ZWIFT Academy road 2022 FEEDBACK

It has been suggested on the womens facebook page that the best way to provide constructive feedback from this years academy is via the forum so here goes. From a personal perspective I’ve only completed the academy twice - 2020 and this year. 2020 was amazing, highly motivating at the then grand old age of 55 I achieved all time power PBs across the board. This year, whilst I quite enjoyed the program, it wasn’t even remotely the same. Firstly the lack of partnership with TODAYS PLAN was a massive loss - I couldn’t compare myself to my peers (age & gender) and this meant that the programme lost some of its motivational element. I also felt that the 6 workouts (I did the long ones) were a smidge on the easy side, good to provide two options though. I didn’t attempt the two extra ‘pro contender’ workouts, but I guess I could have done (overall interest lacking). The community feel just wasn’t the same, only two of the workouts I did were particularly ‘chatty’ and the Facebook page has been relatively quiet … many people have put this down, in part, to the lack of group rides in this years programme. In 2020 I did enjoy the races, I don’t really race on Zwift so for me they were a nice addition. However, I do appreciate that the lack of entrants meant that they became more of a TT than a race. Perhaps offering fewer options would negate this. I also missed the regular video updates - they were informative and cemented the community feel. The programme this year was far too short … for most people 4 weeks isn’t long enough for significant adaptations to take place. Lastly, for we oldies I felt like giving 100% over 3 segments in one ride was a little too much and for me unachievable - my volcano was a smidge compromised!! Looking forward to 2023 :-).


Thanks for creating this post!

Loved we could choose between short and long workouts. That’s about the only positive feedback I have for this year

The exclusion of the social rides, the fact it was only 4 weeks, and the feeling that it was COMPLETELY phoned in by Zwift this year made the academy nearly unbearable. I’ve done all 7 of them, and this by far was my least fun experience. When you remove the community aspect of these rides and the enthusiasm around the group rides and the experience as a whole (especially on the womens side which used to be a bustling bubbling community every year) it’s just not the same and well, not fun.

I’ve led the social rides for this before, and I can say without a doubt this is a core part of the experience. So many new women riders and old friends show up each week, and that feeling of belonging and having our own safe space in a traditionally male dominated sport was second to none and for 8 weeks completely our space on Zwift.

4 weeks is nearly impossible if you miss even a week for illness or travel to graduate. Come on Zwift, you’re asking for people to hurt themselves. Additionally having it run at the same time as ZRL for many means they choose that racing and skip the academy because it’s just too much to do. So so much of the community and social side of Zwift feels like it is already gone because of ZRL (everyone does it! So no one does anything else. If you don’t do it and have been watching a ton of the larger community rides that I used to love (and lead in some cases) now have half or less of the number of folks before. It’s really taken over Zwift and killed some of that aspect). The academy has been a staple of my Zwift riding every year because of the amazing community, I plan for it in my training and outdoor riding to fit it in. If next year is like this one what’s the point? No community, no coach engagement, no buzz or excitement, just a stressful 4 weeks trying to fit it in with everything else with no room for make up if you can’t ride for a week. (I saw some women this year doing two workouts back to back to finish. For the average rider or completely new rider on Zwift, this is a great way to get hurt!)

Really disappointed this year. I knew it would be different because Leah was let go from Zwift, and Kate has been crushing it with the Tour de femmes avec Zwift (which is AWESOME. So glad there’s a women’s tour now. Bout dang time) but these two core removals with no plan to make up for their huge loss in this event and community means the experience was underwhelming.


I couldn’t agree more with all of your points made above. I had Covid mid august and missed a great deal of outdoor riding as a result… In the darker moments, I kept thinking, the Zwift Academy is coming and it will great to immerse myself in the academy community spirit, group rides where we can chat, tough workouts and and establishing baselines and improvements. So disappointed in this year’s academy.


I started with the first ZA and kept going from there, have led group rides, have finished, have not finished, even did the tri and run ones.

Over the years it’s gotten worse, with pros and “the rest of us” being split, no community rides, less time allowed, etc.

Putting this during ZRL made me sign up but not actually do it this year. Just bad planning. But the lack of group rides is what put me over the edge. It used to be a community event and now it feels like the pro contract is the only thing this is for and the rest of us just have to deal with it.
Zwift has a ton of workouts available otherwise for those without a coach. Those with a coach have workouts at their disposal too. The community made it different. That’s gone, so my question is, why show up?



  • The workouts are good. I’ve already adapted a couple and used them in my own training and will be using others too.


  • No community rides. This destroyed the spirit of ZA. I’ve met so many lovely women in the previous two editions and loved leading rides and being able to help people get started on Zwift.
  • No community engagement by Zwift on the Facebook pages (shows how important Leah was to making ZA what it was)
  • So many technical muck ups that took ages to fix. ZA clearly wasn’t a priority for Zwift this year
  • Time limit was WAY too short. Just encouraged overtraining and had no flexibility for illness / work. Way too short to see a genuine improvement unless you don’t normally train. Not extending it despite the total mess up for Apple users was just disrespectful to the community.
  • Baselines weren’t tested for errors. They did kinda fix them pretty quickly but only cos someone in events (rather than ZA) made it a priority
  • Finish line emails are wrong. The whole phenotype thing was nonsense anyway. You can’t tell someone they’re a TTer based on what was a 7-10 minute climb for most. The switch to TT bikes was silly as you could still slingshot in from a big group and affect short and medium segment times quite significantly.
  • No Today’s plan with the cool power charts that were good motivation

I got the impression the ZA team didn’t really know what they were doing this year, or just weren’t interested. Questions on the forum went unanswered for days. I don’t think anyone ever got to the bottom of how the percentile on the emails was being calculated (maybe no one actually knew). James and Shuji tried their best to help but neither of them have ZA as their main role. They’re just good eggs who genuinely seem to care about the Zwift community.


This was possibly the worst ZA ever. No group rides and problems with the email system. Group rides are the biggest draw. You just have to look at the numbers they attract.

I didn’t even bother with the finish line ride. Hugely demotivating experience.


My first ZA:

I’ll not bother again unless the format changes significantly. 4 weeks isn’t really long enough to get a meaningful training block in. IMO, much better to do:

Baseline ride, at the start of …
3 weeks with a couple of moderate/hard workouts pw
1 week with no hard workouts
3 weeks with a couple of hard/very hard workouts pw
1 week with no hard workouts, and then …
Finish line ride

Sprinkling social rides in as appropriate.

That looks good to me. It’d give anyone who’s not done structured training an idea of what a proper 8 week block looks like, with training load progressing and appropriate recovery days/weeks.

For balance, I really enjoyed the format of the baseline/finish line rides. Terrain-based workouts are great fun.


I wasn’t around for any other ZA, so I don’t know what is missing with the group rides this time around - they had group workouts scheduled for each workout every hour, what was the difference in how they did group rides last year?

I thought the condensed 4 week format was too short to be able to fit around IRL races and work travel. I ended up cramming in the WOs into 2 weeks, so not ideal. I also thought the WOs were pretty tame compared to previous years, BUT for me they did what they said on the tin and I crushed all 3 segments on the finish line ride compared to the baseline ride.

I thought that not having the community rides was a real shame, they were really fun. And also, I think not having mandatory racing was a mistake, so many women in particular had never raced before ZA and then realised it was fun, and joined racing teams as a result. It was an ideal intro to racing for many.


This would have been my 6th. I started but won’t finish. I felt meh with the whole experience this year. I feel like they have dialed it in to what they need to get out of it, which is a pro rider but completely left the entire rest of the community behind….


I have to agree. Every year since I’ve participated I get excited and promote ZA … it’s like Christmas for adults.
When speaking to teamies and zwifters I encourage them to sign up and always emphasize the support and phenomenal community.

This will be the first year I have not completed the program. It’s was very disappointing to say the least.

It felt like little effort was made - in fact more like an … “Opps ya we forgot - let’s just throw it out there”

There was minimal community excitement- I recalled 1 graduation email. Even the emails about signing up were minimal. The lack of community rides - just made it like any other event.

Tbh I feel really bad for supporting this event as much as I have because the the zwifters I encouraged to join will really question my idea of fun :woman_facepalming: and support.

I’ve lead and swept ZA rides for a couple of years and it was a highlight of my year! To be able to promote the plateform and cheer on the ladies (and gentlemen) and encourage them … it was amazing.

Many of my Zwift friends I met through ZA and have had the chance to meet IRL. It’s sad - this year I have not meet one new friend. Events were barely attended.

Zwift. You really messed up this year! You dropped the ball on something great and I hope it does not bite you in the butt too badly.

I really hope to fix it for next year!


I was disappointed by ZA this year. The four weeks made it really difficult to complete on time (I had a week where I was very busy and couldn’t find time to get on the bike).

While I liked the baseline and finish ride, I missed the camaraderie of the regular group rides. This year’s edition of ZA seemed very geared toward the pro contract this year which is fine but the community built around ZA made it my favorite time of year and it was really lacking this round.

This set of workouts were great and very doable. However, I missed the partnership with Today’s Plan. Those stats were super insightful and kept me motivated.

With that being said, I was able to do a month of solid training, something I hadn’t done in over a year since I missed last year’s ZA. My FTP went up and all three times improved from my baseline, which made me happy!


I really enjoyed the workouts this year. The option to do the shorter workout was a lifesaver for me, as I got a late start and had less motivation compared to previous years. I also liked the fact that the workouts were tailored to the course for the baseline and finish line rides, which helped with pacing during the finish line and helped me to achieve 2 PRs. I do wish the group workouts would have had been scheduled more frequently since they were really the only way to engage the community this year. I also wonder why on earth the baseline ride was on the schedule up to the last day? Those time slots would have been better used for those of us trying to catch up on our workouts. Overall, still a worthwhile experience in my opinion. Ride on.

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I have participated in all of the prior ZA. Each year looking forward to the next one! This year was very disappointing. As most have already said, no community rides is a big one for me- I have been a ride leader for several of the prior years and can say everyone seemed to enjoy this aspect of the community. The 4 week time frame was also an issue for me- you can’t really make any real change/improvement in that short of a time and felt rushed to get it done.

To me this year it felt like the academy was just thrown together without much thought. Hopefully next year will be better.


After reading the majority of the posts on here, you all feel very much the same as I do!!!

I have particpated in every single ZA and this year was just not as much fun! The only positives was the workouts were good and having the shorter option helped me be able to fit it in!

I was there at the very beginning leading and encouraging the whole women’s community, I have so many international Zwift friends because of ZA it brought us together like no other events!

I feel let down and disapointed for the community that those new didn’t get the feelings we did in previous years. I really don’t think I’ll do it if it’s the same as this year which is a shame and like many here.

I want to write more but it’s all been said! Do better next time Zwift.
Thanks to the coaches though apart from the 30/30s text very little error on their part :slight_smile:


This was my 6th ZA I think and I would describe it as low key. A lack of information about how you compare to your age group peers was disappointing as well as the final message giving percentiles without an explanation. 69th percentile of what exactly? My age group? All participants? Males and females?
Apart from this I did quite enjoy the workouts but with only 4 weeks to complete, it’s more like a sample program than something to induce fitness. Not sure if I’ll bother again but then I say that every year.


Hey everyone - Thanks for your feedback here.

I’m going to show the team your comments so we can take it into consideration for next year.


I enjoyed it.

I’ve never followed any sort of training programme and would likely have been put off by something that was more intense or lasted longer. This was therefore an ideal introduction to the concept and I’m now more likely to partake of something longer over our Winter.

It was just the right frequency for me. Enough to push me to do it. Not so much that it interfered with real world riding and running.

The prompts worked out well - though it was annoying to see some simple errors in the scripts (incorrect durations on #6). It was good that they explained the reason for each workout and means I’m now better informed on how to select individual workouts in future.

I learnt quite a bit about my pedalling style and, at last, how ERG mode actually works.

There was a bit of a delay in getting the Baseline email and it could have been made more clear that email preferences had to be set.

The Finish Line email came through in 36 hours and was all correct, with the improved power numbers I achieved.

My usual bike in Zwift is the Canyon so a new colour scheme for it is much appreciated.

I guess the ZA was aimed more at folk like me than the more experienced Zwifters. That doesn’t quite align with the Pro Contract option though.

i thought it was an ok experience this year. previous years were definitely better.

the workouts were good this year, and having short options is great. the time trial bikes in the segments was great.

4 weeks is not enough time. i know that seems nuts for just 8 rides, but i rode outside a lot for the first 2 weeks of the academy, so i had to kind of cram it in for the last 2 weeks. it worked out for me (just barely), but feeling rushed on it is not fun.

the social aspect of the baseline rides was fun, but another couple group rides would have been nice. note that i did not do the workouts as group rides and maybe that’s where i missed out.

Some feedback from seeing the comments this year and years past.

In past years there was group rides and there was a lot of request to remove them because they did not align to people’s schedules. So I would suggest having group rides but in is optional.

In the past you had to get a large percentage of the stars to get credit for a workout, I would like to see this brought back.

This Academy did not really challenge the riders, I would suggest at least 3 workouts per week giving a total of 12 workouts in 4 weeks. This is a huge point for me if it is not challenging then it is just another Jersey that everyone get.