So the winter training season is well and truly upon those in the Northern Hemisphere.
That means it’s time again for Zwift to launch into full Virtual Gran Fondo and “Tour of…” mode. For those unaware, you can now virtually ride a virtual Fondo and even receive a virtual Fondo cycling kit for crossing the virtual finish line! There are even virtual training plans to help you train virtually for your virtual Fondo, got all that?
But forget about virtual training plans. Instead, here my Top 5 Pro Tips for riding your first Zwift Fondo.
1) Pick your virtual distance. Most Zwift Gran Fondo events have a few distance choices. This basically comes down to asking yourself the question: How long do you want to sit on your fancy new turbo trainer for? An hour? Two hours? More?
2) Pack plenty of water. On the turbo I tend to down a bottle an hour when training or Zwifting. It’s toasty work. Know roughly how long the event is going to take you and fill enough bottles. Some nutrition is probably a good idea too if you plan on tacking one of the longer events. Have a gel or two or a bottle of Belgian beer in easy reach.
3) Prep your bike. Just like when you take your bike out of the garage and out into the real world (you do that, right?) make sure it’s running sweet. A dirty drivetrain will rob you of precious (and very real) watts.
4) Prep your training space. Crank that fan to give you much needed cooling, have your music devices all charged up and ready to go. Got a towel? Got your phone? Make sure your mobile is in reach with the Companion App running so you can throw down that feather powerup at the opportune attack time and leave your virtual bunch in your virtual dust!
5) Pace yourself. You’re in for the long haul, so take it easy. Actually, forget that. All Zwift events start with a full gas smash out of the starting gate when that clock hits zero! Wind up above-threshold wattage as the timer counts down into single digits and hammer out of the blocks to position yourself in a fast bunch. After that, just try and hang on!
So there you go. Follow those five tips and you’ll be well on your way to
winning completing your chosen virtual Gran Fondo. Once you’re done, climb off the turbo, pat yourself on the back and click through to your Zwift settings so you can wear that virtual kit with pride!
Oh and of course upload your ride to Strava with a catchy title, because after all everybody wants to know you spent the last three hours pedalling nowhere in your garage… #RideOn