Help me get more into Zwift

Ok, so with winter approaching, I’m facing up to the reality of at least 3 rides a week on Zwift. 2 of those are likely to be 60-80 minute interval sessions, which at least pass relatively quickly, but that sort of gives it away: Zwift bores me rigid. I can’t get into it like some people apparently can. The graphics strike me as c.2000, I get annoyed that I can’t see where I am on a circuit/route, and all in all, I just don’t ‘get it’.

Does anyone have any tips for making it all a bit more fun? What am I missing?

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I listen to the various cyclingtips podcasts while I zwift

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I’m in the minority, but I’m not a fan. A lot of people enjoy the racing, group rides, and training camps, and that keeps them coming back. Just riding around can definitely get boring, so I would try those things.

Personally, I prefer TrainerRoad, and while working out, I watch Netflix or GCN+.

Hope you find “your thing”!

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I’m here commenting to be subbed to this topic in hopes of figuring out what I’m missing. I’m like you OP. I want to enjoy Zwift for those days when it’s the only option but it has never clicked for me.

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Likewise, I’ve tried a bunch of the “sim” ones (Zwift, Rouvy, RCT) and everyone just didn’t make me keep riding.

I’m a numbers person (love me a spreadsheet) and TrainerRoad just appeals more.

Think you’ve gotta try them all and find what works for you. At the end of the day indoor riding is a pretty unpleasant experience and sucks so you need to have your own reasons and tastes.

That being said if you can put up some racing on another screen and I then either have a podcast or some hectic dnb to keep my mind going.

Another big thing you’ll want to get the best out is fans, big fans and plenty of airflow.

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I’m another TrainerRoad user. I am also a numbers person. I much prefer to watch entertainment while I ride than ride Zwift. Zwift is ok but I can’t really get into just riding around. It’s a big waste of time. I don’t like the racing because it isn’t at all like riding in the real world. The powerups, etc. just strike me as ridiculous. With TR I go through a good training plan that automatically adjusts to my different skill sets and gets a good workout in a reasonable amount of time.

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Just riding around in Zwift is boring. I find doing workouts and races definitely make it more interesting. I also either have podcasts, YouTube or Netflix running at all times, because the digital world isn’t that interesting.

Another vote for TrainerRoad and your own music and entertainment.

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I don’t do a ton of just riding around Zwift anymore. Most of my trainer time was on Sufferfest last year (now SYSTM which I haven’t tried yet). But, what gets me on Zwift are meetups. My friends and I create them, and we also use Discord so we can talk while we are riding. Those rides are super fun and pass the time quickly. In some ways, they can be better than a real life group ride because if you drop someone, they can stay in the conversation.

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Agree with the other members that say you gotta find what works for you. I’ve tried a bunch of different platforms. I’ve tried riding along to race footage (Sufferfest), live long form races like TdF, video formats like Fulgaz, others like Rouvy. Zwift is good in that it has lots of activity, races, rides, formats.

But for me, very little keeps me engaged on the screen, all I really need is the numbers and some sort of goal/interval. Two hours zone 2 riding on indoor is my idea of hell. But give me 8 intervals across those two hours and I can get through it. A solid DJ mix is the best way to stay focused for me.

If I was to think of a “perfect” platform it would probably one that just showed all the data really large. I can do without most other visuals. Everything from pedal smoothness, consistency, power, difference from this split to personal best… show me the numbers

I use a multi platform strategy….Trainer Road controls my power / workout, I ride in Zwift based on that power (sometimes in group rides, sometimes solo) and either watch TV / movie (up to tempo rides) or listen to music (SweetSpot and above)

On Saturdays, I’ll do the BMTR Saturday AM ride on Zwift alone and listen to music as I do it.

Another non-Zwifter here. I think the trick is figuring out what matches your motivation best. For decades, I’d just watch replays of races with some pumping rthymic music, until I used Sufferfest a few years ago(now Wahoo SYSTM). I didn’t particularly like(or get) the whole culture behind it… like Knights of Sufferlandria, ugh. However, I watch pro racing almost every day and never tire pretending to chase Nibali or Dumoulin up some Giro climb. While I do enjoy numbers, the visual and audio distraction allow me to dig deeper. Having raced and ridden the hardest group rides for decades, I am motivated by chasing a carrot. I just don’t get that with the graphs.

What I find helpful is using the structured workouts in zwift, particularly if you can match the duration to a particular route. Otherwise I just get bored and punch out. A good example would be pairing Mt Ventoux in the France world with SST Long, for my fitness it’s a perfect duration to get up and back down the hill and I find the double motivation of finishing the workout and getting to the top of the hill is good

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I want Zwift to be more like Mario Kart. I’m inside on a trainer, so don’t try to make it resemble riding outside. Make it silly, make it fun. Make everyone faster. Let me shoot mushrooms at other cyclists.

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That could be cool. Gameify training so it really is a game (that also gets results).

Thanks for all the replies.

I’m a former TR user, and now have a coach, so the intervals/numbers are no problem. It’s just we’ve figured out that realistically, 2 hard interval sessions plus 1 long ride is the maximum number of ‘quality’ sessions I can handle a week for a sustained period, then really we ‘top up’ with 2 x 90-120m Z2 rides as time allows (aiming for about 600 TSS/week).

I’m currently planning on setting up the workout in Zwift (5 min ramp to 0.7, 90 mins at 0.7, 5 min ramp down) then actually just having the laptop on the stand next to me and watching on YouTube, netflix, podcasts etc on the TV.

Glad to hear I’m not alone, anyway!

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I’ll throw in my usage/tips also:

Make sure you use the zwift funtionality. That is, don’t mindlessly follow a route, but try to collect badges. Don’t get in a random group ride, sign up for a race. Don’t make up a workout while you wander, make sure zwift is guiding your intervals with a “real” workout.

I can’t get on zwift and just ride. There has to be a purpose, or I’ll be off the bike in 20 minutes. I’m always doing “something” on zwift, whereas I’ll often just go outside for a 1-3 hr “exploring ride”. I can’t do that on zwift. I get bored immediately.

The one thing that zwift gives me that I haven’t found elsewhere is the frequency of short races. On those days when I’m just not feeling that 60-90 minute workout, or I just don’t have the time, zwift often has short races available. I can get amped up for a 30min race, and still feel good about my workout day. If I’m on trainer road or the like, it’s harder for me to queue up a workout, no matter if it’s a short one.

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Anyone here try using perfpro? I personally like it a lot. It’s definitely for data numbers type of rider, but works with wahoo kickrs and tecx neos etc.
Can download interval workouts from coaches or rides various courses from around the world. Also, download your own previous courses and ride them.

Works awesome, and uses an extremely simple format. It’s a yearly subscription, but I like it a lot.

The reason I use Zwift is so I can ride with my brother in the winter. He’s lives in a different city. We can make a ride, go around a course and race each other while we chat about cycling on our phones.

This is the only reason I use Zwift and not TR.

I will say the Zwift user interface sucks and making a meet up can be really clunky and annoying.

Pre-pandemic (and before the job with night shifts for that matter) I went to a weekly training session where they’d be a bunch of us all running the same workout using this. Was a sociable way to get some training in. I miss it.

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