Not getting resistance when in structured work out

so when I free ride, or join others on a ride, I feel the elevation through increased resistance (I have a Kinetic smart trainer). But as soon as I am in a workout, on my own or in a group ride, elevation has no meaning. Even when I hit ERG mode on my companion. FTP is set to the right level etc. I can it the power zones anyway, but it would be nice to feel like I am going up or down hill.

I am using my cyclops powertap for power and have the ANT dongle right beside the bike. Using an old Surface 6 to run the program. Upgraded I think to Windows 11.

What am I doing wrong?

You’re probably not doing anything wrong. Workouts are designed around hitting specific wattage targets, so the terrain is basically meaningless. The on-screen speed of your avatar will change based on the terrain and wattage, but what you feel in the trainer is just wattage. And 200 watts is 200 watts, whether uphill, downhill, or on the flat.

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Okay. But what is your experience?

I mean I hit the zones.

I’m not really sure what you mean by my ‘experience’. When I do Zwift workouts, though, what I notice is that the resistance in my trainer (Tacx Neo 2) changes only at the different workout intervals. It is not affected at all by the gradient I am seeing on the screen. From the perspective of the rider, it is as though you are riding on a perfectly level surface, with no wind, and then changing gears to meet the prescribed power output for the interval (since I generally try to keep my cadence steady). The in-game terrain is more just for the visuals, though the speed of the avatar clearly changes depending in the in-game gradient.

Basically, if you were to do the same workout on Tempus Fugit and Alpe du Zwift with your eyes closed they would both feel the same, but the speed graph of the rides would look very different.

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Terrain has no effect on resistance in workout mode, whether you’re in ERG or resistance mode.
Your speed will be affected when in ERG mode, speed will be the same at a given wattage regardless of ERG being on or off.
Being on a group ride should feel the same as on a ride on your own.
When you write about “free ride”, are you referring to picking “Free Ride” off the workout list or just picking a route and riding?