Zwift Training Plans

Zwift Training Plans

ON March 23, 2022 by Zwift

Welcome to Training on Zwift! You may be a seasoned athlete looking for the latest plan, or new to Zwift and eager to learn more about how to get fitter and faster. Whatever your goal is, we probably have the right training plan or workout for you.

Zwift’s Training Plans are flexible and make it easy to meet your fitness goals on your own time. These plans are carefully designed to get you in prime shape for your next event. With 15 cycling plans and 8 running plans to choose from, you’ll be ready for any adventure. It’s like having a coach in your corner, always keeping you on track.

What are you training for? Below is a glance at a few of our most popular training plans.

Cycling Training

First time training on Zwift?

Training Plan: “ZWIFT 101: Cycling”

Welcome to Zwift Training! This plan contains five workouts that will introduce you to the Zwift interface and structured training in Zwift. The first two workouts help you get your bearings before doing a Ramp Test to measure your current fitness level (aka FTP, more about this below). After that, two of our most popular short workouts are included (one is optional) to give you a full week on the bike.

Training for Zwift Races

Training Plan: Zwift Racing

The Zwift Racing plan will prepare you for all types of Zwift races, particularly longer or hilly courses. There are even race simulations based on popular routes in Watopia, London, New York, and Crit City. On easier days, you’ll do cadence work to help get your legs ready for anything.

This plan was designed for beginner and intermediate Zwifters, but any racer can benefit from the workouts – especially if you have trouble with those fast race starts!

Shayne Gaffney developed this plan. He is a USA Cycling Level 1 Certified Coach, workout content editor at Zwift, and owner of GC Coaching who can regularly be found riding and leading group workouts on Zwift.

Know & Improve Your FTP – Functional Threshold Power

If you’re new to Zwift, or new to cycling and unsure what FTP means, you are not alone. It’s a question asked by many on their way to better performance. FTP, or Functional Threshold Power, is the wattage you can stay below and sustain for longer durations, while going above it causes fatigue to occur very quickly. It is one of the key training metrics used in cycling, and Zwift has built-in tests to measure it.

Think of FTP as a benchmark for you to try and beat, the same way you try to beat your max rep at the gym. It’s a number that indicates your current level of fitness and sets the bar for improvement. It also shapes your training zones in workouts, personalizing your experience. Don’t bother comparing your FTP to anyone else’s – we all start somewhere.

Before you start any training plan on Zwift, it’s key to complete a test to find out what your FTP is to ensure all your training efforts are maximized. In Zwift, you can find your FTP 3 ways; the standard FTP test, the short FTP test and the Ramp test.  Learn more about our tests to help you find your FTP in this article.

Training Plan: “FTP Builder”

One of your first priorities might be to build up your FTP. No problem, we’ve got just what you need for this! Start here and raise your Functional Threshold Power. This plan gives your overall aerobic ability a nice upgrade.

Designed for people who are new to the structured training plans and workouts, this plan is built around simple yet effective workouts, most of which are under an hour. With only four workouts a week, plus an optional fifth ride in some weeks, this is a plan that easily fits around the real-life demands of any athlete. If you want a plan that will guide your training without leaving you feeling overcommitted, this is a great option.

Training for a Gran Fondo

Build the strength to go big with a mix of larger endurance rides and higher-intensity interval training. When you’re 90 miles in and facing that final climb, you’ll thank all the hard training you’ve done to prepare!

Training Plan: “Gran Fondo”

If you’ve done a fondo or century and want to take a more formal and serious approach to your next event, this plan is designed with you in mind. You’re not an expert, but you’re not a novice either. This plan can be short enough to offer a guided tune-up for a big event or substantial enough to serve as a long-term training plan for a more serious undertaking.

Whether you’re just getting serious or you’re a long-time cyclist who wants some help preparing for an event, this plan is progressive enough to be useful any time of year. Use it in the winter to take on one of the longer Zwift Fondos – the Medio or Gran Fondo distances – or for an outdoor event of similar time or duration.

You’ll come away ready for long climbs, sustained efforts, and everything else a course might throw at you, thanks to this plan’s proven framework for success over long-distance rides.

Training Plan: “Fondo”

For the cyclist who loves the long ride. Round out your ability to tackle big climbs and endure stretches of hard effort. Get fit and see how far you can take your bike.

Designed as an introduction to structured training for cyclists who have discovered they love riding their bike and want to go further, go faster, and have more fun doing both. This plan is low on commitment but long on results. You’ll come away with a better sense of how to train as well as an overall higher level of fitness.

Do this plan whenever you want to get a bit more serious about your training. Use it for any of the Zwift Fondos or in the 3-4 weeks before a local metric century, century, or fondo.

If you’ve just discovered – or rediscovered – your love of cycling, this plan will help you find the fitness to enjoy it even more. If you want to know more about how to train – to both push yourself and hold yourself back – this plan gives you the instruction while still allowing you the free time to hop in a race or join a group ride.

Training Plan: “Prudential RideLondon 100”

This plan was designed to specifically prepare you for this legendary event in London. However, you can use it to train for most imperial centuries. Get familiar with the Surrey countryside, Box Hill, and Leith Hill by braving the routes in Zwift London. Push past your comfort zone then tap into your newfound strength on race day.

There are as many reasons to ride 100 miles! Whether you joined a race with a friend, on a dare, or simply because you want to see what you can do on two wheels, this plan will make sure you are ready for the challenges riding 100 miles on a bike presents.

Start this plan anytime up to four weeks before your 100-mile ride. The plan will adjust in length automatically based upon when you start so it ends on the day of your big event.

If you’re looking at 100 miles of riding and thinking, “What did I get myself into?” let this plan come to the rescue. Whether you’re a rookie wondering how you’re going to make it from A to B or a veteran who simply wants to do better, this plan is designed to help you be at your best.

Off-Road Training

See our Off-Road Training Plans post for a complete rundown of each flexible off-road plan.

Running Training

Training for Your First 5K

Training Plan: “Zwift 101: Running”

Great work showing up to run in Zwift! This plan contains six workouts that will introduce you to Zwift Run basics, treadmill skills, and workout types. We’ll explore climbing hills, mixing up intervals, holding tempo, and laying down an all-out 1-mile effort.

These workouts are kept short to give you a taste of what training in Zwift has to offer.

Training Plan: “Zwift 201: Your first 5K”

Ready to run? 5Ks are a great way to get started. Five kilometers is about 3.1 miles, or exactly 12.5 laps around a standard running track. And, more importantly, it is a distance that anyone can achieve. Whether competing against the clock or your own expectations, this plan will help you get ready to run the whole way. This approachable and manageable plan builds from walk/jog intervals to progression runs to breaking up a 5k into longer – but manageable – chunks. You will have the confidence to take on the distance after working your way through this four-week plan.

Training Plan: “5k Record Breaker”

Nail that PR performance on race day. Dig into the top end of your aerobic limits and run confidently in the red zone. Stand on the starting line, and don’t look back.

This plan was designed for competitive runners looking for guidance and structure to take them to the next level. A high level of commitment is required in terms of both effort and mileage. By the end, you should be fit, fast, and ready to race.

Meant to be done in-season, use this plan for the final 6-8 weeks leading into a 5k race. You should have a strong base under you before beginning this plan. The distance and intensity start at a fairly high level and increase quickly. This is meant for runners who have experience with structured training, aggressive speed work, and who put a premium on speed. This is not a plan that is meant to be done regularly. It should be saved for a big push toward a special goal. Speedwork is always a challenge, and this plan requires it.

If you’ve struggled to translate your training into tangible results on race day, do this plan. It will push you out of your comfort zone and ask you to run fast, hard, and often. If you want to set a best time for a 5k, this is your plan.

Training Plan: “5k Record Breaker Lite”

This plan was designed for competitive runners looking for guidance and structure to take them to the next level. A high level of commitment is required in terms of both effort and mileage. By the end you should be fit fast and ready to race.

Meant to be done in season, use this plan for the final 6 weeks leading into a race. You should have a strong base under you before beginning this plan. As with the full 5k Record Breaker, this Lite version starts at a fairly high level and increases quickly. It demands the same level of experience and dedication as the full version.

1/2 Marathon Training

Training Plan: “3 Run 13.1”

Ready to get serious, but don’t have a lot of time? Already have a few runs under your belt? If so, this is the plan for you!

After three runs a week, for up to sixteen weeks, you’ll very likely be setting a new personal best in the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon distances. This plan is loaded with intense runs that will build speed, while the long run once a week will get your endurance in place for the big race. An optional fourth easy run is provided throughout the weeks for those who can give an extra hour per week.

Training Plan: “3 Run 13.1 Lite”

This plan offers the same level of intensity as the 3 Run 13.1 but over a shorter time period. The Lite version takes you through 12 weeks of workouts to get you in shape for the big day. The weekly structure remains the same as the full version, with 3 runs comprising intense efforts and a long run.

From Cyclist to Runner

So you ride in Zwift, but want to try running? Why not!? We’ve got the right plan to help you use your cycling fitness for running.

Training Plan: “Cyclist to 10K”

Use your training know-how and level up your running game. This plan serves up base runs along with hill and interval work to sharpen you up when it counts.

Designed for cyclists who have strong aerobic engines and a real sense of structured training, this plan is meant to help regular riders make the jump to running.  If your time on the bike has left you wanting a new or different challenge, this plan will help you make the transition.

This plan assumes you understand the principles of training and workouts, but doesn’t expect you to have any real foundation as a runner. With a focus on running regularly and using hills to build strength without excessive speed, this plan steadily and predictably builds your volume. Meant to be done at any point in the year, this plan starts with a low volume requirement and steadily builds over the 6-8 weeks before peaking and culminating in a 1ok run.

Do this if you want a new challenge or if you’re a would-be runner struggling to organize your training over a complete build. This plan will push you, but also remind you that it is important to take time off and to run easy – really easy – as part of the process of getting better.

Training Tips

  • Are you a cyclist? Do an FTP test before you start. Make sure your FTP is accurate and up-to-date before beginning your plan. Testing ensures your intervals are on target and tailored to your current level of fitness. Read How To Find My FTP.
  • Are you a runner? Make sure all your split times are set correctly. If you don’t know your split times, run a mile on Zwift at your fastest pace possible. Zwift will automatically calculate your 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon pace. They will appear in blue, so be sure to accept these values before you begin the plan. You can find them in your in-game profile from the pause menu.
  • All plans start on a Monday. You can sign up any day of the week. You’ll have the option of doing warm-up workouts beforehand, or just start fresh on Monday.
  • Choose your duration. When you select a plan, you’ll be given options for duration. Keep in mind your event date, if applicable, and adjust accordingly.
  • Workout window. You’ll have a specific range of time to complete each scheduled workout. When you finish a workout, your plan will slide and adjust your schedule to accommodate and keep you on target. They’re flexible!
  • Recovery. We don’t want you to overtrain, and we don’t want you to stagnate either. Recovery is carefully put in place to prevent both scenarios. There are no set “rest days.” Instead, after completing a workout, the next workout is “locked” for a certain amount of time based on how difficult it is. We want to make sure you are always able to perform at your best.
  • Keeping you on track. Log into Zwift, and today’s workout will appear at the top of the Start screen. If you want to skip it and free ride or join an event, click ‘Clear.’
  • Badges to earn. Finish a plan and you’ll earn more than stronger legs. You’ll get a sweet new badge as well!
  • Doing your first workout. Get the basics in this article, and take it up to the next level by training with Zwift Companion, the mobile app used to view upcoming events, control your workout, and more.
  • Get mobile reminders. Download the Zwift Companion app (free on iOS and Android) to see your full training plan in one place.