I’m fairly new to Zwift, started using it this year to enhance the traditional UK winter indoor training schedule. I’ve been using the Custom Workout modes a lot, as the interface is very good, exactly what you need when your brain is rebelling halfway through an interval set. I have a decent selection of workouts I’ve built…
What would be really good is to be able to plan a workout around a route, rather than just time intervals. Currently when you do a workout the actual efforts you put in have no real relationship to the virtual geography. In the real world, if you’re planning an outdoor session you’d have the mentality “I’ll ride to Hill A and do this effort up it, then over to Hill B and do 5 reps up at this effort”. It would be great if you could do the same on Zwift as a Workout (Custom, or from the Library).
So, for example, you could do the Pretzel course (a favourite of mine for 2 hour rides, as you get a few big climbs and a good variety of scenery), then select to do the first climb to the mast at X watts, then 5 reps of the inland KOM (with U-Turns at top and bottom after the start/finish lines) at Y watts, then back up to the Epic KOM at Z watts (maybe with some sprints).
It would make planning rides a little trickier (as rather than picking time chunks, you’re picking bits of road), however it would make workouts more like real life, and I reckon it would get people riding up the hills more…currently it makes more sense to do workouts on flatter routes, as then there is much less of a disconnect between speed/distance and power.
As an example, here is a session I did this week, where I did 3 x 30 minute efforts over a 3-hour ride. I also happened to go over the Epic KOM 3 times…it would have been great, and felt more natural, to schedule those efforts to conincide with the main climbs. You can actually see I extended the last effort to reach the top of the climb…ironically this caused me to “fail” the interval I rode into, as I was at too high a power!