And Join the HERD!
Zwift is part video game, part virtual reality and part smart trainer. Here are a few things to consider when getting started with Zwift.
- The trainer. Get a smart trainer if you can swing it. Smart trainers will give you a more realistic experience by simulation the change of resistance on hills. I have a CycleOps H2.
- Device to run Zwift. I use an Apple TV but there are a lot of good options out there including Macs and PCs. I found the Apple TV to be easy. I installed and started the Zwift app and it found my H2 automatically. Nice and easy.
- A Screen. If you are using a Mac or a PC you already have what you need. If you have an Apple TV you need a TV. Of course added a big screen TV to your Mac or PC will just enhance your experience.
- Floor Mat. Perspiration in Zwift is real. You will sweat like you never have before. Get a floor mat to put your trainer unless you want to ruin your nice hardwood floors.
- Towel. Or maybe I should say towels. Or maybe just get a big bath towel. I need about one hand towel per hour of Zwifting.
- Fan. You will not only perspire but you will get hot. Without the normal wind resistance you get from riding on the road you will heat up quickly. Get a fan or two. Go ahead, just thank me now.
- Water. I could say fluids but I think water is best, better than Gator Aid or any other workout or energy drinks. Just water. And you will need one bottle per hour of Zwifting.
- Tissues. You may or may not need these but I sure do. Nothing cleans out the ole sinuses like heavy breathing and sweating.
- A stand. Yes, get yourself some kind of a stand. I use a music stand for the aforementioned tissues and the Apple TV remote. Also a good place to keep your cell phone.
- Discord. There are few things that help an hour go by on Zwift better than being on Discord. Discord is an app that allows us to talk to each other in real time. Think of it as a group conference call on your phone. Download the app on your smart phone and get the link from your group. The HERD has a great Discord channel with a great following.
- Groups. Join one. Especially consider joining the HERD. Caring people, a sense of inclusiveness and group rides where people actually ride as a group. Novel concept I know. If you are looking for even more fun learn about riding sweep or become a ride leader. The HERD is always looking for more people to join the ranks. And the workout you will get from doing intervals with the sweeps in awesome.
- Sense of community and cooperation. If you don’t have one when you join Zwift and the HERD you will quickly acquire one.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list but should get you started. The most important thing to do is to start. Your fun awaits you.