Here are a few tips I have for riders who are participating in Zwift Academy. If you want in on the event and are not already signed up, it is not too late! You can sign up through the companion app or the Zwift app. This is my 3rd year participating in the academy and every year it just keeps getting better.
My first tip is to use ERG mode. ERG mode helps you hit the correct cadence and power outage by increasing and decreasing the amount of resistance that Zwift gives you. For riders who are new to structured workouts, I highly recommend using ERG mode to ensure that you earn all of the stars. Remember, the more stars the more XP! I love everything about ERG mode except for the ERG spiral of death. That is when you are pedaling and it suddenly gets really hard to pedal. One work around that I have found for that issue is to just turn ERG off for about 5-10 seconds, and then turn it back on.
My second tip is to take rest days in between workouts. I found that these workouts are pretty hard for me, the next day my legs are usually dead. If I were to do the workouts back to back, I likely would not hit the power numbers and I wouldn’t get the full benefit. Now that the Zwift Academy recovery rides are scheduled, I would highly recommend joining one of those, turning the HUD off, and enjoying the scenery. Don’t worry about the leaders pace, just go at your own speed and keep the HR low.
My third and final tip is to do an FTP test/Ramp test/Max effort race. The reason why I included a max effort race is because that is how I do most of my “FTP” tests. I don’t like doing the actual test itself because it is less motivating and more boring. Instead I normally do a Crit Race and aim to hold a high power rather than trying to save energy to have a good position in the finishing sprint. For me racing is a lot more fun than FTP tests, and I am pretty sure most people do not enjoy FTP tests. Zwift will automatically detect if you set a new 20 minute power output, and increase your FTP if you do get a new FTP.