Question, and a story.

What event or ride did you train for and feel that you conquered specifically because of the training done on Zwift?

For me… it was 2 weeks ago. I started riding zwift consistently last July in 2018. I had been a dedicated mountain biker for a long time, but only casually rode on zwift in the winter. My MTB team does an annual bike trip in the mountains of Arkansas. It’s 4 days of riding and over 100 miles of singletrack in the Ouachita mountains. Awesome stuff.

Problem is, the highlight of the weekend is a ride I had never been able to complete. A 50 mile self-supported out and back.

This year was my 4th attempt to conquer the ride. I decided in July that this was the year I would make it. I committed myself to the Crit Crusher training plan on zwift and woke up daily at 4-4:30am to ride. Months ticked by, I got faster. I met the gang over at DIRT Zwift Team and rode even more. I started racing The Morning Grind Fondo on a weekly basis and got completely addicted.

Meanwhile, every MTB trail in Dallas closed for 3 months with record rains. I continued to ride zwift, daily. I racked up 3000 miles over those next 6 months. I raced harder. I upgraded from C to B. And I enjoyed every bit of it.

Now back to the goal, the team camp was here. Time to put up or shut up. This is what I trained for the last 6 months. Zwift every day was fun but it was for this epic goal. I would not fail.

My back had been strained for a full week since the inaugural DADurday chase race. I could hardly lace my riding shoes that morning when I woke. But I set out, committed to the goal. As long as I pedaled I felt ok. After 10 miles I felt I could do more. At 25 I had reached the halfway point. My lungs and legs felt great. My bike cooperated, I pedaled on.

50 miles of beautiful singletrack later I emerged from the forest with a smile on my face and arms raised in victory. It wasn’t a race, but a personal demon that haunted me year over year. I had conquered it. And it didn’t even seem that difficult, I made it back with the third fastest time and still had more left in the tank.

Zwift changed me. It took sweat and tears and aching muscles on cold mornings, and it turned them into fitness and confidence. It gave me the opportunity to achieve the goals I had set in my life and to enjoy a great trip with friends.

That’s my quick story. Who else can share theirs?