Zwift Academy Road 2020 FAQ

Zwift Academy 2020 is a world-class 8-week training program which brings out the best in everybody. You can use this forum to ask questions, post feedback, report any issues, or meet your fellow Academy members.

IMPORTANT
If you’re really feeling amped and want to double up your workouts, be sure to save & exit after each session and restart Zwift before your next ride. This will ensure you receive credit for both rides.

When does the Zwift Academy Road start and finish?
EDIT: The qualifying period begins on September 30, 2020, 17:00 PDT and ends on November 25th 2020, 11:59pm PST.

The Finals for the Women’s and Men’s Zwift Academy Road will be held virtually in mid-December.

What do I need to do to graduate Zwift Academy?
For most Zwifters, the mission is simple. To graduate the Academy, complete the program’s 8 structured workouts and 4 additional Zwift Academy events, which can be any combination of Zwift Academy group rides, Zwift Academy segment group rides, or Zwift Academy races between October 1st and November 25th.

If you are competing for the pro contract, complete the program’s 8 structured workouts and 4 additional Zwift Academy events, which must be each of the 2 Zwift Academy segment group rides and each of the 2 Zwift Academy races. You’ll also need to sign up with Today’s Plan.

You’ll find the workouts in a folder called ‘Zwift Academy Road 2020’ on your workout menu screen and there will also be a schedule of group workouts if you’d like company. Group rides and races must specifically be designated ‘Zwift Academy Road’ to count towards your graduation.

Should I take an FTP test before starting the Academy?
We recommend that you start the Academy with an accurate FTP (Functional Threshold Power) number to ensure the best results from your structured training. To find your FTP, we recommend that you try a Zwift Ramp Test. The test involves a warmup and then approximately 4-8 minutes of effort, and will automatically set your FTP in Zwift. Make sure you are rested before taking the test for best results. There are two Ramp tests to choose from - our Standard Ramp Test or our Ramp Test Lite for lighter or more novice riders.

What is the last day to sign up?
Registration for the Academy closes on November 1, 2020, by 11:59pm PST.

How do I unlock rewards in the Academy?
You will automatically unlock rewards as you progress through the Academy. At the milestones: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, you’ll receive notification of your reward. With 12 total events (8 workouts, 4 group rides or races), you’ll unlock a reward after completing 3 in any combination.

If I’m not going for the contract, do I need to open a Today’s Plan account?
You are not required to join Today’s Plan, but we highly recommend you sign up for the complimentary account for a complete Zwift Academy Road experience. All riders are offered free premium access to Today’s Plan for the duration of the Academy.

What if I go on holiday during Zwift Academy?
Sounds lovely! Know that all sessions must be completed by November 25th, 2020, 11:59pm PST. If you have a holiday booked then you will need to structure your training in order to complete the sessions before the deadline date. We recommend that you leave at least 48 hours between each session and aim to complete two sessions a week. Also, have a great holiday, and take pictures to make everyone jealous.

Anything new this year?
This year, there will not be a Semi-Finals competition. Instead, 5 athletes will advance directly to the Finals where they will participate in a virtual final.

Sessions
When do I have to complete the qualifying events?
All events must be completed by November 25th, 2020, 11:59pm PST. The workouts can be completed at any time during the day on your own or you can choose to join group workouts. There will be a full schedule of group rides, group workouts and races that you can choose from. We recommend that you leave at least 48 hours between each workout or race and aim to complete two events/week.

In what order should the workouts be completed?
The workouts can be completed in any order but we recommend you follow the order as prescribed by the coaches for optimal progression. This is the order that the workouts are listed within Zwift and can be found at zwift.com/academy.

Can I do both group workouts and individual workouts?
Yes. The workouts will be available at your convenience to do individually from the workout menu, or by joining a scheduled Zwift Academy group workout.

Where can I find individual workouts on-demand to fit my schedule?
Individual workouts are available at your convenience from our workout menu. Navigate to this menu from the initial Drop In screen by tapping/clicking on the “Training” button under “Ride Type.” Once in training, click the Workout tab, and you’ll find the workouts in a folder called ‘Zwift Academy Road 2020’.

If I am hoping to get the pro contract, are there a certain number of group rides or races I need to complete?
Yes. If you are hoping to be selected for the finals, you will need to complete the TWO Zwift Academy Road races and the TWO Zwift Academy segment group rides.

Can I do a men’s Zwift Academy ride if I am a woman, or vice-versa?
There will be some co-ed events and women’s only events. They will be clearly marked.

Can I repeat a workout or race?
Yes, the workouts or races can be repeated until the closing date of November 25th, 2020. Your best results from each of the completed Zwift sessions will be used in the analysis.

What happens if I’m ill, injured or have racing commitments?
You need to take a sensible approach with the sessions if you are ill or injured. The first important rule is don’t worry if you need to take a break from training! You will not lose your fitness and conditioning by having a few days off the bike. The second rule is don’t try to overcompensate and make up for the missed sessions. When you are back on the bike, stick to your session structure and don’t try to make up the extra time you were off the bike. By doing so, you will likely over-fatigue yourself, and you won’t be able to hit the upcoming sessions at the desired intensity. Certain sessions will need you to take an easy 48 hours beforehand. We will advise you of these in advance so you can factor them into your existing training/racing.

What if I already have a training plan/coach?
The workouts have been specifically designed for Zwift Academy Road to inspire and motivate you as a rider. The 8 workouts can be incorporated into your usual training plan. Certain workouts will need you to take an easy 48 hours beforehand. We will advise you of these in advance so you can factor them into your existing training/racing.

What percentage of a workout do I need to complete to get credit? Do I have to get all the stars?
You must complete 75% of a Zwift Academy workout to receive credit towards graduation. While you should aim to get as many stars as possible, these do not factor into completion credit.

Can I skip blocks of a workout?
You can only skip up to 25% of a workout to receive credit towards completion of that workout.

What races qualify for Zwift Academy credit?
There will be specific Zwift Academy Road designated races. They will be clearly marked as such. As soon as the schedule is available, we’ll email it out as well as make the schedule available on zwift.com/academy.

Pro Contract Eligibility
What do I need to do to compete for the CANYON//SRAM pro contract?

  • Must graduate Zwift Academy.
  • Use a smart trainer or power meter and heart rate monitor for all Zwift Academy events.
  • Must complete all EIGHT Zwift Academy Workouts, the TWO Zwift Academy Segment Group Rides and the TWO Zwift Academy Races, for a total of 12 events.
  • Sign up for a Today’s Plan account (free during the Academy) and connect it to Zwift.
  • Be 18 years old as of January 1, 2021.
  • Have a Strava account.
  • Ensure your height & weight is accurately entered into Zwift.
  • Cannot currently or previously have raced on a professional team. Please see Terms and Conditions for further details.

Terms and Conditions
What do I need to do to compete for the Alpecin Fenix pro contract?
Same requirements listed above.

Do I need to record my weight?
Yes. If you are competing for the pro contract, you will need to accurately record your weight in Zwift and Today’s Plan at the start of the Academy. You will need to log your weight in Today’s Plan every week throughout the qualification program. You may be asked at any time during the competition to verify your weight.

How are the 5 Finalists selected?
To be eligible to advance as one of the top 5 performing Finalists, you will need to ensure that you have completed all 8 prescribed workouts and completed the 2 segment group rides and 2 races within the qualification period. In addition, you will need to accurately weigh yourself prior to the start of the Academy and continue to do so weekly. This information will then need to be uploaded via your Today’s Plan account.

The top 5 riders will then be selected by a panel from each of the CANYON//SRAM Racing or Team Alpecin-Fenix management, Coaches Stephen Gallagher and Dan Fleeman, and Zwift to progress to the Finals.

The coaches at Zwift Academy will be collecting data from your workouts and races to evaluate your performance. Your data is plotted in a Power Duration curve where we can accurately assess your strengths. In this case, the Power Duration curve covers all durations from peak 5 sec power through to 1 hour power.

We don’t expect riders to be strong in every area of the Power Duration curve. This is your chance to show us where you perform best. You might be a sprinter with a very high 5-10 sec power. You might be a climber with a very good 5-20 min power. Or you might be the all-rounder who is very good in the range of 1-4 min.

It’s not just peak power we are looking for. In the workouts and Zwift racing, we will also be looking at your ability to repeat high intensity efforts. The planned Zwift Academy workouts will give you the opportunity to work on all of these areas in your Power Duration curve. So do your best in each workout and feel free to complete each workout as many times as you like to record your best performance.

Tech Questions
How do I upload my completed rides?
Once you have enrolled in Zwift Academy Road, your completed Zwift rides will be automatically loaded into your Zwift dashboard and your Today’s Plan account (if you have one and have linked your account to Zwift) to review.

How do I upload my weight to Today’s Plan?
To record your weight in your Today’s Plan account, click the + symbol on your calendar and select ‘Record body metrics’. To be eligible for the Finals, you will need to record your weight prior to the competition and at least one time per week throughout the qualifying program.

What if I have a question for Today’s Plan?
Please refer to the help function in Today’s Plan. This can be found in the top right-hand corner, displayed with a “?” symbol or email support@todaysplan.com.au

What if I have questions for Zwift?
We’re here for you! If you have a question, ask here, or contact us

9 Likes

Should I move my 14 days off-season break(initially in november) to after the zwift academy?

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Do we have to pay something more

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No.

Lorem ipsum padding so post is not too short.

You can probably complete the 8 workouts and 4 rides/races all in October and then still take your planned break.

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Is there any benefit to having a Today’s Plan account with the Academy? I was expecting the Academy workouts to be incorporated into the calendar. Will these be added once the Academy commences?

Based on past experience…

Individual workouts are at your own pace. Group workouts will show up as events on the calendar.

As for Today’s Plan, you can take it or leave it if you aren’t going for a pro contract.

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I use a Kettler racer S on Zwift. Can I use this trainer to enter for the pro contract?

Hi @Simon_Goossens, welcome to the forums.

I don’t see that bike on the supported indoor bikes list: https://support.zwift.com/en_us/indoor-bikes-rkRxp7Zgr

I would assume that this will be an issue if you are going for the pro contract.

I can’t seem to find the Zwift Academy 2020 under Training on the Ride menu. Is it available?

It starts on the 1st of October.

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@LC_Chg welcome to Zwift Academy

A small change that we wanted everyone to know about. The original post has been edited to show the updated information below:

EDIT: The qualifying period begins on September 30, 2020, 17:00 PDT and ends on November 25th 2020, 11:59pm PST.

Today’s Plan not only tracks your numbers but also from other Academy entrants. This allows you to compare yourself to others and see a lot of great metrics. I would try it

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(picture of screen error was corrected by Zwift)

What does this mean? LOL

kasdhausdhsjs

Any suggestion where to find the specific ZA group rides and races? I assume this is the ‘event preview live’ (24 Sep)?

I did find a specific event just by scrolling through all the days, but was hoping to see a specific list (or filter). The dashboard link from the rego email takes me to the general sign up page.

Am probably missing something, thanks!

In the event name field under filters, type “ZA Road”

We never got the Live Preview. Maybe it will come zoon and describe the workouts to be released 10/1 or possible 7:00 pm September 30.
Workout #1 is an 8 minute all-out effort. Be ready.

Thanks! Works better than the ZwiftPower filter ;-).

Saw those rides and WO 1, I’m sure they’ll release a full list tomorrow when it starts (hopefully).

You would think so but who knows :grinning:

Zwifthacks also added buttons just for the 4 differenet ZA options (mens, womens, run, tri) too, makes it easier to filter on what you need :+1:

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