Zwift Academy Tri 2020


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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 5m

Stress points: 61

Zone distribution

Z1: 23m

Z2: 5m

Z3: 38m

Z4: -

Z5: -

Z6: -

35%
7%
58%
0%
0%
0%

Welcome to the first bike workout in your Zwift Academy Tri journey! Specific strength is a critical component for long course triathlon. This session aims to produce large amounts of muscular force with limited disturbance to the cardiovascular systems.

Many professional and top long course triathletes include regular endurance strength work in their training routines, and for good reason. Research has shown that training at a lower cadence produces significant power benefits compared to training at a higher cadence.

These types of sessions are great if you’ve got tired legs but still want a quality workout. This session in particular is made up of 9x4 minute reps where the cadence is kept low (65–55 rpm) and at a moderate intensity (between 70.3 and long course effort). If you’ve ever done "drop-sets" in the gym, this is the cycling-specific equivalent.

For WHOOP users — This workout is good to do on a Yellow or Green Recovery day. Due to its lower training demands, expect a lower level of strain from this session, which is ideal for days where you aren’t fully recovered.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h 10m

Stress points: 65

Zone distribution

Z1: 14m

Z2: 30m

Z3: 26m

Z4: -

Z5: -

Z6: -

19%
43%
37%
0%
0%
0%

This session is designed to improve your aerobic threshold, which, for most people, is around long course pace. As such, the intensity is kept lower, but the duration of each rep is longer (15–16min in length). We call these sessions up-and-unders, going up above and then under your long course power threshold. This session is just 1 hour 15 min in length, but can be much longer in total duration due to the relatively low intensity. Sometimes, these sessions can build up to nearly 3 hours of total work for the big timers!

For WHOOP users — This workout is good to do on a Yellow or Green Recovery day. These up-and-under intervals have great training impacts with a lower level of strain, which is ideal for days that you haven’t had decent recovery.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h

Stress points: 72

Zone distribution

Z1: 32m

Z2: 10m

Z3: 1m

Z4: -

Z5: -

Z6: 17m

53%
16%
2%
0%
0%
29%

This session can be classified as short, high-intensity interval (HIIT) reps. Basically, all repetitions are under 1 minute in duration. Short HIIT sessions are easy to manipulate, allowing you to target different areas of your physiology. And of course, with the recovery being short, the aerobic system plays a pivotal role as well. If you’re looking for a workout to tick all the boxes, this is it! But hold on tight, because it’s not going to be easy.

This workout consists of 4x6 minute reps, broken into two rounds of 50 seconds at above FTP and only allows for 10 seconds of recovery. Then you’ll hit it hard for 40 seconds above FTP again with just 20 seconds recovery. And finally, you’ll crush 30 seconds above FTP with 30 seconds recovery to close it out.

For WHOOP users — This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. The short, sharp intervals will help you rack up a solid strain score. If you aren’t well recovered, get some rest and complete this workout on another day.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h

Stress points: 76

Zone distribution

Z1: 20m

Z2: 5m

Z3: 1m

Z4: 35m

Z5: -

Z6: -

34%
8%
1%
58%
0%
0%

We know how critical it is to have a high FTP for cycling performance. FTP is the maximum intensity you can hold for 40–60 minutes continuously. Threshold sessions with minimal recovery are great ways to adapt to that specific intensity and thereby become more efficient.

This session consists of four sets of 4x2 minute reps at FTP, with just 30 seconds of recovery between reps. It’s a great way to trick the body and mind to get lots of time at FTP.

For WHOOP users - This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. These FTP intervals will challenge you and result in a higher strain score. If you aren’t well recovered, get some rest and come back to this workout on another day.

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Workout overview

Duration: 1h

Stress points: 69

Zone distribution

Z1: 27m

Z2: 13m

Z3: -

Z4: 15m

Z5: 6m

Z6: -

45%
21%
0%
24%
10%
0%

For the final bike workout of Zwift Academy Tri, we’re getting into long VO2 intervals. Typically, long VO2 intervals include anything where the reps are over 1 minute in duration. They’re not usually as intense as short VO2 intervals, although they should still be higher than your FTP. With these, there is more of a focus on both the anaerobic and aerobic systems. For triathletes, these are the sessions you should be including in your main training block before a competition.

This session comes with a bit of a twist. The first minute is over FTP at 110% before settling a little lower, but still above FTP for 2 minutes. Recent studies have shown that intervals with variable intensity have a greater training effect than maintaining just one level of intensity all the way through.

For WHOOP users - This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. VO2max sessions are aimed to push you, and this workout is no different. If you aren’t well recovered, get some rest and tackle this workout on another day.

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Workout overview

Duration: 50m

Zone distribution

Z1: -

Z2: 10m

Z3: 18m

Z4: 22m

Z5: -

Z6: -

0%
20%
36%
44%
0%
0%

Welcome to your first Zwift Academy Tri Run workout! This session challenges your long course race pace. The main workout will be 6x4 minute intervals with the challenging part coming from a higher-effort recovery. Your interval paces and recovery paces won’t be drastically different. This is a great workout to help build up your speed.

For WHOOP users—this workout is good to do on a Yellow or Green Recovery day. This workout focused on building that endurance engine without over-revving it, making it good for days where you aren’t fully recovered.

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Workout overview

Duration: 45m

Zone distribution

Z1: -

Z2: 17m

Z3: 2m

Z4: 26m

Z5: -

Z6: -

0%
37%
5%
58%
0%
0%

We have to train our threshold in running the same way we train our FTP in cycling. The aim of this session is to develop your threshold running power with 4x6 minute reps slightly above our 1-hour threshold speed. Pushing our threshold speed will translate to a faster run pacing across all race distances.

For WHOOP users - This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. This Threshold session aims to help you learn to push the pace so be ready for a good strain score. If you aren’t well recovered, consider completing this workout another day.

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Workout overview

Duration: 50m

Zone distribution

Z1: -

Z2: 16m

Z3: 14m

Z4: 17m

Z5: 3m

Z6: -

0%
32%
29%
34%
6%
0%

A skill that many successful long course triathletes have is their ability to perform under fatigue. This session will help simulate the feeling. This is a descending pace tempo session, aiming to fatigue the legs with some fast running right at the start, before settling into a 70.3, and then long course run pace. Efficient and fluid running is key during this session as you descend from 1min to 2min to 3min and then 4min reps with no rest in-between.

For WHOOP users - This workout is good to do on a Yellow or Green Recovery day. This workout will help you dial in that long course race pace so you know how to pace yourself on tired legs. This makes it good for days that you haven’t had a full recovery.

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Workout overview

Duration: 40m

Zone distribution

Z1: -

Z2: 18m

Z3: 3m

Z4: 11m

Z5: 9m

Z6: -

0%
44%
7%
26%
23%
0%

The aim of this session is to develop threshold running over 6x3 minute reps. However, we change the pace every minute to slightly above and then slightly below your threshold pace. This further stresses your body and helps build your threshold speed. It’s a great session to do off the bike too! Be sure to have fresh legs before getting pulled into this session!

For WHOOP users - This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. This workout is going to push you over your threshold speed so be ready to get to work. If you aren’t well recovered, consider a Group Run active recovery session and come back to this workout tomorrow.

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Workout overview

Duration: 40m

Zone distribution

Z1: -

Z2: 18m

Z3: 3m

Z4: 16m

Z5: 4m

Z6: -

0%
44%
7%
39%
10%
0%

VO2max is defined as the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize during a specified period of intense exercise, usually 30 seconds to 1 minute. It is said to be the gold standard for cardiorespiratory fitness and therefore has a high value and strong correlation with long course triathlon performance. Think of it like the size of your car engine, we want a big and efficient engine!

For our last Zwift Academy Tri Run workout, we are going to build that engine! This session is specifically designed to enhance VO2max with high intensity reps and is made up of shorter intervals (typically less than 5 minutes). Generally, if you improve your VO2max other aspects of long course triathlon performance (e.g. FTP) will follow. It’s a good idea to keep VO2max development sessions included in your program all the way through the season.

For WHOOP users - This workout is ideally done on a Green Recovery day. VO2max sessions are aimed to push you, and this workout is no different. If you aren’t well recovered, rest up and come tackle this workout on another day.

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