Zwift has launched Zwift Academy 2023, which is positioned as Zwift’s ultimate training challenge. There are six workouts designed to test every Zwifter and two races to help Zwifters get fitter and have fun within the virtual cycling community.
For those with stand-out talent, Zwift Academy offers an opportunity to win a professional cycling contract with CANYON//SRAM Generation and Alpecin-Deceuninck Development Team.
Registration for Zwift Academy opened on October 30, with workouts and events running from November 6 to December 17.
The Academy has proven to be one of the most popular events on Zwift and is a testing programme for all riders. In this year’s Zwift Academy participants can choose between long and short versions of each of the six workouts, alongside the two races which are needed to ‘graduate’.
Long workouts last from an hour up to 90 minutes while all the short workouts can be completed in under an hour of concentrated effort. Workouts will range from explosive anaerobic workouts that will strengthen sprinting skills through to endurance-focused workouts that will help improve aerobic efficiency.
All workouts will be available on-demand in November-December and can also be completed in organised group workouts. The two races will focus on sprint power as well as ability to recover from climbs.
“This year’s Zwift Academy will make you faster and help you cope better with that lactate burn,” said Dan Fleeman at Dig Deep Coaching, the coaching team behind the Zwift Academy workouts.
“We have designed a challenging programme which will test every energy system to the limit. So, if you are looking to improve your times on local climbs, race on Zwift, progress to the professional peloton or just become a stronger cyclist there is something for everyone.”
Along the way, Zwifters will earn exclusive in-game unlocks including the ZA kit after the first activity and the ZA cap once three activities have been completed. Any race completion unlocks the aero helmet and after all eight ZA activities are finished Zwifters unlock the ZA bike paint job.
First launched in 2016, Zwift Academy has served as a talent identification programme. This year, female participants in Zwift Academy have the chance to earn a contract with CANYON//SRAM Generation, the development team for CANYON//SRAM Racing. Male participants have the chance to earn a contract with Alpecin-Deceuninck’s development team.
These development teams create a formal pathway to the World Tour such as Zwift Academy 2022 winner Luca Vergallito’s promotion from Alpecin Deceuninck’s development team to their World Tour team and Ricarda Bauernfeind who started with CANYON//SRAM’s development team. To be considered for the Zwift Academy pro contract, participants must wear a heart rate monitor for all Zwift Academy activities as well as complete all the long workouts.