Build Zwift into your training program with our helpful guide

If you want to improve your cycling skills from the comfort of your home, then Zwift can take you on that journey. The cycling and training app gamifies elements to create an immersive and engaging virtual cycling experience. This is a great way for triathletes who just started training to improve their cycling.

What is it?

Zwift is a social platform that combines home workout and cycling with virtual reality. It’s a great resource designed for beginner cyclists, as well as more experienced riders. 

Once you’ve set up your account, you can cycle at home while enjoying virtual sceneries of your choice. There are also structured workouts prepared by professional bike coaches that help you maximize your cycling potential from home. Riders of all levels should read these cycling tips before any hilly workouts!

To use Zwift, you will need to make an account. It can be used on PC, MAC, Android, iPhones, and even Apple TV. Zwift is not free to use. You will get a 7-day free trial, but after that, it’ll cost $14.99 a month to use. You can opt to cancel your subscription at any time.

How do you set up Zwift?

To use Zwift, you will first need to arrange your basic gear. These include: 

  • Bike: Most people use whatever bike is available to them. However, to be compatible with Zwift, you should be able to mount your bike on a trainer.
  • ANT+USB: Zwift needs a way to have access to your exercise data. This is achieved by using an ANT+USB cable to link to your PC or TV. If you’re using your phone, then you can utilize the Bluetooth feature. By combining your Bluetooth with a speed or cadence detector, Zwift will have access to your data.
  • Trainer: Without a trainer, you can’t use Zwift. As long as you can properly mount your bike, you can use any trainer you like. Smart trainers are better, especially as they give you an advantage if you want to take part in the competitive events on Zwift. 

Once you’ve set up your bike on your trainer, and connected your smart device to Zwift, you can start using the feature. Learn about the importance of setting goals and set one or two once you get set up.

What are the benefits of using Zwift?

Zwift gives you the opportunity to make the most of the time you spend at home. Without having to go outside, you can get the same physical exercise, and make friends with other users as well.

  • Improve your cycling skills with structured workouts from professional coaches. 
  • Great for beginners as well as cycling enthusiasts. 
  • Various courses are available. You can cycle across mountains, over hills, and even visit exotic virtual locations. 
  • Make friends with other users and go on cycling adventures together. 
  • Participate in competitive races. 
  • Have fun, and level up your cycling game in a constructive way. 

What should you do once you’ve set up an account?

Once you’ve registered an account with Zwift, you can explore the app any way you like. One thing you can do early on is check for the upcoming rides. This gives you an idea of the different groups that will be cycling together. You can find this information by looking for upcoming rides on the top right-hand corner of your screen.

Once you’ve selected a group, simply ‘join’ to become a member of the riding group for the duration of the ride. You can also take part in racing across four different levels. Alternatively, you can also select a coach and learn lessons from them. Zwift has over 1000 hours of workout lessons for cycling. If you want to learn about cycling, or you want to improve your cycling skills, Zwift will help you achieve that in a gamified and entertaining way!

There is certainly a lot to learn for a beginner triathlete.

So, you have decided to do a triathlon. Now what? As former beginner triathletes ourselves, we understand that it can be overwhelming at first. With the combination of swimming, cycling, and running, a triathlon event can be challenging and inspiring. But if you follow these simple tips you will find that getting started doesn’t have to be that hard. 

7 Tips to Remember When You Start Training for a Triathlon


1. Keep Your Training Practical and Simple

The training has to be practical and simple if this is your first triathlon. Your brain gets better at doing crazy, complicated exercises quicker than your muscles. Focus on the big muscles and the muscles that stabilize you through simple workouts. Focus on performance, not the equipment.

2. Cut Workouts Short When Necessary

One of the biggest mistake triathletes make is excessive focus on hard training. They train too hard all the time. Regular training with a proper schedule over a long period of time gives a better outcome than too hard training over a limited period. That is not a very scientific approach. Make sure you respect hard training days, light training days and off days. All will contribute to a better performance in the long run.

3. Include Brick Workouts

A beginner triathlon trainee entering as a swimmer, cyclist, and runner may likely find brick training a new concept. Integrating a brick workout into your training prepares you for racing by combining two aspects of triathlon into a single, continuous workout. The two most common examples are a swim to bike and a bike to run. It prepares you for the changing demands of each sport to ensure your race-day success. You need to understand how your body responds to transition from one event to the next, and on to the third. Here are some places around Austin that are great for an introductory bike to run brick workout.

Woman running during beginner triathlon rookie tri in austin texas4. Practice Transitions

Transition practice that simulates the race day conditions is important. Go through the entire process to gain efficiency. Transition practice can be included during brick workouts when you take off your wet suit, get into cycling gear, and into your running gear.

5. Try Practicing Open Water Swims

Open water swims are not always readily available under the training plan. They are nonetheless essential. They will enhance your comfort level as well as triathlon performance. Open water swimming opportunities should be accessed whenever possible to maximize the advantages of practice and learning the correct techniques. If you do not have access to water there are dry land exercises you can do that simulate swim training. 

6. Swim More Often, Swim less

Poor swimming is an outcome of swimming poorly. Don’t over-swim when you feel like you’re falling apart unless you want to reinforce bad technique. It is better to swim about 15 minutes a day several days a week than an hour or more once or twice a week.

Beginner triathlon finishing the Rookie Tri Finisher

7. Train Your Digestive System

You need to understand how much nutrition and hydration you require while on the bike and on run. Training your digestive system is useful here. Find out through training sessions how much you are able to handle and practice accordingly.

We hope these tips help you as you start your triathlon training as a beginner triathlete. Be sure to look through our blog for more helpful articles including Rookie Mistakes to Avoid in Training and Free Online Workouts to Help You Stay Tri Ready. There are always ways to improve in triathlon and we are here to help you along the way. Be sure to join our Facebook Group to ask any questions that you have.