Where do I start?!

Hi guys, I’ve tried Zwift a few times now and whilst I’m enjoying it, I’m not sure I’m doing it correctly. I’m really a beginner ad have started the Pebble Pounder workouts. Apart from needing to take my bike to be properly fitted, I’d like to clarify what is being shown on screen.

When I ride, it shows onscreen that I should peddle faster and then immediately shows the opposite - peddle slower. the same goes for ‘increase your power’, followed again by the opposite. I definitely have a lot to learn but does everyone else have that where it’s constantly telling you to do something and then you do it and on the screen a message appears to do the opposite - such as slow down / speed up etc.

I find it hard to enjoy the ride with so many constant changes. Anyone else have this? Am I missing something?


Hi Luna—in workout mode, yes the system will want you to achieve specific cadences (spin faster, spin slower) and power outputs (more power, less power), depending on the workout. It might take some time to get the feel for how much to speed up / slow down / etc to smoothly achieve the desired cadence and / or power.

That said, you can just free ride without doing a workout (open Zwift, select a route but do not go into the training / workouts menu, and just ride). In free ride mode the system won’t tell you anything about cadences or power—just ride your (virtual) bike however you want.

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You are not doing anything wrong, it just takes a bit of practice and getting use to. I have not done the pedal pounder workout series although I have done others. Make sure your FTP value is correct as this determines the power requirements in the workouts. The pedal faster/slower is set by the cadence targets of the particular interval, try and get into the right cadence 3 or 4 seconds before the interval starts. This also helps with maintaining the power targets as your trainer will increase resistance as the interval starts. If you are peddling to slow and the trainer increases resistance you will end up getting slower and slower and into a tricky spiral to get out of (search the forum for spiral for more on this). When I started I found I could hold the power targets but struggled with cadence, guess my legs were not use to spinning that fast. I also realised that my trainer had a slight delay picking up my change in cadence and this resulted in the pedal faster/pedal slower message I now allow for this delay. By staying constant after a change in cadence I let the trainer catch up. Although difficult at first I also ignored the cadence targets and focused on hitting the power targets (mostly you get the star for power), as you progress you should be able to achieve both. Practice makes perfect.
Cheers, Andy.

Thanks so much guys for taking the time to respond.

I may, as Xavier suggested, start off with free riding and build up my strength that way. Maybe I was trying too much at once - new to Zwift, new bike, new to Wahoo and havent cycled for a good while.

Andy it’s good also to know about the delay you have, which maybe I do too and will keep it in mind!

I bought a Canyon bike online and so haven’t had a proper fit so I’ll do that as a first step, more accurately measure my FTP as a second step (as I previously did this with an older bike) and free ride initially before moving to the workout series.

Thanks again both!

FYI - Zwift calculates your 20min power every time you do a ride, so any time while you are free riding you end up (even without thinking about it consciously) setting a new best 20min power, the system will auto-update your FTP for you (and adjust your workout wattages accordingly).

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Check out GP Lama / Shane Miller. he has tons of videos and great tips on his Youtube Channel.

Thanks guys! I’ve only just seen these last 2 comments.

Great tips! I’ll check out the YouTube channel now Andre!

Much appreciated.