When the days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler, that can only mean one thing. It’s time for Zwift racing to heat up! This fall, we want to get you ready for winter racing on Zwift.
Cycling races on Zwift take different efforts than group rides or real-life road races. The starts are usually fast right out of the gate, so you’ll need to be able to put the hammer down hard and recover quickly. You may spend a lot of the race around your tempo and threshold zones, where you’re feeling the effort but you can sustain it for a while. There will be surges and attacks with only a little recovery. Then, you’ll need to make explosive efforts to win the race on tired legs!
We’ve collected some structured workouts that can help you train for these efforts. Try them out to boost your fitness and mental strength. Then enjoy racing with your newfound gains!
Here are some sessions to help you…
Race Day!: (GCN Zero to Hero Plan) A 20-minute warmup to do right before a Zwift race. Make sure you leave about 5 minutes after the workout to join the start pen.
40/20’s Into Threshold: (4wk FTP Booster, Week 3) This workout will build up some lactate with intense efforts before sending you into a sub-threshold block. This helps with lactate tolerance and clearance.
Race Ready: (Le Col – Training With Legends) Led by Kristin Armstrong, this workout features short, hard efforts followed by longer, sustained efforts. It will help you get used to the fast starts of Zwift races. It’s a short one, but it’s not easy!
SST (Short): (Less Than 60 Minutes to Burn) Sweet Spot Training (SST) takes place around 86-95% of your FTP. It gives you solid aerobic training without taking too much out of your legs. You’ll spend a lot of time near this power level in Zwift races!
Devedeset: (Build Me Up, Week 1) This is a steady sweet spot workout at 90% of your FTP. It can also help you in Time Trials.
Fun is Staying Cool: (Fun is Fast 2021) Over/unders will help you be able to surge repeatedly without getting a full recovery.
The Carapaz: (INEOS Training Camp) Inspired by Richard Carapaz, this workout will help you make and recover from attacks while the pressure is high. It’s also good for Team Time Trials.
Anna van der Breggen – Road Race: (Athlete-Inspired) Inspired by Anna van der Breggen, this workout will help build your anaerobic capacity for race-winning attacks and sprints.
2 by 2: (Less Than 30 Minutes to Burn) A short workout with repeated 2-minute efforts that start hard and get harder.
Dusty Disposition: (Garmin UNBOUND Gravel Training Plan, Week 8) Active recovery can help you feel better between intense workouts, but don’t overdo it! This brief workout features easy spinning and some fast cadence work.
If you have 6 weeks and a solid base of training to build on, check out the Zwift Racing Training Plan designed by Shayne Gaffney, a USA Cycling Level 1 Certified Coach and founder of GC Coaching. It features a mix of race simulations and focused interval workouts to help get you ready for the specific demands of racing on Zwift.
This intermediate-level plan calls for 4 to 5 workouts per week. It includes a rest week in the middle and a taper week at the end to prime you for your first big race event.