New to this…

Hello Zwifters,

I’m brand new to Zwift and to cycling generally.

Already loving all things cycling and can see it being a very addictive sport (and potentially expensive one).

I’m looking for some help from seasoned pros around training and what training programs to hit up.

I’ve committed to a charity event that will involve cycling from Edinburgh in Scotland to Paris France in October this year.

I have a very basic core fitness level and zero road cycling experience. I plan on using Zwift as a safe way to get used to the bike before hitting the roads and then using training programs to build fitness and endurance to supplement the road work I’ll do. (I live in Scotland where it rains a lot, so expect to maximise Zwift time for training purposes).

We’ll be hitting around 200km per day for the first 4 days of the challenge then down to around 100km for the last 3 days.

Questions are: 1- what would be the best training program to get me ready for this on Zwift? I have looked but not sure what one to follow that will fit my level of fitness and experience. Has anyone started from a similar position?

2- can I just hop on any rides to build up saddle time, outwith a structured training program? Or is this frowned upon by experienced riders?

Appreciate I am a complete novice but what I lack in experience I will make up for in determination and am taking this very seriously.

Any help/advice/tips on anything from nutrition to training to kit would be amazing and hugely appreciated.

Best,

Jamie

Welcome to the forum.

That is a lot of riding 1100km over 7 days. That sound like 10 hours days and 6 hours for the short days. that is assuming you are new to cycling.

I would start of with gauging how many hours per week you can do in the saddle. I would think hours in the saddle is the top priority now.

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You have plenty of time to prepare, so given your relatively low fitness level, the most important thing you need to do to start is frequent low to moderate intensity riding, gradually ramping up the time on the bike as much as possible. It’s challenging to prepare for such a long event indoors. If I were doing that event I would want to do longer outdoor club rides and pick a couple long one-day events after you’ve had a few months to get into shape. It would not be excessive to do a few century rides before October. If you haven’t done that kind of riding before, it will help you to understand what it takes to get through it in terms of training, nutrition, riding around other people, and keeping your head together. A local club can also be a good way to obtain coaching advice.

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Thanks Gerrie- top tip. I’ll get as much in as I can over the next week or so and see where I’m at. I’ll post results and no bullsh*t assessment of how difficult I’m finding it. Really appreciate the response.

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Thanks Paul. I’ll have a look around for a local club and try and find some events around the end of the summer to sign up for. Great tip as it will give me a target to aim for in advance. Really appreciate the response, I’ll take it all on board.

All of what the others have said :grinning:

I would approach this with three focus areas:
Gear that allows me the saddle time without discomfort - find the cycling bibs that work for you!
Control the intensity of your long rides so that you can repeat them (how fast can you go, so that you are recovered after a nights sleep).
Nutrition - observe, plan, practice - how much do you need during riding (use a heart rate monitor and/or power meter to calculate/estimate), how much do you need to take in during your rides, in what way is that calorie intake most practical.

Enjoy and keep us updated how you’re doing!

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1100km over 7 days is no joke, even for experienced cyclists!

important things to consider:

  1. comfort & efficiency will be key. consider paying for a bike fit. make sure you have a very comfortable saddle & lots of high quality padded shorts that you have broken in before the event.
  2. fuelling: 100-200km per day = you will need to be continually taking in calories & fluids throughout the ride to not run out of “gas”. start working out what you are going to eat now and incorporate it into your training rides - rather than trying something new when the event starts.
  3. start getting hours in the saddle asap. aim for zone 2-3 as many hours as you can. threshold/anerobic training can help you make fast gainz, but will not match what you will be doing on the day for the most part - so bulk of your training should be in zone 2-3 so you start getting your body used to what you will be doing during the event.
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Thanks Ben, noted on this not being a joke and I promise I won’t be laughing (but will try and smile as often as I can).

The below is exactly what I’m looking for in terms of advice/support.

I’ll adopt trial and error on comfort and fuelling to see what works and adopt it into training.

I don’t really know what zone 2 is but I’ll read that article and get my head round it. Is there a Zwift work out you’d recommend that ticks this box?

I’m maybe over thinking all of this and just need to get on a bike and peddle but anything that can help shave some percentages of pain will be taken on board.

Appreciate the response and the article.

Thanks so much Magnus- I think the best lesson here is to remember to enjoy this!

Really appreciate the message

Cheers

Jamie