Zwift Academy is a community of fun-loving, competitive women from all corners of the globe. They are moms, daughters, doctors, lawyers, caretakers, entrepreneurs, bosses, and more, who remarkably balance training with all of life's responsibilities.
Each week, we'll tell one rider's story to uncover a little bit more of the motivations and personalities behind this inspiring group of women.
Like many of the women in Zwift Academy, Becca French is always on the move. An accomplished collegiate triathlete, Becca used the Academy to help her recover from surgery. Next thing she knew, she found herself in the Semi-Finals! Here's her story...
Why did you join Zwift Academy?
In March of this year I had surgery to repair my External Illiac Artery. The night before the surgery I was up all night - I couldn't sleep.
During my aimless internet browsing I stumbled upon the announcement for the ZA talent search. At the time I was bummed because I figured the competition would fall too close to my recovery from surgery.
When the first round of ZA started in June, I saw that the workout program trainSharp designed did not start with super high intensity rides so I decided to give it a shot.
I thought Zwift Academy was a great opportunity to return to riding after surgery and to try a new variety of workout sessions. Additionally, the community that ZA provided would make my training and recovery a lot more fun!
How has the training impacted your life so far?
The first portion of the program helped me to realize how fun and beneficial group rides can be. I also appreciated the sense of community that ZA provided and it made my training more fun!
Since making it to the semi finals, I've switched the focus of my training from triathlon to cycling.
In a broader sense, ZA made me realize the benefits of being part of a team and a cycling community.
As a result my husband and I have started riding with a local racing team in OKC on the weekends and we have really enjoyed it!
What do you do when you are not riding your bike?
If I'm not riding I'm usually swimming, running, or lifting weights. Other than training I like spending my spare time going on long walks with the dogs, cooking with my husband, building furniture for our new home (like Ikea hacks), or fixing our family's and friend's bikes.
Do you have kids or pets? How do they feel about your Zwift station?
We have one dog, Samson, and I’m currently training my grandmothers puppy, Duke, for a couple of weeks. Duke is a HUGE Zwift fan!
I'm sure if there was a Zwift version for dogs that included fetching balls and chasing squirrels, they’d be the first to signup. My husband and I enjoy taking the dogs on long walks or on trips to the dog park where they can play with others.
Cyclists have to replace a lot of calories. What is your favorite post-ride treat?
I always have Greek yogurt with whey protein mixed in. After long weekend rides when I want to splurge, my husband and I make chili dogs with sauerkraut.
What’s one of your most memorable moments on a bike?
I believe the best way to experience a new place is to tour it on a bike.
Last December, I went on a great cycling trip to the Canary Islands with my husband and family. We rode the big climbs on Tenerife and Gran Canaria taking in the amazing scenery from the beautiful beaches to the forested mountains. We loved experiencing the culture of the island and visiting the delicious cliff side cafes for a well deserved lunch and coffee.
Where has your bike taken you, physically and/or mentally?
Hmmm, this is a big one for me because the answer explains why I like biking so much.
Physically, I love how biking lets you explore and take in your surroundings. Biking to different locations adds an element of fun to the ride. Some of those rides make great memories - like when I was on the Tri Team at UT Austin and we biked from Austin to the San Marcus to go to the LuluLemon outlet.
Mentally, I have had my highest highs and lowest lows on the bike.
I love how I can get on a bike frustrated and tired, go for a ride, and come back with a whole new positive perspective.
I've also learned how to push through the feeling that I want to teleport home during the last hour of a long, hot ride in the Texas or Oklahoma Summer.
Describe Zwift in 5 words
Fun, Competitive, Efficient, Innovative, Immersive