Zwift Academy Road Begins: Learn About Workouts, Group Rides, and Races

Zwift Academy Road Begins: Learn About Workouts, Group Rides, and Races

Zwift Academy Road for men and women launched today, October 1st. Here are the details on what it takes to graduate from this year’s academy, plus more information on the workouts, group rides, and races involved.

Graduation Requirements

The following requirements must be met by November 25th in order to complete Zwift Academy Road:

  • Complete all eight Workouts (individually or with a group)
  • Complete four other events, which can be any combination of Zwift Academy group Rides, Segment Group Rides, or Races
    • Competing for the pro contract? You must complete two Segment Group Rides and both races for your four additional events.

Workouts

Structured workouts form the heart of Zwift Academy, with each workout accomplishing very specific training/testing goals and lasting approximately 1 hour.

You must complete all 8 Zwift Academy 2020 workouts in order to complete the program.

These workouts can be completed individually by selecting the workout within Zwift. They can also be completed by participating in a group workout event. Lastly, if you want to do the workout with a few choice friends, you can organize a Meetup and have everyone select the same workout (more on that here).

Zwift and the Academy coaches have created helpful homepages for each of the 8 workouts. Each page includes a written description, video intro from the coach, and a place to sign up for a group workout:

  1. Aerobic Power (men’s link, women’s link)
  2. Sprint Profile (men’s link, women’s link)
  3. VO2 Capacity (men’s link, women’s link)
  4. Anaerobic Resilience (men’s link, women’s link)
  5. Primed FTP (men’s link, women’s link)
  6. Alternative Sprints (men’s link, women’s link)
  7. VO2 Development (men’s link, women’s link)
  8. Anaerobic Depletion (men’s link, women’s link)

Group Rides

Group rides are the most social events on the Zwift Academy calendar. There are two categories to choose from: men’s group rides are at (A) 2.2-2.7 w/kg and (B) 1.7-2.2 w/kg, while women’s group rides are at (A) 1.7-2.2 w/kg and (B) 1.2-1.7 w/kg. Choose the pace that suits you best, then enjoy riding with others.

The rides are led by volunteers from the Zwift community, and last 45 minutes. Groups are separated by gender, and everyone wears the Zwift Academy kit for the duration of the ride. The ride fence is used to keep riders together, and late join is allowed.

Group rides will be scheduled on the following routes and dates:

Segment Group Rides

Segment group rides are a new event type debuting at Zwift Academy 2020. They aren’t available to ride just yet, though: it appears these will be on the calendar from Oct 22-Nov 25.

The idea behind segment rides is to go all-out on particular segments during a live group ride in order to test your power over different lengths of time. The ride descriptions explain how it works and where the segments are on course. Presumably, we’ll see some on-screen prompts as well! Click below for details:

If you’re competing for the pro contract, you must complete two segment group rides as part of your Zwift Academy experience.

Races

Races will run from Oct 22-Nov 25, just like the segment rides. These are non-categorized events, although the Richmond race uses categories to let Zwifters choose between longer and shorter versions.

If you’re competing for the pro contract, you must complete both races as part of your Zwift Academy experience.

Looking for More?

For details on all things Academy, check out the men’s and women’s Zwift Academy homepages over on zwift.com.

Questions or Comments?

Post below!

About The Author

Eric Schlange

Eric runs Zwift Insider in his spare time when he isn't on the bike or managing various business interests. He lives in Northern California with his beautiful wife, two kids and dog. Follow on Strava

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
76 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Harry
Harry (@harrytozer505)
5 months ago

Thanks. I was struggling to get my head around it

Philgrum
Philgrum
5 months ago

How do we track all of the various elements? Pen and paper or will there be a helpful tracker on the companion app? (please NOT “in game” as I don’t really want to go through that faff of logging on just to see what’s needs completing)

Christian
Christian
5 months ago
Reply to  Philgrum

On the Zwift Website when logged in you get to see on the Academy page what you‘ve finished and what‘s left. Not visible in Companion yet for me

Ross
Ross (@arkeele)
5 months ago
Reply to  Philgrum

If you are logged in to Zwift, you can also find your progress at this link:

https://zwift.com/zaroadmens

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  Ross

Interesting… I’ve signed up for – and completed – my ZA sessions so far via Companion but when I look at those same sessions at that link, there’s no indication I’ve completed them. This, coupled with no kit or bike unlock in my Garage suggests to me there’s a disconnect between /how/ someone signs up for or joins a session and whether they get credit for it. Going to keep poking around, but I smell some bugs…

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Just got off chat with support as I seem to have tripped over a multitude of problems. Definitely some bugs on the web side preventing the progress block from showing (Mac Chrome and Safari anyway). That coupled with the known bug preventing progress display in the Companion app, we’re flying blind till these are fixed … or just have to go old-school paper and pencil 🙂

anonymous
anonymous
5 months ago

For some reason some riders are getting the kit and the bike after completing one workout, I completed a workout but received nothing. Do you have any info on this? Doesn’t seem very fair that some riders got it after doing only one workout…

Mac Weelz
Mac Weelz (@wongsol)
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

After the workout, save and exit and start a new ride. You should receive everything then.

Jeroen
Jeroen
5 months ago
Reply to  Mac Weelz

That happened yesterday indeed. Today everything is gone again. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  Mac Weelz

Tried that a few times over the last couple days, still no goods :/

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

Fwiw, I completed my second ZA session (Workout #1 yesterday, Group ride A today) and still no kit or bike unlock, even after saving, exiting and signing in later to check. I figure maybe it has to do with the first “award” unlock happening at 25% upon completing three sessions… we’ll see.

Anyway, a little bit of a bummer to finish the ride and have the group go by all in their ZA kits while I revert back to ‘just’ my MAAP one…

Tim Schneider
Tim Schneider (@tasmobile)
5 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Seeing others in the previous ride kit after an event is just how the game renders the other riders avatars. They don’t have the kit. This is just like in any other group ride with designated kit.

Andrei
Andrei (@aistratov)
4 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Yes, I got a blue cap after completing 3 events, two workouts and one group ride.

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago
Reply to  anonymous

Found this at Zwift Support: “We are aware of a bug where some members are completing the first workout in Zwift Academy and unlocking the completion kit and bike.

WorkaroundThe unearned unlock bug has been corrected. Riders will now be able to unlock items as they progress through the program.”

Which sounds to me like early ZA riders got lucky, and the rest of us are going to have to wait for the kit/bike unlocks.

https://support.zwift.com/en_us/zwift-academy-known-issues-rkgsNFGIw

Kevin L
Kevin L (@kevin)
5 months ago

Small error in the group ride cats: **2.2-2.7** w/kg and 1.7-2.2 w/kg. 

Kelley
Kelley (@kwegeng)
5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Women’s ride choices are “1.2-1.7w/kg and 1.7-2.2w/kg” at least according to https://zwift.com/academy/zaroadwomens/groupride1. It may be worth noting this difference as well.

Kelley
Kelley (@kwegeng)
5 months ago

Women have to go to the Women’s Academy homepage on Zwift.com and then go to the individual women-specific workouts and sign up for group workouts from there. Only men can sign up for workouts on the individual pages linked here.

Andrei Istratov
Andrei Istratov (@aistratov)
5 months ago

Thank you very much, Eric. Zwift so far has been a total failure in communicating to Zwifters what they should expect and when. They should be embarrassed. Do you know anything about Today’s Plan? Zwift announced that it will be free for Academy participants, but did not care to disclose how to sign up for these two free months.

Andrei
Andrei (@aistratov)
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thank you!

jose
jose
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

As a daily athlete whose goal is to stay in shape and underweight, without reaching big time marks, may I be interested in joining or having the advice of todays plan?

Dmitry Perchanov
Dmitry Perchanov (@dmitry-perchanov)
5 months ago

I signed for today’s plan for free month about two month ago and now it opened with some features from ZA statistics

Harry
Harry (@harrytozer505)
5 months ago

Do you know if there is a requirement (number of stars) to complete the workout and make it count

Tim Schneider
Tim Schneider (@tasmobile)
5 months ago
Reply to  Harry

You need to complete at least 75% of the workout to get credit for that particular workout.

Alex
Alex
5 months ago

I’m kinda confused by the Segment Group Rides. If you’re supposed to go all out, that means it’s basically a race, right?

Hayden Isaacs
Hayden Isaacs
5 months ago

Hi, is there a specific/scientific structure and timings to the workouts? Which one should I do first? Which workout coincides with which races etc? Ideally I would like to follow the best possible plan. Has this been communicated anywhere?

Hayden Isaacs
Hayden Isaacs
5 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Thanks Eric!

K4m1k4z3
K4m1k4z3 (@vitek-holubovsky)
5 months ago

How does one LEAVE the academy? 🤔

Andrei
Andrei (@aistratov)
4 months ago
Reply to  K4m1k4z3

It is like Hotel California. You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave 🙂
Why do you need to leave it? You are not required to finish it, it expires in November.

Jeff
Jeff (@jeffrey-bristow)
5 months ago

What are the unlocks for completing the Academy?

Chris Ovenden
Chris Ovenden (@cdovenden)
5 months ago

In terms of the rides, it looks like there are 4 stamps that will get filled in as you do either group rides, segment rides, or races. If you want to compete for a contract do you need to avoid the group rides (so that your ‘stamps’ come from the segments and races)? Or can you do as many group rides, segments and races as you want? (Not that I have any hope of a contract of course!)

Stephen de Souza
Stephen de Souza
5 months ago

Eric, having done the first workout, the implication is that the last 8 minute “free-ride” is some sort of FTP test. How do I actually get the result of the test. I can see what my average power for that interval was, but should I be translating it into a revised FTP? Thanks

Iain callaghan
Iain callaghan
5 months ago

Good question is like to know this as well

Ryan
Ryan
5 months ago

Same question… seeing that average power over the segment was a nice validation of the FTP value I’ve been working with (set from a recent Ramp test) but for all the hype during the session, it seemed to go nowhere.

Sam Crofts
Sam Crofts (@sam-crofts)
5 months ago

Yes I came here looking an answer to this same question?? I doubt any results from that 8min effort would be very good for me since I was pretty toasted by that point but I guess that was the idea! Be nice to know!

C.Mogensen
C.Mogensen
5 months ago

Same thoughts too. I did the workout with an FTP probably set a bit too high and I was toast before the last 8 min effort. If I had set the FTP 50-100W too low intentionally I would have cruised through the first part and probably killed the last effort, resulting in a much higher average FTP. Any thoughts??

Andrei
Andrei (@aistratov)
4 months ago
Reply to  C.Mogensen

I found somewhere on Zwift that you can redo your workouts.

Tim Schneider
Tim Schneider (@tasmobile)
5 months ago

I understand they are looking to see your ability to maintain a strong aerobic effort during that 8-minute effort after depletion of your anaerobic reserves during the prior segments. The ride description says they are looking to see an effort of 105-110% over your FTP during that effort if you are an elite rider. I think they expect you to know your FTP already and be able to pace accordingly during this segment.

Dikran Yapoujian
Dikran Yapoujian
4 months ago
Reply to  Tim Schneider

You’re right but I think they said that their workout fully depleted us of anaerobic capacity (or something like that) and suggested the 8 minute test following those intervals was more accurate than a 20 minute test… then proceeded to not give us the results.

Andrei
Andrei (@aistratov)
4 months ago

Same here. Their workouts feel like tests for selection of the best cyclist from those competing for a contract. Indeed, they do not provide any information after the test. But who knows, maybe they will computer-generate something at the very end that is similar to 4D assessment from The Sufferfest. It would be better if they had explained it before the Academy started. These are still interesting workouts to go through because they have elements of unconstrained effort, without prescribed power, which one rarely sees in standard Zwift workouts. So far, I completed two of them.

Andrew Hudson
Andrew Hudson
4 months ago

Following this as well as I thought it would’ve come up with and FTP to use for the next workouts.

Steve J
Steve J
4 months ago

I’m glad it’s not just me. I was wondering why after having done the max 8 mins effort it didn’t show me where I’m at, absolutely no feedback on your effort. I think my FTP in Zwift is about right, but surely the point of this is using a workout like that to test where you actually are? I did workout 2 and again no feedback. Obvs Zwift gets the data and I’m fine with that, just would like to have it also given I’m putting in the effort! Made me wonder why I’m doing it instead of other structured… Read more »

Dyan
Dyan
4 months ago

Same here! i get the academy is for youngster going for the contracts however, for the rest of us it would be good to get some feedback on the efforts.

Jim Newton
Jim Newton
4 months ago

Hi, I’ve completed WO 1, but would love to be able to schedule the next few workouts. Why can’t i see the dates / times for those coming up?

Jim P.
Jim P.
4 months ago
Reply to  Jim Newton

https://zwifthacks.com/app/events/

shows events for the next few days. The following link uses “WO #” in the Name filter.

https://zwifthacks.com/app/events/?key=5f7bb6fe75d68

Rinie Sminia
Rinie Sminia
4 months ago

Hi, yestetday I finished the first workout in a groupride. The figures didn’t corresponded with the ride. My figures afterwards were quite different (lower) than presented on the screen during the ride (I took every star). Even some parts of the workout same to be switched with another part (for instance a part on FTP-level was switched with the cool down). What is happening? Any idea? Thx for your reply
Rinie

Bart
Bart
4 months ago

Hi Eric,
I was not aware of the rules and I have completed the ZA ride. I want to give a try on the contract competition. Once the races will be open, will I have a chance to overwrite the ride in the additional 4 events?
Thanks.
Bart

Craig Levine
Craig Levine
4 months ago

After the first workout in Academy how do we know what our FTP setting should be?

Pete
Pete
4 months ago
Reply to  Craig Levine

If I’ve understood correctly, your FTP should be in the range of 0.909X to 1.053X , where X is your average power for the 8min free ride interval in the workout.

Martin Gill
Martin Gill
4 months ago

If I do the Anaerobic Segment Ride A (3 Sisters with Volcano Finish) and carry on after the Volcano would I be able to get the 3 Sisters Route badge? Am assuming not but would be nice to know.

Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  Martin Gill

Yes you do

Pete
Pete
4 months ago

Looking at the listed events in the companion app & on ZwiftHacks, it seems Zwift have scheduled ZA races for both men & women, but ZA group rides are scheduled for women only. Can anyone confirm if that’s correct, or am I missing something? Presumably it’s an oversight & there should be some group rides for the men also.

Oli
Oli
4 months ago

Do we have any information in the kit unlocks at this time? There appears to be a cap, socks, jersey and bike but no info on how to get them.

jose
jose
4 months ago

¿cómo identifico combinación de viajes en grupo de Zwift Academy, viajes en grupo de segmentos o carreras?

Kate
Kate
4 months ago

Are there any extra XP points for doing the Academy?

David Jones
David Jones (@david-jones150)
4 months ago

Eric, 1 for your weekly Q&A.
I never understand why they don’t provide more detailed results from the workout (i.e. if you have just done a workout testing 1 min power, couldn’t Zwift provide a summary at the end of the ride and on the Zwift Academy website?

Darren Miller
Darren Miller
4 months ago
Reply to  David Jones

Yep, they have the data, but it doesn’t get fed back. Where do you stack up against others? So I just end up looking in Strava and on intervals.icu to analyse outputs. I did a segment ride last night, but you get zero data on how you are performing in game, except for your current power and HR. The KOM climb on Innsbruck course, had no elapsed time, avg power or comparison to others just a final time once you go under the banner, but this isn’t then visible once you have saved the rides (unless you screenshot it?).

Joris
Joris
4 months ago

The first race is already behind us, and the first segment ride will run form October 17th ’till the 21st. Maybe time to update this post? Because it still states that both races and segment rides will only begin the 22nd.
All in all, I think the communication on zwift’s behalf regarding the schedule for the whole acadamy could be so, so much better… It’s quite annoying how little and how late they share with the community for events like these.

Sam j
Sam j
4 months ago

Does it matter what bike you use for individual ZA workouts? I’m using the standard Zwift TT bike, I’m happy to work hard if it does matter (that’s the point of the workouts!) just intererested to see if it does make any difference? Thanks…

Sam J
Sam J
4 months ago
Reply to  Eric Schlange

Great. Thank Eric! 😊

Ed Pearce
Ed Pearce
4 months ago

i can’t seem to enter Le Renie race, I’m unable to make any selections.
many one else have this? Any reason for it?

Sonya Bryson
Sonya Bryson
4 months ago

I have 2 questions. I’m quite new to zwift so still getting used to how the functionality works. I tried to do the first workout as the academy suggests to do them in order but it’s not available. Perhaps I’m too late? Will I be able to complete the ftp session another time?
Second question, I registered for the sprint session but couldn’t find the instruction anywhere, ie, 10 min warm up, 4 mins @ x power etc etc so it just became a normal ride which didn’t seem the object of the session. Where am I going wrong?

Clint Guess
Clint Guess
4 months ago

I completed a Zwift Academy race and didn’t get credit for it. I didn’t have a hr monitory on (not sure if that’s a requirement), it was also a race someone created I believe (16 laps of some short course). Anyone have any ideas?

Conor
Conor
4 months ago

Do we know if the Races will be on rotation (Richmond last weekend, La Reine this weekend, Richmond next weekend etc..). Or will this week be our last chance to compete in Race #2 (La Reine)?

Jon
Jon
4 months ago
Reply to  Conor

That’s what I would like to know. Zwift is so bad at communicating infomation for their events. Why can’t they put out an event schedule in advance?

Jenelle
Jenelle
4 months ago

Hi I have been waiting for workout 3 to be scheduled I have been waiting for over a week. Anyone else having same issue? The schedule has it listed to the entire academy period….

Lily
Lily
3 months ago

Does it matter what category you enter in the zwift academy race if you are going for the pro contract?

Tim
Tim
3 months ago

Will there be make-up dates for the early group rides that have already passed?

Sadra
Sadra
3 months ago

If I missed the first 2 weeks of the workouts, is there any way of doing them now? I only see #7 and #8 since we’re in the final week of ZA.

76
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x