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TRAINER RIDES

Many WERC riders use the Zwift platform to shape up their fitness. Zwift, which is relatively new to most riders in India, is a gaming app that delivers powerful workouts & fun group rides. Zwift is an ideal tool for riders to explore technicalities of cycling like Function Threshold Power (FTP), Sweet Spot Training (SST), VO2 Max, Intervals, Peloton riding, Drafting etc. 

Team WERC is among the first team in India to organise weekly group rides on Tuesday & Friday at 6.00am IST on this entertaining yet powerful cycling platform. Depending on the course schedule, the group will be riding approximately 30km on Watopia or London or Richmond routes. The ride begins at a comfortable pace of 1.5 watts/kg for the first lap, which will be increased gradually over the laps. The final lap will give riders a chance to push themselves to the finish and those who want to continue in the group will ride at 2.5 watts/kg. Within the ride, announcements are made for short sprints, powered rides, KOM efforts etc., and riders will regroup as a team thereafter.

Here is a detailed account of Zwift-ing in India ‘Where the Auto Rickshaws Don’t Roam: Zwifting in India, November 16th 2017 by Andrew Tilin’ - https://community.zwift.com/news/3691-where-the-auto-rickshaws-dont-roam-zwifting-in-india. Ever since May 2017, team WERC is contributing in popularising these Zwift events & rides to the cycling community around. The information presented here has been compiled from Zwift website. Readers are advised to visit the website at www.zwift.com.

So what is this Zwift thing everyone is talking about?

Zwift is an online, immersive, 3D gaming and fitness experience created for cyclists, that makes indoor training fun and rewarding for everybody. The real-world efforts power the rider’s avatar across beautiful landscapes, while riding with thousands of athletes at all levels in real-time. Zwift leverages Bluetooth or ANT+ protocol and technology to gather data from your bike, trainer, power meter and heart rate monitor through speed, cadence and power sensors. Zwift can also directly read and control 'smart trainers' that have built in power meters and speed sensors which can relay data back to Zwift to make the experience more realistic.

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Set-up

You will need a bike, trainer, internet connection, Zwift account and a supported device - Mac, PC or iPad, or iPhone - to get going. Connect with Bluetooth or ANT+ and you’re ready to roll. A fan & towel will be a handy accessories while riding.

Features

  • Group rides & races

  • In-game workouts, individual or group

  • Challenges, events or training sessions

  • Integration with training Apps like Strava / Training Peak etc.

What is FTP & Zones?

FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power, which is commonly defined as the highest average power a rider can sustain for an hour, measured in Watts. FTP is often used to determine training zones when using a power meter and to measure improvement. Training programs and Zwift (with the Workout option) use FTP to calibrate workout intensities.

 

Training zones refer to the intensity at which a rider is riding at. Riding at different intensities brings about different physiological adaptations and, therefore, the idea behind having specific training zones is a rider can control and measure how hard he or she is riding, thus giving the ability to target specific improvements. 

 

For training with power, Zones are based off the rider’s FTP. They are often determined roughly like this:

Zone 1

Active Recovery

<55% of FTP

Zone 3

Tempo

76 – 90% of FTP

Zone 2

Endurance

56 – 75% of FTP

SST

Sweet Spot

84 – 97% of FTP

Zone 5 

VO2 Max

106 – 120% of FTP

Zone 7

Neuromuscular Power

FTP N/A

Zone 6

Anaerobic Capacity 

121+% of FTP

Zone 4

Lactate Threshold

91 – 105% of FTP

FTP depends on rider’s age, gender, weight, ambitions and expectations. Races on Zwift are categorised into various groups depending on riders FTP & actual weight. Below is the categorisation of groups. To do this, divide rider’s FTP by weight in kg to get the WPK or w/kg (watts per kg).


Cat A : 3.5 - 5.0 w/kg +
Cat B : 3.2 - 4.0 w/kg
Cat C : 2.5 - 3.2 w/kg
Cat D : 1.0 - 2.5 w/kg

Will sweat dripping on the bike or floor cause damage? How do I stop it?

Yes, it could corrode the stem / handlebars etc. over time but in most cases, it will cause only minor cosmetic damage. Simple solutions:

  1. Use a strong fan to keep you cool

  2. Wear a sweatband on your forehead to absorb the sweat before it drips down

  3. Put a towel or sweat cover (designed for this purpose) on the bike

  4. Use a floor mat to catch any sweat that falls on the floor

WERC

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