Turbo training can be increadibly boring, with even the hardiest of riders struggling to find motivation to sit on a stationary bike for hours on end.
It can be made more interesting by watching TV or a film, or even by using training videos such the ones ones from The Sufferfest or any online turbo trainer video online but even these can get repetitive after more than an hour on the bike.
But turbo training doesn't need to be soul-scukingly boring - you can use Zwift.
Zwift: Online Gaming For Cyclists
Zwift is an online platform that allows users to move a digital version of themselves around a virtual course. The platform has grown exponentially over the past couple of years and now has three courses with over 30 different routes to cater for all cyclists.
You could challenge yourself on the climb up to a radio tower through a Mont Ventoux-esq moonscape or you could test your srint prowess on the London circuit.
All this pits you against other cyclists, on their very own turbo trainers around the world, allowing you to ride in a multi-national peloton with riders of all ages and abilities.
You don't need to race - but you can. This tantalising aspect of Zwift adds an extra element to your turbo training session, with regular races and events giving you the opportunity to take part in a real life race with other riders. An entire community has sprung up around Zwift racing with results of races being posted and prizes being given out to winners.
These events are categorised by the Watts p/kg of the rider and run from Category A to Category D, depending on your ability. The events will often have different start times for riders of different categories and there are even chase events where Category D riders set off then minutes later Category A riders pursue them.
What Kit Do I Need?
Whilst you could go all in with a Wattbike, or get technical with a direct drive smart trainer, in reality you only need a turbo trainer, a bike and a spped/cadence sensor.
Zwift uses it's own algorithm - zPower - to determine the w/kg of riders who arent using smart trainers and transmit it accordingly based on your weight/height stats.
Adding a HRm will give you more data and help you train more effectively but isn't a necessity to get started.
Winter Training Sorted
Wether you want to train and race on Zwift or if you just want to ride around a virtual island, the different maps and scenary you get to take in is way more interesting than the wall you are facing and you get to cycle with genuine other riders.
There is a chat button to allow you to communicate with the riders on the course and you can even set up discourse groups or meet with your friends on Zwift to ride together - making it perfect for cycling clubs to ride together in Winter when the weather may not be suitable for a club run.