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How “Zwift-ing” maximizes your training efficiency

"Our end goal through the Specialized Zwift Tri-Academy Team is to show the world that Zwift is a premier training tool for triathletes"

On May 13th, Zwift kicked of their Triathlon Academy Team Training Camp in Morgan Hill, Cali. Featuring a team of eight from six countries, including Canada, the athletes got outfitted with some of the best equipment (Specialized, Wahoo, Science in Sport and Roka) in the world of triathlon, including the new Specialized Shiv Disc. Throughout the week-long camp, the eight age group triathletes also did their usual training outside and on Zwift.

Training ride with the Zwift Triathlon Academy team. Photo: Corinne Walder

Since bursting onto the training scene in 2014, Zwift has been one of the premier indoor training platforms in cycling. Last year, Zwift launched it’s run platform and the Zwift Triathlon Academy. “Zwift Run is still relatively new, yet we’re seeing the same growth in user engagement as cycling did in its early days, which is really exciting,” says Craig Taylor, the Director of Growth Marketing at Zwift Triathlon. “Triathlon is in the middle of these two, and we are trying to mesh them together to give triathletes a unique experience – with types of brick workouts, training sessions and events.”

“Our end goal through the Specialized Zwift Tri-Academy Team is to show the world that Zwift is a premier training tool for triathletes,” says Taylor. “It doesn’t matter if it’s winter or summer, rainy or sunny outside, it’s a great training tool year-round because you maximize your training efficiency.”

Time for age group triathletes is the biggest necessity for training, work and family life. We all want to maximize our time to do the things we love to do. Zwift is a way that triathletes can do that. “Age group triathletes have a lot of demands on their time and Zwift gives them the best training resources to maximize that time,” says Taylor.

Yvonne Timewell, the sole Canadian represented on the Zwift Triathlon Academy team, says Zwift has taken her training to another level while balancing a busy family life and work as anesthesiologist nurse. “The quality of training on Zwift is far superior to outdoors,” says Timewell. “You can control everything and maximize time. Once you do it, you realize how more efficient it is and steps up your performance.” With the forest fires last summer in Kamloops, Timewell resorted to doing most of her training indoors in the build to her Ironman personal best performance in Kona.

Yvonne Timewell. Photo: Jeff Yingling / @whistlepig56

Besides being a tool to maximize a triathletes time, Zwift has become so much more for triathletes all over the world.

  1. Community – Social rides, events, races and workouts, Zwift introduces you to a global community of cyclists, runners and other multisport athletes.
  2. Controllability – You have the freedom to control your environment. You can mimic race conditions by doing heat protocol training, as well as increase safety.
  3. Race Environment – Get the benefits of weekly races.
  4. Structure – Sync your TrainingPeak workouts seamlessly. You can also fit in your training across all hours of the day or night.
  5. Training metrics – Power, heart rate, cadence, you have it all on screen.
  6. Efficient – A two-hour ride always takes longer outdoors because it may take you an hour just to get out of the city, and onto decent roads. But on Zwift, you can be right into your session after a 15 minute warm up.
  7. Training can be fun!

“Ultimately, Zwift is not to replace your outdoor riding,” says Taylor. “Go ride outside, it’s pretty awesome out there. But join us in here too because it’s pretty awesome.”