Zwift Academy Tri 2021 starts on 18 October with eight weeks of structured triathlon training. Here’s what you need to know for this year.

Zwift Academy Tri 2021 features a total of 14 sessions including 10 structured workouts across bike and run plus the new Baseline and Finish Line rides and runs, which are designed to show your progress over the eight-week programme. You’ll have from 18 October until 13 December to complete the Academy. Signing up is easy – just check out the Zwift Companion app or visit the Zwift website.

Zwift Academy Tri 2021 Running and Cycling
Zwift Academy Tri is back for 2021 with new progression tests, workouts and kit to unlock. (Photo: Zwift)

The 2021 Zwift Academy Tri programme is designed to provide the essentials of triathlon bike and run training, utilising speed building intensities to help make you a faster, more powerful athlete. The Academy sessions have been created by coach Dr Dan Plews, who, in addition to coaching some of the world’s best age-group and pro athletes, has a PhD in exercise physiology and is the holder of the fastest-ever age-group time in Kona – 8:24.

Get Ready For Zwift Academy Tri 2021

To get the most from the Zwift Academy Tri 2021’s structured training, Zwift recommends starting with accurate FTP and 5km times – especially if you’re going for a spot on the Zwift Tri Team. So, make sure you plan in a Zwift Ramp Test on the bike and Zwift 5k Test on the run before starting the Academy sessions. It’s best to do these on separate days and be well-rested before each test.

The Zwift Academy Tri 2021 Programme

First up are the Zwift Academy Tri 2021 orientation rides and runs. These are available from around two weeks before the academy starts – either as scheduled group workouts or in the workout folder. The orientation workouts are designed to give an inside scoop on what’s to come in this year’s academy programme. As warm-up events, the orientation sessions don’t count towards graduation but give a flavour of what to expect for the rest of the academy.

The Baseline and Finish Line events are new for 2021 and replace the races in last year’s academy. As well as being a requirement for graduation, they give an indication of your form upon finishing the academy compared to when you started it. Zwift is also promising insights that will be available exclusively on the Zwift Companion app, which is a must-have for any Zwifter.

Zwift Academy Tri 2021 Structured Workouts
The Zwift Tri Academy schedule includes plenty of tough workouts specifically tailored for triathletes’ needs. (Photo: Zwift)

These bookend events are also available in a choice of ‘Standard’ or ‘Advanced’ distances. For the bike TT the Standard Ride is 20km while the Advanced Ride is 40km. For the run, the Standard option is 5k with Advanced being 10km. You’ll need to pick the same distance for your Baseline and Finish Line events.

The specifics of the five bike and five run workouts won’t be available until Zwift Academy Tri 2021 starts, but expect them to be pretty tough and push your limits. For the run, there will be the choice of shorter, 25 to 35-minute or longer 45 to 60-minute workouts – suitable for less experienced and more seasoned triathletes respectively.

While the sessions can be completed in any order, the programme has been designed with progression in mind, so it’s best to follow the order prescribed to get the most out of it. The Zwift team also recommends completing two sessions per week, leaving 48 hours between workouts.

You can take on the workouts individually by selecting them from the workouts menu or by joining a scheduled Zwift Academy group workout. Head to the Zwift Companion app from 18 October to see the group schedule.

If you’re not happy with how a session went, you can also re-do them by selecting them again through the workouts menu.

What Can You Unlock With Zwift Academy Tri 2021?

Part of the fun of Zwift Academy is unlocking exclusive in-game kit to show off your graduate status! This year there are a backwards hat, socks, run kit, cycling kit and TT helmet up for grabs when you complete all requirements for Zwift Academy Tri.

Zwift Academy Tri 2021 Unlock Kit
Wearing your hard-earned in-game kit is a badge of honour for Zwift Academy Tri graduates. (Photo: Zwift)

You’ll earn new kit after bike session two, bike session five, run session two and run session five. The final unlockable comes as a graduation bonus!

To successfully complete each workout, you’ll need to finish 75 percent of the session – so stick to the on-screen prompts and keep an eye on the stars you’re earning as you move through the intervals.

Earn A Spot On The Zwift Academy Tri Team

Once again, the Zwift Academy Tri programme is offering the strongest athletes the chance to join the Zwift Tri Team to help them compete at their best at the Ironman World Championships. Tri Team athletes are mentored by Olympian and 70.3 champion Sarah True and Ironman world-record breaker and four-time world champion Tim Don.

Zwift Academy Tri 2021 Tri Team
The Zwift Academy Tri Team is the ultimate way to get to Kona for the world’s top Zwifters! (Photo: Zwift)

As well as this expert support, team members are also kitted out with the latest gear from Specialized, Wahoo, Whoop, Hyperice, SiS and Roka.

To be eligible for selection, you’ll need to graduate from the Zwift Academy Tri 2021 by completing the five structured bike and run workouts. You’ll also need to finish the ‘Advanced’ Baseline and Finish Line bikes – selecting the 40km TT option – and ‘Advanced’ Baseline and Finish Line runs – selecting the 10km option. The Baseline sessions need to be completed by 15 November.

You’ll also need to tick these boxes:

  • Completion between 18 October and 13 December – last sign-up to get started is 14 November at 09:59am UTC.
  • For bike events, you must use a smart trainer, heart rate monitor and cadence sensor
  • For run, your must use cadence sensor and heart rate strap
  • You must select the longest options for every session where available
  • Must be an amateur athlete

So what are you waiting for? Get over to the Zwift Academy Tri webpage now to sign-up for 2021.

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Triathlon Vibe is the home of triathlon training advice for beginner to expert triathletes. From sprint to Ironman, we share how to swim, bike and run stronger and faster.

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