How did your indoor training begin?

You had a cycling option?

I went to school in Wales so it was basically Rugby with a bit of football on the side and that was your lot!

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In 6th form, yes. I did orienteering in 5th form, and table tennis in the winter. Nice and warm in the sports hall. :smiley:

We were lucky - we had a History teacher who was a keen cyclist, and he used to take out the groups on Wednesday afternoons. We often weren’t back by normal end of school, but no one complained.

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A friend gave me a dumb trainer, but I never had the desire to hook it up, so it just sat there for years.

Over the last summer I biked a LOT and I wanted to keep up some level of bike fitness over the winter. So I went to the local gym to try out their exercise bikes. I realized it was something I really didn’t want to do. First problem is there were only a few bikes, and as a result there was a 30 min limit with a sign-up sheet to ensure everyone could get a turn on the bike, second problem is I was bored out of my mind biking on those exercise bikes, 30 mins felt like 5 hours, and I knew that wasn’t gonna work - even if I found a good podcast or music mix.

A friend of mine was posting Zwift rides on Strava, so I had a conversation with them about how it worked, and I was interested in the smart trainer power based approach, so I bought a Kickr Core in late October of last year with the intent of using the indoor trainer just for the winter. Over the winter I did about 6,000km on the indoor trainer, and made some pretty solid gains… up until now I’ve never started the biking season ahead of where I was the prior season - it feels good.

So, I never did spend much time staring at a wall on an indoor trainer, but that’s because I knew I couldn’t stay engaged enough for it. So I do appreciate Zwift for making indoor training much less boring in a lot of ways. But of course I do see a lot of room for improvement too :slight_smile:

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Left professional sports in my mid 20s and went into an alternate career which was a little sedentary.

Started running at 30 and went into the endurance side of things.
2013, a group from work were doing a UK coast to coast ride. Did 3 bike rides before i rode 150 miles.

Got bitten by the cycling bug and year on year increased the mileage culminating in a 14,000 mile year, all on road.
Saw a friend posting rides on Strava & genuinely thought they were on holiday posting rides.
Made contact and they invited me over to see Zwift.

So in 2015 i bought a Tacx Vortex and my journey began.
Now use a Neo and just bought an Elite Rizer.
2017 had 2 back operations on ruptured discs (blame the running) and finally in 2020 i was able to start running again so now I’m both a Zwift runner and cyclist.
Would be a Zwift rower too but let’s not go there

Don’t miss the winter months cycling outside one bit.
Used RGT a few times but don’t get on with it.

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Started riding MTB in 1985.
Got a road bike to be in shape for MTB.
I was ok with getting out of shape over Winter and easing back into shape in the Spring.
2 things happened.

  1. I got old and it got real hard to get my fitness back each Spring so I decided to try to keep it over Winter.

  2. My bad road bike friends got into crit racing and started training year round. Every Spring, the group seemed to be just as fast as the previous Oct.
    They’re trying to kill me.
    Always attacking- why can’t we all get along?

I got a dumb trainer and a radio and could not ride it for more than 25 min and it was agony.
Zwift was so so so much better than the garage wall or looking out the window.

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You too? Mine converted me from triathlon to a mad crit roadie :joy:

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Fun topic…

I have always been on a bike… Before i was 10 i was racing BMX and when that fell out of fashion (in the UK) i dabbled with a bit of MTB. However, peer pressure was a big thing, i dropped cycling for playing football (soccer) as all my friends played that sport.

Fast forward 15 years of amateur football and several injuries i wanted to get out before i was being held together with strapping and heat rub. I hit my early 30’s and had some cash to finally buy a ‘racing bike’ as it was referred to when i was a teenager.

A couple of weeks after buying a road bike i joined a club and loved it. The club did lots (and still do) inter club events and holidays so that first winter i bought a dumb trainer and took my bike + trainer to a village hall for a communal sufferfest session.

That once a week (plus two weekend rides) turbo session soon morphed to another midweek session in the spare room staring at the walls.

Fast forward again to 2017 and i bought a Tacx Flux to help the wife recover indoors after a really serious bike crash (we both got the cycling bug!). Then we fell pregnant during her recovery so indoor riding has been an integral part of our weekly cycling for the last 3.5 years while juggling family life and keeping in a decent shape to ride with our club.

Bikes have become part of our family. Our son would take naps beside one of us riding on Zwift (while the other adult also had a rest). He was riding a balance bike at little over a year old, a pedal bike by 2.5yo and now at 3.5 is racing BMX at a local club. With cycling being a more recognised sport now i’m hopeful that my little lad won’t have the same peer pressure to do something else to fit in to the mainstream sports. So i’m sure we will be using Zwift’s free kid membership at some point…

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Damn. :frowning: I feel less bad now.

My journey started after taking up riding and wanting to do more, but not enough time so I joined the now defunct Athlete Lab. Using powerwatts bikes and computrainers and PerfPRO Studio. Got properly fast too. Trained with some great people too.

That closed up eventually then I set up the same thing in my home. Now my setup is considerably more sophisticated.

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I got my first indoor trainer back in the mid 1980’s. It was a variation of this Racermate Turbotrainer:
1-mjohnson_20091214_0123
*photo credit to ridemedia.com.au. Click to read the story of its inventor Richard Byrne, one of the most prolific innovators in the cycling industry, and best known for creating Speedplay pedals.

This is during my undergrad years and my housemate had Kreitler rollers. With either trainer, it was very much a stare-at-the-wall and pedal until my butt or brain went numb (whichever came first) and I couldn’t anymore, which usually was 45 minutes max.

We had rudimentary bike computers, but heart rate monitors hadn’t come along yet. So training was purely done by feel, with no performance metrics available to the average amateur racer of that day. Coming from the old school - I didn’t see the point of HRM’s, GPS computers, or power meters long after these technologies were priced within reason for the amateur enthusiast.

First time I used Zwift was at a friend’s house who had me ride a Wahoo KICKR Core. I think I spent 60 minutes being personally guided through SIM and ERG modes, and my head spun. But the lights went on for me, and I understood that riding a dynamically controlled smart trainer with other virtual people and not staring at the wall made the time fly.

It took me longer to understand what the data meant. That I could ride at 150 watts all day long, hold 250 watts for a half hour before I couldn’t any more, and so on. How those power numbers related to my heart rate and therefore how I felt. How the time I spend indoors informs my approach to riding outdoors with a power meter, and knowing my numbers in either scenario are reliable measures of when I’m riding within my abilities, or pushing beyond my limits.

Old dogs, new tricks, amirite? I know I’m not alone in this.

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I started Zwifting in January of 2019. Started road cycling a few months before starting Zwift, but I remember seeing my dad watching a DC Rainmaker youtube video about the new Zwift world(NY at the time), and I thought “I wanna try that!”. I remember coming back from an outdoor ride freezing, and a few weeks later I had an 8 speed cassete on my dad’s trainer. Pretty soon, I got my own trainer because my dad couldn’t ride his trainer because I was always riding on it, so I got a Tacx Vortex and used that for over 2 years. I then upgraded to a Tacx Neo 2T around 2 years later. Since then, I’ve become obsessed with Zwift(particularly Zwift racing).

Edit: Fast forward a few years and NY is my least favorite Zwift world LOL(too hilly, I prefer the desert :joy:)

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My start was pretty simple. I got tired of hearing my Peloton friends go on and on and on and on about how great it was and how fit they were getting. So I sought out a more affordable option and stumbled on GCN Training and then Zwift. 1.5 years later, I have saved a crap ton of money, am much fitter than my friends and accomplished my goal of making them shut it. :slight_smile:

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That’s awesome! :rofl: well done!

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I’m not sure I saved money because I just bought a new road bike given continuously taking my gravel bike off the trainer is too much of a hassle. So in retrospect I probably should have bought a kickr bike or something. That said, I am pretty excited to try an actual road bike out on my local roads this summer.

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Had a cycling RTA in Xmas '13 just days after turning 40, stopped cycle commuting as often, gained loads of weight and lost a lot of the little fitness I had back then. Hit ~95Kg in summer '16 and was left gasping from short jog to bus stop, knew I had to change things. Dropped to ~83Kg by Jan '17, then began cycling for fitness outdoors, dropped to ~73Kg by August '17.

By then I’d really got the cycling for fitness bug and wanted to keep it going over the cold and wet winter months, so got the Direto.

Now typically use the turbo Nov-Apr to get me ready to ride the local South Downs hills around Warnford and Petersfield, plus anywhere I can ride on holiday such as the lovely lanes and hills just west of Longleat Center Parcs.

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I started with my 2012 Fuji Newest road bike (the one I still ride today) and an Elite wheel on trainer that I picked up on clearance for $100 on 2017. After a year, and after I had proven to myself that this was not a fad and was something I wanted to really commit to, I dropped $1,000 on a Wahoo Kickr. This is the major point because I didn’t drop money up front because it was trendy…rather, I made myself earn the right to have a fancy trainer that I knew would not be an expensive clothes hanger! So, that was ~ the cost of a Peloton bike, but more versatile. However, the real savings comes at the monthly subscription difference. Peloton at $40 vs. Zwift at $14. Also, I have a bike that I can take outside, so there’s that.

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I’ve always enjoyed cycling but I didn’t get my first road bike until I was 31 and was instantly hooked. About 4 years later I was diagnosed with a kidney disorder and I felt like one of the aliens from Space Jam stole my juju.

I was incredibly weak and could barely ride a bike for 10 miles on a flat road. I had to take several breaks during the rides and felt exhausted. I thought getting an indoor trainer would help me gain more strength since riding outdoors became frustrating. I started with a dumb non-fluid trainer, upgraded to a kinetic fluid trainer a year later, and about 3 years after I first started Zwift I’ve upgraded my setup again with some power meter pedals and I’m enjoying my first time participating in the WTRL ZRL. Zwift has helped me get healthier and stronger over the years and provided me the option to cycle on a budget whereas other platforms required a smart trainer. I’m not sure where I would be now if it weren’t for Zwift and more importantly the amazing online cycling community.

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Knew of zwift for years but being in SoCal ignored it doing training for CX season outside due to the abundance of hills where I live and mountains plus parks/small trail networks close by till the pandemic. CX season is same peak period of zwift so was just busy with CX. Just watching/listening to zwift races on youtube while working on my laptop and still doing my rides outside with precautions taken. Inland summer is a series of heat waves so summer riding is hard enough, then throw in pandemic. Massive fires in the surrounding hills and mountains summer 2020. Red-orange to smoky skies made going outside impossible. Plus ash raining down from fires miles away due to there so much in the sky. Pulled out the old cyclops fluid trainer and bought an ant+ dongle Aug 2020. Upgraded to wk snap last March. Used for an year and now on an old wahoo kicker 2018 from bike shop yearly clearance sale. Zwift has replaced my summer outside riding unless up in the mountains where it is cooler the few days I am able to get up there. Late fall to late spring/early summer is best for outside riding, expect for the rain days or night riding then it is on zwift.

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