Youth/Kids Training

I have two boys - one 14, one 11. The older one is a keen triathlete, but has mainly been focusing on his swimming (twice a week) and running (three times a week) recently. The younger one prefers martial arts (krav maga and muay thai), but has set himself the goal of riding London to Paris with me next October for charity.**

**I had previously set up a youth account with Zwift (before I joined TR) for my older son and he’s still using that, although it’s about to expire. And I’d love for my younger son to be able to do a couple of 30-45 minute training sessions a week before I take him out for 1-2 hour Sunday rides next year.

Is there any option for a youth/kids account in TR? I really can’t justify paying for 3 monthly accounts!

Or, is there any alternative that might work for structured youth training?

Cheers

Simon

No, there is not currently any option other than a full account for TR.

Cheers.

Until such time as TR might enable family accounts, got any other ideas on how to best help kids train on the turbo?

I am no expert, but a few things I have picked up from other discussions.

  1. Keep it FUN!

    • Kids are different than adults (duh!) and are not necessarily looking for “training” in the same way that we are.
    • Find ways to get them some training conditioning, without the pain and monotony that is common.
    • This can be a challenge with indoor training, so I would keep it to a minimum or do a REALLY good job of making into something special and more than regular training that we might do.
  2. In light of #1 above, and at risk of rocking the boat, something like Zwift is a great option.

    • The gaming aspect, ability to earn and spend ‘dropz’ and such are parallel to much of what they do already, but tied directly to their bike riding on the trainer.
    • Importantly, there is an option within Zwift to have free accounts for kids under 16, as part of a paid adult Zwift account.
    • https://support.zwift.com/en_us/zwift-accounts-for-children-HyleeRkr7
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To add onto the idea of the Zwift kids’ accounts (which it sounds like you’re aware of), I use the Meetup functionality in there, along with the “Keep everyone together” option, to let my kids ride with me in Zwift. They’re a little younger than yours – 6 and 10 – and just can’t really keep up with me. With the meetup and KET, they’re able to ride along, even up hills, through the volcano, etc., which definitely adds to the fun factor for them.

This has, of course, led to the need to somehow get 3 bikes into my office, along with having 3 devices to run Zwift. :joy:

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I think at that point the cost of a Kid’s account seems to pale into insignificance :joy: :rofl:

Good points, thank you Chad! Obviously you’ve recognized what is needed and what the shortfalls are for TR and pointing to another platform for the family/kids. I’ve read other threads and know this is a feature request, so I’m hoping this moves up in priority as many of us would love to continue to use TR without having to depend on other apps for budget reasons.

In addition to a family/kids plan, I hope the workouts are shortened based on age/gender for growth reasons and/or tailored without having it to be too demanding. Again as you’ve said earlier, let’s try to make it fun for them!

Thank you!

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No info on training accounts, but I read a few chapters in this book and highly suggest you give it a read so that you aren’t possibly jeopardizing future growth/abilities. This should be the whole book, but I also have a full pdf i can email if you if interested.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325741983_Elite_Youth_Cycling

I have 3 boys (9, 11, 13) and they all have free zwift accounts and Tacx Flow refurb wheel on smart trainers from eBay ($200 shipped!)

Rule # 1 - Don’t pressure them! Pressure equals No Fun. If they don’t think it will be fun, they won’t do it! :slight_smile:

For my boys, they needed a reason to get on the trainer along with it being fun. For a reason, they all ride for the the local NICA MTB team, and they all want to get better in their XC races. So, start there. See if you can get them into a local riding scene appropiate for your kids age. For fun, my boys ride Zwift like its Mario Kart trying to beat their own scores in PRs, one minute pwr, 5 min pwr, 10 min pwr, etc. I had them do ramp tests and setup them up with workouts. When they feel bored of a workout they either free ride or jump in a Zwift race that fits their w/kg. They usually hit the turbo 2-3 times a week along with an outdoor ride on Sundays. I dont pressure them but invite them to jump on the turbo when I hit a TR workout. It’s fun for all of us to suffer together!

I look forward to when they are ready to jump in the deep pool with TR, but for now, Zwift kiddie pool is perfect for them and it is preparing them for TR in the future.

Let me know if you have any questions. Be glad to visit more about it.

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That looks like exactly what my 9 year old needs for his intended future profession. It would be much appreciated if you could email a copy of the PDF.

My take on kids and training, keep it fun and simple.

My son started racing bmx when he was 3, now he’s 13. I learned years ago that the more I push him the more he will push back and dislike it.

Currently my wife, son and I all have trainerroad accounts, my son also has the free zwift youth account. When his trainerroad membership is up I will not renew it and he’ll just use Zwift if he wants to ride inside, which is about 30mins once or twice a week if I’m lucky and for that it’s hard to justify the expense. He gets 3-4 hrs of running a week at school for cross county and rides or races with us on the weekends.

Our local crossfit gym has a family plan. It allowed my wife and I unlimited classes and limited kids classes for our son. Maybe trainerroad could look into something similar.

For reference he raced over 20 cx races this season and podiumed at most U15, U19 and Men’s 4/5 races he entered, he even won the final 4/5 race of the year last weekend. This spring he will be racing with the local NICA club.

Hopefully he’ll be just as happy riding his bike when he’s grown as he is now and It’s my job to make sure he is.

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Both children socially isolating at home and being home schooled. My 12 year daughter (mainly swimming and ballet x6/week) asked to have a go on my indoor trainer/wattbike,. Using the wattbike app to perform a sub-maximal test her baseline FTP is almost 4.6 watts/kg. It has taken me 18 months to get there! Not sure if sub maximal test is the best on that platform but wondered if anyone had any thoughts regarding relevance of ftp and other metrics at that age? She seemed to enjoy her time on the bike and I’m using it to encourage her to join me when we are all able to go back outside after quarantine rather than trying to train the next Lizzie Deignan, but who knows!

Think children shouldn’t be looking at power, and especially not at W/kg. Both change a lot due to them growing and trying to push high power at a young age can cause damage to joints etc. Better to keep cycling fun and work on skills, like balance and cadence and all sorts of tricks.

Appreciate though that you need to find some sort of power level for her to have appropriatly scaled workouts indoors, just wanted to caution against looking at her power like you’d do for yourself.

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Zwift kids’ account may be a good mix. The game atmosphere can keep them engaged. With a speed sensor and some bike pegs you can jury-rig your own setup to get their rear wheel off of the ground. Should be able to do the same with a wattbike.

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You can also adjust their weight and wheel size in Zwift to give them a w/kg comparable to yours. Meetup/KET should work well. Speed sensor arrived yesterday, bike pegs this weekend, then I need to build a contraption to keep my 9-year-olds’ rear wheel off of the ground. I haven’t kept my kids’ bikes well maintained so there should be plenty of resistance. (Bad dad moment)

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Totally agree. I don’t want my kids to end up an obsessive neurotic like me.
It would be good for kids to have some fun indoor sessions based on what they are able to complete and feel some sense of achievement in the meantime.

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That’s a great idea. I’ll look into it👍

Sorry but what evidence do you have to back up your claims that kids can cause damage to their joints if they push high power?

I don’t have any evidence. It’s standard training advice to not let young riders push a high gear for long. That is why the likes of BC and USAC have gear restrictions for young riders.

(Ok, part of the reason why, fairness and skill development are others).