Ironman Training Zwift Climbing

(Michael Murray) #1

 Hey all, I’m currently training for my first Ironman this July and have relied heavily on Zwift to give me the climb training I need to succeed. How much does the Zwift ride translate to the real world, I understand there will be handling differences in a real world ride but can I call 3700 ft gained elevation 3700 gained? Is it in many ways an identical representation of effort? As much as I love to ride outdoors I don’t have a power meter on my bike and my area is topographically challenged (eastern coast usa). I’m essentially banking on Zwift to provide me with the legs I need to conquer Ironman Lake Placid this July. I’ve read a couple articles on the climbs in Zwift and as far as I can tell the only thing that is different is the shifting of gears which comes into play. Any help or reassurance would be great. 

(Jason K) #2

It really depends on what you’re trying to measure. Regardless of whether you’re on a smart trainer or a classic trainer, climbing a hill is going to require the same amount of power to go the same speed, i.e. if 2 people are climbing at 200w, the smart trainer user may need to switch into an easier gear to keep his/her cadence up, but both will have to put out 200w to go the same speed.

If you’re concerned about how tough it  feels , however, that’s a matter of assessing the trainer difficulty slider for smart trainers. By default, Zwift simulates 50% of the actual grade (the middle of the slider). All the way to the right bumps it up to 100% realism (up to the max grade your trainer can simulate).

(Paul Allen) #3

More or less it boils down to watts over time.

You can take a look at Jesse Thomas on Strava because he uses Zwift from time-to-time to train: