The Pros and Cons of E-Training

Tips for ZWIFT Racing

In response to the global lockdowns that were thrust upon us by the Covid pandemic, Triathlon moved swiftly and smoothly into a new, exciting, and widely accessible format known as E-Sports. Athletes who were used to competing against hundreds or even thousands of others at competitions were now locked up and isolated. The new format would allow competition to continue and provide an outlet for athletes to compete at their highest level while remaining in isolation.

E-sports became a very appealing format for triathletes, cyclists, and runners in terms of acceptance and accessibility. There were indoor cycling and running programs popularised by online platforms such as Zwift, TrainerRoad and Sufferfest. Then a lot of leaders in sports performance also moved the associated Strength and conditioning and Yoga sessions online. This virtual reality format brought a new alternative to athletes all around the world.

In this blog we will highlight some of the benefits that we consider are the most representative and the aspects that could do with some improvements in order for this new format to be more widely accepted.


One of the main benefits that has come with the development of this particular format has been the overall ease of accessibility. Athletes usually have the equipment required and there is very little organisation required in terms of logistics.

The second benefit of E-Training is that it helps build consistency and habit. Due to many of life’s challenges such as work, family responsibilities, weather etc, there is often less free time in an individual’s daily schedule for training. This is where indoor trainers, treadmills and customised S&C programs come into their own. Without leaving home, an athlete will be able to complete the majority of their sessions all at a very high efficiency rate. By removing the hurdles of commuting and organization, we can help in the creation of habit forming, thus allowing athletes to keep their momentum going for longer.

A third big benefit that can be taken from the indoor trainer is the real time development of technique and form. Through the use of technology in general, athletes are capable of getting an accurate technique correction as well as the capacity of following sessions in real time. Due to the fact that athletes remain static while training, it allows coaches to use cameras and sensors in their athletes training for instant feedback, enhancing the quality of the overall program.

We could continue listing the benefits, but these three describe the most important aspects. Understanding the training in terms of performance and efficiency, athletes will be able to access a new level of training.


One of the less desirable aspects of indoor training is the disconnection from the club/social environment. Every athlete values this aspect differently, but it must be mentioned the importance of the human and social connection when it comes to improving sporting performance and efficiency. The bigger the focus the athlete has on the online world, the fewer the opportunities they will have in sharing with a team and the community. This means that aspects of social skills and emotional balance will be affected in the long term.

If you want to read more about the power of empathy and social connection, you can read this a blog; Secret Stories Behind Success | Davey Black Triathlon

A second aspect that needs to be considered is the difficulty of identifying the balance between sports and general life. In many aspects, Triathlon, and training in general, can be a welcome relief from an athlete’s responsibilities. Not having that moment to fully embrace the social aspect as well as the outdoor environment, will mean transforming the sport into a space that is isolated from the world. This behaviour increases the chance of developing an unhealthy relationship with an athletes training habits.


At this stage it is hard to say. What is true is that it has developed into a new way of appreciating the sport. It brings a new range of possibilities in terms of appreciation and participation. It should be said that E-Sports/E-Training are not “better” than the traditional model of participating in sport. It is a different format, making it a completely new experience that some will enjoy more than others. When it comes to participating in these online options, it will be up to each individual athlete to weigh up the pro’s and con’s to determine if it is the right fit for them.

If you are interested in including indoor cycling in your program, or just signing up for a few races to keep your motivation going, feel free to read the blog written in the middle of the 2020 lockdowns, you will find all the necessary information to get your setup up and going; Tips for ZWIFT Racing – Davey Black Triathlon. Alternatively, you can talk to your coach about including it in your half Ironman Melbourne, half Ironman Geelong or other race program based on your own needs and training requirements.

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