Training mode

Dear Zwift and Zwifters,

So, in the past few days I’ve been thinking about motivation to train on Zwift doing some recovery rides having a cold and preparing for(hopefully) getting a ramp test done on tuesday.

I don’t think it’s fulfilling and motivating enough to do the same route over and over or following a 1.8 w/kg around Volcano Circuit. I want to progress in the game, gaining drops and earning badges and therefore I did “cheat” in my training doing the Road to Sky up to sector 4 or so before being flagged by Zwift or a Zwifter, which ruined the purpose for my training.

So, I was thinking… Could it be implemented a training mode in Zwift where you could be the weight of a certain pro athlethe, like for example Quintana. So that you could keep your training within your planning, but still being able to do routes such as Road to Sky. Or another way of solving the issue would be to restart on the same route at where you ended up on your last ride, that way you could do your training and still have a route badge three sessions of 1 hour each for example.

It takes such a ridiculous amount of time earning drops, atleast I do think so, so having a few more motivational factors on your side in training would be helpful. Like going uphill or mountainous terrain earning more drops and earning route badges, rather than doing Volcano circuit 8 times over in a ride with a bunch of 50 people. I see that this may be seen as cheating, but being a heavy rider trying to achieve normal weight and good fitness again does not at all have the same experience as a lightweight rider at the same level of fitness.

My suggestion is that you could flag your own ride as being in training mode, this does so that:

  • You can ride at whatever weight and height within the game, it can calculate the ride for you so that it puts you at the correct weight and height.
  • It flags your ride visibly both and name and also avatar(like being a ghost for example).
  • Doesn’t register times on lap times, sprints and KOM’s.
  • Makes you undraftable and unable to draft others.
  • Let’s you hold a specific w/kg if you want to or you could target it yourself.
  • Let’s you finish a route badge within the training.
  • Makes you unwatchable to other rides. No w/kg, no watts etc. so that you don’t compare yourself to others and the other way around.

I think this would make it more easier and more motivating to do indoor training at your own pacing, the pace bots are sort of motivating but not in the long run.(Now if they do different routes each week or something of that sort it would be a good thing) If the route badges are meant to be hard to do and gives you a good amount of drops, then maybe don’t implement it in this suggested mode - but as far as I’ve been able to tell the route badges doesn’t give you huge amounts of xp or drops.

The end goal is to get fitter and faster for all riders, so I think it is unfortunate that riders being heavier will experience the game differently than lighter riders from the get go. In the end it is just a way to train and have fun doing so. That being said, you also need the other aspect of the game where drafting and following a faster rider than you could be motivating. But from a training perspective, where longer zone 1-2 rides are highly important as base training. The game has a job to do so that it makes these sort of rides more fulfilling.

All the best,

I doubt that Zwift will do what you suggest, but if all you did is lower your weight to an extremely low value, you can probably do that successfully as long as the number is not quite as low. There’s no ethical problem with lowering your weight on free rides. Zwifters will not report you for weight manipulation if you’re not racing (they don’t know). You probably triggered some threshold in the game, which you might avoid by using a slightly more reasonable weight value. If you make yourself 150cm and 40kg that shouldn’t be a problem. Being shorter will make you faster as well.


Appreciate your answer! And yes, I probably set off some automatic threshold within the game holding superhuman w/kg.

Question is - could you do this in training mode as of current? From what I know, at the beginner stage, you simply cannot enter workout mode and choose a route to complete given the workout session you have chosen or created. Makes it a little bit discouraging to start a structured workout rather than doing a route and pacing it. Here is where the time aspect comes in and you have to be “cheating” on your free ride and also the urge to hang on to someone’s wheel. The KOM, Sprints and lap times are totally dead and meaningless if you can personally set a weight half of your own. I wish it would not be this way, and I don’t like the feeling having cheated my way onto the leaderboard. Sure it is naivity to think that it will level the playing field fully, for that it takes indoor trainers with live weight measurements on them and even then it can be messed with. But those with moral compass will probably make good use of this feature anyhow.

Whether they will implement it or not I think is based on the user experience and wishes of the riders. So I would like to hear your thoughts, and others of course, on how you find training on Zwift? Could anything of what suggested be benificial to your training and therefore performance on the indoor trainer?

All the best,

Pace partners change routes every week, on an 8 week rotation.

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I don’t want to tell you how to enjoy your time on Zwift, but I don’t care very much about workout mode. I make a workout plan in my head and try to execute it on whichever route seems appropriate. Sticking to the workout requires more discipline that way. Zwift’s workouts and training plans are poorly designed and not specific to the rider or goals, so I would have to pay a coach to create workouts. I’m not currently doing that. I use my experience from previous coaches I have worked with. I recommend working with a coach to have that experience.

I don’t do any weight manipulation. I accept my fitness and I enjoy seeing progress because it’s more real and easier to understand. When I don’t make progress in my fitness, that’s useful information that I can only understand because my height and weight reflect how I am. I don’t judge people who are more motivated to ride by playing with their weight. It doesn’t bother me that I’m riding up the Alpe with someone who cut their weight in half. I only use the KOM numbers to understand myself.

The rate of drops you earn already increases when you are climbing, I think it has to be at least a 3% incline.

In workout mode your avatar already has a “screen” in front of them and there is a bar graph icon next to your name in the Riders Nearby list on the right side of the screen. So everyone knows you are doing a workout already.

Use a TT bike and you will not draft off of others, however they can still draft you.

you can create custom workouts to hold whatever power you would like

already possible

how so exactly? Heavier rides will go slower uphill, just like real life… however, this doesn’t prevent you from getting to the top of the Alp or Ventop, it just takes longer.

I feel like there are a lot of things you don’t yet understand on Zwift, there is a learning curve and the more you ride the more you will understand. Also, tons of great articles on that you can read, search for workout mode to learn more, etc…

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Happy to hear your take on training indoors. And I agree that you can experience discipline pacing yourself. And the coaching aspect is something I will look into, seems a bit steep the prizing on some programs like for example Road Cycling Academy. For me atleast!

For those days when it’s extra hard to stay motivated, like for example being coming from a period of sickness or a lot going on in life in general. Then it can be good to have such opportunities I am addressing, but I respect and understand that we have different views and perspectives.

I would rather have a constructive discussion about the topic and the essence of what I am suggesting - rather than taking bits and pieces and trying to degrade the value of the topic, trying to degrade my knowledge of the platform and basically telling me to suck it up being a heavier untrained rider. Or did I get you wrong? Sort of gives me the idea that you never have had issues with weight on the bike, motivation for indoor training and time concerns. Correct me if I’m wrong.

One thing I did not know however is that you can easily choose a route in workout mode, please share your knowledge of this :grin: do you choose a route to ride first and then go into workout mode?

LOL, look at my picture, I’m 95kgs and at my heaviest was 110+.

The majority of the things you are suggesting are already possible, that is why I figured you just haven’t had a lot of experience with Zwift yet and pointed you towards a great resource to learn. Unfortunately Zwift doesn’t do a great job of orientating new users, so we rely on 3rd party resources like

I usually choose the workout first and then choose a route, if you have the new UI then this takes a few more clicks than it used to on the old home screen.


That just shows both ways how misunderstood one can be and that we take things for granted :grin: Sorry for my lack of insight. I know that a lot of features included in my suggestion is already a thing! But the essence being that this could be done by the push of a button while doing a ride, so that nobody would even care you flying up Alpe or Ventoux and being able to do new routes sticking to your plan of training.

Otherwise I think it becomes to monotonous and less rewarding, at least for my taste. The rides fit for my condition now, if any at all going through a cold, is the flats with a VERY low w/kg ratio. Hard to stay away from Zwift and hard to be motivated while on it aswell as of now. I am sure that I will push through eventually anyhow. But why not enjoy the process to the fullest? Drops are hard to come by and that Specialized Tarmac Pro, once I reach that level, is screaming for a ride under an hour up Alpe de Zwift! :rofl: what I don’t understand is how my suggestion is going to be bad for anyone at all, either you could choose to use the feature or not. Maybe there are some more pressing matters, like graphics and making new routes is a higher priority to riders out there. I’m no gaming programmer, but would it be so time consuming to implement what I am suggesting or just a few clicks and weeks of testing and troubleshooting and it will be up running?

I think it will make us heavier riders more welcome doing Mountains, and I don’t think it is unfair for those lighter riders either. Sure, they can’t produce the same power as heavier riders. So some consideration needs to be taken here so we don’t have a massive advantage getting drops faster than smaller riders. But what about leveling the playing field a little bit in terms of accessing levels and drops? You don’t need to ride up a mountain in real life to be able to buy a bike, you buy it at the bike shop with money you have earned from working or so. And then you go up that mountain using three hours. Atleast you have a stunning bike at your fingertips :rofl:

You’ll need approximately 3 W/kg to do it.

3.2 w/kg to my knowledge. For an hour. 350 w that is for my sake. 350w FTP is quite impressive and far from where I am currently at.

Shouldn’t a sub 60 minutes Alpe be a long term goal. I know that was one of mine. I got most of the challenges done weighing a lot more than 100kg, never changed my weight since that motivated me to ride harder and longer.

By lowering your weight you just cheated yourself out of some really nice motivational progression targets.

But I guess you can do whatever you find works for you.


Totally agree with what you are saying. I am not saying that most of my rides done have been experimenting with weight. In fact, only about 2 hrs or so with having a cold and low motivation at very low intensity.

I am at base training as of current. Then smashing out watts up a climb is not the goal. With this feature it could be possible, to get that extra bit of motivational factor to keep going.

I don’t see it as a way of tricking with my head, because I know that one can discount every number done on that ride. Every ride should not be hitting hard but exciting and urging you to get on that bike again and again. Hope that makes some sense :blush: