Zwift has announced a range of new and enhanced features for its platform, including an update to training plans, the roll-out of PacePartners, route-based workouts and new Zwift racing options.
Having shared its development roadmap until the end of 2022, this latest raft of updates is designed to make it easier to find content and connect with others, and there’s a new route coming in its tropical Japanese island themed Makuri world.
Zwift says its aim is to make its platform simpler to use and more fun both for novices and seasoned users. That means easier discovery of training content, better Zwift Clubs functionality and new always-available content.
Improved training discovery
There’s a huge collection of workouts and training plans on Zwift and the latest update aims to make these easier to find, before deciding if a plan is right for you. You will now be able to search by workout duration and perceived effort.
More detailed presentation using graphics will also enable you to find out more about a workout or plan before deciding to commit and Zwift will prioritise the workouts it thinks you’ll like in your feed.
Zwift is also making it easier to find the right club to join and for members to talk to each other. On top of that, it’s improving the ability for clubs to set controls for events, such as no drafting.
Compete against yourself
Zwift’s enhanced PacePartners functionality, which has been in its FutureWorks beta programme, is due to be rolled out to all users.
PacePartners are virtual riders that allow you to join an ‘always-on’ group ride for a workout at a variety of pre-set paces.
The Holographic Replay functionality is completely new and will be included in the FutureWorks testing programme.
It provides an avatar that replicates your most recent or previous best performance on a route, so you can work on your pacing and effort and compete against yourself to improve your times.
If you’re looking to follow a structured training plan, but want more variety than intervals, Zwift is now offering route-based structured workouts.
Marked segments enable you to mix your efforts as you ride a route, so you achieve your goals without having to follow a series of intervals in a structured routine.
Riding a range of route-based workouts will allow Zwift to calculate your FTP, and highlight your specific cycling strengths and weaknesses, so you can structure your training to build on the former and address the latter.
Zwift says it will initially launch route-based workouts as part of its Zwift Academy Road programme, before adding further workouts later in the year.
Zwift Academy will run from 12 September to 9 October, with a series of workouts designed to let you compete and potentially open up the route to a pro contract.
New Zwift racing options
You can now sign up to the Zwift Racing League via its dedicated website. This gives you a view of the month’s scheduled individual and team races, dates, routes, distances and ascent. Zwift says the Zwift Racing League is its most popular competition, offering virtual racing for all abilities and with more than 15,000 riders and 1,800 teams taking part.
Zwift says demand for shorter sessions is increasing steadily, so it’s launching a new feature called ZRacing that’s designed to fit in with your schedule. It offers a new stage each week that’s always on and is designed so that warm-up, competition and cool-down take less than an hour.
There’s new, enhanced team time trial functionality, while Zwift now includes auto-categorisation, which uses riders’ most recent Zwift performance data to ensure they’re racing against riders of similar abilities.
Elite competitors can sign up to attempt to qualify for the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. There’s a three-stage process, which starts with qualification events, moves on to Continental Championships and finally the opportunity to represent your country in the 2023 World Championships.
Expanded Makuri Islands roads
Last but not least, Zwift is increasing the length of roads, gravel and dirt surfaces in its Makuri Islands world, linking up other roads to offer a route of over 25 miles.
Based on the lush, exotic landscapes of the Southern Japanese islands, it’s already the second largest Zwift world.
The new Makuri Islands roads will include sand, a first on Zwift, and are due to launch in November.