Zwift is a great place to just ride. And everyone should spend some time just riding. It’s a ton of fun and allows you to connect with other people around the world in a massive online riding environment. But for those who want to begin the process of developing fitness through structured workouts, it be can be a challenge. Zwift’s workout functions have you jump head first into the deep end with FTP tests and zone-based training. Before getting there it helps to have some experience with what structured training looks like and put some miles into the legs. We’ve developed a two week program to begin on February 13th that aims to build your endurance ability through perceived effort based riding. This will help you understand and gauge your efforts better for when you want to take the dreaded FTP test.
For those who have spent a good amount of time riding, or those eager to know their FTP, we have also put together an FTP pacing plan to help you learn to gauge your efforts and get used to what a test effort feels like.
Before starting any of these programs it might help to have a look at these articles on FTP and structured training in Zwift:
ERG Mode vs Free Riding Training (FRT)
Zwift offers ERG training support using pre-made workouts that function in a way similar to TrainerRoad workouts for those with Smart trainers. This means that Zwift controls the power output of the trainer and allows for more precise structured riding. The reality is that some people don’t respond to ERG training very well and find it rather monotonous, even with Zwift’s landscapes whipping by. The great benefit of Zwift is its ability to simulate real world riding. You can do hill repeats in Zwift just like you would outside or do sweet spot and threshold intervals on flat routes. You can even use the natural Zwift terrain to create interval sections. 10minute threshold Interval up Box Hill followed by a 15minute SS interval on the flat with a few minutes of recovery between. It’s up to you.
With HPP training plans we can accommodate both styles of training and we highly recommend using both since effort management is an important skill to learn; the ability to hold a target wattage over varying terrain. We can provide you with .ZWO files to get those really structured and precise interval workouts as well as more general (and often times more interesting and engaging) ‘real world’ effort simulations using the Zwift terrain and courses.
If you’d like coach support or want a custom structured training program delivered through Training Peaks please email email@example.com for more information.