Zwift Academy Tri 2021 FAQ

Program

When does the Zwift Academy Tri start and finish?
The qualifying period begins on October 18, 2021, 15:00 pm UTC and ends on December 13, 2021, 09:59 am UTC.

For those competing for a spot on the Zwift Academy Tri team, finalists will be contacted in early 2022. More details to follow.

What do I need to do to graduate Zwift Academy?
To graduate the Academy, complete the program’s 10 structured workouts (5 cycling workouts and 5 running workouts), 1 Baseline ride and run, and 1 Finish Line ride and run. All requirements need to be completed between October 18 and December 13. You’ll find the workouts in a folder called ‘Zwift Academy Tri 2021’ on your workout menu screen. Group rides, runs, and races must specifically be designated ‘Zwift Academy Tri’ to count towards your graduation.

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

Should I take an FTP test or a 5k test before starting the Academy?
To get the most out of your structured training, you should ensure your FTP (Functional Threshold Power) and 5k times are accurate before you start Zwift Academy. The best way to accomplish that is by doing a Zwift Ramp Test and the 5k test.

To find your FTP, we recommend that you try the Zwift Ramp Test. The test involves a warmup and then approximately 4–8 minutes of effort that will automatically set your FTP in Zwift. Similarly, we recommend that you try the Zwift 5k Test as this will determine your prescribed workout efforts in-game.

Coaches tip: make sure you are well-rested before completing these tests for best results.

What is the last day to sign up?
Registration for the Academy closes on November 14, 2021, by 09:59 am 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 unlock rewards as you progress through the Academy. The completion of Bike workouts 2 and 5 as well as the completion of Run workouts 2 and 5 will award you special Zwift Academy unlocks. If you complete all requirements from both cycling and running, you will receive your final Zwift Academy Tri unlock.

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

What if I go on holiday during Zwift Academy?
All sessions must be completed by December 13, 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 Tri: Short & Long workouts and Baseline & Finish Line events.

The Short Run workouts and Long Run 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 triathletes, less experienced runners or anyone who wants to do a brief run workout.

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

The Baseline and Finish Line Bike and Run races are required to graduate. This year there will be two distance options for both bike and run: 20 km or 40 km TT for bike and 5 km or 10 km. These replace the races from last year and will be used to measure performance gains from the ZA program. The distance option you choose for your Baseline must be the same one done for your Finish Line.

The Baseline ride and run is meant to be your first time doing a Time Trial or 5k/10k. These will be good metrics to adjust your training to and measure progress against.

The Finish Line Bike TT and Run Race is meant to be the last event in your ZA program. These events should allow you to test the fitness and experience gained from the Academy and use it training towards your next triathlon.

How do I withdraw from Zwift Academy Tri 2021?
You can [withdraw on this page](Tri: The at Home Cycling & Running Virtual Training App)

Sessions

When do I have to complete the qualifying events?
All events must be completed by December 13, 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, 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 are the Orientation Rides and Runs?
These events give you the inside scoop on this year’s program—Baseline and Finish Line rides and runs and workouts designed by world-class coach Dan Plews aimed at boosting your aerobic, anaerobic, and VO2 capabilities. Keep in mind that this is just a warm-up orientation event, 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 October 18!

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

What is the difference between a Baseline Ride/Run and Finish Line Ride/Run?
Zwift Academy Baseline events should be the first events you do. This ride and run will determine your baseline fitness level as you begin your Zwift Academy journey. Athletes are challenged to get personal records (PR’s) on the TT race and 5k or 10k run. There is no drafting and no leader. Baseline rides and runs will only be available as an event until November 15 at 9:59 am UTC.

A Zwift Academy Finish Line ride and run is specifically designed to capture your gains over the duration of the Academy. It is set up identically to the baseline ride or run and will measure the exact same segments you started the Academy with. Athletes are challenged to get personal records (PR’s) on the TT race and 5k or 10k run. There is no drafting and no leader. The Advanced Baseline and Finish Line events are required events for Pro-Contenders.

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

TT Race categories are:
A: Advanced Ride (40 km distance)
B: Standard Ride (20 km distance)

Run categories are:
A: Advanced Run (10k dstance)
B: Standard Run (5k distance)

NOTE: The Advanced Baseline and Finish Line distances are required events for Team Contenders.

I am not sure if I could get selected for the team? Would I still be able to be selected if I choose to do the Standard Baseline and Finish Line rides/runs?
Shoot for the moon! If you have it in you, we recommend doing the advanced distances. The fitness gains will be well worth your effort, and unfortunately, the standard distance events 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/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.

If I am hoping to make the Zwift Academy Tri Team, are there a certain number of group rides or races I need to complete?
Yes. If you are hoping to be selected for the team, you will need to complete the 5 bike workouts and 5 longer duration run workouts, complete both the Advanced Baseline and Finish Line 40km races, and both the Advanced Baseline and Finish Line 10km run races.

Can I do another Zwift Academy event and count it towards my total?
No. If you are registered for Zwift Academy Tri, you will only receive credit for solo workouts, group workouts, 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 December 13, 2021, although each workout will only count once toward your completion total of completing all 5 cycling workouts, 5 running workouts, Baseline ride and run, and Finish Line ride and run. Your best results from each of the completed Zwift sessions will be used in the analysis. Not to fear, after December 13, you will still have access to all your favorite Zwift Academy workouts to repeat and add to your fitness.

Can I mix and match distances for the Baseline and Finish Line events?
No. Whichever distance you do for your Baseline event, you must complete the same for your Finish Line event to graduate. However if you want to do both distances, overachievers are always welcome.

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 most 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 and riding, stick to your training 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 Tri to inspire and motivate you as a triathlete 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 Tri credit?
There will be specific Zwift Academy Tri designated Baseline and Finish Line events. You will be able to do either a 20 km or 40 km TT for ike, or either a 5km or 10km race for run. 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.

Team Eligibility

What do I need to do to be eligible for the ZA Tri Team selection?
To be eligible for team selection, athletes must:

  • Graduate the Zwift Academy program
  • Complete the Baseline & Finish Line bike 40 km TT and run 10k
  • For bike events, must use a smart trainer (or heart rate monitor and cadence sensor)
  • For run, must use cadence sensor, heart rate strap, and complete the long run workouts
  • Must be an amateur athlete

When will Zwift choose the finalists for the Zwift Academy Tri Team?
Team selection will run from program completion on December 13, 2021 until team announcement on or around March 1, 2022. 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 workouts qualify me for the Zwift Academy Tri Team?
In order to be eligible for selection for the Zwift Academy Tri Team, Zwifters must meet specific criteria. For qualifying cycling events, athletes must use a smart trainer or power meter and heart rate monitor. For qualifying run events, athletes must use a run cadence sensor and heart rate monitor. Athletes must also be an amateur triathlete at the time of joining Zwift Academy.

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 triathletes from all age groups (18+) to apply. All we ask is that applicants should be ready and willing to take on the challenge of qualifying for and racing at the 2022 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

How many athletes will be selected for the 2022 team?
We plan to select six athletes (3 males & 3 females) for the Zwift Academy Tri Team.

What are the benefits of joining this team?
Short answer: gear, guidance, and an incredible Kona experience for members who qualify for the World Championships. Longer answer: Zwift Academy Tri Team members will train like pros under the mentorship of tri superstars Tim Don and Sarah True. They’ll enjoy benefits that money can’t buy like a session in the Specialized Win Tunnel, an opportunity that only select pros get to experience.

There are also quite a few benefits that money can buy but add up quickly. We’re talking a complete aero race package from Specialized, including their S-Works Shiv Disc triathlon bike, along with generous product support from ROKA, Science in Sport, WHOOP, and Wahoo. Not to mention an all-expenses-paid trip to Kona for members who qualify for the IRONMAN World Championships 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 Tri Team member, you must only represent Zwift and the team partners.

Can I continue working with my current coach?
Yup! We’ll be monitoring all team athletes’ training as well as providing advice through team mentors but we’re happy for athletes to continue existing coaching relationships.

I have never raced a triathlon, 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 and cycling setup.

How to get started on Zwift Cycling?
Getting started on Zwift Cycling couldn’t be easier. Zwift pairs your bike with indoor training gear to create a smooth and realistic ride. Trying to get started? Look no further, here is our support article on this topic.

How to get started on Zwift Running?
Whether at home or at the gym, getting up and running is simple. All you need is a smart treadmill, NPE Runn, 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 Zwift RunPod?
The Zwift RunPod is your key to unlocking Zwift Run and making serious indoor training fun. The RunPod tracks both speed and cadence, relaying your stats to Zwift. This allows you to run on any treadmill, any time.

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.

When will the ZA Tri workouts be available in the workout folder?

@Oliver_SPEED_HOUND
Savvy question! They’ll be available an hour after ZA Tri opens, so on October 18 at 16:00 UTC

Where can I find the ZA Tri rides in Companion App? I can only find the runs?

1 Like

I just checked companion and I am able to see them… The at Home Cycling & Running Virtual Training App

Strange… If I follow your link I can see the Baseline TT, but if I just check the app it doesn’t show…

That is odd…

I can find the baseline run in the app but no ride.

I hope this doesn’t go like it did last year. That was an absolute ■■■■ show with no support or answers other then a crude work around.

All looks fine for me - I’m planning on doing both the baseline run and ride consecutively tomorrow. But just use zwifthacks anyway, it’s a much better site for finding/joining events. NB it’s called “Baseline TT” not ride. But it is of course a bike ride.

Call it whatever you want its not in the app. I shouldn’t have to use a third party product to schedule a ride.

Anyways sorry for the attitude and thanks for the tip. Last year the totally dropped the ball on this thing and apparently Im still feeling burned by it as they’ve already managed to ■■■■ the roll out of this years event.

I was able to schedule both ride and run for tomorrow via zwifthacks. Thank you for being more helpful then what passes as support from zwift.