Am I addicted to Zwift?

Road bike, cycling
Downhill, enduro, cross-country biking, mountain biking

Oh my! Now there’s a question!

I’m just about to finish Week 7 of the 10-12 Week FTP Builder programme on Zwift and I know that many will find this odd but I am enjoying it! It’s entertaining, it’s absorbing and it’s a great motivation so I’ll leave you to judge whether or not I’m addicted.

Zwift motivates me

Just like anyone else faced with a session of indoor cycling I need to be motivated. The idea of bashing out interval sets in the confines of my garage is not appealing particularly as many ‘training plans’ consist of boring intervals based on five minute blocks. Yuk!

The 10-12 Week FTP Builder programme contains different sessions. Sometimes the differences are quite subtle from week to week but during the week the sessions are always different. I particularly like those sessions that mix ramps and sets of short but intensive intervals. I like the way the sessions are mixed up. That alone motivates me but there’s more.

Yesterday, part of the session included four, five minute intervals at 95% of FTP. Hard work with just a two minute interval at 50% FTP in between. Being able to chase down other avatars on the Zwift screen and use the harder intervals to smash up the climbs when the course allowed was a real motivator!

Totally absorbing

The fascinating thing for me is that I ‘get lost’ in the experience of riding in amazing places like Watopia, the world championships courses at Richmond or Harrogate. The sense of movement, changing terrain and scenery all help to absorb my concentration so much so, that the actual demands of the intervals become just part of a whole experience rather than being the sole experience.

Entertaining? Really?

Sounds weird doesn’t it. Indoor cycling can be entertaining! Yeh, right!

If Zwift was just a training platform, I suspect I would not enjoy it very much. Zwift calls itself a game and it is. You can race, you can just ride and explore and you can train. It is a fantasy world based in the realism of your effort. Yes, it’s fun to chase other riders, compare watts per kilogram, chase a PR or pit yourself against others in a sprint.

For me, Zwift keeps me sane at the moment. I’ve challenged myself to get fitter and stronger and to keep my weight within bounds. Zwift is making a massive contribution to me achieving those goals. Perhaps I am addicted, only time will tell!



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