Workout Zones

I’m new to zwift and just starting to get into a training plan. I’m doing the beginner plan now. If the directions of a workout tell me I should be spending 40% in zone 1 and 60% in zone two, but I’m more in zone 2 and 3, what should I do differently. I’m staying with the watts and cadence’s that zwift is telling me to use. Want to maximize my gains.

You can lower your ftp a bit (manually by editing your profile settings) so you are actually riding in z1 and z2 as prescribed by the workout.

Thanks. Would that be the recommended way to go even if I have no real problem keeping up with the program the way I’m doing it? Riding in zones 2 and 3 feels fine, but if pushing it is reducing my gains, I’ll lower it.

Maybe you should do an ftp test then do your workouts based on your new ftp. Regarding beginner workout plan being too easy, I’d still stick with it since it’ll build your base fitness at least. After that do harder workouts. Can’t hurt.

I did do an ftp test. I suppose I’ll just l or the number a bit and see how that goes.

if you start with a beginner program it does make sense that the majority of your sessions are z1-z2. the goal of that being a) getting into a routine of training (not just the difficulty but also getting used to riding a few hours a week, body position, etc) and b) building a base level of fitness, i.e. endurance.

most training programs also have you do 80% of training sessions in the z2 region and only 20% at or above z4. z3 is avoided due to that zone not showing greater gains.

the above is true for cyclists who actually have no time limitations for training . those with limited time available (weather, work, etc) are often advised to train at “sweetspot”, which is between z3 and z4 for best gains over time.

(you can google “polarized training” and “sweetspot training” for more info)

having said all that you may want to consider sticking with the program, even if the easy sessions feel really easy (which they are supposed to). if the hard sessions feel hard but doable you’re probably spot on.

alternatively, you could consider jumping ahead a few weeks into the program or start with an advanced program. maybe you enjoy that better and you still follow a structured plan.


I get that the sessions should be mostly in zone 1 and 2 (especially as a beginner). My issue was that in reality, following the instructions of the program, my results were showing up more in zone 2 and 3.

I think I may have found party of the issue. I had no max heartrate set. I took care of that and did a ride yesterday, and the results seemed to match better. Strange thing is, I see you can set the max heartrate from an iOS device, but I don’t see where you can set it from a computer or apple TV. The option didn’t show up.

i dont quite get your point. the training programs are based on your ftp power making your heart rate actually irrelevant.

also, not sure what you mean with “my results were showing up more in zone 2 and 3.” sounds like you are cycling at higher wattage than prescribed.





What you typed in here was very helpful and triggered in my brain the problem with my thinking. In the past, I trained with heart rate zones, so whenever I see one of those 5 zone graphs, that’s where my brain goes.

When I was looking at the zone graphs on the workout description, I was reading it like a heart rate graph. I’m straight now. Thanks all for the responses.