Coaches' Challenge

Introducing the What's on Zwift Coaches' Challenge presented by Team ODZ. Prepare yourself for a challenge that will test all aspects of your fitness, mental strength, and possibly chamois quality.

What is the What's on Zwift Coaches' Challenge presented by Team ODZ?

The Coaches' Challenge was a 7 days long series of workouts, that was organized from May 1st through May 7th 2017. As the name suggest, it highlights some great workouts from coaches using Zwift. The challenge consists of 6 workouts, and one rest day. Team ODZ contributed with organizing the challenge and taking care of the standings.

How does the Coaches' Challenge work?

Each day during the challenge, a new workout will be available, free to download on this page. During the workout a daily and general standing will be kept, showing the results of all participants (for more info about how the standing works, see below at How are riders scored?). The winner of the challenge is the rider that finishes all workouts as close to the targets as possible, taking the eternal glory. We look forward to seeing you succeed!

About the participating coaches

The challenge is based around some of the great workouts created by coaches that are present on Zwift. The participating coaches are (in order of the challenge schedule):

Day 1: Rob Manning (Tailwind Coaching) Rob is a chiropractic physician and cycling coach. His coaching principles are driven by a complex understanding of human physiology. Like any coach worth his salt, he has studied the standard research on training with power and heart rate. But what sets him apart is the time he has spent in a lab witnessing first hand how to apply a training stress to achieve a specific result and all the chemical, biological and physiological changes various types of exercise triggers in the body. His training plans aren't the result of a single formula applied to everyone. Because every athlete's physiology is unique, so is every individual training plan. His goal is simple: to maximize your cycling potential in the shortest possible amount of time. Real science. Real simple.

Day 2: Shayne Gaffney (GC Coaching) Began his athletic career as a cross-country and middle distance runner, transitioned to triathlon in college and there found his passion for cycling and became a fulltime racing cyclist. Shayne began bicycle road racing in 2011 and competes as a Cat 3 in both road racing and cyclocross. He races for Comprehensive Racing, based in Salem, MA. He passed the level 2 USA Cycling coach exam in 2013 and has since then helped many people attain their goals whether it be upgrading racing categories, finishing their first century, or completing their first organized bike ride! Shayne holds a bachelors degree in biology, is a USA Cycling Level 2 Certified Coach, a level 2 certified Training Peaks coach, a certified power based training coach, and USA Olympic Committee Safe Sport Certified.
Find more workouts from Shayne on the GC Coaching workouts page.

Day 3: Paul B. McAneney (Ottawa Top Speed) An Ottawa based NCCP Triathlon and Running Coach. Paul is an accomplished competitor who has been racing at the elite-age group level in triathlons for many years at all distances. It is this wealth of personal experience that makes Paul such an accomplished coach - he never prescribes or suggests anything that he has not extensively field-tested or experienced himself.
Want to ride with Paul? He organizes the weekly Zwift OTR race series (Ottawa TopSpeed Race) on Sundays, 7:20 a.m. EST.

Day 4: - (rest day)

Day 5: Ian Murray (Evil Elf Racing) Evil Elf Racing exists to help you achieve your goals. Our data-driven training methods allow for targeted workouts that seek to develop a specific physiologic response without preventing you from having a normal social and family life. Let us be your guide along the way! Want to ride with Ian? He is part of Team ODZ and organizes the ODZ SkillZ and DrillZ rides on Zwift.

Day 6: Noel Bonk (BonkWerx Coaching) Noel has been passionate about going fast on a bike since he was old enough to turn the pedals. As a former tech entrepreneur, balancing family, work and bike racing, he knows first hand how to maximize your training time. As a licensed professional USA Cycling Level 2 coach, he uses his experience and education to design personalized and goal orientated coaching programs for his athletes.

Day 7: Jason Flores (Team ODZ) Team ODZ was created by Jason Flores and Quan Nguyen, two optometrists from Riverside, CA in May 2015. They wanted to start their Zwift rides early Saturdays (around 5am Pacific) before they head into the office, so they created a group ride. And the rest is history. Team ODZ has grown out to be one of the largest teams on Zwift, organizing many weekly group rides. They have their own jersey kit on Zwift, and while many teams on Zwift started out as real-life teams, Team ODZ is probably the first virtual group extending to real life. Find more workouts from Team ODZ on the ODZwifters workouts page.

How long is each workout available?

Due to different timezones around the world, each workout is effectively available for 50 hours. The first timezone in which a new day begins is at Christmas Island (GMT+14) in the Pacific Ocean. The same day starts 26 hours later in the last timezone at Baker Island (GMT-12) in the Pacific Ocean. The end of the day at Baker Island is therefore 50 hours after that date first started at Christmas Island. Each workout will therefore be available during a full 50 hour window. After the challenge finished, all workouts have been made available for you to enjoy!

How are riders scored?

After finishing each workout, the rider can log his/her ride via our result form (see below). Each rider will submit the stress points accumulated during their ride. The goal is to execute the workouts as perfect as possible, meaning that those with the smallest deviation in stress points will be the winner of the challenge. So for example, if a ride was 100 stress points and a rider rode it at 105 stress points (i.e. is 5% over) they would receive 5 points. The goal is to have the least amount of points at the end of that day and then at the end of the challenge.

How to find my stress point score after finishing a workout?

Please see the below video, explaining how to get the stress score after finishing your workout in Zwift:

Submit results

The challenge has now finished and results can no longer be submitted.

Standings: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 (rest day) | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Final standing

Note: We have separated the women in their own category since we have had such a great response in that community. We have also separated smart-trainer users vs classic-/other-trainer users to take into account the use of ERG-mode during the workouts.

Stay up to date and join in on the fun!

During the event a special What's on Zwift - Coaches' Challenge Facebook group for the participants was made to share their suffering and successes with others. Feel free to join it even now after the challenge and share your results!

Some feedback from the participants:
"The whole challenge was great fun, thanks for organizing!"
"I turned my training program upside down to make this happen, and I am really glad I did."
"A very tough, but rewarding week! [...] Really enjoyed the challenge."

Select a workout or scroll down to view all workouts.

Workout overview

Duration: 1h 4m

Stress points: 111

Zone distribution

Z1: 12m

Z2: 15m

Z3: 8m

Z4: 6m

Z5: 10m

Z6: 13m


Author: R.Manning - Tailwind Coaching

A series of intervals to force you to attack at different intensities and challenge your ability to recover at different intensities.

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FAQ: How to use custom workouts in Zwift?

Workout overview

Duration: 1h 19m 45s

Stress points: 90

Zone distribution

Z1: 28m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 34m

Z4: 8m

Z5: 3m

Z6: 2m


Author: S.Gaffney - GC Coaching

-Start with 10 minutes gradually increasing your power and cadence, then 3x 30 seconds @110+ RPM @115% FTP with 3 minutes active recovery to ready the legs, and finally 2 minutes free ride to ready the mind.

-2 x 20 minutes @SST, BUT I want big changes in cadence and power at the halfway mark. So, we are going to be spinning like a hummingbird beats its wings, then trudging through the mud, only to finish spinning again. DON'T GET SLOPPY ON ME HERE!
-Then, after a 5 minute recovery, we are going to finish the legs with descending FULL GAS intervals with decreasing rest breaks between. Use this portion of the workout to really work on your race winning sprint!
-10 minutes cool-down then stretch!

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 30m

Stress points: 105

Zone distribution

Z1: 43m

Z2: -

Z3: 4m

Z4: 30m

Z5: 11m

Z6: 3m


Author: P.Mack - Ottawa OTR

The Hard Miiles: No glory - just a solid over-under set that will mentally and physically prepare you for the long stuff...Enjoy!

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Workout overview

Duration: 58m

Stress points: 74

Zone distribution

Z1: 16m

Z2: 18m

Z3: -

Z4: 10m

Z5: 14m

Z6: -


Author: Ian Murray - Evil Elf Racing

This ride is designed to teach the body how to deal with surges and counterattacks in a race. The five-minute period represents a hard surge or chase to close a gap. The one-minute period represents a hard counterattack.

Warm-up 10 minutes. Insert 3 x 30 seconds of high cadence (100rpm +) on 60 seconds recovery.
Main set
4 x:
5 minutes hard
2 minutes easy
1 minute hard (get out of the saddle and accelerate)
2 minutes easy
Ride easy for the remainder of the ride to cool down.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 20m

Stress points: 91

Zone distribution

Z1: 23m

Z2: 23m

Z3: 19m

Z4: 10m

Z5: -

Z6: 5m


Author: Noel Bonk - BonkWerx Coaching

Variable Contracting Intervals (infamously dubbed "labor contractions") - Short Z5/6 efforts w/ "active" decreasing rest intervals.

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Workout overview

Duration: 55m

Stress points: 81

Zone distribution

Z1: 10m

Z2: 7m

Z3: 3m

Z4: 22m

Z5: 12m

Z6: 1m


Author: ODZwifters

Wonder what gave Matt Hayman from Team Orica Scott the legs to win Paris-Roubaix in 2016? Between this workout and ODZentury this gave him the edge! This is a tough workout that you may be unable to finish. Give it your all and remember that riding to failure pays in both mental and physical gains.

This workout has been updated for 2017 with short sprints to emulate the efforts before the cobbled climbs to get you the seperation from the chasing peloton.

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FAQ: How to use custom workouts in Zwift?