FTP Builder - Workout deaktivated

I started the FTP Builder Program last week.

  • It starts with 2 Foundation Programs (completed on 28 and 29/4)
  • a strength program (completed on 1/5).
  • I took a break over the weekend (2/5 and 3/5).
  • I want to continue today (4/5) with the next workout (= Foundation 3) and it was deactivated. Instead the workout after Foundation (= Tempo 1) was activated.

Now after I finished Tempo it says again, it says for Foundation 3 (available in 9h).

Why was Foundation 3 workout deactivated. Even if I take a break for two days, I shall be able to continue in the suggested order (= Foundation 3, Tempo 1)?

The rules for training plans as it stands currently are always enroll in a plan on a Monday and you have seven days to complete each week’s workouts including mandatory lockout periods before they are locked out and you have to move on to the next week’s workouts.

Why is that? Why are the rules so strict (starting on a Monday, 7 days to complete, if I take 8 days the week is locked out)? And I am able to take Foundation 3 in 9h (from week 1). Where is the logic here?

So do I assume correctly that the sessions in the program don’t have to be taken in a specific order then?

There are lots of people who are more interested in finishing each workout as they come up in their own time which is why there is a thread of people asking Zwift to include training plan workouts in the workout section so people can do them at their leisure. However, when it comes to training plans, the logic is that they are designed to be done under fatigue. In order for a plan to actually increase your fitness you have to do it in the established time frame. There would be lots of people complaining that Zwift plans sucked if they took twice as long to complete and their fitness simply stayed steady or barely improved. A training plan is a commitment that not everyone has time for and no one can help give you extra time in the day or week to do them to completion.

It so doesn’t make sense to me, but looks like I have to except it the way it is.

What doesn’t make sense?

Maybe I don’t understand training plans. I followed a plan to prepare for a marathon a couple of years ago. I skipped some days of the plan and still increased my fitness level and finished the marathon.

So it doesn’t make sense to me that I won’t improve if I have one or even two more resting day between two sessions in a Zwift program. But maybe I don’t understand the nature of training plans.

What also doesn’t make sense to me is that today after I finished session 1,2,3. 4 was disabled, 5 was enabled. After I finished 5 it said that 4 will be available in 9h. Why is that? Why disable sessions that were once enabled? Why doesn’t Zwift just enable the next session in a program once the previous session is finished? This would make more sense to me.

What also doesn’t make sense to me is that training plans should start on a Monday. Why isn’t this flexible? People have different schedules.

If you missed workouts while training for a marathon then you didn’t maximize your fitness from the potential of the plan. Obviously you can’t change the day of the marathon you are training for so if you miss a a workout then that is a day lost and you have to move on. Unless of course you can control time.
As mentioned there are mandatory breaks after workouts to force some recovery time for those who may not know any better, although I could see Zwift adding a bit of flexibility to that. You are probably just confused with time management. If you are not training for something specific then maybe you can do a series of Zwift workouts or group workouts at your leisure.

Yes. With the FTP Builder program and other programs you don’t train for a specific time-dependent goal. So why can’t I just start a program on any given day and you just unlocked the next session after I finished the previous one (plus the time for the mandatory resting days). If people decide to include one more resting day, just let them. The plan would still be effective - maybe not in the way you planned it to be - but nevertheless effective.

I don’t understand why the whole program is messed up just because I included one more resting day, like I mentioned above: when I was planning to perform session 4 yesterday the program was like: 1(finished)-2(finished)-3(finished)-4(locked)-5(available). This does not make any sense to me. What would be your suggestion in this case? Just do session 5 (as I did) and continue with 6 and skip session 4, or do session 4 and then 6 and so on? Or do I have to start all over again with the program?

Training plans are generally meant for training for a specific goal that none of us can change the date of. I am sure if you ask Zwift to reconsider the Monday enrollment time they may be able to switch it up, but I don’t think they can add more than seven days to the week for you. I still think you need to study time management related matters more closely however. You can always do the workouts individually by recreating them in Zwift, or find a repository of the workouts from a website where people have already remade all of the Zwift training plan workouts. It would be nice if Zwift could do this themselves for people who can’t manage their time effectively, or have too much on their plate though.

I almost forgot to reiterate, don’t forget that training plans are meant to be done under fatigue conditions and taking extra days to recover will mean you are not training under fatigue and thus wasting your time by not maximizing your potential. IT is also possible that if you need extra days becasue you are too tired or sore, then it is possible that your FTP is set at an aspirational level rather than what it currently is.

I understand your point. But how should I continue the program in my case?

Yesterday, I was planning to perform session 4 yesterday the program looked like this: 1(finished)-2(finished)-3(finished)-4(locked)-5(available).

Is this an error in Zwift or is this an intended behaviour?

How should I continue in my case

  • I do session 5 (as I did) and continue with 6 and skip session 4 and continue
  • I do session 5 (as I did) and continue with session 4 and then 6 and continue
  • Do I have to start the program all over again? (if so, why doesn’t Zwift tell me to do so)
  • Should I start a different program?

Workouts in training plans are not explicitly numbered as far as I know. I generally do the available workouts in the order by when they say they are due to be completed. So if one available workout says do by Thursday and the other is do by Sunday then I do the Thursday one first. If one is locked and other isn’t then I do the one that is available.