Early in 2020, Monica (my wife) and I were chatting about fitness goals for the new year. After setting a goal of riding 5 days a week for the first three months of the year, Monica upped the stakes even more: she asked me to create a plan for her to ride all of Zwift’s routes in 90 days.
It sounded like a fun challenge, so I dove in. And what you see here is the result, although it’s been updated since its initial release to account for new routes.
The route list can be found here.
The schedule was last updated August 25, 2021, but is no longer being maintained, since it’s a pain to re-juggle the schedule each time Zwift releases a new route.
How It Works
The schedule is now outdated, since we haven’t been updating it to account for new route releases.
When it was last updated, there were 92 “free-ridable” routes on Zwift. (There are many other “event-only” routes available, but we’re leaving these off the list since they are event-dependant, don’t give you a route completion badge, and are not included in the Zwift Insider Route Hunter Leaderboards.)
I broke the routes into 5 groups, roughly based on difficulty as described by the number of water bottles (bidons) you may need to finish the route:
Once we had that list, I organized it into a progressive schedule of 60 rides. (That is 12 weeks of 5 rides per week, or you can complete it in under 9 weeks if you ride every day.)
The schedule doesn’t tell you specifically which route to ride, until the very end when we’re on the hardest routes Zwift has to offer. Instead, it will have you choose a route from the list based on bidon count – so you may need to select a 2-bidon route for the day, or a 4-bidon route, or perhaps 2 different 1-bidon routes.
This gives you the flexibility to choose routes you want to ride, especially since some won’t be available based on the guest world calendar if you’re not interested in world hacking.
Recovery Is Essential
The schedule begins with easy efforts, having you ride just one or two of the easy 1 bidon routes per day. The idea here is that even a beginning cyclist could take on this challenge.
But as it builds to the 3 bidon routes, we intersperse difficult rides with recovery rides, so your body can properly recover. Remember: you don’t get stronger while you ride, you get stronger afterward when your body recovers! So take it easy on the recovery days so your body can be ready for the harder rides.
The Final Five
The final 5 hard rides of the schedule are Zwift’s toughest routes:
Make sure you are well-hydrated and stocked with necessary nutrition before you take these rides on, as they will take you anywhere from 3-6+ hours to complete.
Get the Files
Here are two printable PDFs to help you with this challenge. You’ll need them both!
- List of Zwift Routes by Difficulty: check off each route as you complete it, so you don’t double up your efforts!
- 60-Ride Schedule: work your up from easier rides to tougher challenges with this schedule of 60 rides. That’s 5 rides a week for 12 weeks!
She Did It!
On April 10, 2020, Monica completed the the Couch to Route Hero challenge! She began on January 5th.
Read her weekly progress posts >
Questions or Comments?
Thoughts on the schedule? Thinking of taking on the challenge? Comment below!
Brilliant idea. I love these sort of challenges! As soon as the route badges were released I started ticking them off and now just have 4 left to do. It’s been hard work!! Shame there is no public sharing of how we are all progressing.
would be great to have stickers for the bikes or a jersey like the movember that you can have the badges. LIke the Jeep Badge of Honor you can get.
Now I’m picturing riding with a sash of merit badges, a la The Boy Scouts. 🙂
that would be awesome
This is fantastic! Thank you! I had already started keeping track of those badges I had, but I didn’t have a plan of which I would attack first. Happy New Year!
FYI, I just updated the schedule to make the final few weeks more manageable. Makes sure you grab the new PDF.
I created a Google spreadsheet here try copying it your drive.
Hey Nathan. Thanks – exactly what I was going to do.
Thanks Nathan, I was actually going to do this. not as neatly as you did 😉
These plans are truly a thing of beauty. Thank you! One thing that might them even more useful would be to have the rides highlighted for the colour of the world; i.e. pink for NY, blue for London, etc.
Hi – day 55 says Ride London’s London’s on my copy?
I believe that is “The PRL Full”
Fixed! Thanks for the heads up.
FYI, I just updated the schedule to make the final few weeks more manageable. Makes sure you grab the new PDF.
unrelated, your name is 70% my name.
Wow, that would be a challenge for me to complete the last two weeks.
Agreed. After I published this I went on ride outside, and while I was spinning away I had an epiphany, realizing how I could reshuffle the schedule to make it work better in those final weeks.
I’ve updated the PDF accordingly. Makes sure you grab the new one!
Thanks Eric, that check list is very useful, I had been working my way through all the routes but didn’t really have and easy way of ticking them off. That doc is just the job.
Super idea and the organization you provide is awesome. On at least three occasions I’ve completed a route (verified using Strava, no manual turns) and have not received the badge. Will she count the route completed should this happen to her? Hope it doesn’t but I would. Perhaps it would be smart to save Dust in the Wind for as late as practical since others have reported the same on that route. I’ve completed Everything Bagel twice without earning that badge.
I think she’ll count it as completed, for the purposes of the challenge. Hopefully Zwift will get these bugs fixed pronto!
I completed the Quatch Quest before Christmas and got no badge 🙁
At least it wasn’t the Uber Pretzel!
Yeah same here. No badge for Quatch Quest recently 🙁
I’ve found that on some routes (royal pump room 8, the high line might be two) the route starts after the banner meaning you have to complete two laps. I’m not sure if a u turn past the banner and then a u turn to complete the route will get the badge.
Took your master list of courses and ticked off the easy ones. The new list is perfect if you are only starting now. Thank you for all the hard work maintaining this site.
Wow, thanks for this list.
I can only say I love you sir for this idea!!!!!! You’re a true master and this shows why they picked the right man and woman to collaborate a carrot, a goal, and fitness into a great undertaking of crazy
This is really great! What’s the best method for completing multiple routes at once? Do you have to split it into two separate rides? Thanks!
Yes, I would split it into multiple rides (that is, restart Zwift) because:
1) if you don’t, you won’t get the route achievement badge
2) you need to choose the new route so it’ll auto-navigate for ya
Zwift needs to fix this. Exiting the game to change route is not acceptable
Great idea, and duly ambitious! Be careful though… Did Quatch Quest (a tough one!) and didn’t get credit. Wrote to Zwift and they said they were aware of some glitches in the Badging code. (and that they couldn’t manually award the badge using the .fit file as proof). This just happened over the last two weeks, so unless something changed asap, that could be a bummer when trying to ‘bag the badges’… Good luck!
Super useful, thanks. I’ll Naver make 5 rides a week but nice to have the list.
Already 15 Achievements under my belt…40 to go?
I added it up and it looks like 31,328m of climbing to get them all. Great way to get most of a Tron Bike too. With what I have left to do, I’ll be at 90%.
Thanks for the downloads.
Could you also post the Google sheet of these .PDF?
I did get credit Quatch Quest on Dec 31st. It was brutal, I that was even doing it via workouts.
Fantastic resource Eric. I often do my structured ZA workouts up the Alpe, but useful to widen the routes to tick some of these off.
This is awesome. Care to do one for the running routes? 🙂
Fantastic idea and work. I love it. but have many routes to ride :-). Good training
Great idea Eric, I’m certainly going to give it a go. Thank you for your efforts in creating this schedule
Love it! Defo doing this, been looking for inspiration and motivation, this maybe it! Thanks for doing this
He doesn’t agree with my results :). 4 ALPE water bottles? On the way I would have to stand on pee 2x :). I used 4 water bottles at the 160km 3300m UP race.
Would also say 4 Bottles/Bidons would be overkill for the Road to Sky, i use 2 bottles/Bidons or a little less on a trip up and down. 🙂
I tried to air on the side of caution with the Bidon count. Remember–it takes some rides 90+ minutes just to climb the Alpe!
Can you post a chart/table grouped by World? That may make it easier to select routes based on the Guest World Calendar. Thanks!
This is exactly what I have been looking for. It seems like every moth runners world was a “couch to running a marathon in 3 months” comprehensive training plan but finding a couch to anything biking plan requires hiring some.
I have not ridden in 5 months and I look forward to precisely this.
Hi Eric! Thank you for a great challenge. Me and my wife did RAZ two years ago and this seems like the perfect way to kickstart 2020. 🙂 I just wonder about a few routes that confuse us. I remember that, when doing RAZ, we had to ride 5.5 and 7.7 km respectively to achieve the Volcano loops because of lead-in and to complete a full lap even if the distance stated in Zwift is about 4 km. We are looking at Lutscher and Lutscher CCW which are 13.7 km and 401 height meters but in your checklist they are… Read more »
Yeah, both Lutschers have a long (and hard!) lead in, up to the top of the Innsbruck KOM. That lead in isn’t included in Zwift’s distance number as I recall.
So you have to do the lead in up to the KOM, then do the full loop back up the KOM a second time, to get the badge. At least, that’s how it SHOULD work–I haven’t tested it myself since badges came out!
Thank you for your answer Eric!
That just means more and better training 🙂
I’ll start the challenge tomorrow!
Yep I did Lutscher last night, and I got the badge at the top of the KOM the 2nd time through.
Great work, this is awesome! Any chance you could organize group rides targeting the six hardest rides so we don’t have to attempt them by ourselves?
Monica and I were discussing doing some group rides around this. We’ll see how it unfolds, but if we DO decide to organize them, we’ll certainly announce it here on Zwift Insider.
This is great – I had been trying to cobble something like this together myself. Thanks Eric!
Thank you, my goal will be to ride them all in 2020, challenging enough for me 😉
This is so useful. Thank you! One of my pet peeves about Zwift is the disconnect between the virtual incentives offered and the UI to track progress and select your plan for the day.
Should the highline bump up to 2 bidons for the lead in? Otherwise it’s 300m of climbing for one bidon!
Fantastic resource. I have been doing this for weeks now. Only thing that drives nuts is that some of the routes are actually longer than what zwift says it is, I did tick tock today and it was almost 20kms instead of the 16 it says when you sing in, I was a little late to work because of that! Would be amazing to update the list with correct distances.
This is awesome!! Thanks Eric!!!
Love this and it feeds my need to ticking off those boxes for badges! Awesome work, as always
A very useful set of columns for this might be average times for each route based on certain WKg average (2.0, 2.5, 3.0, etc). That would help people figure out which routes will fit into the allotted time they have for a workout, especially when it comes to the longest ones, where “between 3 and 6 hours” leaves a lot of wiggle room… I take a look at zwiftpower results to figure it out, but having a one stop shop would be great. Keep up the good work!
I found a Zwift Predictor today for exactly this scenario. It is available through an app called ‘Open as App’ on Google Play/Appstore. You can input your data and it will give you a predicted time. It needs a bit of playing around with, I think. As an example I tried inputting previous data to see if it was accurate. I completed Innsbruck-Lutscher in around 1:25, with an average of 190W. Inputting 190W gave me a predicted time of 57 minutes at my weight and height. It might be I am missing something in order to maximise the accuracy. Watch… Read more »
Happy Zwift Year !!!
Thank you for the Routes List. I try to do my own list last week 😉 Howerver, I do not find “Gotham Grind” in the list.
That’s an event-only route, so it doesn’t give you a badge since it can’t be free-ridden.
Fab idea and just starting only following the routes and trying for one per day- So i did 1 bidon last night and it did not stop at the 1-9 miles – do people get a bagde for every route that is On the list.
You only get badges for the routes we’ve listed. Other routes are “event-only” routes, which don’t give badges.
The excitement experienced upon finding the checklist… #kidatchristmasmoment Been doing phone photos of the Badges page. This is so much more elegant! Thanks Eric!!!
soo… if I completed a badge in 2019 and now would like to be anal and follow your list of badges for 2020 will the badge achievement come across the screen even though I’ve already completed that particular one? I am guessing I will only get confirmation ONE time no matter how many more times I may do that route.
You can only earn a badge once, so if you’ve already earned it you won’t see a confirmation come up the second time.
that’s what I figured. thanks for the lists!!
This is fantastic!!! My teenage son is going to love this!! He’ll be back zwifting after soccer and tennis season are done this spring, and he will love this checklist of accomplishments!!!
Thanks Eric for this, I had a similar one going but yours has more detail. I’ve converted the .PDF to an Excel spreadsheet and marked which ones I need to collect the badges for and also to complete for the Veloviewer table!
Another possible addition, a checkbox for whether or not a route can be completed in an event? Easy example from this morning, went to ride Watopia Figure 8 in an event, then realized we immediately turned CW out of the pens onto the circuit and skipped the start banner, so assumed we wouldn’t get credit, and quit/restarted to ride solo (which is obviously less fun). Was going to ride a long Big Foothills event tomorrow and it’s a bit vague on whether from the pens plus lead in will end up getting credit…
For those curious Big Foothills did count via an event, since the pens were earlier than the rock arch start/finish. 128 min ride at 2.0-2.5.
Excellent resource!! Thank you for doing this.
Thanks for this! Super helpful resource!
Thanks for sharing these Eric. Im new to Zwift and looking forward to working my way through this list. Good man!
I’m using this to track mine. I rode Dust in the Wind yesterday and it really was a 3 Bidon ride! I drank 3 Bidon’s during my ride. I noted that the elevation was higher and distance less than what is listed on master list. My distance was 52.6km and elevation was 582m. Spawn point may have been changed but not sure how I would end up with more climbing. Either way….I stopped at top of climb toward the Jungle before descent started and put my avatar on gravel bike…then on the way out stopped again and put her back… Read more »
I would have loved to do this! Just saw it today. Maybe I’ll see what I can do between now and then and try to catch up
Love it, thank you for putting this all together Eric.
Brilliant! New to Zwift and planning to use this into springtime. To better facilitate scheduling (worlds), resorting, and making notes, I exported Eric’s fine document into Excel but don’t think I can upload in comments. Will email… DK
Thanks for putting this info together!!
How come Watopia’s Waistband (and possibly The Magnificent 8) isn’t included in Veloviewers Route Hunter under Rebel Routes?
Both of those are event-only routes. Watopia’s Waistband began as a Rebel Route, then Zwift added it as an official route in game.
I converted it into a nifty Excel spreadsheet as well, making a few changes like adding separate columns for metric and english distances and elevations, and the totals of those, as well as the totals for all the bonus eXperience Points…If you would like to download the file, I will post it on the Bear Mountaineers Facebook group page. The Bear Mountaineers are a Zwift club I ride with regularly, especially on the weekends.
Thanks for the list, amazing work!
Some route badges still seem to be buggy as mentioned on zwift forum https://forums.zwift.com/t/multiple-badges-still-not-working/181416
Please consider upvoting this topic