Zwift Academy Road 2021 FAQ

Program

When does the Zwift Academy Road start and finish?
The qualifying period begins on August 30, 2021, 3:00 pm UTC and ends on October 25 2021, 9:59 am UTC.

For those going for the pro-contract, all pro-contender requirements must be completed by October 1 at 9:59 am UTC. Finalists will be announced no later than November 3, 2021 with finals taking place November 2021 (subject to change).

What do I need to do to graduate from Zwift Academy?
For most enrollees, to graduate from Zwift Academy you need to complete the program’s 6 structured workouts and 4 additional Zwift Academy events, which includes two recovery rides, one Baseline ride, and one Finish Line ride between August 30 and October 25.

You’ll find the workouts in a folder called ‘Zwift Academy 2021’ 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.

If you are competing for the pro contract, you will need to graduate Zwift Academy in addition to completing:

  • The Advanced distance of the Baseline and Finish Line rides
  • Pro Contender Time Trial, which is a scheduled race event
  • Pro Contender Workout that can be found in the Zwift Academy Workout folder

NOTE: These two additional events for pro contenders must be completed by October 1 at 9:59 am UTC. Check out this page for full details of the pro contract competition.

Should I take an FTP test before starting the Academy?
We recommend that you determine your accurate FTP (Functional Threshold Power) number prior to Zwift Academy. This will ensure all of your Zwift Academy workouts will be built to best serve your fitness goals. To find your FTP, we recommend that you try the Zwift Ramp Test. The test involves a warmup and then a gradual ramp to maximal effort, which will automatically set your FTP in Zwift. Make sure you are rested before completing the test for best results.

What is the last day to sign up?
Registration for the Academy closes on September 26, 2021, by 9:59am UTC. You can enroll in Zwift Academy through the website at zwift.com/academy, within the start screen in-game, or by completing any Zwift Academy event prior to the registration closing window.

How do I unlock rewards in the Academy?
You will automatically unlock rewards as you progress through the Academy. At the milestones: 20% (2 events), 50% (5 events), 70% (7 events) and 100% (10 events), you’ll receive a notification of your reward. With 10 total events (6 workouts, 2 recovery rides, 1 Baseline ride, and 1 Finish Line ride), you’ll unlock a reward after completing a milestone in any combination.

You’ll need to log back into Zwift in order to view the unlock. For more information, visit our support article on this topic.

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 to graduate from Zwift Academy, though Today’s Plan is extending a complimentary account to all enrollees to get the best Zwift Academy experience. Today’s Plan offers a full suite of tools and analytics, a new feature unique to Zwift Academy Road, showing you how you stack up against both your age group and the overall competition. All riders are offered free premium access to Today’s Plan for the duration of the Academy (beginning on August 30, 2021 and ending on October 25, 2021 at 9:59 am UTC).

What if I go on holiday during Zwift Academy?
All sessions must be completed by October 25, 2021, 9:59 am UTC. 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, we have a number of new and exciting additions to Zwift Academy. First, there will be a new dashboard within Zwift Companion that shows your progress over the duration of the campaign. This will be made possible through the addition of new Baseline and Finish Line rides. These rides will determine your Baseline fitness prior to kicking off your Zwift Academy while Finish Line rides will show your progress after the 8 weeks. Second, we are planning to combine Zwift Academy Road Men and Women into one Academy. Finally, we have added a new event to help new potential Zwift Academy graduates get their bearings with Zwift Academy workouts through our new Orientation Ride. This event is meant to be informational only and will not contribute to graduation.

How do I withdraw from Zwift Academy Road 2021?
You can withdraw on this page

Sessions

When do I have to complete the qualifying events?
All events must be completed between August 30, 2021 at 16:00 pm UTC and October 25, 2021 at 09:59 am UTC. 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 (optional for most, required for pro contenders) 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.

What is the Orientation Ride?
This event gives you the inside scoop on this year’s program—Baseline and Finish Line rides, recovery rides, and workouts designed by world-class coaches Stephen and Dan from Dig Deep Coaching aimed at boosting your aerobic, anaerobic, and VO2 capabilities. Keep in mind that this is just a warm-up orientation ride, a precursor to Zwift Academy, and not an official event. Once you’re finished, however, you’ll be more than ready to get after your goals starting August 30!

Orientation Rides are scheduled in the 2 weeks prior to the Road program start, and will also be available on-demand in the workout folder.

What is a recovery ride and can I do this on my own?
A Zwift Academy Recovery Ride is a social ride and an essential part of any training plan. Recovering from hard work allows you to adapt and develop. To do this you need to learn how to go easy and that is exactly how you should pace yourself on this ride.

You will need to complete at least two recovery rides in order to graduate from Zwift Academy. These rides will be available exclusively in the event calendar so make sure you plan accordingly for these events.

Recovery Rides must be done with the group, and cannot be completed alone.

What is the difference between a Baseline ride and Finish Line ride?
A Zwift Academy Baseline ride should be the first ride you do. This ride will determine your baseline fitness level as you begin your Zwift Academy journey. This ride includes three important segments: short, medium, and long. Each segment will help measure your strengths as a rider and help you identify your rider phenotype: sprinter, pursuiter, or time-trialist. Riders are challenged to get personal records (PR’s) on the segments and ride easy in Zone 2 between the segments. There is no drafting and no leader. Baseline rides will only be available as an event and will only be available until October 1 at 9:59 am UTC.

A Zwift Academy Finish Line ride is specifically designed to capture your gains over the duration of the Academy. It is set up identically to the Baseline Ride and will measure the exact same segments you started the Academy with. Riders are challenged to get PR’s on the segments and ride easy between the segments. There is no drafting and no leader. The Advanced Baseline and Finish Line rides are required events for Pro-Contenders.

In order to get the most accurate results, we recommend completing the Baseline and Finish Line in the same category. Ride categories are:

  • A: Advanced Ride (Open)
  • B: Advanced Ride (Women-only)
  • C: Standard Ride (Open)
  • D: Standard Ride (Women-only)

NOTE: The Advanced Baseline and Finish Line rides are required events for Pro-Contenders.

I am not sure if I could get selected as a pro? Would I still be able to be selected if I choose to do the standard Baseline and Finish Line Rides?
Shoot for the moon! If you have it in you, we recommend doing the advanced rides. The fitness gains will be well worth your effort, and unfortunately, the standard rides won’t land you amongst the stars.

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/zaroad.

Can I do both group workouts and individual workouts?
Yes. All 6 workouts will be available at your convenience to do individually from the workout menu, in the Zwift Academy 2021 folder, or by joining a scheduled Zwift Academy group workout. But remember, Zwift Academy Baseline rides, Recovery Rides, and Finish Line rides must be completed in a group event.

Can I do another Zwift Academy event and count it towards my total?
No. If you are registered for Zwift Academy Road, you will only receive credit for solo workouts, group workouts, and events associated with that particular Academy to get credit. The events will be clearly distinguishable.

Can I repeat a workout or race?
Yes, the workouts or races can be repeated until the closing date of October 25, 2021 at 09:59 am UTC. 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 training break! 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. Doing this will likely over-fatigue you, 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. When in doubt, always seek advice from a licensed medical professional.

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, but they can also 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.

Pro Contract Eligibility

What do I need to do to compete for the CANYON//SRAM or Alpecin-Fenix pro contract?

  • Must graduate Zwift Academy
  • Use a smart trainer (or power meter and heart rate monitor) for all Zwift Academy events
    • Missing anything? Visit our Zwift Store to purchase a smart trainer
  • Use a heart rate monitor for all Zwift Academy events
  • Must graduate Zwift Academy by completing the following 12 events:
    • SIX Zwift Academy Workouts
    • TWO Zwift Academy Recovery Rides
    • ONE Baseline ride and ONE Finish Line ride at the Advanced distance
    • ONE additional Zwift Academy Pro Contender Workout in the workout folder
    • ONE Zwift Academy Pro-Contender TT Race
  • 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, 2022
  • Have a Strava account
  • Ensure your height & weight is accurately entered into Zwift
  • Cannot be a current WorldTour or UCI ProTeam professional, as defined by these list of teams:
  • Cannot have any doping violations from national federations
  • Cannot be a previous Zwift Academy Road Champion

Terms and Conditions

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 competing for the pro contract, complete the program’s 6 structured workouts and 6 additional Zwift Academy events. The 6 additional events must be 2 Zwift Academy Recovery Rides, the ‘Advanced Ride’ distance of the Baseline and Finish Line ride, 1 additional ‘Pro-Team Contender’ workout that can be found in its own folder under ‘Pro-Contract Contender (avail until Oct 1), and 1 ‘Pro-Contender TT Race’ that must be completed PRIOR TO October 1 at 09:59 am UTC.

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.

For more information on the weigh in process for pro contenders, please review our terms & conditions.

How are the Men and Women Finalists selected?
Up to 5 women and 5 men finalists will be selected to advance as Zwift Academy finalists.To be eligible to advance as one of the top 5 performing Finalists, you will need to ensure that you have completed all 7 workouts, including the additional Pro-Team Contender workout, one Baseline ride in the advanced distance, 2 recovery rides, one Finish Line ride in the advanced distance, and a Pro-ontender TT race within the qualification period. In addition, you will need to accurately weigh yourself prior to the start of the Academy as well as every week after. 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 of 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.

But it’s not just peak power we are looking for. In 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’d 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 for you into your Zwift dashboard and your Today’s Plan account (if you have one and linked it 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 technical question, contact us at Zwift.com.

2 Likes

Can’t wait for this year’s Zwift Academy! The TT helmet is especially cool… Quick question, is the bike paint job for the same bike as last year? (Canyon Aeroad 2021?)

Edit: Zwift Insider articles confirms that it is the same bike.

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@shooj for what it’s worth, when signing up for ZA on ATV the ‘legal stuff” page is just blank.

Who reads that stuff anyway, am I right! :rofl:

4 Likes

Or maybe there just isn’t any ‘legal stuff’! :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t think it was mentioned above, but the baseline and finish line rides are on brand new event only routes:

Legends and Lava begins in Fuego Flats and includes the Titans Grove Reverse KOM, Sprint Forward, and Volcano KOM as benchmarking segments. Climber’s Gambit starts on Watopia Pier and includes Sprint Reverse, Titans Grove Reverse KOM, and the Epic KOM Reverse.

see Zwiftinsider article:

Maybe these will be available for other events too?

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Trying to schedule the Baseline Ride - the scheduling screen disappears immediately and all I’m left with is this:

Thanks.

Have you tried signing up using the Companion app? I find this the easiest way to sign up. I just tried this for the next orientation ride and it worked flawlessly.

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@Nigel_Tufnel thanks for the nudge, the team’s taken care of that.

Hi @Green_Dwarf

Thanks for the heads up. The links from the ZA landing page are getting ironed out.

In the meantime, you can use this to find Academy events on zwift.com/events, and use the filters to select workouts if that’s what you’re after.

You can also apply filters in the Companion app, but you might have to scroll a bit until you get to the first day that ZA starts on August 30.

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@Nigel_Tufnel @shooj

Thanks folks, I used the link provided and registered successfully.

If joining Tri, then you don’t need to join the other 2 Road and Run???
Somewhat confused about this since it’s my first time joining.

Fwiw, I joined all 3 because I don’t understand. :flushed:

Hi @Lee_Louie_Team_CLS, I believe they are all separate. So if you are interested in tri, then that will incorporate riding and running. You don’t need to join all three, unless you want too. Each one will have separate events and requirements.

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That’s what I would think it would be. Thanks!

Hi @shooj. There doesn’t seem to be a way to unsubscribe from any of the Academies this year. The General FAQ usually has a cancellation link but it’s not been published this year? Can someone have a look at this and make cancellation available across the 3 Academies? Thanks!

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@Billy_Cr

Here is the page to withdraw from Zwift Academy Road 2021

I’ll update the original post with this info too.

2 Likes

Asking to clarify, so the extra TT race and bonus workout done by the 9/27 and 10/1 then finish the rest of workouts and rides by the end of ZA road or is it all 12 rides/workouts done by the Oct 1st? Thinking of the the extra two on top for the challenge only. How do I cancel today’s plan post ZA as I do not want pay for it as I have training peaks already?

The past few years there was nothing needed to cancel it, they won’t charge you anything post ZA, it just stops giving you access to all the dashboards and data.

I completed the Orientation ride. If that’s also called the “baseline”, when will Companion show that as done and the metrics?image|281x500