This blog is about coaching, so let’s talk coaching.
It’s December and riders around the World are getting antsy to get after their 2020 preparations. Zwift is on the rise thanks to a revolution in indoor enjoyment, improved accuracy of the metrics, and most importantly the social element!
I coach a team and despite living in largely fair weather Northern California (#NorCal) we DO get our share of foul weather from time to time and lots of my riders have serious and demanding jobs, so more and more they look to maximize their bike time and thus, we’ve been playing with Zwift and their group ride option. It’s actually proven to be very cool in a couple of important ways
It’s A Group Ride! How many times have you been on a group or endurance ride that degrades in the first 20 minutes into a battle of watts per kilogram and drafting acumen becoming the inevitable hammerfest? Yea, me too. Zwift managed to alleviate at least a couple of these elements with their online rides. Simply join the ride a couple of minutes before the start, keep pedaling all the time (yep, even softly) and you stay in the group. Maybe you feel like “getting a workout” and want to put the hammer down? Easy, go hard, as hard as you want…you won’t drop your frenemies, you’ll just get that workout you wanted.
Talk, talk, talk! Ok, while hammering along in an un-droppable peloton is fun, wouldn’t it be more fun to punch out some lively banter with your ride-mates along the way? Well, thankfully Discord gives that option. Just create a group chat and light it up! My riders have found that when connected properly the group chat really does add that community element (just remember to get that whisper quiet fan!). We’ll be playing with music in the next few weeks and hope that adds yet another element of awesome to the mix 🙂
Intensity? We got your intensity! As a coach I care about the workloads my riders engage in. I don’t need to control every ride all the time, but I also don’t want them running roughshod over each other three days a week in the off season. To help with that we’ve been playing with adding structured workouts to the group ride. So, if I want my riders to do 4 x 15min “sweet spot” efforts, no problem. Indeed, if I want half of my riders to do that and the other half to hit up some neuromuscular intervals, we just run two different programs! This is easy via using my #sterlingwins hastag to find workouts, but even easier for my athlete because they all have Training Peaks accounts – i just load the workout for the day in question, they already have their accounts linked between Zwift and Training Peaks, so they can sync automatically and OFF THEY GO!
Check back as I’ll be updating this post with new information as we get up to speed over the next couple of weeks!