Best zwift training plans

Best zwift training plans DEFAULT


In this post you will find an overview of all zwift cycling training plans available with their respective distance (based on a 200w FTP), duration and how many hours you should expect to train every week. I will also highlight which are the best zwift training plans for beginners at the end.

But let’s be honest, Zwift is slowly killing the off-season. As soon as temperature falls, every ”zwifter” dust out their trainer, switch the fan on, grabs a towel and a water bottle than jumps into back to back crit races, goes for an Alpe du Zwift KOM attempt or at least try their luck at the spin wheel hoping to win the famous Lightweight Meilenstein wheels, climbs every hills in sight to finally get their hands on the flashy Tron bike, spins numerous times around the volcano for badges or starts training to boost their FTP. No one thinks about off-season.

If you are new to the platform and you have no clue what I’m talking about, believe me, you are in for an awesome journey!

Whatever the reason, every individual gets something from Zwift. If structured training is what you go for, zwift cycling training plans are a very good way to achieve your goals.

Before you start

  • ”4-6 weeks” means you get to choose how long you want the plan to be between 4 and 6 weeks.
  • ”0/5” is your progression in the training plan. There are 5 workouts.
  • Zwift training plans guides you each week and ”unlock” workout as you progress.
  • All cycling training plans are flexible so you can skip a workout in the week or wait for the next day to do it. You can even click the I DID IT if you did something similar outside or on zwift.
  • Trainings plans are sorted from beginner to advanced.

Once your choice is made, I’ve gathered some useful tips for your training sessions! Have a look at them to make sure you’re ready to tackle these workouts!


Everyone – 1 week – 2 hours/week – AVG 30mins/workout

Easy entry in the world of zwift training! You will experience what training in zwift looks like and learn all the basics. Great way to start if you’re already thinking about doing an intermediate training plan in a near future.

Do if you :

  • are new to zwift and looking to get into training.
  • want to start the right way and familiarize with zwift training
  • want to know and set your current fitness level – it features a ramp Test which is essential if you want to train efficiently


Everyone – 4-6 weeks – 28km/week – AVG 1hour/workout

Cycling and running workout based around threshold development. Run workouts are based on consistency and frequency. A mix of runs and high-intensity cycling workouts.

Do if you :

  • also run on zwift
  • want to be a faster cyclist while maintaining run performance
  • are a triathlete who wants high-intensity workout on the bike


Beginner – 5-6 weeks – 4hours/week – AVG 40mins/workout

All-road is the new road. Get ready to tackle any rides and any surface! Mainly focus on sweet spot training which is known to achieve great results while minimizing recovery time. Designed with the beginner in mind.

Do if you :

  • are looking for your first zwift training plan
  • are into gravel events
  • want an easy to stick with training → 3 rides/week
  • want to improve your ability to sustain power in the ”Sweet Spot”


Beginner – 10-12 weeks – 1 hours/week – AVG 40mins/workout

Whether, it’s an injury, a long break, starting out training or general low fitness level. This plan will get you in top shape, one step a time. As zwift describes it : ”Like a phoenix rising from ashes!” Also good if you have minimal time to workout.

Do if you :

  • are new to cycling or training
  • return from injury
  • want to get back at it slowly and progressively → 2 rides/week
  • want a plan in which you will improve no matter your current fitness
  • are limited on time


Beginner – 4-6 weeks – 5 hours/week – AVG 1 hour/workout

Popular among the zwift community, this plan will definitely increase your power. Simple, effective, and designed for people that are new to training.

Do if you :

  • are looking for direction and structure in your workout
  • want to boost your FTP in an efficient way
  • want to sustain power for longer periods
  • best bang for your buck → FTP boost in 5hours/week


Beginner – 3-4 weeks – 3 hours/week – AVG 50mins/workout

Enjoy long rides on the bike? This one is for you. Base around events around 100km this plan will boost your ability to go further and faster.

Do if you :

  • want to get more serious about training
  • prepare for a metric century or a Fondo
  • want easy to stick with, while improving base fitness
  • want a low commitment and big results
  • want to learn to train more efficiently


Intermediate – 10-12 weeks – 5 hours/week – 30mins to 2+hours workouts

Multi phase training that will teach you a lot about training concepts while making you faster. Great overall fitness builder.

Do if you :

  • are serious about your cycling and you want to step it up
  • want good lasting results
  • want a little help to push your limits
  • want guidance in your training
  • want to learn about training concepts
  • are looking for a pre-season plan

I personally did this plan. Take a look at my results! → Build me up – my results


Intermediate – 4-6 weeks – 4 hours/week – AVG 1hour/workout

Addicted to zwift racing? Want to get into zwift racing? Zwift race are without a doubt like no other race. If you want to get ready to compete at your best, enroll in this plan! Features race simulation workouts, sweet spot and race start training.

Do if you :

  • are a zwift racer looking for the final build phase
  • want to prepare for zwift racing
  • want to get ready for a specific race – it features a mid-training rest week + a final taper week.


Intermediate – 4-6 weeks – 5 hours/week – AVG 1 hour/workout

Aiming at the mountain biker, this plan will help you build torque to conquer any dirt road. Low cadence drills, repetitive power surges and everything in between by modulating cadence and power frequently.

Do if you :

  • are a mountain biker
  • want to build power over various cadence
  • have a solid fitness base and can handle 2 high intensity workouts/week
  • are looking to be a more well-rounded mountain biker


Intermediate – 8-12 weeks – 9 hours/week – up to 3hours workout

Focus of this plan is to keep you fit during the off-season. If you’ve been cycling a lot in the summer and want to keep your fitness but are unsure what to do next, this plan will provide guidance and structure. Allows you to maintain fitness but also make times for recovery.

Do if you :

  • want guidance and structure during all off-season
  • want to focus on maintaining your fitness
  • want time to recover in between heavy workouts
  • want a mix of hard days and easy days
  • struggle to know when to switch off and recover


Intermediate – 5-8 weeks – 5 hours/week – AVG 50mins/workout with longer 2-3 hours ride

This is a long term plan if you are targeting events of 100-200 km. It will slowly build your endurance machine so you can feel fresh for longer periods. A mix of intervals training with long rides.

Do if you :

  • have done a fondo or century and looking to improve your approach
  • want to prepare yourself seriously for your next event
  • are looking for a progressive approach
  • want to be ready for long climbs, sustained efforts and tired legs final efforts


Intermediate – 7-12 weeks – 5 hours/week – AVG 1hour/workout

If you keep going where the asphalt road ends, this one is aiming at you. Assuming you are coming with a good base fitness, this plan is designed to be done 5-8 weeks before your event. Plenty of recovery time ensures you are fresh and ready to smash it on your race day.

Do if you :

  • are getting ready for a gravel race
  • want gravel specific training – cadence work
  • want a mix of hard work and recovery days
  • are thinking about getting into gravel racing


Advanced – 7-10 weeks – 7 hours/week – AVG 1hour/workout

Cross-country racing specific, this training plan will help you build the final phase before your key event. It targets power and cadence and gets you ready for the big day.

Do if you :

  • are an experienced rider
  • have excellent base fitness
  • want to fine tune your engine for race day
  • have done a build phase prior to this plan
  • want good preparation before tapering for event
  • want good high torque intervals and specific pedaling drills


Advanced – 4-8 weeks – 4 hours/week – AVG 1hour/workout

Top-end fine tuning for race day. Take it frome zwift : ”This plan builds up your war chest of physiological tools needed on race day. ” Sprints and breakaway are the focus of this plan. High intensity, enroll if you have a solid foundation.

Do if you :

  • have an excellent base fitness
  • come prepare and able to sustain high-intensity work
  • have done an endurance plan preparation prior to this
  • struggled to translate good overall fitness into results


Advanced – 5-8 weeks – 7 hours/week – AVG 1hour/workout

Looking for a plan that will challenge you? You will need commitment but it will pay off on race day. It will definitely increase your fitness level but you should enroll with an excellent fitness already. As well as, being rested and fresh because this plan doesn’t include recovery time.

Do if you :

  • want that extra edge before race day
  • fitness is already excellent
  • want to work on your peak power
  • want to maximize aerobic power
  • want to lift your top end


Choose a training plan that fits your current fitness level, fits in your schedule and avoid long workouts. Sitting on a stationary bike for 2 hours isn’t the same as outside. Get use to short workouts first. No need to rush, fitness is build over time and requires time. Recovery days are essential for building muscle and adaptation. Don’t skip them. Back to fitness and FTP builder are great plans for starting out. Zwift 101 is a must before entering these two in my opinion.

For now, I wish you great success in achieving your cycling goals, whatever they might be!

If you still have questions or if I missed something, contact me!

Ride on!



Welcome to Training on Zwift! You may be a seasoned athlete looking for the latest plan, or new to Zwift and eager to learn more about how to get fitter and faster. Whatever your goal is, we probably have the right training plan or workout for you.

Zwift's Training Plans are flexible and make it easy to meet your fitness goals on your own time. These plans are carefully designed to get you in prime shape for your next event. With 15 cycling plans and 8 running plans to choose from, you’ll be ready for any adventure. It’s like having a coach in your corner, always keeping you on track.

What are you training for? Below is a glance at a few of our most popular training plans. If you want to learn more about training on Zwift in general first, check out our overview video:

Cycling Training

First time training on Zwift?

Training Plan: “ZWIFT 101: Cycling”

Welcome to Zwift Training! This plan contains five workouts that will introduce you to the Zwift interface and structured training in Zwift. The first two workouts help you get your bearings before doing a Ramp Test to measure your current fitness level (aka FTP, more about this below). After that, two of our most popular short workouts are included (one is optional) to give you a full week on the bike.

Training for Zwift Races

Training Plan: Zwift Racing

The Zwift Racing plan will prepare you for all types of Zwift races, particularly longer or hilly courses. There are even race simulations based on popular routes in Watopia, London, New York, and Crit City. On easier days, you'll do cadence work to help get your legs ready for anything.

This plan was designed for beginner and intermediate Zwifters, but any racer can benefit from the workouts - especially if you have trouble with those fast race starts!

Shayne Gaffney developed this plan. He is a USA Cycling Level 1 Certified Coach, workout content editor at Zwift, and owner of GC Coaching who can regularly be found riding and leading group workouts on Zwift.

Know & Improve Your FTP - Functional Threshold Power

If you’re new to Zwift, or new to cycling and unsure what FTP means, you are not alone. It’s a question asked by many on their way to better performance. FTP, or Functional Threshold Power, is the wattage you can stay below and sustain for longer durations, while going above it causes fatigue to occur very quickly. It is one of the key training metrics used in cycling, and Zwift has built-in tests to measure it.

Think of FTP as a benchmark for you to try and beat, the same way you try to beat your max rep at the gym. It’s a number that indicates your current level of fitness and sets the bar for improvement. It also shapes your training zones in workouts, personalizing your experience. Don’t bother comparing your FTP to anyone else’s – we all start somewhere.

Before you start any training plan on Zwift, it's key to complete a test to find out what your FTP is to ensure all your training efforts are maximized. In Zwift, you can find your FTP 3 ways; the standard FTP test, the short FTP test and the Ramp test.  Learn more about our tests to help you find your FTP in this article.

Training Plan: “FTP Builder”

One of your first priorities might be to build up your FTP. No problem, we've got just what you need for this! Start here and raise your Functional Threshold Power. This plan gives your overall aerobic ability a nice upgrade.

Designed for people who are new to the structured training plans and workouts, this plan is built around simple yet effective workouts, most of which are under an hour. With only four workouts a week, plus an optional fifth ride in some weeks, this is a plan that easily fits around the real-life demands of any athlete. If you want a plan that will guide your training without leaving you feeling overcommitted, this is a great option.

Training for a Gran Fondo

Build the strength to go big with a mix of larger endurance rides and higher-intensity interval training. When you're 90 miles in and facing that final climb, you'll thank all the hard training you've done to prepare!

Training Plan: “Gran Fondo”

If you've done a fondo or century and want to take a more formal and serious approach to your next event, this plan is designed with you in mind. You're not an expert, but you're not a novice either. This plan can be short enough to offer a guided tune-up for a big event or substantial enough to serve as a long-term training plan for a more serious undertaking.

Whether you're just getting serious or you're a long-time cyclist who wants some help preparing for an event, this plan is progressive enough to be useful any time of year. Use it in the winter to take on one of the longer Zwift Fondos - the Medio or Gran Fondo distances - or for an outdoor event of similar time or duration.

You'll come away ready for long climbs, sustained efforts, and everything else a course might throw at you, thanks to this plan's proven framework for success over long-distance rides.

Training Plan: “Fondo”

For the cyclist who loves the long ride. Round out your ability to tackle big climbs and endure stretches of hard effort. Get fit and see how far you can take your bike.

Designed as an introduction to structured training for cyclists who have discovered they love riding their bike and want to go further, go faster, and have more fun doing both. This plan is low on commitment but long on results. You'll come away with a better sense of how to train as well as an overall higher level of fitness.

Do this plan whenever you want to get a bit more serious about your training. Use it for any of the Zwift Fondos or in the 3-4 weeks before a local metric century, century, or fondo.

If you've just discovered - or rediscovered - your love of cycling, this plan will help you find the fitness to enjoy it even more. If you want to know more about how to train - to both push yourself and hold yourself back - this plan gives you the instruction while still allowing you the free time to hop in a race or join a group ride.

Training Plan: "Prudential RideLondon 100"

This plan was designed to specifically prepare you for this legendary event in London. However, you can use it to train for most imperial centuries. Get familiar with the Surrey countryside, Box Hill, and Leith Hill by braving the routes in Zwift London. Push past your comfort zone then tap into your newfound strength on race day.

There are as many reasons to ride 100 miles! Whether you joined a race with a friend, on a dare, or simply because you want to see what you can do on two wheels, this plan will make sure you are ready for the challenges riding 100 miles on a bike presents.

Start this plan anytime up to four weeks before your 100-mile ride. The plan will adjust in length automatically based upon when you start so it ends on the day of your big event.

If you're looking at 100 miles of riding and thinking, "What did I get myself into?" let this plan come to the rescue. Whether you're a rookie wondering how you're going to make it from A to B or a veteran who simply wants to do better, this plan is designed to help you be at your best.

Off-Road Training

See our Off-Road Training Plans post for a complete rundown of each flexible off-road plan.

Running Training

Training for Your First 5K

Training Plan: “Zwift 101: Running”

Great work showing up to run in Zwift! This plan contains six workouts that will introduce you to Zwift Run basics, treadmill skills, and workout types. We'll explore climbing hills, mixing up intervals, holding tempo, and laying down an all-out 1-mile effort.

These workouts are kept short to give you a taste of what training in Zwift has to offer.

Training Plan: “Zwift 201: Your first 5K”

Ready to run? 5Ks are a great way to get started. Five kilometers is about 3.1 miles, or exactly 12.5 laps around a standard running track. And, more importantly, it is a distance that anyone can achieve. Whether competing against the clock or your own expectations, this plan will help you get ready to run the whole way. This approachable and manageable plan builds from walk/jog intervals to progression runs to breaking up a 5k into longer - but manageable - chunks. You will have the confidence to take on the distance after working your way through this four-week plan.

Training Plan: “5k Record Breaker”

Nail that PR performance on race day. Dig into the top end of your aerobic limits and run confidently in the red zone. Stand on the starting line, and don't look back.

This plan was designed for competitive runners looking for guidance and structure to take them to the next level. A high level of commitment is required in terms of both effort and mileage. By the end, you should be fit, fast, and ready to race.

Meant to be done in-season, use this plan for the final 6-8 weeks leading into a 5k race. You should have a strong base under you before beginning this plan. The distance and intensity start at a fairly high level and increases quickly. This is meant for runners who have experience with structured training, aggressive speed work, and who put a premium on speed. This is not a plan that is meant to be done regularly. It should be saved for a big push towards a special goal. Speedwork is always a challenge, and this plan requires it.

If you've struggled to translate your training into tangible results on race day, do this plan. It will push you out of your comfort zone and ask you to run fast, hard, and often. If you want to set a best time for a 5k, this is your plan.

1/2 Marathon Training

Training Plan: “3Run 13.1”

Ready to get serious, but don’t have a lot of time? Already have a few runs under your belt? If so, this is the plan for you!

After three runs a week, for up to sixteen weeks, you’ll very likely be setting a new personal best in the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon distances. This plan is loaded with the intense runs that will build speed, while the long run once a week will get your endurance in place for the big race. An optional fourth easy run is provided throughout the weeks for those who can give an extra hour per week.

Marathon Training 

Training Plan: “LA Marathon Training Plan”

Ready to get serious and take on the ultimate running challenge? This plan is loaded with intense runs that will build speed, while the long run once a week will get your endurance in place for the big race. It fits around your schedule with only three days per week (plus an optional fourth) with a focus on speed over distance before lengthening it out for the final seven weeks to get you ready for the demands of a full marathon.

From Cyclist to Runner

So you ride in Zwift, but want to try running? Why not!? We've got the right plan to help you use your cycling fitness for running.

Training Plan: “Cyclist to 10K”

Use your training know-how and level up your running game. This plan serves up base runs along with hill and interval work to sharpen you up when it counts.

Designed for cyclists who have strong aerobic engines and a real sense of structured training, this plan is meant to help regular riders make the jump to running.  If your time on the bike has left you wanting a new or different challenge, this plan will help you make the transition.

This plan assumes you understand the principles of training and workouts, but doesn’t expect you to have any real foundation as a runner. With a focus on running regularly and using hills to build strength without excessive speed, this plan steadily and predictably builds your volume. Meant to be done at any point in the year, this plan starts with a low volume requirement and steadily builds over the 6-8 weeks before peaking and culminating in a 1ok run.

Do this if you want a new challenge or if you’re a would-be runner struggling to organize your training over a complete build. This plan will push you, but also remind you that it is important to take time off and to run easy - really easy - as part of the process of getting better.

Training Tips

  • Are you a cyclist? Do an FTP test before you start. Make sure your FTP is accurate and up-to-date before beginning your plan. Testing ensures your intervals are on target and tailored to your current level of fitness. Read How To Find My FTP.
  • Are you a runner? Make sure all your split times are set correctly. If you don’t know your split times, run a mile on Zwift at your fastest pace possible. Zwift will automatically calculate your 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon pace. They will appear in blue, so be sure to accept these values before you begin the plan. You can find them in your in-game profile from the pause menu.
  • All plans start on a Monday. You can sign up any day of the week. You’ll have the option of doing warm-up workouts beforehand, or just start fresh on Monday.
  • Choose your duration. When you select a plan, you’ll be given options for duration. Keep in mind your event date, if applicable, and adjust accordingly.
  • Workout window. You’ll have a specific range of time to complete each scheduled workout. When you finish a workout, your plan will slide and adjust your schedule to accommodate and keep you on target. They’re flexible!
  • Recovery. We don’t want you to overtrain, and we don’t want you to stagnate either. Recovery is carefully put in place to prevent both scenarios. There are no set "rest days." Instead, after completing a workout, the next workout is "locked" for a certain amount of time based on how difficult it is. We want to make sure you are always able to perform at your best.
  • Keeping you on track. Log into Zwift, and today’s workout will appear at the top of the Start screen. If you want to skip it and free ride or join an event, click ‘Clear.’
  • Badges to earn. Finish a plan and you’ll earn more than stronger legs. You’ll get a sweet new badge as well!
  • Doing your first workout. Get the basics in this article, and take it up to the next level by training with Zwift Companion, the mobile app used to view upcoming events, control your workout, and more.
  • Get mobile reminders. Download the Zwift Companion app (free on iOS and Android) to see your full training plan in one place.
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The best workouts and training plans on Zwift

AlthoughZwift is great for just jumping on the trainer and free-riding for fun, it’s also a powerful training tool with an abundance of workouts and training plans to help you take your fitness to the next level.

Whether you ride road, gravel or mountain bikes (or a bit of everything) there’s a training plan suitable for you and, because they’re all based around functional threshold power (FTP) – the maximum average power you can sustain for one hour – the training plans and workouts are all tailored specifically to your current level of fitness. 

Zwift has worked with race-winning coaches such as former Italian national time-trial champion Marco Pinotti to create workouts and training plans that are designed to improve your fitness and strength on the bike. Once you’ve got your Zwift setup sorted, all you need to do is jump on and pedal.

How to sign-up to Zwift

Visit the Zwift website to sign up for a free 7-day trial. After your trial period ends, Zwift costs £12.99 / $14.99 per month.


Rather than prescribing a set workout at a set time, all of the training plans on Zwift are flexible, meaning you can adjust them around your own schedule.

Each workout will give you a window in which to complete any given session, meaning it’s much easier to fit around your personal schedule. You can also complete workouts outdoors – simply mark as ‘done outdoors’ on the plan in-game.

New workouts will then unlock automatically once a designated rest period has passed.

As you go, you’ll earn experience points and stars for completed intervals. Best of all, if you workout online, you no longer have to do it alone because you can join the thousands of other Zwifters on the platform in Zwift group rides and races, to help you stay motivated.


Stress points

The difficulty level of a workout is measured in ‘stress points’ (sometimes shortened to ‘SP’).

Based on the duration and intensity of a session, the higher the stress points score of a workout, the harder it will be, and vice versa.

The maximum stress score you can generate within a single hour is 100. For reference, this would be generated if you rode at exactly your FTP for the entire hour. 

One of the great features of using this kind of metric (it’s similar to Andrew Coggan’s/Training Peaks TSS metric that power meter users may already be familiar with) is that it’s relative to everyone.

Even if you’re fitter, the stress points of any given workout will still be the same – you simply do the workout at higher power numbers.

With this in mind, Zwift categorises its training plans into three different tiers: beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Average stress points per week will tend to rise with the tiers (though this isn’t always the case) and as you move up. You’ll also do more intense intervals and target specific areas of fitness according to the type of plan you choose, rather than simply making broad gains in general fitness.

We’ve chosen a few of our favourite training plans and workouts to get you started, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. For the full rundown of what’s available, head to the Zwift app.

Beginner training plans on Zwift

If you’re new to cycling and/or indoor training, or are perhaps just coming back to the bike from a break, it’s a good idea to start out with one of the beginner level plans.

They’re designed to give you a relatively easy introduction to the world of interval training, while still ensuring you get in a decent workout and make those all important fitness gains.

Zwift 101: 1 week / 2 hours per week


This plan only lasts a week, so it’s intended to act more as an introduction to Zwift’s training interface and the world of structured interval training.

It contains a couple of introductory workouts and two of the most popular short workouts, as well as a Ramp Test in the middle of the week to help you measure your FTP before you can start on a longer plan.

FTP Builder: 4 to 6 weeks / 5 hours per week / 255 stress points per week (average)


The FTP Builder plan focuses on building sustainable aerobic power, with the majority of sessions comprising of endurance and tempo intervals.

Designed for riders who perhaps haven’t done a structured training plan before, the workouts are simple and easy to understand, and most last under an hour.

Fondo: 3 to 4 weeks / 3 hours per week / 177 stress points per week (average)


Created for cyclists who are building up to a long ride, or sportive/gran fondo, the Fondo is another great plan for anyone who’s new to structured training or coming back to the sport from a break.

The plan focuses mostly on endurance and tempo intervals, but there is also a bit of work at threshold and beyond mixed in to give your fitness a boost.

Pebble Pounder: 5 to 6 weeks / 4 hours per week / 199 stress points per week (average)


The Pebble Pounder is a gravel-focused training plan, which aims to steadily build your aerobic ability. That means plenty of time spent just below your threshold (also known as ‘sweetspot’), as well as some VO2 max workouts and pedalling exercises.

With three workouts per week, plus an optional weekend ride (ideally spent outside on your gravel bike honing your handling skills), this is a great plan for anyone working towards an event or adventure.

Intermediate training plans on Zwift

These plans are aimed at the more dedicated cyclist who, perhaps, already has a decent level of fitness and is looking to add structure to their training, or build on specific areas of fitness.

Active Offseason: 8 to 12 weeks / 9 hours per week / 446 stress points per week (average)


If you’re a dedicated cyclist, with a good amount of time to train and looking to add structure to your winter, this could be the ideal plan for you. The workouts focus mostly on building up your endurance, but there is a little bit of tempo, threshold and above mixed in.

There are some big days in this plan, leading to a relatively average high stress points per week, but there are also plenty of prescribed rest days to ensure you don’t overdo it.

Build Me Up: 10 to 12 weeks / 5 hours per week / 318 stress points per week (average)


If you’re serious about your training but a bit tight on time, the Build Me Up plan will help you make a big improvement to your aerobic engine.

There’s a good mix of intensities in this plan, but tempo, threshold and Vo2 max intervals make up a significant portion of the work.

Dirt Destroyer: 4 to 6 weeks / 5 hours per week / 273 stress points per week (average)


Designed by professional coach Matt Rowe, the Dirt Destroyer training plan is for mountain bikers and will upgrade your ability to keep putting out the power at low cadences, as well as repeating the large surges in effort required to scale steep and technical courses.

Expect to have to react to constantly changing power and cadence levels across high-intensity workouts and at least five hours of training per week.

Advanced training plans on Zwift

At this level you’ll need to have a solid base of fitness already established because things can get quite intense.

Look to these plans when you’re coming up to a period of competition or have a big event coming up for which you want to be on form. 

Crit Crusher: 4 to 8 weeks / 4 hours per week / 233 stress points per week (average)


Focusing on sprint and breakaway repetitions, this plan was created as a race tune-up for criterium (short road races around circuits) and cyclocross races, and will help sharpen your legs for whatever kind of riding you do.

The average stress points per week aren’t high on this plan, but there are a lot of hard and fast efforts, so Zwifters taking it on will want to have a decent base of fitness already in the bank. This is a great plan to use in the run up to competition to hone top-end performance.

Singletrack Slayer: 7 to 10 weeks / 7 hours per week / 366 stress points per week (average)


Intended for experienced mountain bikers, the Singletrack Slayer training plan will push your limits with plenty of high-intensity workouts and pedalling drills designed to replicate the demands of cross-country racing.

As with other Advanced level training plans, you’ll need a decent base of fitness under your belt before attempting this. For those on the final run-in to a key event though, it could be just what you need to sharpen your fitness.

TT Tune Up: 5 to 8 weeks / 7 hours per week / 391 stress points per week (average)


With six workouts a week, this plan requires a large commitment, but if you’re looking for a big boost to your top-end power then you’ll reap the rewards when you complete it.

As the name suggests, this will suit those who want to excel in the race of truth, but recovery periods are limited, so you’ll need to be in good condition going into it.

Workouts on Zwift

If you’ve already got a training plan from elsewhere or just don’t want to fully commit to one yet, then Zwift has a large catalogue of individual workouts to get you working hard and targeting specific areas of your fitness.

Emily’s Short Mix: 00:30 / 44 stress points


This workout is ideal if you’re short on time. With 44 stress points accumulated in half an hour, it packs a lot of bang for its buck.

2×20 FTP Intervals: 01:20 / 101 stress points


A classic turbo trainer workout, the 2×20 FTP Intervals session is perfect for anyone riding time trials. The long, hard intervals force you to concentrate on holding your power and position constant over longer durations.

If you’ve got a time-trial bike, do this session on that and try to stay in the TT position for the entire duration of each 20-minute interval.

Mat Hayman Paris Roubaix 1: 01:21 / 97 stress points


Indoor training on Zwift was crucial toMat Hayman’s famous win at the hardest one-day race on the cycling calendar. It enabled him to replicate the kind of efforts required not just to hang tough with the likes of Tom Boonen across the infamous cobbled sectors, but also to outsprint him in the Roubaix velodrome for the win.

Now, thanks to his former coach Kevin Poulton, you can experience something of what it took to win that famous Monument with this session that was built using Hayman’s power profile from the race, condensed down to a more manageable 81 minutes.

Be warned, though, it’s as hard as the cobbles of Northern France.

SST (Long): 02:10 – 163 stress points


SST stands for Sweet Spot Training, which is a small sub-zone around 90 to 95 per cent of FTP. It gets its name because it’s intense enough to provoke great physical adaptations, but easy enough that you can do lots of it without overly fatiguing your body.

If you’re feeling really keen and you want a longer ride to accumulate those stress points, this is an ideal session.

Custom workouts on Zwift


If you’ve reached this point in the article and are thinking that none of the above quite matches what you’re looking for, well, don’t worry. Zwift also lets you easily create custom workouts from its Training page.

Zwift uses a simple drag and drop interface that makes designing your ultimate sweat-sesh a cinch – you just grab blocks from the right-hand column (there are blocks for all the different power zones, plus warm up, cool down, intervals, free riding, text prompts and cadence) and use the mouse or text boxes to expand the length and difficulty of each interval.

You can then tag your workout with a category and give it a suitable name. Handily, Zwift has a more in-depthguide to building custom workoutsif you need a little more guidance.

Are Zwift Workouts and Training Plans Worth It? - Episode 1

Zwift training plans: A beginner's guide

The key to fitness is consistency. One ride per week is never enough. Two rides and you’re starting to get there. Three, four, or five rides per week for six weeks straight and you’re well on your way to setting PRs across the board. 

Consistency is key – this is where Zwift training plans come in. Training plans set out a long-term structure (usually 6-12 weeks) of fatigue balanced with rest, filled in with detailed workouts almost every day of the week. Plans range from basic fitness builders to highly-structured race preparation plans. Zwift is a massive virtual riding platform that connects millions of users for group rides and races, but it also includes a number of solo riding features such as carefully crafted workouts and structured training plans. 

If you're looking to get faster, the best turbo trainers can provide a great tool to maximise the efficiency of your training time, and there are various indoor cycling apps that can help you along the way. We've already put together an ultimate guide to Zwift, as well as a guide to some of the most effective Zwift workouts, and here is a quick guide to Zwift Training Plans, and how to find the training plan best fit for you.

Zwift training plans for beginners

Short-term plans to get you acquainted with Zwift workouts and power training zones. Perfect for Zwift newbies and those trying out a structured training plan for the first time. 

Zwift 101: Cycling (Five workouts)

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Plans > Zwift 101: Cycling

At just five workouts, the Zwift 101: Cycling plan is less of a structured training calendar and more of a quick introduction to Zwift workouts. The first couple of workouts will teach you the basics of power training and threshold zones, with a ramp test following to test your current level of fitness. After that are two short workouts designed to give you a quick taste of everything – tempo, threshold, VO2max, and sprints – and soon you’ll be well on your way to tackling four, six, and eight+ week training plans.  

4wk FTP Booster (4 weeks; 6hrs 30min/week) 

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Workouts > 4wk FTP Booster

This training plan is a great place to start for those looking for a boost in fitness without a huge time commitment. This plan offers the whole lot, from sprints to 45-second VO2max efforts, to tempo intervals, endurance rides, and 40/20s. Week four includes both a 10-minute power test, followed by an FTP test a few days later to test your progress. 

Zwift training plans for building fitness

For riders with some experience, looking to build fitness in the off-season, or test themselves as race season approaches. 

10-12wk FTP Builder (12 weeks; 5hrs 29min/week) 

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Workouts > 10-12wk FTP Booster

A longer version of the 4wk FTP Booster, this plan offers a more gradual approach to building fitness, ideal for the off-season or base training. Beginning at 4-5 hours/week, the plan builds to 6-7 hours/week by the end of the plan, and includes a mix of short anaerobic efforts, tempo intervals, and over/under threshold efforts, in addition to recovery and endurance rides. 

Zwift Academy 2019 (12 workouts)

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Workouts > Zwift Academy 2019

For those looking to truly test themselves, the Zwift Academy 2019 (the 2017 and 2018 editions are also available, and if you act fast, the Zwift Academy 2020 has just launched) plan offers a unique array of field tests, from 20-second and one-minute intervals, to race and breakaway simulations. Be warned: these workouts are hard! Almost every one requires one or multiple maximal efforts that will leave your legs bursting with lactate. The Academy culminates in a 2x8-minute power test, similar to the FTP tests used at the tail end of other training plans. 

Race-Focussed Zwift training plans

For racers just a few weeks out or in the midst of race season, these plans can serve as race simulations or key form finders before your biggest goal races. 

TT Tune-Up (9 weeks; 5hrs 49min/week) 

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Plans > TT Tune-Up

This training plan specifically targets threshold and sub-threshold intervals with the goal of improving sustained time trial power. One key workout in this plan is 'Cruiser Intervals', which target 92% and 97% FTP at TT cadence, often following a short anaerobic effort. These challenging intervals will help train the body to shuttle lactate quickly and efficiently at a high workload, one of the key markers of a great time trial specialist who can recover almost instantaneously following a surge up a hill or out of a corner. Other workouts include 15 or 20-minute tempo intervals at specific cadences, meant to increase aerobic efficiency in the TT position. 

Crit Crusher (8 weeks; 4hrs 4min/week) 

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Plans > CRIT Crusher

This short and sharp plan emphasizes explosive, short-term power and on-the-bike strength training. High-intensity intervals range from 15-second sprints to five minutes at FTP, while strength sessions include sub-threshold hill reps and Zone six (125% FTP) power efforts. Week four includes the graduation to 'Micro Bursts', an incredibly intense workout that includes 10 and 20-second efforts at 200% FTP. This plan is perfect for crit specialists getting into race form, and also for all-rounders looking to improve their sprint and short-term anaerobic power. 

Zwift training plans for building endurance

Two plans for riders of all ages and abilities focussed on improving endurance and overall fitness, with fewer sprints and explosive efforts than other race-focused plans.

Gravel Grinder (13 weeks; 5hrs 6min/week)

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Plans > Gravel Grinder

The longest plan on this list, the Gravel Grinder hits all the intensity zones, with extra emphasis on sweet spot and endurance – the keys to success in long gravel races. There are a number of specific workouts focused on tempo climbing and cadence intervals, meant to increase core strength and overall efficiency on the bike. One or two workouts per week include threshold-or-above intervals, with an increased focus on cadence (75-80rpm is more realistic to gravel than road riding) and short bursts at 105-115% FTP. 

Bonus: For the most entertaining workout descriptions, check out this plan. 

Fondo (4 weeks; 2hrs 51min/week)

  • How to find: Zwift App > Training > Plans > Fondo

The Fondo plan is a low-volume, beginner-level plan designed for the Zwift Hondo events. Weekly workouts cover all intensities from recovery to endurance, tempo, sub-threshold, and FTP. The workouts are far less complicated than more intense plans such as the Zwift Academy or Crit Crusher, making them ideal for all-rounders looking for a four-week fitness booster. The Fondo stands out for its focus on tempo and endurance riding, including many days of 86-98% FTP intervals meant to improve sustained power and aerobic efficiency. There are few intervals exceeding FTP, making the Fondo an ideal plan for the base or build season. 

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Zach is a freelance writer, the head of ZNehr Coaching, and an elite-level rider in road, track, and Zwift racing. He writes about everything cycling-related, from product reviews and advertorials, to feature articles and power analyses. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science at Marian University-Indianapolis, Zach discovered a passion for writing that soon turned into a full-fledged career. In between articles, Zach spends his time working with endurance athletes of all abilities and ages at ZNehr Coaching. After entering the sport at age 17, Zach went on to have a wonderful road racing career that included winning the 2017 Collegiate National Time Trial Championships and a 9th place finish at the 2019 US Pro National Time Trial Championships. 

Nowadays, Zach spends most of his ride time indoors, competing on RGT Cycling and racing in the Zwift Premier League with NeXT eSport.


Training plans zwift best

Zwift: How to get set up and how to make the most of the virtual app

Zwift has reshaped the way many see indoor training and could be a godsend over the coming months for pros and amateurs alike. For £12.99 a month, users can get access to a virtual world in which the idea of training indoors is no longer a chore. Through its ever-growing collection of virtual courses, riders can cruise around stress-free, training, socialising and even racing. 

By turning indoor riding into a game, the boring process of staring at a wall while on the turbo trainer has been revolutionised and now more cyclists are opening up to the world of the turbo trainer.

While Zwift itself is pretty self-explanatory with its structured workouts, regular group rides and daily races, you may find yourself lost when it comes to getting the best out of this virtual game, especially when you first sign up.

How to get set up on Zwift

Wahoo Kickr Snap Zwift

Firstly, a quick guide on how to get set up on Zwift.

You will need to make sure you have the necessary gear to make using Zwift worthwhile which includes the following:

To get the best experience from Zwift and be able to control your on-screen avatar, you will need either a smart turbo trainer or power meter that can connect to the app.

Using a smart trainer is the preferential option as it will give you the most realistic ride feel, adjusting the resistance automatically based upon the virtual gradient. Relaying your power from the turbo trainer, your in-game avatar will then move at the appropriate speed.

Once you have set-up the turbo trainer and attached your bike, you will need to download the Zwift app to your device, sign up and create a user.

Finally, sync your smart trainer and device using ANT+ or Bluetooth then you will be ready to roll.

For a guide to the best Zwift-compatible turbo trainers on the market, see here.

How to buy a Zwift membership?

For UK users, Zwift costs £12.99 per month which gives you unlimited access.

You can download and pay for your Zwift membership via the Zwift website here.

Alternatively, Ribble Cycles offer a three-month pass to Zwift here.

Six tops tips for getting the most from Zwift

1. Get race fit by racing

Many of us might be scared about taking that initial plunge into the world of bike racing. We are regaled with horror stories of brutal crashes, absurd weather conditions and then the inevitable fact that you will be spat out of the back within the first lap because you simply are not strong enough. 

I know that scared me off from taking to the start line and I am certainly not alone.

Yet, with Zwift races you are given the opportunity to experience the world of racing without many of the fears of taking to an actual startline. 

Usually around the 40km mark, they resemble the same length as races around your local circuit and the undulating nature of the courses make them feel like an actual race on real roads.

You will end up going as hard as you would racing outside but with a couple of benefits.

Firstly, there is no risk of you crashing. You can ride with no fear of clipping a wheel or being caught out by a lapse of concentration. Regardless of how hard you ride there will be no fear of getting intimate with the tarmac.

Secondly, thanks to Zwift grouping riders according to their watt per kilo output - for categories from A to D ranging from 4w/kg to 1w/kg* - there is less chance of you being out of your depth.

You will be riding alongside riders who produce similar numbers to yours, riding at similar speeds. This will hopefully quash the dejecting feeling of riding off the back alone with you actually getting a feel for what it's like to be racing head-to-head with other riders.

The 90 minutes of full on pedalling will have no doubt helped push up your power output and ability to suffer, and with that also increased your confidence to actually pin on a race number. 

*Zwift relies on honesty here. You can lie about your weight giving you a higher watts per kilo but there's no fun in cheating as Lance Armstrong eventually found out

2. Ride social

While indoor cycling was traditionally a solo activity - with the exception of turbo clubs that would see a group of riders get together and ride sessions in somebody's cold garage - Zwift has broken the mould allowing to train with their friends while not being in the same room. 

Some may prefer the idea of training indoors alone but there are certain benefits to training with someone else. Firstly, riding with a friend usually adds some friendly competition which in turn can see you push harder. 

The pace will remain high as you both cruise around the virtual world and there is no chance you will let them drop you as the course starts hitting the climbs. 

Secondly, you are more likely to climb on the turbo if you're not alone. It's kind of like the club run. If you know that your pal will be waiting on the corner of your road to go for a ride, there is no way you will cry off last minute. 

Same with Zwift. If you know that your mate will be waiting for you in Watopia come 6pm, there is little chance of you turning your back on that training session.

Thirdly, the virtual nature of Zwift gifts you the unique experience of riding in a peloton from around the world. Spot the flags of fellow users and you will notice they are from all four corners of the globe.

3. Visual goals

One of the major drawbacks of training on the turbo during winter is the lack of visual stimulation. The steely among us have no problem staring at a wall or a power meter for the best part of an hour but for many, it's enough to put us off of indoor training all together.

There is the solution of sticking the television or a film on but even then you can find your mind wandering from the workout and into the screen. 

With Zwift, losing yourself in the screen is not a bad thing as this will usually mean you are fully concentrated on the training session at hand.

The numbers are still there ticking over and you can keep track of your power, speed and elapsed time but you also have your little avatar.

Watching him or her climb the virtual volcano climb or sprint through the streets of Central London helps to keep you focused on the ride.

There are now several separate maps and further unlockable sections such as Alpe Zwift to keep you stimulated for hours on end.

Use the virtual rider's progression as you would when riding on the road. Pinpoint a spot on the screen and sprint to it, head towards the climb and ride at full effort until the top, spot a fellow Zwift user and bury yourself until you reach their wheel.

This has been made even easier with the new Zwift Companion App. Downloaded to your phone, when on Zwift it adds another dimension to the game, allowing you to view vital stats such as power and cadence away from the computer screen. 

It also allows you to have greater control of the Zwift workouts allowing you to skip sections from your phone while also letting you have greater control of the turbo trainers resistance when in SIM mode.

Zwift is effectively a computer game for cyclists and if approached in this way, you will find yourself improving as a rider without it feeling like too much of an effort.

SEE RELATED: Best cycling apps

4. Let Zwift do the work

Traditionally a training session on the turbo would take prior planning before you could get going.

This would usually entail jotting down the intervals you plan to do, how long they will be and your allocated rest on to a piece of scrap paper, sticking it to your top tube or a brick wall and trying to meticulously follow this regime staring at a clock while also burying yourself.

Thankfully, Zwift can take all that prior planning away and practically do the work for you. 

The training app has a wide range of pre-made training workouts for you to decide to ride on a whim like the 2x15 minute Functional Threshold Power (FTP) interval session or more structured plans like the 10 week-long programme designed to take you to your first 100 mile ride.

While this approach may take away some of the connection and understanding associated with building your own workout plan, if followed regimentally, it will guarantee you an improvement in your riding.

For example, I decided to follow the six week beginner FTP builder. Four to five workouts a week, it promised to increase your FTP through these workouts which varied from fairly comfortable foundation sessions to the more painful threshold development and strength workouts.

Prior to starting the six-week programme, I performed a base 20 minute FTP test to find my base point.

A heavy winter and many other excuses saw me average 233 watts. Following the Zwift programme for the next 45 days, I felt myself getting progressively stronger with the ease of simply setting my bike up on the turbo and effectively pressing play.

This eventually culminated in me performing an end FTP test. This time I scored 282 watts, an increase just shy of 50 watts in six weeks.

5. Turn pro without leaving the house

Last year saw the inaugural British Cycling eRacing Championship, with a very real National Champion's jersey handed to the winner of the virtual competition. Plenty of pro teams have also started recruiting through Zwift too.

In 2018 team Canyon-Sram took on Ella Harris after whittling down applicants via Zwift. This February she took the very real stage win at the Herald Sun Tour in Australia. Dimension Data (now Team NTT) have also used the platform to find new talent.

With Britain’s virtual National Championship taking place around the same time as the actual racing, you’ll have until the end of the season to get in shape. By comparison, applications for the Zwift academy tend to open in early July.

Just like the real thing, there are even opportunities to nefariously improve your chances - from lying about your weight to boost your watts per kilo to using bots to claim in-game powerups and items. However, with Zwift boasting its own version of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) called ZADA, virtual cheats might still find themselves getting a real-world knock.

6. Half-wheel your heroes

Meeting your cycling idols can be a fraught experience. Not only are they likely to be less excited to see you than you are to meet them, should you go riding together you’ll spend the whole time worrying about tangling handlebars and ruining their season.

Not so on Zwift. With many pros using the platform, some will advertise when they’re going for a virtual ride via Twitter.

Why not join them and find out exactly how much better they are than you? As a positive, you’ll not have to endure the public shame when you’re inevitably dropped. Although on the downside, you’ll not be able to gaspingly quiz them about the current intrigues of the peloton.

Recent and retired Tour de France champs Geraint Thomas and Alberto Contador are fans. As is American break-out star Chloe Dygert Owen. With perhaps as much as a third of the peloton using Zwift, there are likely more recognisable riders on there racing under assumed names.

Read our guide to the best bike rollers and how to create a cycling training plan

• For information on how the Wattbike Atom can help you achieve your training goals, visit

Top Ten Workouts on Zwift (Best Workouts To Do When Crunched For Time)

Zwift workouts: how you can get fit indoors with structured training

Your 2020 goals are probably long behind you, if indeed you achieved any of them at all in last year's mess of tiers and lockdownsconfusions and. So now it’s time to think about next year, and keeping in shape ready to hit the ground running – well, rolling – in 2021.

If you’re going to get serious about training then you might be thinking about spending some long hours indoors on the turbo while it’s rotten outside. And Zwift can help you with that. 

If you’ve never used Zwift before then you might assume it’s just a big world full of everyone just buzzing around; even if you’re quite experienced on Zwift that might still be how you use it, but there’s a lot more to it than that.


Spend any time on the platform and you’ll see riders rolling round with what looks like a TV screen in front of their bikes; the screen means that particular rider is working their way through a structured training session, or workout, and the game has a whole ecosystem that’s designed to help you be a better, stronger rider. Let’s have a look at what that involves.

When you log in to Zwift you can select your world (Watopia, or whatever’s in the guest slot) from the main screen. Under that there’s a ‘Ride Type’ section which defaults to ‘Just Ride’, but if you click on the ‘Training’ button just below you’ll be introduced to the world of workouts.

There’s a wealth of different types of session in the system. Whatever you’re training for, you should be able to find a whole range of sessions to suit you, and the workouts are grouped into different categories to help you find one that’ll work for your goals.

Zwift structured training 6.jpg

FTP first

The first thing you should complete is an FTP test. FTP stands for Functional Threshold Power and it’s a widely-used measure of your ability as a cyclist. Nominally it’s the power you could hold for an hour, but most FTP tests involve holding the maximum power you can for 20 minutes and taking 95% of that as your FTP. There’s also a ramp test where it just gets harder and harder to ride to the specified power until you can’t do it any more, and then your FTP is calculated on your best one-minute power. They tend to give quite similar results, but you may find one easier than the other.

Why is it important to do an FTP test first? Well, all the workouts on Zwift work by moving you through different periods of effort, and all the efforts are calculated as a percentage of your FTP. So you might be asked to ride for five minutes at 85% of your FTP, or for a minute at 110%. The training system uses relative values like this because everyone’s ability is different. My FTP is around 300W, so if a training session asked me to ride at a specific power, say 300W for five minutes, I’d find it a decent effort, but easily achievable. If your FTP was 400W you’d find that too easy; if it was 200W you’d probably never make it to the end. But at 100% of FTP everyone gets a similar workout.

Once you know your FTP every single workout is tailored to your fitness. You can pick and choose the sessions you want to do, or if you want something a bit more regular and considered, you can sign up to one of Zwift’s training plans.

Zwift structured training 2.jpg

Training plans

If you’re committing to spending some serious training time indoors then working to a plan can help you to keep focused and work towards a goal. Within Zwift there are a number of plans you can add to your account that will help you in pursuit of a specific cycling goal. Here’s what you can currently pick from:

  • Active offseason - a mix of big days and plenty of easy rides to help you keep your fitness topped up until the new season starts
  • Build me up - A structured 10-12 week plan for riders who are tight on time; a good one to kick-start the season
  • Crit crusher - Designed to build your fitness at specific intensities to help you cope with the demands of crits or other high-intensity racing, leg cyclo-cross
  • FTP Builder - Upgrade your aerobic ability in just four sessions a week
  • Fondo - A low-commitment plan (only three hours a week) designed to hone your skills for the long ride
  • Gran Fondo - A higher intensity plan that’s the next step up from the Fondo: take it to the next level
  • Gravel Grinder - Gravel’s even made it to Zwift training plans! A 5-8 week plan to get you ready for your next gravel event
  • Multisport mixer - A plan with a mixture of cycling and run sessions aimed at triathletes, which can be completed in or out of season
  • TT tune up - Six workouts a week focused on riding against the clock: a great way to get your season off to a flyer
  • Zwift 101 - A five-session starter plan to introduce you to structured training on Zwift

If you’re new to structured training then the Zwift 101 plan is a great low-commitment introduction, at only a couple of hours a week. I’m a third-cat crit racer (not a very good one) so I’m interested in plans that will make me better at that. The Crit Crusher plan looks like the right kind of thing. It’s only 4 hours a week, which I can probably keep to, and it’s “building up my war chest of physiological tools needed for race day”. Ideal.

Zwift structured training 3.jpg

You can click on the plan to view a summary: it’ll show you the workload over the weeks and you can see all the individual sessions too.

If you decide to go for it you can adjust the length of the plan to suit you. The standard duration for this one is eight weeks, but if I was targeting a race 6 weeks from now I could tailor it so that I’m tapering at the right time.

Zwift structured training 4.jpg

Once you’ve done that, you’re ready! Next time you log on, Zwift will automatically offer you the next session in the plan. Each session is available for a time window of a few days, so it’s fairly flexible. I just need to work through all of them and eight weeks from now I’ll be bossing the front of the race! Maybe.

Zwift structured training 9.jpg

Riding a structured session

Riding a structured session is simple enough. The display on the screen changes to show you your target power and also your target cadence, if one is set. If you’re above or below the target you’ll get a message telling you to pick it up, or ease off. The top display will also show you how much of your current interval you have left.

Down the left hand side of the screen you’ll see a colour-coded list of all the intervals you’ll work through: grey is recovery, blue easy, green tempo, yellow threshold and red is maximal efforts. You’ll see a star by each completed interval if Zwift in its wisdom decides you’ve made a decent enough job of it!

If you’re using the Zwift companion app then there’s a dedicated workout screen on that too, which gives you an easy-to-read power meter, time remaining in the interval, and what’s coming up.

Zwift structured training 7.jpg

The ERG effect

If you’re riding a smart trainer that’s capable of controlling resistance, then you can ride in ERG mode. This makes workouts even easier: you just have to pedal, and the app and trainer will combine to alter the resistance to keep you on the target power. That’s one less thing to worry about! If you don’t have an ERG-enabled trainer then it’s up to you to make sure your power stays on target. No slacking now!

Tacx Neo 2

New to this? Here are five top training tips

Make a plan: even if you’re not going to follow a specific training plan in Zwift, make sure you’re committed to what you’re doing. Set yourself a goal of a certain number of sessions per week, or riding on specific days, and make sure you keep to it.

Just get on: Sometimes you won’t feel like training at all, but if you just commit to getting on the trainer and starting a session, the chances are you’ll finish it. Even if you don’t, you’ll still have done something!

Don’t be afraid to dial it back: There will be times when a session just feels too difficult. Zwift’s workout mode gives you the option to change the intensity of the workout: don’t be afraid to knock it down a few percent. Sometimes dropping from 100% to 97% will be the difference you need to make it to the end.

Get some tunes: Having some music to listen to can take your mind off the pain, and on longer intervals it also helps you to break up the work into shorter sections. Can you make it to the end of this song?


Join a group workout: Training can be a bit lonely, even on Zwift. Mix it up by finding a group workout in the events calendar and adding that in. You get to ride in a bunch and the rubber band effect means that everyone stays together, no matter what their FTP

So that’s the basics: if you want to use your indoor training time to get fitter in a more structured way then workouts on Zwift give you the opportunity to set your goals and work towards them. Time to get busy...

This article includes paid promotion on behalf of Zwift


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Recommend a training plan on Zwift

Originally Posted by zacsterView Post

I agree that The Sufferfest programs and videos push you a lot harder. Zwift is great for casual riding, groups, even racing if you are into that, but as a training program I never could find something I could stick to. The problem with Sufferfest is that the videos do start to get repetitive. They are definitely corny but they do keep you motivated. The strongest I've ever been on a bike by far was after a winter of Sufferfest with only a smattering of Zwift rides. I should add that the Sufferfest training I did was with their own produced videos. I don't find the rest of the stuff they've put on in the last year to be as good at keeping you involved even if they are good training and staying involved is about 3/4 the battle.

Long, and just what my gripes with Zwift plans/workouts and most indoor dedicated platforms:

It's whatever floats your boat. To say that any one program is easier or harder is to totally not understand structured training.

If you've tested properly and chosen targets properly, then most plans will present challenge. I can surely set you up on a horribly painful Zwift plan if the ftp is setup honestly.

The problem with Zwift training plans is that they were written by morons. A lot of the plans have too many days in a row, or per week, of zones 4,5,6 in a 6 zone system. To truly perform in those zones you have to have some level of form available (TSB isn't in the floor negative). When these plans put stuff like 30/30's and under overs and all this stuff 3x or 4x a wind up underperforming on all of them.

Ideally, week to week in a plan I'd say most folks can handle two "hard" days.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that they often don't have hardly any off days. To build fitness you need rest days also.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that time-wise they are uninterruptible in a linear fashion. You cannot revisit a workout you skipped because you had a lovely winter day. If you write your own plans, or a coach does, or use a different usually can "push" the plan's end date out if it doesn't bump into a targeted race.

Next issue with Zwift training plans is that a LOT of the individual workouts are trash. When you do structured training, the point is to target specific parts of your fitness. Not smatter every single possible zone into the same workout at the same time. Zwift does this likely to keep people interested in the workout mentally. Sometimes the best structured training workouts do tend to be boring or repetitive. If you want to maximize time spent in Z5, why would you design a workout with 10min spent in Z4 during the workout? Some of their workouts look like they gave a kinder student a sheet of paper and some crayons.

The glorious part though is you can write your own workouts or plans and push them to Zwift. Then still enjoy the free-ride and racing aspects. Free-ride your Z2 and Z1 workouts. Or, be smart and if you're doing some 2x20 do repeats up Epic KOM during a free-ride.

I would tend to say a combo of Zwift, Trainingpeaks, and a then either write your own or buy a plan once in a while to push into Zwift when you need indoors workouts. Also lots of good books with plans and workouts in them out there.

I don't like the inflexibility of the dominantly indoor training plans. I like to push the workouts to the indoor trainer, not have the indoor trainer lasso me and tie me up. I respect that flexibility.

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