By Celeste Merey
Virtual racing takes Smart Training to the next level. To some, the thought of racing a bunch of avatars (cartoon cyclists) while alone in your Pain Cave might not seem like a worthwhile replacement for the real thing, but before writing it off completely, it’s worth a try. You’d be surprised how close competing virtually comes to the real thing!
Zwift is the original giant of online racing. Virtual cyclists can choose to sign up for an event – a competitive group race with difficulty graded by average output of Watts/Kg of rider weight. There are events running every hour, across disciplines from crit style road races to TTs to hill climbs for you to choose from. Once you sign up for the event and log into Zwift, you are positioned on the virtual start line until the gun goes off.
Triathlon Canada (and Triathlon Ontario) recently partnered with virtual racing platform FulGaz to create an online racing series. It is a chance to get competitive with triathletes across Canada in both the World and National Series. The beauty of this platform is that you can virtually ride world famous courses, like the Alpe Duez in 4k video – no cartoon images. Note that FulGaz is only compatible with Apple Devices.
For those of you who want to test yourself on your A-race course, check out Best Bike Split. Users are asked to fill out a detailed profile about themselves and their cycling equipment. You then select a cycling leg from any number of triathlons such as Gravenhurst Triathlon, Lake Placid or Pentiction. The race course can be exported to almost any platform – from Zwift to Tacx – to simulate an ERG mode workout. Based on your profile, Best Bike Split provides the wattages that you should ride at to get your fastest result on this course.
Consider trying one of these or the many other options out there, to keep your indoor training fresh, and your legs and mind sharp for competition.
*This article originally appeared in our June 2020 Team Atomica Newsletter.*