Indoor cycling program: Athlete onboarding guide

Welcome! I am really looking forward to working with you over the next 12 weeks on on your cycling.

The following onboarding guide will get you connected with the rest of the Startline Coaching athletes and help you through all the onboarding steps.

Connect to the Startline Coaching Programs Facebook group

To connect to the group, please Like Startline Coaching on Facebook and I will invite you to the Group. You can like Startline Coaching on this page.

I use the group for rapid communications to athletes, training session cancellations, and many other notifications. The group is private community and a resource for all athletes with presentations and other helpful resources. Athletes use the group to coordinate with each other as well. Running late to a Group Training Session? Tell the group on Facebook!

Note: At this stage, I am still using Facebook for group communication. An evaluation of other options is under way because it is time to move away from Facebook. But for this season, I am going to stick with it. This will take a bit of time but viable options are starting to appear, My goal is to integrate the solution with outside of a social media platform.

Get your Training Accounts Connected/Synced

  1. Establish a TrainingPeaks account and connect it to my coaching account.

I will be posting all workouts and be reviewing your workouts through TrainingPeaks. You do not need a premium subscription to participate in the program. A free subscription is perfectly functional for receiving & uploading workouts

  1. Establish a sync between TrainingPeaks & your Garmin/Polar/Other device.

This will automate the upload & down of workouts to your head unit/watch etc. 

Setting up Zwift & using Zwift

Here is a quick Video primer:

Before the first training session, please do the following:

  1. Establish a Zwift account on the Web and then download & install Zwift.
  2. Update your Zwift account profile on the Web with the following key data:
    • Weight – Impacts your in game speed
    • Height – Impacts your in game speed
    • Max Heart Rate – Typically a good guess for max HR is 10 beats above your Lactate Threshold Heart Rate. If you don’t know, start with 190 & we will tune it over time.
    • Functional threshold power. Starting out and just don’t know. Start with your body weight in pounds. Subtract 20 if you are a female athlete
  3. Under “my profile”, click the connections link to establish a sync between Zwift and your TrainingPeaks account. This link will facilitate downloading & uploading of workouts in Zwift.
  4. Pair & test all of your sensors inside the Zwift application. Use an ANT+ dongle vs Bluetooth when using a PC. You can use both ANT+ or Bluetooth for sensor communication on a MAC. Only Bluetooth on an iPad or Phone. Most athletes use ANT+ on their laptop. Ant+ works well and is specifically designed for workout data transmission. To use ANT+ you need the following:
    • Ant+ USB-A Dongle  – $20 – You may have one of those from an old Garmin watch or head unit when you could not sync your data over WIFI or Bluetooth.
    • USB A – extension cable – $7 – An extension cable is often needed to place the dongle as close to the bike as possible. The dongle will be USB-A. If your laptop does not have a USB-A ports and supports only USB-C then a slightly different cable may be needed to convert from USB-C to USB-A.
  5. Download & install the Zwift companion app onto your phone so that you can control Zwift, in game, like a remote. 
  6. Very important! Inside the Zwift companion App, Follow me on Zwift. I will do the same in reverse. I need you to follow me so I can invite you to the Startline Workout Zwift meetups. Meetups are events in Zwift so we can ride as a group.
  7. Go out for a test ride and explore the Zwift interface including loading structured workouts.

Technical support

I will be holding a Q & A technical support session on Zoom. You will receive an appointment from me inviting you to a technical support session on Sunday 1/24/21 at 3pm. We will be able screen share & debug any problems you might have.

If you are comfortable with ZWIFT, feel free to skip this call.

Once you are all setup

Provide me with key baseline metrics here: Bike baseline metrics

  1. Your Bike Lactate Threshold Heart rate
  2. Your FTP
  3. Your weight in lbs.

I will only need this detail for anyone who is new to Startline programs. If you don’t know or are unsure, shoot me a note & we can estimate it together. I use this data to configure each athlete separately in TrainingPeaks and in other backend tools that analyze your training performances.

The current plan

All workouts are indoor & we will use Zoom for communication. Zoom will allow us to speak to each other during the workout and enable me to guide and provide coaching. I will set up recurring Zoom calls for each week. Be on the lookout for Zoom appointments & please accept these recurring appointments.

  • Tuesday morning @6:30 am
  • Thursday evening @7:00 pm
  • Sunday afternoon @3:00 pm

If you are going to skip an indoor group training session (GTS), you can always do the workout on your own in Zwift. The workouts will specify what mode you should use in game: ERG mode or course/level mode. Pick a suitable course for the workout.

Joining the first group workout

The first workout 1/19/21 at 6:30 am sharp. Note: You cannot join late because the ride takes off on time every time. Zwift makes it so. If you miss the start of the first workout, follow the steps to join the meetup or execute the workout on your own. We will still be on the Zoom call albeit you may have missed holding together with the group.

I strongly recommend that you join 15 minutes early to be sure all of your technology is working. This gives you time to get organized without the pressure – nothing worse than sweating bullets and missing the workout start.

The best order of operations to join the group training sessions (GTS) is as follows:

  1. Join the zoom call first then start Zwift. Just join with no video & put zoom in the background. We are really only interested in audio. The zoom call starts 15 mins before the meetup so we can chat/warmup/ask questions
  2. Start Zwift and pair your sensors
  3. Once in Zwift, click that you are joining the meetup. Alternatively, you can accept my meetup invite in the companion app when you receive the notification the day before.
  4. Click ride & you will be transported to a default world.
  5. 15 minutes before the meetup begins, a join meetup button will appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. Click join meetup and you will be sent to the world and route set in the meetup.
  6. Once you have joined the meetup, click down in the lower left corner and click menu. At this point you will be able to select your workout, change jerseys, bikes, wheels, etc.
  7. Click Workouts and select today’s workout from within TrainingPeaks workouts. Only the workout for the day in TrainingPeaks will appear. If you are off schedule for some reason, you will need to move the workout in the TrainingPeaks calendar before you start Zwift.
  8. Select ERG mode on or off depending upon the workout guidance.
  9. Make sure that you are not recording data on your head unit or and not using your head unit to control your trainer. Our goal should be to avoid uploading duplicate workouts or creating a conflict between Zwift and the head unit about who is in charge of the trainer. The head unit can only be used to passively monitor the workout. Just be sure your head unit is either off or just passively monitoring data.
  10. I will give a preamble of the workout and objectives during the first 5-10 minutes of the workout.

Looking forward to working together! Let’s do this!

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