Zwift Academy Run 2021 FAQ

Program

When does the Zwift Academy Run start and finish?
The Qualifying period begins on October 4, 2021, 13:00 pm UTC and ends on November 29, 2021, 09:59 am UTC.

The team selection will be held in early 2021. More details to follow.

What do I need to do to graduate Zwift Academy?
To graduate from the Academy, complete the program’s 8 structured workouts and 2 additional events (5k Baseline and Finish line run). All requirements need to be completed between October 4 and November 29. You’ll find the workouts in a folder called ‘Zwift Academy Run 2021’ on your workout menu screen. Baseline runs will be scheduled in the first 4 weeks of the program Oct. 4–Nov. 1) and Finish Line runs will be scheduled in the last 4 weeks (Nov. 129) of the program. You will need to complete at least one Baseline and Finish Line run to graduate.

Competing to join the Zwift Academy Run Team? Here’s our FAQ for more details and support.

Should I update my Run paces in-game before starting the Academy?
Yes, but it’s not required. We do recommend that you start the Academy with current and accurate run paces to ensure the best results from your structured training.

This can be done manually by going to your profile in-game and changing your times (1mi, 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon) to reflect your current fitness.

To help each athlete find their current paces, we’ve added a Baseline 5k run to the ZA program this year, which is required for graduation. You can use it to test your current 5k fitness and manually update your paces. We recommend doing this in the first week of the Zwift Academy program, before starting your structured workouts, to get the most out of your ZA RUN program.

Pro tip: make sure you are well-rested before completing the Baseline and Finish Line runs for best results.

What is the last day to sign up?
Registration for the Academy closes on October 31, 2021, by 09:59 am UTC. You can enroll in Zwift Academy through the website at Zwift Academy 2021, 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 (25%, 50%, 75% and 100%), you’ll receive a notification of your reward. With 10 total events (8 workouts plus 2 group runs or races), you’ll unlock a reward after you complete 2, 5, 7, and 10 events in any combination.

You’ll need to log back into Zwift in order to view the unlock.

What if I go on holiday during Zwift Academy?
All sessions must be completed by November 29, 2021, 09:59 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’ve added two new features to ZA Run: Short/Long workouts and Baseline/Finish Line runs.

The Short workouts and Long Workouts allow Zwifters to decide which program’s training load is appropriate for their experience level.

Short workouts are 25–35 minutes long and are a condensed version of the Long workouts. The Short Workouts are ideal for new runners, less experienced runners, or anyone who wants to get into running.

Long Workouts are 40–60 minutes long and offer increased intervals and tempo durations. These workouts are ideal for returning seasoned runners looking to improve their speed and endurance.

The Baseline and Finish Line runs are required to graduate Zwift Academy Run. These replace the 5k races from last year and will be used to measure performance gain from the program.

The Baseline run is meant to be your first run of ZA and give you an idea of your current 5k pace. Use this run to input new paces into Zwift or adjust your paces to align with your current fitness.

The Finish Line run is meant to be the last event in your ZA program. This run should allow you to use the fitness and education from the program to put in a good effort and attempt a new 5k PR.

Do I need to complete both Short and Long workouts?
No, just choose the workout duration that best suits your running ability.
How do I withdraw from Zwift Academy Run 2021?
You can withdraw on this page

Sessions

When do I have to complete the qualifying events?
All events must be completed by November 29, 2021, 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 runs, 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.

What is the difference between a Baseline Run and Finish Line run?
The Baseline run is meant to be the kick-off to your 2021 Zwift Academy Run program. Use the Baseline run as an opportunity to find your current fitness level and update your in-game paces in Zwift. This will ensure you are training at the proper intensity for the following 8 structured workouts.

The Finish Line run is your chance to close out the ZA program with a PR by taking all the training and knowledge you’ve accumulated from the program and getting after one last 5k effort.

We will compare your Baseline run with your Finish Line run to see just how much you improved in this year’s academy.

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. Group workouts will be scheduled as one workout per week. In week one of the Academy we will schedule Workout 1, in week two of the Academy we will schedule Workout 2, and so on. If you miss a scheduled group workout during the week you can always do the workouts on demand from the training folder.

Can I do a Zwift Academy Tri run and count it towards my total?
No. If you are registered for Zwift Academy Run, you will only receive credit for group workouts, group runs, and races 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 November 29, 2021, 09:59 am UTC. But keep in mind that each workout will only count once toward your completion total of all 8 running workouts as well as the Baseline and Finish Line runs. The best results from each of the completed Zwift sessions will be used in the analysis.

All workouts will also be available on demand after the Academy finishes.

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 second rule is don’t try to overcompensate and make up for the missed sessions. When you are back to running, stick to your session structure and don’t try to make up for the extra time you were in recovery. Doing this 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 Run to inspire and motivate you as a runner but 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.

What races qualify for Zwift Academy Run credit?
There will be specific Zwift Academy Run designated races. They will be clearly marked as Baseline race and Finish Line race, and both must be completed to graduate. As soon as the schedule is available, we’ll email it out as well as make the schedule available on zwift.com/academy.

Team Eligibility

What do I need to do in order to be eligible to make the ZA Run Team?
To be eligible for Team selection you must graduate from the Zwift Academy Run program. This means completing all 8 structured workouts (short or long versions) as well as both the Baseline and Finish Line runs*, which are scheduled events and can be found on the events calendar.

*It is mandatory for Baseline and Finish Line runs to be completed with a heart rate monitor and cadence sensor.

When will Zwift choose the finalists for the Zwift Academy Run Team?
Team selection will run from the program’s completion on November 29, 2021, 09:59 am UTC until team announcement on or around March 1, 2021. Selected team members will be notified and asked to complete a comprehensive application for further screening.

What will I need to do to ensure my runs qualify me for the Zwift Academy Run Team?
Register for Zwift Academy Run 2021 and complete all 8 structured workouts from either the training folder labeled Zwift Academy Run 2021 or complete the Zwift Academy Workouts on the event schedule. You can choose between short workouts or long workouts or a mix of both.

In addition to completing the workouts that are required, you will also need to complete the Baseline and Finish Line runs with a heart rate monitor and a device that tracks cadence (for 5k Baseline and Finish Line runs only). Both of these are required in order to be considered for the Zwift Academy Run Team.

When will the final team be announced?
We plan to announce the team on or around March 1, 2022.

Are there any restrictions?
We’re inviting runners from all age groups (18+) to apply. All we ask is that applicants should be ready and willing to take on the challenge of racing at a major marathon in Fall 2022.

How many athletes will be selected for the 2021 team?
We plan to select six athletes (3 males & 3 females) for the Zwift Academy Run Team.

What are the benefits of joining this team?
Short answer: gear, guidance, and an incredible marathon experience unlike any other. Longer answer: Zwift Academy Run Team members will train like pros. They’ll enjoy benefits that money can’t buy like a physiological testing session in the adidas HQ and coaching from world class coaches Terrence Mahon and Jen Rhines.

There are also quite a few benefits that money can buy but add up quickly. We’re talking the complete pro package including a Woodway treadmill, head-to-toe adidas clothing and shoes, recovery tools from Hyperice, Maurten hydration and gel products, Oakley sunglasses, and Garmin watches. Not to mention an all-expenses-paid trip to a major marathon in Fall 2022, as well as a pro-level training camp during the season.

I already have sponsors of my own. Can I continue to represent them?
No. During your time as a Zwift Academy Run Team member, you must only represent Zwift and the team partners.

Can I continue working with my current coach?
While we understand athletes may already have a coach, we advise selected team members to take full advantage of the opportunity to train under 3x Olympian Jen Rhines and decorated coach Terrence Mahon.

I have never raced a marathon, can I still apply?
You bet! If you feel you have a background that suggests you can excel at the sport, we’re excited to see what you have.

Tech Questions

I am having problems with my Zwift setup, where should I go for help?
Not to worry! You can visit our support articles for your run setup.

How to get started on Zwift Run?
Whether at home or at the gym, getting up and running is simple. All you need is a treadmill, Zwift RunPod or other compatible footpods, and a device to run Zwift. And if you have access to a supported Bluetooth treadmill, you don’t even need a footpod. If you’re hoping to get up and running soon, Watch here.

What is the NPE Runn?
The NPE Runn ups the Zwift experience without the need for a fancy bluetooth treadmill. By tracking the treadmill’s belt speed, the NPE Runn allows for more accurate training.

So the baseline and finish runs are not available in the training folder and must be completed as an event, correct? If so, can there be more times offered for the baseline run? Looking at this week (accounting for various time zones, I realize) there are hours where workout #1 and the baseline run are offered at the same time, other hours where it’s just workout #1. Why not offer both every hour on the hour this week?

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If its a choice between workout and baseline event then take the baseline event. You can do the workouts at any time.

The baseline run is every 2 hours so you should be able to squeeze that in.