgeous part of the Highlands But it is a one road in one road out kind of place and this leads to a lot of traffic on these roads. This became an increasing worry for me on my road bike. I read about how road being really improves you cycling performance on your mountain bike and I wanted to get cycle fit. 

Why I love Zwift

Since taking the plunge and buying everything for Zwift over a year ago I have become addicted. 
I love Zwift. There is a real community in Zwift. it is a really nice place to be. You are surrounded by other like-minded people from all over the world. 

There are so many ways to get fit from workout plans, to different challenges to group rides or just hitting the never-ending routes. Zwift added different challenges all the time so there is always something new to try or do. This year has seen two new additions with the chance to ride in France and Paris. These are welcome additions and even include the biggest climb in Zwift over 5000ft. 

I am the fittest I have been in my life and this is all down to Zwift. I have set my target at 50 miles per week on Zwift and I try to hit 100 miles per week with a combination of mountain biking and Zwift. If you had told me this before I had started this I would have laughed at you. I would have thought me maintaining that would be insane but most weeks I do a little over 100 miles in case I need to have some time off. 

With being the fittest I have ever been I am the smallest I have ever been. For me, this has taken some getting used to. My fitness journey will be different from most people. You see I was once a size UK 24. I am now a size 8. I struggle a bit with actually believing how small I have become. Notice I don't say slim. I will never see myself as slim but that is my own issues. More on this at a later date. 

My biggest Zwift Challange to date 

Before lockdown, I discovered Zwift route badges. I think they only came out a few weeks before I discovered them. Then I found Zwift insider checklist This has all the route badges on a checklist. (this was pre the new french routes) Well, I love a list so this was the challenge I want to achieve. I got the route badge fever and started to hunt them all down! with this, in my sights, I have a firm goal and I love the sence of achievement I have managed to get nearly all of them. I only have 8 left to go. These are the biggest ones. These will be hard as I can not get off my trainer. My trainer will switch off and I will lose the badge. But I will also do a full pro and cons list of my trainer which I will link in here. 

One year in the bag what have I learned with over a year on Zwift. 

I have learned that if you stick with it you will achieve results. Zwift has changed my life. That sounds dramatic but I am by far the fittest than I have ever been. I am lighter and faster uphill on my mountain bike. I have bike confidence I never had on climbs before. Thanks to Zwift I can ride longer days in the saddle with no problems at all. I can do more days in a row without needing a rest day. I am a better mountain biker because of this online platform. 

I will be continuing my Zwift journey and I will keep you all updated. I will be upgrading my trainer shortly and will do a full review of the old and new one. 

I hope you enjoyed this little Zwift post Do let me know if you like it. 

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