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Background: Been on Zwift about a month now, I’m 242 lbs, and working to drop some additional weight and build my FTP. Not sure I can ever compete in A as a 220 lb (goal weight) rider but that’s my target. The hills tend to get me so I need improvement there as well.

I have started doing pace partner rides which have been fantastic for my growth and just learning my ideal cadence/watt combos and how to temper my efforts to be more efficient in groups. They are also great at helping me learn how to push through certain stages/feelings knowing I can rest/recover in other places.

As I go through all the events, what types of events are best for continuing to build my fitness and develop as a rider in this format? There are a lot of options so I’m interested in hearing what you guys recommend as optimal ways to maximize time. Thank you!

My personal take would be two-pronged:

First, I would concentrate on doing a lot of Zone 2 (fat max) training, combined with some Zone 5 efforts a couple of times a week (maybe an 80/20 ratio). This will help develop your body’s ability to not only process more fat as fuel, but also to increase your ability to use lactate as an energy source.

Secondly, presuming that your present 242 pounds includes some adipose tissue you’d like to get rid of, I would suggest a strategy of timed eating/intermittent fasting/digestive rest/whatever you want to call it. Keep your caloric consumption limited to 8-10 hours a day (or less, if you are able) so that your body has time to ‘dispose’ of insulin and start to pull energy from fat cells. (You’ll still need to run a caloric deficit to lose weight, but not having insulin coursing through your system for most of the day will really help. Also, make sure you are getting enough protein. I’d say at least 1.6g per kg of body weight each day, with no meal of less than 45g of protein.

I’m sure there will be LOTS of other opinions, but this seems to work for me.


What was your riding program prior to starting Zwift a month ago? If it wasn’t much then your biggest gains will probably be from relatively high ride frequency (4-5 days a week) and adding more hours of low intensity riding. You can probably progress a lot in a couple months of that. I wouldn’t do really frequent racing during this phase, unless you have a good base already, but do what you have to do to make it interesting so you keep coming back.

slowly increase your volume via group rides (at a reasonable pace, no point trashing yourself one day and being unable to train the next day) or whatever method is most enjoyable for you and then when you are feeling comfortable at your desired hours per week consider adding intensity

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Thanks for all of the replies.

I see the theme of consistent low intensity riding and increasing the volume. I will continue to build on that.

Prior to Zwift, I hadn’t been on my bike for about 5 years. I got clipped by a car and that gave me an excuse to stop riding. I filled that time with activities for my kids and now I’m trying to recalibrate and make time for myself.

I love riding on Zwift because I don’t have to worry about flat tires and cars, I can ride for the entire time I have planned and it just fits into my day so easily.

Thanks again for taking the time to respond. Have a great day.