Beginner Progression? Training Advice?

I was bike commuting via 26" mtb off and on for about a year before buying my first road bike last July. Since then I’ve been commuting ~11 miles per day as often as possible. Every workday of 2019 has been biked so far. I’m 36, 160lbs, 5’9" and pretty weak according to my FTP test result(120watts.) Maybe I was sandbagging, because I felt like I still had some gas left in the tank after it was finished, but it does jive with my Strava data.

FTP Test (Completed)
Zwift 101 (Completed)
Beginner FTP Building (Started - 2 days in out of 4 weeks)
FTP Test (Gotta do it again…)

Where do I go next? Any suggestions on how a beginner like me can get the most out of Zwift? The training plans seem pretty cool - do I just keep repeating those every few weeks? I’d like to get more fit in general and maybe participate in a local century or climb event.


My advice would be to stop ‘trying’ to get stronger with the FTP tests and workouts.

I find Zwift is a lot more fun when doing group rides, searching for draft partners in a just ride, trying a race now and then.

I think you lose out on the fun of Zwift when trying to structure things to much. And as long as you’re putting in the KM’s you will get stronger.

Think of it this way, if you plan on living a long time, there’s plenty of time to get faster and no rush to get there.



For now I’m really enjoying the structured plans. They help me schedule time on the bike, mix up workout types and provide targets to hit. Utilizing them also makes me feel like I’m getting value from my Zwift subscription. Different strokes for different folks…

Between the 101 and the Beginner FTP plan I did take some time to just pedal around the map. I’ll check out races and group rides during my next break.

Hi Scott,

This is a hard question to Answer. I have been in the same situation and I found the book “cyclist training bible” by Joe Friel very helpful.

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Go on sub 2 ride they are really cool for beginners and even intermediate. Watts ranging from 1.7 to 2.1 for about an hour.

I just finished the second day of week four of the Four Week FTP Booster and have really enjoyed it.
I too started out weak and am still weak. I am 53, 5’8" and weigh 150.
The day I got zwift, about a month ago, I did an FTP test and scored 130, then a few days later I did it again and scored a 139, then the next day I started the Four Week FTP Booster.
I will do another test this coming Saturday, but if I had to guess right now I would say that I will be somewhere in the low 170’s, though I am shooting for 180, but I don’t really think that I can make that.
I have really enjoyed the workout and like you I like the structure.
Let us know where you end up after you finish your program. I am looking for something to do after mine as well.


Do it again. :slight_smile: I’ve gone through the Four Week FTP plan several times.

But mix in some other types of rides as well. Join a suitable group ride, or try a race. At 150 lbs and 170 FTP that’s 2.49 w/kg and you’d be right at the top of the D category.

By the way, 130 to 170 is a 31% improvement. That’s massive.

It’s a lot easier when you start so low. lol