Zwift Academy 2017

Plan overview

Months: 2

Duration: 8h 32m/month

Stress points: 522/month

Workouts: 12

Total duration: 17h 3m

Total stress points: 1044

Zone distribution

Z1: 8h 44m

Z2: 1h 34m

Z3: 1h 56m

Z4: 3h 3m

Z5: 1h 6m

Z6: 42m

51%
9%
11%
18%
6%
4%

For more info, signing up and the schedules for the Zwift Academy group rides and races, see https://academy.zwift.com


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Month 1

Workouts: 8

Total duration: 11h 13m

Total stress points: 690

Average workout:

Duration: 1h 24m

Stress points: 86

Zone distribution

Z1: 5h 50m

Z2: 1h 5m

Z3: 1h 42m

Z4: 1h 34m

Z5: 31m

Z6: 33m

52%
10%
15%
14%
5%
5%

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 7m

Stress points: 51

Zone distribution

Z1: 34m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 25m

Z4: 1m

Z5: -

Z6: 2m

51%
8%
37%
1%
0%
2%

Prior to commencing the Zwift Academy 2017, we ask that you complete a threshold test on your indoor trainer. This test is intended to set your training zones for the duration of the academy and aid us in our selection process for the next stages of the competition. This test is best carried out with a power meter or smart trainer, however a heart rate monitor will suffice, if you do not have access to one. The test starts with a long, progressive warm up followed by some activation work, designed to prime you for the upcoming effort. The warm-up is a vital component to this test and will enable you to perform at the optimum capacity. On completion of the warm up, it's time for the test! Simply, go as hard as you can for 20 minutes. ERG mode will turn off for the 20 min segment. You’re on your own. Pace yourself throughout, trying not to go too hard, too soon but finish with an empty tank, all out. Ensure a good warm down after the test and put your feet up.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 29m

Stress points: 81

Zone distribution

Z1: 52m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 30m

Z4: 1m

Z5: -

Z6: 1m

58%
6%
34%
1%
0%
1%

This session is designed to squeeze you, but not push you too hard. Working your ability to generate power through high torque efforts. A few Sprint efforts to finish, to test your sprint powers after the high torque efforts. The main intervals are 5 x 5 minutes in your Zone 3 with 5 minutes recovery between the efforts. Remain seated throughout the interval, engage your abdominal muscles and keep your upper body strong and stable, let your legs do all of the work. 10 minutes recovery after the final 5 minute effort, then straight into the sprints! These are 4 x 15 seconds ALL-OUT efforts, out of the saddle and sprinting as if you were on the Champs Elysees! Just 45 seconds of recovery between efforts.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 25m 30s

Stress points: 76

Zone distribution

Z1: 43m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 5m

Z4: 31m

Z5: -

Z6: 1m

51%
7%
6%
36%
0%
1%

This session is designed to increase your FTP from below, working predominantly on your aerobic metabolism. In time, your body will become more comfortable at these powers and your FTP will increase. Don't be tempted to over do it on these efforts - this is not a test. By the end of the final interval you should be tired and struggling to hold the power.  As with the other sessions, you will need to be warmed up for this training session.  Be strict on the recovery time, each effort will test the legs. Ensure you have enough fluids for this session and even a bite to eat (gel/bar etc.) 

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 29m

Stress points: 83

Zone distribution

Z1: 43m

Z2: 6m

Z3: 20m

Z4: 11m

Z5: 10m

Z6: -

48%
6%
22%
12%
11%
0%

This session is designed to progressively stretch you as you tick-off each interval. The main sets are 4 x 5 minutes, starting just above your FTP and reducing the power after a set duration to just below your FTP.  Start with a good warm up, followed by a Zone 3 low cadence block (60-70 rpm). This is a system priming section and should set you up nicely for the main intervals. Think of this block being comfortably hard, but hardly comfortable!  The 5 minutes are as follows, with "pulling" referring to your power above FTP, and "pushing" referring to power below FTP. Recovery periods are 3 minutes between each interval.  "Pulling"/"Pushing" : 1/4, 2/3, 3/2, 4/1.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 38m 50s

Stress points: 166

Zone distribution

Z1: 57m

Z2: 12m

Z3: 5m

Z4: 11m

Z5: 3m

Z6: 13m

57%
12%
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3%
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This session is designed to both test you and prepare you for the demands of a road race or criterium race. You’ll work various energy systems and find it a challenging session on the body and mind. The session comprises of 3 main intervals: Over / Under Interval - This is to be ridden at a power just below your FTP, however for the first 30 seconds of the interval (and after every 2 minutes) you are required to spike the power closer to your 20-minute power. This interval is often referred to as a redline session, where you literally 'push' your FTP up from below, and 'pull' it up from above. 30 / 30 Interval These are 30 second on and 30 seconds off. The "on" element is to be ridden at your Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) or the power at your VO2max. Whilst the "off" element isn't a full recovery, aiming for mid-zone 2. You will find that perhaps the hardest part of this interval is the "off" periods towards the end of the 12 minutes. Micro-Burst Interval To finish the session, this interval is 15-seconds all-out followed by 30-seconds of recovery. The sprints are seated and high cadence try and maintain a maximal effort from the first 10 seconds to the last 10 seconds of the interval. Note- Some smart-trainers in their ERG mode will be too slow to react to the changes in powers required for this session and you may find it easier to turn the erg. function off.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 43m

Stress points: 104

Zone distribution

Z1: 49m

Z2: 11m

Z3: 5m

Z4: 21m

Z5: 12m

Z6: 6m

47%
10%
5%
20%
12%
6%

This session is designed to work your upper aerobic capacity, via 'pushing' up your FTP from below, 'pulling' it up from powers just above (around your 20 minute pace) and some short, sharp efforts at your maximal aerobic power (MAP) or the power you can sustain at your VO2max.  Start with a good warm up, you will need to ensure you are suitably prepared for this session as it is a tough one and will require you to dig deep, to complete.  The main intervals are as follows.  1 x 20 minute effort at a power Just below your FTP - Keep it controlled during this effort. You will be fresh for the first interval and might be the tempted to lift the power closer to/above your FTP. Refrain from doing so, as this will only fatigue you going into the final two thirds of the session.  3 x 4 minute efforts at powers just above your FTP, or your 10 mile Time Trial power - The recovery during the efforts are short, be strict on the recovery times, you will find the effort becomes progressively tougher around the mid-way point of the second interval.  5 x 1 minute efforts at your MAP (Maximal Aerobic Power) - This is the power that you can sustain at the limit of your aerobic capacity, or your VO2max. The effort should not be a sprint and you should aim to hold a smooth power throughout the minute. The 'recovery' intensities are designed to ensure that you keep on the power during the efforts, as with the Pulling intervals, this one will feel comfortable for the first one or two efforts but will start to bite!  Finish with a good warm down and rest up! 

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 29m

Stress points: 95

Zone distribution

Z1: 41m

Z2: 9m

Z3: 5m

Z4: 19m

Z5: 6m

Z6: 10m

46%
10%
5%
21%
7%
11%

This is a very tough session, make sure you are fresh and suitably motivated before attempting this session. Try your best to complete the intervals, it is however, designed to take you to your VO2max (limit of your aerobic capacity) and may be tricky to complete. A good warm up is required, I would also recommend a gel and a strong coffee before-hand.  The main interval, repeated twice, starts with 3 minutes at powers just below your FTP ("pushing"), this is the easiest part of the interval, do not go out too hard here, otherwise you will pay the price later on! After 3 minutes lift to powers just above your FTP ("pulling"), then back to pushing. Then the intensity increases to your maximal aerobic power (MAP) for 2 minutes, then back to pushing for 3 minutes; try and get your breath here and prepare for the final 2 minutes! 

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Workout overview

Duration: 52m

Stress points: 34

Zone distribution

Z1: 31m

Z2: 12m

Z3: 8m

Z4: 1m

Z5: -

Z6: 1m

59%
23%
15%
1%
0%
2%

This TrainSharp test is designed to measure your 3 minute Critical Power. As with any test or race, ensure you are appropriately warmed up and motivated for this test. It is a short, but sharp, session today! The effort itself is 3 minutes in total duration. It is designed to be an un-paced effort, so ERG mode will automatically turn off for the interval. You’re on your own for those 3 min. Hit the first 30 seconds as hard as you can, out of the saddle, trying to achieve your maximum power (we will be assessing your sprint power from the first 30 seconds of this test). As you fade through the effort, use your gears to reduce the resistance and maintain cadence. Aiming for 90-100 rpm for the duration of the test. Finish this effort completely spent, go all-out. This will feel like a very long 3 minutes, the key is to not bail on the effort regardless of how much your power fades or how hard it feels!

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Semi finals

Workouts: 4

Total duration: 5h 50m

Total stress points: 354

Average workout:

Duration: 1h 28m

Stress points: 89

Zone distribution

Z1: 2h 55m

Z2: 29m

Z3: 14m

Z4: 1h 29m

Z5: 35m

Z6: 9m

50%
8%
4%
25%
10%
3%

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 35m

Stress points: 64

Zone distribution

Z1: 1h 2m

Z2: 4m

Z3: 4m

Z4: 24m

Z5: -

Z6: 2m

65%
4%
4%
25%
0%
2%

This test is designed to measure your aerobic threshold and is similar to the traditional 20 minute FTP test. We use this variation of the test because the first 12 minute effort is often indicative of an what an individual can lift their 20 minute power up to. The purpose of the session is to treat each 12 minute interval as if it were the only effort to be completed. Ideally, you won't pace the effort with the second interval in-mind. We generally expect the first interval to be ~20 Watts higher than the second. As a tip, we recommend not looking at the power for the intervals and to just ride as hard as you can for the duration of the effort!

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 20m

Stress points: 81

Zone distribution

Z1: 33m

Z2: 4m

Z3: 4m

Z4: 35m

Z5: 5m

Z6: -

41%
5%
4%
44%
6%
0%

This is a variation of the classic "Over-Under" session where you alternate between riding just below your FTP and just above your FTP. Both of which will aid your ability to increase your threshold power and your bodies ability to process lactate.  Start with a progressive warm up, then into the main intervals. Which are 1 minute above threshold, or your 'pulling' powers then straight into 3 minutes at just below FTP, or your 'pushing' powers. Repeated for the duration of the intervals.  Recovery is 10 minutes between the two sets.  Try not to spike the power too much on the 'pulling/over' elements, aim to hold a smooth power. This effort is similar to riding in a breakaway situation - you don't want to surge when coming through and the same applies on the way back down to the 'pushing/under' element - keep on top of the resistance as it drops off. 

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 25m

Stress points: 71

Zone distribution

Z1: 48m

Z2: 4m

Z3: 4m

Z4: -

Z5: 30m

Z6: -

56%
5%
4%
0%
35%
0%

This Pulling Pyramid session is designed to lift your FTP from above, by riding at powers slightly above your 20 minute best. The reduced recovery times will force you to clear the lactate accumulated after each interval. Start with a good warm up, then straight into the main intervals. The intervals are as follows: 2 x 4 mins, 3 x 3 mins, 4 x 2 mins, 5 x 1 mins - the recovery periods are equal to the duration of the intervals (4/3/2/1 minute). This is another hard session so make sure you are fueled, motivated and well hydrated.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 30m

Stress points: 138

Zone distribution

Z1: 33m

Z2: 17m

Z3: 4m

Z4: 30m

Z5: -

Z6: 8m

36%
18%
4%
33%
0%
8%

This VO2 session requires focus, a strong mindset and the ability to dig deep to complete the efforts. You may find this workout easier to complete out of ERG mode to ensure quick adjustment of the resistance. The main interval consists of 5 minutes at - or just below - your FTP, then straight into 5 minutes of seated sprints, repeated throughout the duration. Then to finish, 5 minutes of FTP again. Aim to hold the same power for this final 5 minutes as your first 5 minute effort. Aim to complete 3 of these 15 minute intervals, but we would rather you completed 2 really good ones than 3 intervals where you are barely hitting the power targets. Breathing during the efforts is strained and not rhythmic, you should feel as though you are on the brink of failure throughout the Intermittent intervals. Make sure you have enough fluids for this session, a good quality fan and even a gel to help you through it!

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