Set up a fun and challenging weekly exercise routine using zwift

I would really appreciate some advice on how to set up a fun and challenging weekly exercise routine using zwift. I can’t run right now so the bike is my main form of aerobic exercise. I bike outside on the weekends and have enjoyed using zwift on the weekdays, but I’m a bit adrift on how to get the most out of it. Some of my questions are:

  • I like doing the workouts, especially group workout events, but I don’t want to do them more than once or twice a week, so training plans that are 100% workouts don’t interest me.
  • If I just pick a route and ride, I find I don’t really push myself as hard as I can and it’s a bit boring - I need some metric or incentive to motivate me.
  • I’m extremely motivated by my ghost on the segments; I hate when it beats me! I’m an older female so many other zwifters are much faster than I am, but I know my ghost is my peer. :slight_smile: I’d like to figure out how to pick routes that have climbing or speed segments that will incentivize me during a weekday workout, but I’m not sure how to start. One small segment on a long route wouldn’t be enough - are there places to loop back to the same segment over and over again with some recovery time in between?
  • The robot pacer works fairly well for a tempo ride.
  • I’m not sure I understand all the incentives in zwift enough that they work for me. For example, the first time I got a jersey I was wondering why all of a sudden I was in an ugly polka-dot shirt! Gaining drops, xp or levels isn’t very motivating to me in and of itself.
  • Any other tips on using clubs, races, time trials, etc. to keep things interesting for someone like me who isn’t bound to win a whole lot of (or any) races?

I appreciate your suggestions!

Don’t forget that you can U-turn to your heart’s content, which means Hill Repeats are your new best friend.

As an example, in Watopia choose (IIRC) Muir and the Mountain and get a warmup in before you hit the Titans Grove Reverse KOM. Once you get to the top, u-turn and cruise back down. Ride a short distance past the start of the KOM, u-turn again and hit the KOM again, this time trying to stay ahead of your Previous HoloReplay.

Repeat until you’ve had enough.


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If your goal is to improve your cycling fitness, then pushing yourself to ride hard frequently will be counter-productive, but pushing yourself to do more/longer relatively easy rides will help. One way I handle that is to do social group rides at a comfortable pace. It does take some time to figure out the groups and leaders that you like, and most of those events are exactly one hour, which is not a lot of time for a low intensity ride but if that fits your time budget then I recommend it. I find those rides much more engaging than riding with the robo pacers, plus you can find a group where you become a regular, the other frequent participants know you, you know the event schedule without thinking about it, and they have conversation that interests you. Some of them are also workout-ish where you ride at a comfortable pace and do occasional sprints, but most are paced steady (depending on the leader - read the event descriptions).

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Very much this. Have a look at YouTube for videos on Zone 2 training - there are plenty of them :rofl:

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