TrainingPeaks Structured Workouts in Zwift

By connecting TrainingPeaks with Zwift, you’ll be able to ride structured trainer rides in Zwift, and load your custom TrainingPeaks workout each day.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Login to and make sure your account is linked on the connections page at
  • If they are connected, disconnect, and then re-connect them again just to be sure
  • Next make sure the workout is a trainer workout (TrainingPeaks Structured Workout
  • Lastly, login to Zwift, select workouts, and find today’s workout under the TrainingPeaks drop down

You’ll only see the workout for the current day, and it updates automatically each day. You’re all set and ready to ride!

Gran Fondo and Century Ride Nutrition

Getting ready for your first gran fondo or century ride?

  • Increase your overall carbohydrate intake in the lead up 48 hours before the event, to include higher carbohydrate foods such as breads, potatoes, pastas, and rice.
  • Eat a good size (not excessive) breakfast 2-3 hours before the event with foods that will not upset your stomach. Foods like oatmeal, pancakes, bananas, toast, or cereal.
  • Your body is limited to around 60 grams of carbohydrate absorption per hour, so during the event a good strategy is to primarily consume liquid carbohydrate with electrolyte in 2 large bottles.
  • Bring an extra baggie of drink mix with you to add to your bottles mid-ride at aid stations, supplementing your nutrition strategy with gels every 30-60 minutes, with caffeine as desired.
  • Post-event, eat normal recovery foods with some added proteins and fats.


  1. Muth, Natalie. Sport Nutrition for Health Professionals. F.A. Davis Company, 2014.

5 Early Season Race Prep Indoor Workouts


In many parts of the U.S., early season racing will soon be upon us. Get tuned up with these indoor race-specific workouts. I perform these on my SportCrafters Omnium Trainer and use a large floor fan for cooling. Note: For pacing using PE or a HRM, see Power Training Levels by Training Peaks.

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#1 – High Cadence/High Intensity Surges (1.5 hour ride)
Start with a 20-30 minute gradual warm-up.
For this workout, visualize taking :15 second HARD (130-150% FTP) pulls, and then dropping back behind an imaginary breakaway partner into the draft for :15 seconds. Do this for 10:00. It will be difficult, but keep it rolling. Then easy for 5:00.
Finish out the ride at endurance pace (70-80% FTP).
#2 – Threshold Intervals (1.5 hour ride)
Begin with a solid 20+ minute warm up, stretch out the legs.
For main set #1, ride 4 x 12:00 @ 98-103% of your FTP with a 3:00 rest interval between each threshold interval.
Cool down for 10 minutes.
#3 – Climb the Pyramid (1.5 – 2 hour ride)
Warm up for 20:00.
Then do a reverse pyramid of intervals @ 93-95% FTP, starting with 20:00 and working your way down, by cutting the time in half: This is 20:00; 10:00, 5:00, 2:30; 1:15; :45. Incorporate 3:00 of recovery time in between each effort.
Recover for 5:00+ after the last interval, to make 1.5-2 hours total ride time depending on your needs.
#4 – Bursts and Sprints (1.5 hour ride)
Warm up for at least 20:00
Then complete a set of 5 microbursts of :30sec/:30sec 150% of FTP “ON” and 50% of your FTP “EASY”. Then ride very light for 10:00 to fully recover.
Then complete 3 “full gas” sprints from a slow roll/stop, full effort :10 to :12 second sprints with 4:00 of full recovery between each one. For the sprints, jump hard out of the saddle, explosive effort to get on top of the gear, then when you have reached maximum cadence, sit down and maintain maximum intensity for the entire length of the effort of :10 seconds or 20 pedal strokes.
Then after this set, ride at endurance pace to make 1.5 hours total ride time today.
#5 – Race Day Pre-Race Warm Up (40 minute ride)
The warm-up is 40 minutes total, and at a race is also completed on a trainer or on rollers.
20 minutes easy spin, slowly raising cadence to 100 rpm, and include a few 5 second high-cadence bursts.
Then 1×3 minutes @ 90%/95%/100% of FTP w/2:00 easy spin between intervals 1-2, 2-3.
After interval 3, 4 minutes easy spin
Roll over to the start line area with 10 minutes to go.

Faster Triathlon using Time Trial Races for Training

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The bike leg of triathlon and duathlon is essentially a time trial race sandwiched in between swimming and running. You will find subtle differences in training for a true time trial race, such as frequency, duration, and other TT specific workouts.

Here are a few tips for your first time trial:

  • If preparing for an upcoming event, use the race as training, race the time trial using all equipment you will have with you during a tri – spares and water – this way you “train like you race”.
  • You may be required to purchase a 1-day license at the event.
  • Warm up for the race for at least 45 minutes incorporating ‘step’ intervals that prepare your body for high race efforts. Consume some CHO drink.
  • At the starting line a ‘holder’ will hold your bike saddle (at most events) and allow you to clip in to your pedals. Start your stopwatch when the rider in front of you goes off – then subtract the time difference when you finish (depending on the race, usually 30 seconds).
  • You will want to start the race on your non-primary leg (your weaker leg) which will allow you to power a full revolution of your more powerful leg once you start the event. Make sure you are in the correct gear, spin your cranks forward and backward before you line up to make certain that your chain will not drop. Take a few deep breaths right before the start, then when the official says “GO!” (on the basebar) shift your weight forward and push hard, sprint up to speed (10 seconds) and settle into your pace.
  • Don’t worry about keeping a set heart rate or power during the first five minutes of the race, instead try to maintain a pace just under your 1-hour race effort. After the first five minutes you will want to hold your power or heart rate just below or right at your 1-hour threshold power/pace, then bump it up and really give it your all in the last 1/3 of the race. Focus on finishing strong.
  • Depending on the course profile, finish the race with the same power and a higher perceived intensity that you started it with, but have nothing left to give at the end of the event. If the profile is hilly, you will want to push a little harder on the climbs.
  • Properly warm down and stretch to prevent injuries. Hydrate and get some CHO drink into your system.

Time trial racing is one of the best ways to improve your bike split. You already have the bike and the fitness, all you need to do is show up and race a TT!

Time Trial Aerodynamics

(Originally written in 2009)

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My first time trial was nine years ago at a Fiesta Island TT. I rode a Specialized M4 road bike with Spinergy Rev-X wheels and clip on aerobars. Coming from a cross-country mountain bike background, and having dabbled in multisport events the previous year, I assumed that racing and training for a time trial would be “easy” compared to MTB events. I quickly learned that the sport of time trial racing is highly technical, and it can take years to develop optimal fitness and the skills needed to excel in this discipline. In the following article, I will discuss some of the finer points of basic time trial aerodynamics I have picked up along the way, and the priorities one should consider when upgrading equipment.

I often get asked the question about where to invest upgrade dollars when considering new equipment and gear. From results others have shared with me, my time in the wind tunnel observing athletes, and the various data reports that I have read, I will offer the following list of priorities for a time trial bicycle and the rider. This evaluation is fully debatable and represents only my opinion. The results below were gained from various sources and in most cases represent a rider at 30MPH at zero degree yaw over a 40K course.

** Maximum time savings for these upgrades over 40K:

Handlebars (Reference: J Cobb, Vision Tech)

From: To: Savings:
Drop Bars Integrated Aerobars 2 – 4 Minutes
Drops/clip-ons Integrated Aerobars 15 secs – 1 Minute

Clothing (Reference: Rainer Pivit)

From: To: Savings:
Shorts & Jersey Skin Suit 29 seconds
Add Shoe Covers 13 Seconds

Wheels (Reference: J Cobb)

From: To: Savings:
“Box Style” 32 spoke wheels Deep front/disc rear 2 – 3 Minutes
Deep front/rear Deep front/disc rear 30 Seconds

Frame (Reference: J Cobb, Martin/Cervelo)

From: To: Savings:
Round tubing Airfoil chainstays, down/seat tube & post 30 secs – 2 Minutes

Fork (Reference: Oval Concepts, J Cobb, D Bunce)

From: To: Savings:
Round tube fork Oval Jetstream 35 seconds
Round tube fork Ouzo Pro Aero 30 seconds
Round tube fork Hotta 30 seconds

Helmet (Reference: J Cobb)

From: To: Savings:
Standard road helmet L.G. Prologue 30 seconds
Standard road helmet Standard road helmet, tape over vents 10 – 30 seconds

Aero Wheels – Using aero wheels (vs. 32 spoke box rim wheels) can save you two minutes over a 40K time trial. The fastest wheels are a deep dish front (Zipp 1080, Zipp 808, Stinger 9, HED H3) paired with a disc rear (Zipp, Bontrager, Mavic, HED). Aero wheels definitely make a substantial difference in reducing aerodynamic drag. When deciding which wheels to purchase, HED makes a yaw calculator and Zipp has aero test results to help you in your decision.

Aerobars – Aerobars are the #1 most important feature of any time trial bicycle. Integrated one-piece aerobars are more aerodynamic than clip on bars. Wind tunnel tests show that using aerobars can save 4 minutes over a 40K time trial course. Currently there is an abundance of aerobars on the market, and the fastest aerobars carry the labels of Profile Design, Zipp, Bontrager, HED and Vision Tech. These new one-piece units are some of the best designed and likely the most aerodynamic aerobars made today. For clip on aerobars, the classic Syntace C2 (a triathlon favorite) has been moved aside by Zipp and Vision Tech base bar and clip on bar systems.

Aero Frames – Many frames on the market claim to be aero. The most important feature that a frame can offer you is the fit, followed by aerodynamics, stiffness and comfort. Many new aero frames are designed around UCI rules. This requires a double-diamond design, and 3:1 tubing aspect ratio. If racing national championship events you should consider a UCI legal frameset. Frame aerodynamics are important, however fit is even more so. When selecting a frame, fit and comfort are paramount considerations. How do you know if the frame you are considering is aero? Start with the tubeshapes of the bicycle. Are the tubes airfoil shaped? Is the downtube narrow and deep? Is there a closely spaced rear wheel cut-out? Aero seatpost? These are some items to consider. Some of the top companies today that produce aero time trial frames are (in no particular order) Specialized, Cervelo, Trek, Orbea, Kestrel, Felt, Softride, Corima, Lotus, Elite, Quintana Roo, Aegis, Pinarello and Colnago.

Conclusion – Aerodynamic gear does not come cheap, so keep these two points in mind when considering upgrading your equipment:

  • Buy the fastest gear you can afford, but remember that position on the bike is paramount to anything you bolt onto it
  • Buy an aero helmet first, then a skinsuit, then upgrade your wheels, then the frame