Zwift Community Q&A
Something that we will be doing on a regular basis is featuring those people who make Zwift racing and riding what it is today:
To get things started, we asked one Zwift’s top A-racers, Alan Lowe, some questions so the community could get to know more about him. Read up below!
How did you get into Zwift?:
I got into Zwift Riding in early November in 2015. As the years have went by I’ve gotten more addicted to the pain and joy Zwift has brought into my life. I’ve witnessed accidents on the roads that I don’t ever want to see again and have officially found my “safe place” in cycling.
How long have you been riding/racing bikes?:
I’ve been riding bikes since late 2015, so not too long.
What team on Zwift are you on?:
Team Yellow, Better known as Team FINESSE
What trainer/power meter do you utilize?:
I run a Wahoo Kickr V4 and a Stages Left Side Ultegra 8000 Arm.
What kind of fan do you use for cooling?:
Are you a morning person or a night owl?:
I’m currently a college student so I have to be both. Sometimes I stay up later in the evening to study, but sometimes I wake up early to ride and to study following that. It depends on the day!
What’s your pre-race ritual?:
COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE, plus Jamming to some old school Panic At The Disco! I’m a punk pop kid at heart.
What’s your favorite “staple” (regular) race?:
T/TH PM Races. Those are my prime time hours and generally KISS PM falls during those time periods.
What’s your favorite Zwift group ride?:
My favorite Zwift Group ride would have to be my team captains base ride, better known as “Rocket’s Base Ride” on Wednesday evening. Rocket is quite entertaining and knows how to keep conversations going.
Do you think Zwift racing is different from outdoor bike racing? If so, how is it different to you?
Zwift racing is entirely different than outdoor riding. It’s generally full gas from start to finish, but when it’s not full gas, it’s usually a steady high Zone 2 or low Zone 3. Another big thing with Zwift racing is how you position yourself on the bike. The more I race on Zwift, the more I find myself changing up my position where I’m more over my bars and pedals to produce more power when I’m fighting the resistance. There are not many breaks in Zwift racing, but when you do get a break on Zwift, you’re very thankful for it and utilize it to the best of your ability.
What kind of fuel do you use to keep yourself going while riding?:
During rides on Zwift, I’m a firm believer in Beet Juice and Nuun. I seriously can’t get enough!
If you could race anyone head to head on Zwift, who would you pick?:
I’d probably chose my teammate Jake Simons. I’d have to pick him as we both have very similar power curves and we always seem to drive each other in our races. If I’m not feeling too good in an event, then I’ll make myself feel even worse if it will help him place better. Jake and I connect quite well when we’re racing on Zwift. Jake is the teammate on Zwift that any team would be grateful to have. If I didn’t get to race him on Zwift, my next competitor would be Adam Zimmerman. He’d beat me but EVERY Zwift race I’ve ever been apart, and he was in, I always had a great time, and those ended up being some of my best races. He’s my good luck charm.
Do you ride/race outside in addition to Zwift? If so, what discipline(s)?:
I do ride outside. I’m a casual Cat 3 Roadie and a Gravel racer.
Do you feel that Zwift has helped your fitness for outdoor riding? If so, how?:
Zwift racing has no doubt helped my outdoor riding. Those moments in outdoor riding when you’re in the hurt box, don’t hurt that much anymore. Zwift and indoor training callouses your mind and makes you ache. For me personally, the thought of doing intervals inside is much harder than riding outside but I choose indoors for that particular reason. The mind has been a barrier that’s held me back the last few years of training. Every year I get close to the 5.0 Watt/KG or right on it and can’t seem to progress anymore. I get to that point in training and can’t propel myself anymore. It’s not the legs though; it’s the mind that’s holding me back. Zwift has been key to my success in outdoor riding and will continue to be as I have access to it.
What one tip would you give to Zwifters looking to improve their racing in-game?:
One tip I would give to Zwifters looking to improve their racing in-game would be, be honest with yourself. Be as transparent as possible with your data. If you go from a 4.8 Watt/Kg Rider to a 5.5+ Watt/Kg overnight, then there’s a plausibility something is wrong. Admit this to yourself before you self proclaim you’re on “Form.” I’ve been in a very similar situation due to a power meter calibration issue and learned a lot from it. I thought I was better than I was and wanted to protect myself. Eventually, I started to have more escalations in my power and finally spoke up and talked to my Team’s Captain. This was one of the best things I could do and then proceeded to speak to my Zwift buddies about it. I believe this has indeed built some of my best relationships on Zwift. Everyone makes mistakes, admit them before you get caught in a rabbit hole. We talked about it and figured out ways to redo my Zwift Power, so I didn’t have these ridiculous power increases. This whole situation changed the way I look at Zwift racing, and I want to be as transparent as possible now. Be Transparent and brutally honest with yourself. Trust me; it’s worth it! Those power gains you make from that point forward mean that much more!
Where do you see eSports for cycling going?:
I hope to see esports take off for cycling. I’d like there to be multiple live events around the US where I could take off and be apart of the events. The thought of live events pushes me that much harder in my training and on Zwift. It makes me want to continue to be more transparent.
What’s your favorite Zwift memory?:
My favorite Zwift memory to date was getting 3rd place at the 2019 USA Zwift National Championships. Coming into the finish line, I was without a power up and knew i had to go early. I put in my sprint effort with about Half a KM to go, and it just so happened to be the exact moment Spencer S went. I was hanging onto one of the best Zwift racers wheels and knew if I could hang on then I had a chance at the podium. I slowly started to sneak by Spencer and thought to myself I could win it! Legs gave out about then and barely could stir over 600 Watts. I saw my name on the leaderboard and the 3rd Place beside it. The endorphins that ran through my body that moment was unimaginable. I squealed with happiness and satisfaction and then proceeded to tear up off of the Stream. I won’t ever forget that.
Who’s your biggest fan?:
Ha! I don’t think I have a fan, but someone I keep in contact with and chat with a lot during my live streams is Scott Cunningham. He’s the team leader for Team DRAFT on Zwift. He’s no doubt one of the most significant contributors to my success on Zwift. He was also an individual I talked to quite a bit during my power meter issues. He’s no doubt one of my better friends on Zwift and would do anything for the guy. I look up to him as a father figure on Zwift.
What’s your favorite post-race food?:
My favorite post-race food is donuts, but recently I’ve been making avocado toast!