Where to start

Hey there. I just started my Zwift journey. My fitness is like rock bottom so where do I start? How do I find the right training plans. I see there are several to choose from but is there a structure that guides me to the right way forward?


Welcome! Best of luck on the journey :slight_smile:

That question has no answer. I think you need to start by asking yourself - and setting yourself - a target. What do you want to get to first?

Build fitness (and by association, power)? Look at the FTP Builder (under ‘Plans’) perhaps.

Target a long ride (100+km)? Look at the Fondo or Gran Fondo (under ‘Plans’).

You want to start racing? in Plans - there is Zwift Racing and Crit Crusher (advanced plan though)

Have a look at the list of ‘Workouts’ as well. A lot of them are pretty useful (6-week Beginner FTP Builder, 12-week Winter Plan, 2018 PRL 100 prep (to build to a 100-mile ride) Your First Century (prep for a 100-km ride)

** note - i have not done very many of the structured Zwift workouts! (i have my own plan, for now)

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Hi there. That makes sense. I want to build fitness and be able to measure my progress. I’ll take a look at your suggestions and try them out. Thanks.

On top of what Brett said, start with an FTP test (there’s a pre-made one in zwift workouts) then do one every few weeks. Probably the best way to quantitatively measure your progress.

Yes, I want to be able to measure progress, so that sounds like a plan. Thanks.

Be sure to select the everest challenge immediately, eventually that will get you the tron bike

Sounds like a carefully prepared piece of advice :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t start with a training plan. I was in the same boat getting back into biking like 2 months ago. Honestly, I’d say start with free riding and exploring routes and stuff for the first couple months. And I especially wouldn’t do the structured training plans yet. I attempted one at around 6 weeks in and it pushed a little too hard with not enough recovery time so I needed to take a week off (due to some minor hip pain). At the very least I’d suggest only doing the workouts by themselves and not doing the training plan, because for me at least, my fitness level needed more recovery time.


I agree - start with a bunch of route bagging and explore the different worlds. Get the Zwift Insider route list and progressively increase the difficulty of the routes you are doing. Measure progress on segments and 30 day Personal bests.

Then once you are getting a little more bored, join the FTP builder plan to start with and some group rides and little races.

Have fun!

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Good point. Thanks.

Magnus, if you don’t already have it, set up a Strava account and link it to your Zwift account.

Strava allows you to compare the same Routes/Segments each time you ride them, this allows you to see your progress over time very easily. The trouble with cycling is that it never gets easier, it just gets faster… :wink:


Hey there. I actually have an old dusty Strava account. Haven’t linked it but will do that. Great tip, thanks!

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I would say keep an open mind and try everything until you find what motivates you personally!
I started free riding, on flat and hilly courses, and chasing route badges. I then joined in a few big events like the Tour de Zwift, which got me into group rides and races. I then tried a few workouts.
I say keep an open mind because if you’d told me to try racing when I started, I would never have thought I’d enjoy it, but I really do.
I’ve ultimately found I love the social aspect of Zwift - chasing that group ahead of me, towing someone along, or getting involved in banter on a group ride. Some people hate the messaging, and just love to get their head down to workout or free ride on their fun.
Most importantly - have fun. That’s what I’ve done, and it’s motivated and surprised me by making me a faster rider than ever before. :slight_smile:

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Sounds good Paul; an open mind and having fun. I’ll try to get acquainted with different parts and see where I end up. Thanks!

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I am new too. I have more cycling under my belt, but pretty much unstructured and outside, and mostly on the dirt/gravel. Looking to Zwift to add some structure and training, particularly as winter comes on. But as others have said, I think I will start by exploring routes, etc., to get the feel of things before I start any training plans or big goals. I think with more info, my choices and efforts will better benefit me. Also, I need to learn more about setting up everything to work correctly. My wife got us a Bowflex C6 spin bike, and that is what sort of started all this. I don’t think the numbers Zwift is getting from it are accurate, as I don’t think I am a FTP:303 rider right out of the box, despite my other cycling. Strava has me more around 190-200. But no power meters on those bikes so that is an estimation also.

So, I plan on touring around the place, learning about how to set things up well, and THEN considering some goals. :slight_smile:


Hi Stephen, good attitude. While some people are obsessed with accuracy on Zwift, I see it as all relative - if your fitness and fun level is going up, that’s what’s most important.


I would go to Zwiftinsider.com to learn the subtleties of Zwift. Eric has a lot of information in there and will give you a huge leg up on getting started. His suggestions will also keep the experience fresh and engaging. The site has made a huge difference for me in my Zwift career!


Super. Just had a quick look and e.g. found Zwift Routes by Difficulty. Thanks!


I’ve been cycling around in Zwift for a while and have found it helpful as a beginner to click at the top in the route-selection and sort by distance or, particularly, elevation. I enjoy practicing on the flatter routes and then go farther, hillier and steeper as I get fitter. I just started my first training plan and am in the third week. I’m glad that I did a bit of riding and exploring first. Doing that also gave me a starter FTP, which Zwift apparently automatically calculates from your rides, and that has put me in a place where I am having a positive experience with the training pack (the 6 week FTP Builder). Good luck!


Hey Beth, I am actually doing exactly what you say, that is riding routes that I think will suit me. Good to hear that Zwift calculates a FTP, didn’t know that. Sounds like a good idea to explore a bit and join a training plan later. So far, I am having a lot of fun. Thanks!