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The Best Spring Training Strategy

Use indoor riding to help achieve your spring cycling goals. Here’s how.

Here’s one truth every cyclist can agree on: no matter what level we’re starting at, we all want to ride faster or farther or both. Spring is the key time to dial in your training, especially for outdoor cyclists trying to ramp up their fitness after a winter off. Your secret weapon: using indoor training to enhance your outdoor riding. That goes for cyclists who have been Zwifting all winter long as well, since indoor training through spring helps your transition to the outdoors in myriad ways. And now, with Zwift Spring Training workouts launching April 17, this could be your best season yet. 

Combine Zwift and outdoor cycling for your best spring training results yet.
Combine Zwift and outdoor cycling for your best spring training results yet. (Photo: Zwift)

If you have road races or epic adventures coming up this season—or just want to enjoy your rides with buddies and go from droppee to dropper—here’s how to use indoor riding to make spring training efficient, effective, and fun. And thanks to the new Zwift Hub (priced at only $499), joining an online training platform has never been more affordable or easy to set up. It’s a cinch to get started because Zwift Hub is compatible with multiple bikes and dropout sizes, and it’s sent with a cassette of your choice.

Combine Zwift and Outdoor Training

Zwift Spring Training promises a whole new level of indoor/outdoor benefits. Workouts are tailored to individual Zwifters based on their Functional Threshold Power (FTP, a key measure of riding fitness), which makes each training session customized to your physiological needs. The structured workouts are each between 40 and 55 minutes long and will be released weekly starting on April 17. To encourage camaraderie, group workouts will also be available to join and will be rubber-banded (the group stays together regardless of fitness levels). Here are the training goals that will be covered:

1) Aerobic Rev-Up: As the name implies, this workout focuses on aerobic conditioning, which lays a fitness foundation for all your riding goals. The majority of the program will be done subthreshold, with a couple of one-minute bursts just above FTP.

Workout focus on aerobic conditioning, and more.
Spring Training goals include aerobic conditioning and more. (Photo: Zwift)

2) FTP Booster: Why is increasing your FTP so important? You’ll be able to maintain higher power, so you can ride faster over longer distances. With this workout, you’ll hold a sub-FTP baseline with surges up and over VO2 capacity.

3) Hairpin Wizard: With 30-second high-intensity efforts mixed in, this workout mimics the natural surges you encounter while climbing around hairpin corners or over steeper gradients.

4) Over, Under, and Beyond!: This training program is designed to help your body better tolerate and clear lactic acid, which means you’ll perform at a higher level for longer periods. That kind of endurance lets you enjoy long rides of any kind.

5) VO2 Blast: Need to keep up with your riding partners as they attack that highway sign on the horizon? Or maintain pace as the grade steepens? This workout, featuring three VO2 max intervals, deals with those surges of speed and power.

6) Final Send: The last workout in the series uses anaerobic intervals to help you improve your top-end power output and overall speed. Why does this matter? Because fast is fun whether you’re out for a casual club ride or racing for the first time!

How All Riders Can Benefit from Indoor Training

Get motivated

The Zwift community is always there for you (literally, thanks to the global nature of Zwifting, which means someone is always riding somewhere). And you’re sure to find a safe, rewarding environment, with group rides, women’s rides, targeted workouts, and all-level competitions scheduled around the clock.

Increase total weekly training time

Indoor cycling is flexible—you can ride before dawn or after sunset, or whenever you have a 45-minute window (hello, lunch ride).

Get the right ride at the right time

No time to get to an outdoor route suited to your objective? You can climb if you live in the flatlands (great for strength training) or ride on the flats when you live in the mountains (good for recovery rides). And if you’re looking for active recovery training, doing an easy spin on Zwift is more controlled and less strenuous than being out in the elements.

Avoid weather interruptions

Spring can be too wet for the road. Indoor training is a great alternative that ensures you can maintain your training program. In fact, this spring, because of wild weather in Europe, many pro teams have been using indoor trainers to keep riders fit and ready to compete at the highest levels. In some regions, intense heat makes indoor riding attractive in the summer.

All riders can benefit from indoor training.
All riders can benefit from indoor training. (Photo: Zwift)

Get focused work done

With Zwift’s structured workouts, you’ll know exactly what to do and when, so you don’t need to tape your workout to your stem, and you don’t need to do a ton of training research if you just want to get a bit fitter for your weekly group ride. If you’re using a smart trainer, ergometer mode (ERG mode) ensures training precision by adjusting the resistance necessary to achieve the target power. Perhaps just as important, ERG mode also reinforces good habits by mandating a low power output during recovery periods.

Target specific outdoor goals

Indoor cycling helps you train in specific ways. For instance, gravel racers benefit from developing power for prolonged seated efforts at lower cadence and higher torque. By using structured workouts and ergometer mode, adjusting “trainer difficulty,” or selecting an uphill or off-road route on Zwift, cyclists can replicate outdoor gravel races and other types of riding that make particular demands.

Zwift is the fitness company born from gaming. Play is in our DNA and we know fun fuels results. Zwift utilizes online gaming technology to create rich, 3D worlds ripe for exploration. Our app connects wirelessly to exercise equipment: bike trainers, treadmills, and more, so your real-world effort powers your avatar in the game. From friendly races to social rides and structured training programs, Zwift unites a diverse community in pursuit of a more fun, immersive, and social fitness experience. To find out more, to start your 14-day free trial, or to order your Zwift Hub smart trainer, head to

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