I'm getting discouraged

Hi! Please don’t be discouraged… while I do not know your athletic background, it seems clear to me that you have hammered your first month-plus on Zwift! While that is to your credit, I would suggest alternating days with other fitness stuff, relieving potential overtraining from sequential hard Zwift training sessions. I alternate Zwift days with swimming and rowing/weights. For me, this allows my 67-year-old legs to recover so that I can return to a hard Zwift ride. Maybe hiking/walking would work for you if you want to concentrate on leg/core rather than body/core like with swimming. I believe your FTP will eventually improve… mine just keeps going down because I am old, hahaha!! Good luck!

Keep at it, you have a very good trainer and don’t need to waste money upgrading anything else. Make sure it’s calibrated before each ride. You want to use the kinetic inride app on your phone to calibrate it before starting zwift. For that trainer the spindown calibration that is most accurate is 1.8 - 2 seconds. If it’s higher than 2 seconds you’ll want to tighten the trainer résistance on the tire and do the calibration again. Make sure you warm the trainer up for at least 5 minutes before doing the calibration (I hope this helps and it’s not annoying if you were already aware of all of this).

I started using a basic kinetic road machine with an inride sensor after having a dumb trainer and was a bit discouraged at first since my FTP was only around 120 Watts after using Zwift for well over a year on a dumb trainer. You need to be persistent and follow a training plan rather than doing free rides. Racing a couple times a month may also help since you’ll likely push yourself harder than you do normally. You don’t need to sign up for an official training plan, you can select workouts individually as they fit your schedule.

The site whatsonzwift.com can help you choose various training plans. Kurt Kinetic also has a facebook group you can join that might help you with any technical questions regarding the trainer calibration. Once again I highly suggest not getting a different trainer. Once you get more into cycling, you’d be better off using that money on a decent bike to ride outdoors. Consistency is key, I hope you continue pushing yourself. Maybe I’ll see you on Zwift sometime and don’t let the Incredible Hulk down.

Cool thanks for the info about calibrating the Kinetic. It’s nice to know other people that have it and know more about it than I do. I usually do the calibrating on zwift. But it sounds like the calibrating on the Kinetic app is better. I wasn’t sure if there was a difference or not. Thanks for the tips. I’m always open for suggestions and advice even if it’s something I’ve heard before. If people take the time to say it, then it is worth listening to.

By coincidence, the Kinetic app is not loading for me on my Android phone.
This has happened before after an upgrade and it took 2-3 days to fix.
On that occasion, the customer support was very good.
The fastest way to get info to the company seems thru the Facebook page.

I checked a few of your rides, and I think you are pushing way, WAY too hard. In your last ride you are already in the VO2 Max zone 2 minutes from the start. A proper warm-up is really important before such an effort!
I think you should really be doing more (boring) easy rides. Just try to ride an hour in the blue zone, so your body also gets used to riding a normal pace, instead of going in the attack mode as soon as your butt touches the saddle. If you want to do longer rides, you need to spend more time in the blue/green zone.

1 Like

I was wondering about that. It’s hard to actually think anything is getting accomplished when I’m in the green or blue zone. I feel like I’m barely even doing anything. I guess it’s just the way I’ve been taught. Push yourself to the breaking point or else your not gaining anything. If your not covered in sweat and completely out of breath you are just wasting your time. My last workout I pushed kinda hard but I didn’t really think I was hitting it that hard. I was feeling much stronger and pretty good. My FTP automatically went from a 101 to a 109. It definitely made me wonder if I was really ready for a full on FTP test like I did that really discouraged me. It sounds like I need to rethink my workouts and change things.


Oh wow I had no idea. It sounds like when I’m working out really hard I’m overwhelming my system and it can’t keep up. My body can’t react fast enough to really process the chemicals needed for “optimal” performance.

That explains so much now. I couldn’t understand why all the workouts seemed way too easy and they were all in the blue and green zones. I thought I was doing something wrong. When I’m in those zones, I am barely hitting 1.0w/kg (90-100watts) and everybody around me is cruising along at an easy 2.0-2.5w/kg. So my first thought was I was not working hard enough. It’s hard to figure out what is right when you have everything calibrated, dialed in and running smooth but 99.9% of everything around you is so far ahead. “Well if 99% of everything around me is at x then I need to be at x too.” I guess I am in denial. I can’t be THAT out of shape… but in all actualallity, I am. I feel kinda silly, here I am 45 and I am just now learning about this.

well if you’re able to push hard, by all means go for it, you will improve a lot faster, as long as you are getting adequate rest & recovery in between sessions. but you don’t HAVE to push hard in order to improve. consistency and sustainability is very important in order to make long-term progress.

whenever trying any kind of “new” exercise, the body has a short period of time of 1-2 months where you will make some epic newbie gains, then you will begin to plateau once you get used to your new regime, then the real training begins :wink: so don’t be surprised if it’s easy to max out your HR now, but once you get used to it, it will come down with time, until you suddenly realise “hey im not strong enough to max out my HR any more”, then you need to start hitting some weights in order to improve :smiley:

Weight lifting and strength training has always been my main means of exercise in the past. I’ve always been built like a power lifter. In my younger years I wasn’t as fat but I was stocky. Through the years I’ve packed on fat by taking in more than I put out. Now as I’m getting older, the weight is catching up with me and it’s affecting my health with blood pressure and cholesterol. Not enough to be alarming or anything but enough that my doc put me on small doses of prescriptions. Hopefully I can get in better shape and get off them.

Several times in the past I’ve fallen back on the only thing I know and that’s weight lifting to get in shape. I’ve never been a big fan of the cardio side of fitness but I do like riding bike and rowing. I would just lose interest because staring at the wall while doing those things were extremely boring and not fun at all after a while.

This time I’m trying a whole different approach to my fitness. Instead of 80% weight training 20% cardio, I’m flip flopping it to try that approach. Finding Zwift has made that much easier and more fun, keeping my interest longer and motivating me better. Now with the weather getting nicer it’s harder to sit inside and ride so I am biking outside more. I’ll be interested to see what zwift will be like after biking outdoors more.

yea, if u trained as a power lifter you’ll have been focusing on fast-twitch muscle fibres which is very different. makes you better at sprinting than endurance based activities (liek me).
ur power curve will probably look a bit like this (top heavy):
Zwift has been a real game changer for me too, usually find cardio boring as F but when you get to race people from all over the world whenever you want, it’s a whole different ball game :smiley: just wish Zwift existed when I was actively competing… :wink:

look into this: Training Zones for Cycling and you will probably want to target Z2/3 tempo training on Zwift to get some nice general fitness gainz.

1 Like

I see somebody already got there, kinda, but just to stress: rest is when you get stronger.

Kinda like for lifting, you’ll almost certainly see starting programs doing 3 days a week, right? With cardio it’s a little different because you can sustain more low-intensity work on the ‘off‘ days.

Early on, you don’t even need to have much in the way of structure (unless it makes it easier or more interesting to you), just riding at all will build your cardiovascular performance.

Especially now since it sounds like you may have overextended yourself a bit, dial it back for a few weeks. A week or two of no high intensity, then move to something like 4x low intensity, 1x high intensity, 2x ‘off’ days. If you’re still lifting, that stresses your recovery and adaptive systems too — try to make sure your ‘off’ days are off for both. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s better to do the weight and cardio work the same day and rest the next, than do them on different days and not rest.

(Edit: unless you’re at an actual competitive level in either, then you probably want to really prioritize one, and/or work with a coach to manage your adaptation.)

Cool thanks for all the great input. I’ve pretty much been twisting in the wind and working out with no real direction or structure. Some of that is on purpose and part is just not really knowing what to do.

My main goal is to lose weight and get in better shape. Not much into the competitive aspect. Im just tired of being fat and I’m finding as I get older, I’m starting to get winded faster going up several flights of stairs and doing strenuous work when before it never phased me. Plus being somewhat muscle bound and overweight makes flexibility and moving around a pain sometimes. I was one of those in shape, fat guys. Now it just seems like I’m fat. Lol.

I want to try something different. Instead of, bulk and strength I’m going the lean and endurance route. It will take some getting used to because I’ve always done the short bursts of hard work instead of the long enduring of medium to light. It feels so counter intuitive to me.

My advise is to forget everything and ride consistently. I ride twice a week, one 1 hour and another 2.5. The one hour is a predefined interval session.

Ride 2 rides a week consistently over a few months and progress is inevitable. It’ll come if you ride.

Good luck and don’t lose heart!


New to cycling but not to getting fit. Try following one of the programs - I.e 4 week FTP builder. More structure to stop you going all out all the time. My FTP is going up slowly - been Zwifting a couple of months now. Cycling is a whole new game (I do a lot of lifting, strength sports, running). Make sure you take a rest day and/easy ride. Don’t be tempted to smash the easy ride or keep up with people smashing out the watts…
I did TOW and basically puke halfway through or at the end because I just push hard and have no bounds but find the structures workouts great (there’s some new ones on there now) :+1:t3:

i’m in the final week of a 12 week FTP programme. A few observations.

  • it was demanding 3-5 sessions a week. If you have kids, long work commitments, or want to do other exercise it’s tough
  • it doesn’t matter if you miss the odd section
  • at the end (week 11) it was all a bit too much with the start of the tri season, huge work hours and family commitments

Despite this, FTP jumped from 190->215. I’m about to be kicked out of group D to C and a real world 20k bike leg of a Triathlon saw a 3 minute benefit.

My tips would be, push yourself harder when you can (and do other things) but also dial off and miss sessions if you need to. don’t push yourself if feeling that you need a break. I’m still a bit stunned by the results.