What percentage of your rides are free rides vs work outs?

I’ve only been riding now for 7 weeks (not just on Zwift, but for the first time in about 20 years), and I’ve found myself free riding about 70% of the time, and only doing workouts about 30% of the time.

I haven’t yet done an FTP test, but let Zwift ‘guess’ my FTP, which is currently at ~170w.

When I do the workouts I find I go less intense on myself than I do on a free ride, but I therefore find the free ride more rewarding.

As the FTP increases, the workouts, I’m guessing start to feel way more intense.

Just curious then, what do you find yourself doing more of, free rides, or workouts, or is it a 50/50 split?

Hi @Christopher_Moss: This depend on my riding season. I tend to do a lot of workouts, I like to plan my weekly load and it is east if you do workouts.

I do free rides if it is a ride with friends. My typical week will be 3-4 workouts 2 group rides and a Race.

About 100% of my rides are”Free Rides”, but some of those are actually workouts done using a card and not a Zwift workout.

In over 3 years on Zwift I have yet to do an FTP test, group ride or race.

0% workouts, 80% group rides, 10% free ride, 10% race here.

It’s cool that everyone is different.

Group rides of your level are great. I do some different B level groups and they’re fun. Hate the workouts because it’s erg mode. I hate that…the workout sets your resistance, not the terrain. Also races are great for doing hard efforts…find a groupetto and work there. I feel unmotivated by freerides.

My order of preference is 1. Group Rides, 2. Free Rides, 3 Workouts. I have not done a race yet but would lump that in as a group ride personally. That being said, unfortunately I mainly do workouts because I am training for a specific real world race that is very different for me. So I am following a training plan I bought on Training Peaks which is helpful to keep me organized, disciplined and focused on the type of riding that will benefit that race. It is a means to an end, not necessarily fun…

The biggest issue that I have with workouts is that they are set to flat road so my Wahoo Climb does nothing. I really like the added dynamic of the Climb. Also doing a workout is very isolating and eliminates the social benefits of Zwift. You cannot give Ride On’s and have to ride your own pace, in comparison to free-riding and finding a small group to work with.

@Christopher_Moss you should just go ahead and to the FTP test. It is grueling but worth it. In fact I would say, don’t even bother with a structured workout unless you have already taken a FTP. Then you power will be properly matched to you and you will get a real workout.

@Colin_Berry_3R_B you can turn off ERG during a workout. You then have to adjust your gear based on the terrain to hit the target power and possibly cadence based on the workout profile. Very often I just ride with ERG on but many people never do. It does add more interaction to turn it off. For me if it is a very dynamic workout with a lot of power changes, I leave it on so I can just focus on training. If it is a more boring profile, then I turn in off to make it more interesting.

70% free ride and 30% group rides. I don’t race and find the workouts restrictive.

However I will ‘workout’ in my free rides. Generally I’ll be concentrating on my climbing as that’s my thing. So I might do long 4+w/kg intervals up the Epic. Or go super hard up the shorter KOM to work on punchy climbing. It could be a 3w/kg climbing session but with frequent 6+w/kg attacks. Sometimes I’ll be more dynamic and jump on a wheel that over takes me.

I work this way as when out on the road the terrain does not offer fixed on/ off intervals that you can get used to when using workouts.

Each body is different physiologically and mentally, experiment and find out what works for you.

If I’m in the middle of a training plan (as I am now), then almost every ride is a ‘workout’ in ERG mode. The exception is if I have a day or two before the next workout’s deadline that isn’t a full-on rest day, then I’ll just pick a nice place to ride around for an hour to 90 min for a bit of active recovery.

Between training plans? Then it’s all free rides - except when it’s not! :wink: Sometimes, particularly when I need to take it easy, I’ll let ERG do the thinking for me while I just spin in Z2. Otherwise, I sometimes find it hard to resist the urge to charge uphill after a KOM or chase down a sprint PR. ERG is a strict disciplinarian! lol

50% workout, 25 % group ride, 25% race.

Almost never a free ride unless I’m testing out a new component or software or want to see a new expansion for the first time.

Thanks for that insight…haven’t actually done many workout rides, didn’t realize you could turn off erg, will try that. :slight_smile: