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Zwift News

Off-Road Training Plans

on December 12, 2019

New off-road-focused training plans have landed in Zwift and are geared towards the type of efforts you can expect whilst riding the dirt. It's not every day you can make it to the trailhead or explore the less-traveled-gravel-roads, but you can prepare yourself. When the next off-road adventure comes calling, you'll be primed and ready to rip. Check out the off-road 'Flexible Training Plans' and some more details of each below. Log into Zwift to view each workout in more detail and to enroll in a training plan.

You can find these workouts in the game, under the 'Training' tab on the home screen.


Off-Road Flexible Training Plans

  • Pebble Pounder - Gravel - Beginner
  • Gravel Grinder - Gravel - Intermediate
  • Dirt Destroyer - MTB - Intermediate
  • Singletrack Slayer - MTB - Advanced

 

Pebble Pounder: 

Gear up and get ready for a gravel adventure.

  • Category: Gravel
  • Level: Beginner
  • Duration: 6 weeks

Overview:

Pebble Pounder is designed to slowly, but steadily build your ability to sustain power close to threshold, AKA sweet spot, lift your aerobic ceiling with plenty of VO2 Max work, and upgrade your pedal stroke with a special focus on the low end of the range that is crucial to maintain traction over loose gravel. We will also throw a couple workouts geared towards the finer aspects of finding success in a gravel event. This plan features 3 rides per week, ranging from 30-50 minutes, with an optional bonus ride over the weekends where you can either spend time outside on your gravel bike working on your endurance and bike-handling skills for the event, or choose an easy Zwift group ride for some extra training stress.

Before you start:

Pebble Pounder is tailored for the beginner cyclist, and as such is appropriate even for your first structured training plan. The only prerequisites are to show up ready to learn, and be willing to work hard!

Designed For:

Designed for the beginner, if you're ready to make the leap into gravel events, and perhaps undertaking your first structured training plan, look no further.

When to start:

Pebble Pounder is ideal If you are new to cycling, or structured training, and have an interest in going off-road, participating in a gravel grinder, and perhaps even shredding some gnar in the process!

If you are interested in tackling a gravel grinder, learning more about training and what makes an athlete tick, and having fun in the process, Pebble Pounder will hit the mark.

 


Gravel Grinder: 

Dominate the dirt roads and prepare to up your gravel game

  • Category: Gravel
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Duration: 7-12 weeks

Overview:

Gravel. Mixed Road. Overland. Whatever you call it, this plan gets you ready for whatever comes your way. Workouts prepare you to face changing terrain on your next epic.

Before you start:

You love your bike, but you’re tired of riding on the road. You have great access to trails, but you’re a roadie and not an MTBer. You want to try something new that challenges your idea of what a road bike can do and what exactly defines a road. If anything of these describes you, this plan is for you. You’re not ready to trade in your lycra for baggies just yet, but you sure do like the idea of finishing a race covered in dust, dirt, and mud.

Designed For:

Designed for the last 5-8 weeks before an off-road competition, this plan assumes that you are coming in with a good foundation to build from. There are plenty of periods of relaxed riding, regeneration, and recovery that complement some hard work designed to get you ready for the challenges dirt roads and trails can present. There’s an expectation that you’ll ride outside - some dirt skills require that you actually ride on the dirt - so keep that in mind for timing.

When to start:

If you’re intrigued by gravel racing but don’t know what you don’t know, this plan will help you get you ready and fill in the gaps. Designed to prepare you for the specific demands of offroad racing. - where gearing, traction, and cadence all take on new dimensions compared to riding on the road, this plan is for budding dirt rider whose taken their road bike off-road and found they really, really like it. Get ready to get dirty. 

This plan was designed by Matt Lieto; a professional triathlete, gravel racer, and coach with Endurance Collaborative; who can regularly be found riding and leading group workouts on Zwift.

 


Dirt Destroyer:

Build massive pedal-torque to crush it off-road.

  • Category: Mountain Bike
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Duration: 6 weeks

Overview:

Dirt Destroyer, designed by Matt Rowe of Rowe & King, will bring out the best in you by challenging your capacity to keep cranking the pedals over at low cadences, repeating massive surges in effort, and placing a heavy focus on constantly changing the stress placed on your body by modulating cadence and power frequently. All these aspects together will create a better and more well-rounded mountain biker who is ready to tackle any challenge, whether it's ripping down fire roads, or smashing it up a rock garden. This plan is 6 weeks in duration, with workouts ranging from 45 to 90 minutes, and 3 to 5 workouts per week that includes an unstructured ride where you should get out and ride IRL to practice your technical skills.

Before you start:

Dirt Destroyer is an intermediate mountain bike specific plan. Ideally, you should have at least 2 seasons of mountain biking under your belt, are able to tolerate 2 high intensity workouts per week, and have at least 5 hours per week to dedicate to your training.

Designed For:

Designed for the intermediate mountain biker who has a developed endurance base, but is looking to improve their mountain bike specific strengths though repeated surges far over threshold to increase anaerobic capacity, and grow their peak pedal torque to smash up even the steepest of climbs!

When to start:

Dirt Destroyer is appropriate for anyone looking to better the finer aspects of mountain biking and is best done after a solid base phase.

If you are sick and tired of having to dismount at that same steep climb, rock garden, and/or muddy section, this plan will be your key to smashing it through those sections!

 


Singletrack Slayer

The final build phase leading into your target MTB event

  • Category: Mountain Bike
  • Level: Advanced
  • Duration: 10 weeks

Overview:   

With a good level of volume and fitness behind you, now we prepare specifically for the demands of XC racing. By implementing specific high-intensity sessions targeting cadence and power, you will be prepared for the unique features of XC racing.

Before you Start:

This plan is all about preparing for your key event. You will have completed a good period of base training and recently completed an 'early build phase' of training - Like the Dirt Destroyer - by incorporating some high intensity into your workouts. Now you are ready for the final build in your preparation before tapering for your event.

Designed For:

Designed for experienced rider's who are experienced in completing challenging high-intensity sessions. The program provides very specific workouts that focus on replicating the terrain and power experienced in XC racing. High crank torque and specific pedaling drills are a feature of this plan. With adequate recovery planned in the final phase of the program, you will line up for your event ready to perform at your best.

When to Start:

This plan is designed to be completed as your final training phase leading to your key event. It provides both a build in volume and intensity, along with an adequate taper period.

If you want to train specifically for XC racing, this plan is for you. The high-intensity workouts are challenging but will provide you with fitness required to excel in racing. A key feature of this plan is the focus on replicating the demands of XC MTB pedaling. With this block of training completed, you will be well prepared for the gravel and steep climbs of XC racing.

 


View more about other Zwift Training Plans

View the new off-road bikes in Zwift 

 

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