How to Be Successful in a Zwift Training Plan

How to Be Successful in a Zwift Training Plan

ON April 1, 2022 by Zwift


Whether you are preparing for a big outdoor event, looking to build a workout routine, or just striving to beat a PR, a Zwift training plan may be just what you need.

Of course, finishing a multi-week cycling or running training plan is no small feat! We want to support you every step of the way, so here are some tips to help make your training plan experience the best it can be.

Tip: New to workout mode on Zwift? Read this before your first structured workout.

Conquer the Calendar

Enjoy the Flexibility

Zwift training plans are flexible, giving you recommended workouts and smartly reshuffling the plan based on your activities. Smart time-crunched Zwifters use this flexibility to their advantage. Fit your workouts into life routines and build fitness without reshuffling your entire calendar.

Skipping a Workout

Completing all of your planned workouts is ideal, but nobody’s perfect. It’s important to always listen to your body to determine what is best.

Remember that Zwift training plans are not a test, but a way to help you build structure and consistency into your everyday routine while building fitness. If you skip a workout, your Zwift training plan will automatically adjust to deliver the best workout the next time you’re ready.

Taking Time Off

Our training plans are developed by professional coaches in order to achieve specific goals. The workouts and their progression each week are designed to help you get the most out of your training. It’s best to commit to completing the full plan as scheduled, but we know sometimes life gets in the way.

If you’re doing a cycling plan, you have an extra two weeks of “wiggle room” to finish your plan. If you need to skip some workouts or move them around, you can come back to them at any time. A countdown will let you know how many days you have to complete the plan.

Running training plans must be completed within the set timeframe, and you’ll have a specific window of time to finish each workout. If you miss some workouts, that’s okay, just move on to the next one and do your best. What matters most is that you keep showing up and doing what you can!

Get a Head Start

The Zwift training plan week begins on Monday, so if you enroll in a plan on a non-Monday you will be given pre-plan workouts. These are not generic workouts, but are specifically designed to prepare you for success in your training plan.

For cyclists, these include a ramp test to estimate your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and a zone benchmarking test. It’s a good idea to do a ramp test or other FTP test before the start of a new plan. If you think you know your current FTP, the zone benchmarking test will help you make sure it’s set correctly.

Tip: If you haven’t done a ramp test before, click here to learn how to take one.

Keep in mind pre-plan workouts are optional and do not count towards the completion of the training plan.

Embrace Recovery

Remind yourself that we don’t grow stronger during a workout, but afterward, when we recover and adapt to training stress. Each workout is designed to elicit specific responses from your body, but if your body never gets a chance to rebuild, you will not maximize the results you’re working so hard for!

The coaches who designed these plans made sure to give you time each week to recover. We recommend allowing at least 24 hours between workouts. For more challenging workouts, you might need 36 to 48 hours of rest. Listen to your body when deciding how long to rest.

Note for runners: Running training plans have a required waiting period of at least 8 hours between workouts. Check your plan in Zwift or on Zwift Companion to see when your next workout unlocks.

Go Outside

If you’d like to complete your workout outdoors, go for it! Strictly structured training can be a challenge outside, but at least try to make your session similar to the planned Zwift workout in terms of intensity and format. This will help you get the most out of your Zwift training plan.

Plan your outdoor workout using Zwift Companion Workout Viewer, and remember to hit “I Did It” when you log back into Zwift.

Success Factors

Whatever your goals, here are some key actions which will help ensure successful completion of a training plan:

Make It Routine

The best results come from a series of well-structured efforts, and the easiest way to consistently complete those efforts is to build a routine. The ideal routine varies from person to person but can be as simple as training at the same time on the same days every week.

Shoot for the Stars 

When you complete an interval properly you will receive a star for that section. Don’t expect to complete every workout interval perfectly, but remember that committing to consistency builds self-accountability. You’ll get a full star for recovery blocks (those under 60% of FTP) regardless of power output. During these blocks, just keep the legs moving with some easy pedaling.

Shooting for the stars means you’re crushing each portion of each workout, and this provides reliable, motivating reference points that show your improvement over the course of your training plan. And we all know improvement is very motivating!

Get more tips to help you successfully complete an interval.

Prepare for Your Week with Zwift Companion

With the ability to see the full week’s training plan, Zwift Companion helps you consistently complete your workouts. Use the weekly view to plan your schedule and nutrition so you aren’t caught by surprise.

Get At It

We hope this helps you get the most out of your Zwift training plan experience. Once you’ve completed 80% of a training plan, you’ll unlock a pair of socks for your avatar as a reward! Finish the whole plan to unlock an achievement badge.

Got feedback? Please share it on our Support Forums.