Poor Instruction Around Academy Recovery Ride

I am hoping someone from Zwift can weigh in on this topic. I am trying to understand the logic of the recovery rides - specific to how they are credited toward your progression in the academy. The literature around the academy specifically states

“You will need to complete at least two recovery rides in order to graduate from Zwift Academy. These rides will be available exclusively in the event calendar so make sure you plan accordingly for these events. Recovery Rides must be done with the group, and cannot be completed alone.”

There is no indication that these rides are limited to certain weeks during the campaign. In fact, the only way you can find out that you cannot do the second recovery ride until over a month into the program, is by going to the Academy website and doing an even search, to find that the first available recovery ride for block 2 is on October 3rd. There isn’t even a note within the event details for the recovery rides currently on the schedule to indicate that those ones are for block one ONLY. Heck, call it Recovery ride #1 - that would solve the problem!

I’ve been on the platform for 6 years and I far from expect perfection, but why does it take an experienced user completing 3 events - only getting credit for one - and trying to open a service ticket to find out accidentally that recovery rides are not universal? I don’t even understand gatekeeping the second ride until October 3rd, when I can sign up for a Finish Line ride on September 27th? Effectively, the only thing that keeps me from graduating from the Academy on Monday is a recovery ride? And I have to wait a week to do it? Seems a little backwards to me.

Given the response to feedback on the Baseline ride execution, I figured I would try my hand at raising this issue.

28 Likes

Nuff said… unfortunately we all must expect Zwift to fumble around and fall on their face over and over again.

I love Zwift, don’t get me wrong, but I also want them to finally execute something well.

By the way, love your videos and the cameos by the cats!

3 Likes

Yeah, it’s just plain stupid.

The last available Block 1 Recovery Ride (and Baseline ride) is next Monday. There are no make-ups so if you haven’t done the Block 1 Recovery Ride (or Baseline ride) by then you won’t be able to complete Academy.

The Block 2 Recovery Ride is available after 3rd Oct so there’s a week between Block 1 Recovery Rides ending and Block 2 Recovery Rides starting.

The Finish Line ride is available from next Monday. So, even if you complete the Finish Line ride you still have to wait 'til 3rd Oct before you can do the Block 2 Recovery Ride and finally complete the Academy.

Honestly, I don’t know what goes on in Zwift HQ to make these sort of scheduling decisions. I’d love to see a fly on the wall documentary about Zwift HQ. I’m sure it would be both fascinating and horrifying.

Disclaimer: This is based on the events currently listed on ZwiftHacks. It may be subject to change if Zwift adds some more events.

4 Likes

At some point the half-assed events Zwift puts their name on will start sending users to other platforms and this makes me sad. The potential in the platform has been so far from fully tapped that it makes me want to scream.

The Zwift Academy is just another case in point. They missed so many aspects of the event that it completely boggles the mind. With about five changes, and they’re major ones the ZA could’ve been incredible. Instead we get another swing and a miss by ZHQ. Astounding.

The Zwift Classics are another one. IMHO, a complete and utter failure. The only participants who thought it was great were the riders at the pointy end of each category. The bottom half were like: “W. T. F? I thought this was going to eliminate sandbaggers?” Instead, the WTRL algorithm put them in with the rest of the cats and every singe event I rode had a wildly tilted starting list. Ludicrous.

I really hope for the day when ZHQ gets their collective out of their posterior and starts putting together fully realized events and updates. Until that day, it’s all just hope.

4 Likes

Or gets their aforementioned out of their aforementioned.

Come on, guys. The 2020 Academy has been a disaster. The worst “workouts” ever, designed like tests for those competing for the contracts and with language appropriate for tests. This was offset by a good prize at the end. This time around, in the 2021 Academy, workouts actually feel like decent workouts, which is already a plus! Of course prizes are not worth much this time, but we do not do it for prizes, it is just a motivation to have a workout! Everything is good, yes, Academy 2021 requires some fun troubleshooting to figure out how it works, but this makes it more fun - Zwift has always been like this!

Nothing personal but I think you’re in the minority to suggest troubleshooting these issues is ‘fun’. I totally agree with you that the workouts are much better and actually feel challenging, but the implementation has been flawed. It’s been a challenge for many trying to figure these issues out and especially those new to Zwift or people who simply want a platform to work as it should, especially when paying for the service. If it was a free service I’m sure we’d all give it some slack, but to get set up on Zwift with accompanying hardware is not a cheap thing to do and we expect the service to be better than this.

9 Likes

Thanks for bringing this to Zwift’s attention. I had the same issue. I wanted to get in a recovery ride after every workout ride-- seems kind of natural, right? Zwift and ZA are good tools but they need to pay attention to the details a bit more…

4 Likes

We are understating things this morning, I see…

2 Likes

I just created a support ticket for this, as my second recovery ride didn’t register. I do understand why now, but I still don’t understand quite how you found out. And I did reread the ride description. It’s 289 words but somehow fails to mention this incredibly important fact.

There is also a link to the rules (that I wanted to post but links are apparently not allowed, not even links to zwift dot com), but that page mysteriously doesn’t mention this either.

This is just so unbelievably sloppy! And as usual the sloppiness not only upsets and disappoints loyal customers, it also overwhlems support with questions that really shouldn’t need to be asked.

3 Likes

I had tried 3 times to complete the second recovery ride, before Sarah came to the rescue. My first ticket to zwift was answered by an ambassador sending me a link to the FAQ page, which answered nothing. My second ticket to zwift has been studiously ignored.

Come on zwift, why take the money if you’re going to leave troubleshooting and tech support to random vloggers and their cat?

6 Likes

I am a recent subscriber to @Sarah_LaRocque YouTube… I think the cat is in charge and the human is just doing what the cat wants… :thinking:

5 Likes

I completely agree. This is my first Zwift academy and by the sounds of things this is actually one of the better ones. I’ve kind of fell into searching all over for Zwift info (companion app / website) but I’ll be honest I didn’t know the finish rides are live from Monday. I’ve done 5 of the 6 workouts and when I saw recovery ride two was from October 3rd I thought I’d need to throttle back. It seems counter intuitive to give you the freedom to do workouts as you see fit (I’ve done mine every 2 or 3 days) then wait 2 weeks to do a recovery ride. I’m happy to do a finish line ride but it does seem stupid to wait another week when I already know what “type” of rider I am from the finish line rides. Hopefully common sense prevails.

3 Likes

2017 was actually a very good one but it was hard not many people completed it.

I think this year was very good with a few nice additions.
The time for completion is just to long it should have been 2-3 weeks.

1 Like

I’ve just completed my 3rd recovery ride as well, swearing at the monitor for it not to count to 90%.

Would be nice to get the time stamps clearly stated in game so you wouldn’t ride these thinking you’re doing what’s neccesary to graduate from the Academy.

2 Likes

The thing that drove me potty was the route! Who puts a KOM in a recovery ride? Just…what? Bizarre.
My real recovery ride came the next day when I tootled around Tempus Fugit, nice and relaxed.

5 Likes

No recovery in workouts so a group ride where you can do what you want. I feel you get get a lot more out of the za ride if there was a proper plan for a recovery. Blasting away at the workouts but you left in the dark for a recovery. Just seems they didn’t think it through and the sad part is they seeing the complains and still not making the changes to improve the program. Sad story indeed. Might have to test the waters on other platforms.:thinking:

3 Likes

Sorry but what plan would you suggest for a recovery ride. A recovery ride is quite simple “ride at recovery pace”

1 Like

I’d suggest a flatter route. I’d also have had recovery rides scheduled from the start, with the framework of one to follow each workout (even if you didn’t need to do that many to graduate). There were more group rides last year. These are sort of minor details but might have been helpful to people who were fairly new to it all.

2 Likes

Since you asked:

The ZA is about teaching Zwifters to train. Recovery is THE KEY to making the workouts actually improve fitness. And when I think recovery, I can hear Chris Carmichael saying at a training camp I did 20 years ago: “Recreational riders ride harder on easy days and not hard enough on hard days.” The ZA certainly has the hard days part down judging by the chatter during the group workouts but they have a ways to go with teaching about recovery.

For instance, putting it on Sand & Sequoias makes no sense at all. You of all people should be able to see that Gerrie. I recall you talking about your history on Zwift and when you started you were bigger and slower; your incredible improvement in fitness is a credit to your ability to put in the work. That said, a larger rider, say 95kg with a 1.8w/kg FTP, is going to struggle to keep it in the recovery zone on that route. Tempus or Tick-Tock would be much better for those kinds of riders and really all riders.

I’ve always said, “The bane of the recovery ride is the random rider down the road.” Because I’m “fairly” competitive, seeing a rider ahead of me tends to get me to ramp up the effort and the next thing I know I’m in Zone 5 instead of Zone 2 like my coach told me that very morning. Setting up the Recovery Rides in a non-limited group format just feeds right into that because you’ve got all kinds of levels of talent riding together. I had to pay very close attention to my level of effort during the ride and I can imagine with the COMPLETE lack of instruction during the event for what we’re trying to accomplish, it was difficult for newer riders. I’ve got something of a reputation amongst my IRL friends for riding WAY above the program plan during Zwift rides that I’d suggested were going to be easy: You know, joining a D ride to keep it around 2.0w/kg and then getting sucked in by a group that heads out of the pens at 2.7 ramping to 3.3…

And that’s why I have strongly suggested, with the COMPLETE lack of live instruction, setting up the recovery rides as “workouts” with the limits for each rider set by their FTP like we’re doing for the real workouts. That way the riders who don’t have the benefit of many years of training, like many of us, can learn “How to Recover”.

5 Likes