I recently had the good fortune to join a select group of cycling media at ZWIFT headquarters in Long Beach CA for a sneak peak at some cool new features to the Zwift platform ahead of the fall / winter training season. It was all Top Secret, until today, and there’s a lot for Zwifters to get excited about.
Updates to the popular training app, some going live today, and others coming in the next weeks, will make it easier to find rides, workouts and clubs, a new course, ZRacing for those looking to jump into a race anytime they like, Route Based workouts that combine specific workouts into the routes themselves, and a bunch more.
The full press release with all the details is below – but three features really stood out for me…
1. Holographic Replay
This might be my favorite feature – where you get to race against a holograph of yourself. It’s hard to argue that what drives most of us to be better riders is the desire to beat whatever our best time was – to beat ourselves. As long as we’re getting faster, we’re getting better. And what better way to beat yourself than to actually race against yourself? Brilliant.
2. Finding Workouts
With somewhere near 2000 different cycling workouts available on Zwift, you might find searching through the vast databanks somewhat “intimidating / I don’t have time for it so I end up doing the same workouts all the time.”
New for Fall 2022, is an improved menu design that makes sorting, sifting, and finding workouts easier than ever.
In addition to sleekly organized Collections of workouts aimed at various goals, achievements, or groups…
…there are also new filters to help you find exactly the kind of workout you want.
3. Clubs Updates
One of the big challenges to Zwifting and any at home training, has been the solitude. With more people than ever working from home, the amount of hours we spend alone has begun to impact many of us – I’ve worked from home for 20 years, and the biggest thing I miss about an office is having people around. So the idea of hopping on my trainer for more solitary activity has been a barrier for me.
Zwift realized early on that getting people interacting with other live humans – even if they’re not in the same room, city, or even country, would be key to getting users to stay and play.
Improvements to the Clubs feature include:
- Easier to find the right Club & search functionality
- Member limits increased to 10k per Club
- More activity types & Group Workouts added
- More accessible –> Zwifters level 5 and up can create a Club & Zwifters can belong to up to 10 Clubs
- Easier to stay connected & push notifications on chat
Here’s the official press release:
Long Beach, California – Zwift, the global online fitness platform for cyclists, is constantly evolving to deliver on its mission to make more people, more active, more often. Today, the platform announces a leap forward with a number of additions to Zwift that will make the platform more engaging and fun for both existing and new users.
To celebrate the start of Zwift season, Zwift’s product design team shared its product roadmap leading up to the end of 2022. Improvements to in-game content discovery, new training features, more routes, improved event capabilities, and increased on-demand services are some of the highlights that will help cyclists Zwift their own way this indoor cycling season.
“Making Zwift more simple is one of the biggest opportunities for our expanding audience. We’re continually looking at new ways to make Zwift more accessible, easier to use, and more fun – whether you’re new to the platform or have been here for years,” said Zwift Vice President of Content, Mark Cote. “With so many different ways to Zwift, this year we’ve focused on building out the tools that empower our community to create their own Zwift experience. We have improved in-game discovery, enhanced the toolsets of Zwift Clubs and also adding to our library of 24-7 on-demand content. We believe our experiences this season will help make Zwift a more engaging and personalized experience for members around the world.”
Training has been a particular area of focus this season. Improvements to the homescreen UI will make it easier to discover and learn more about Zwift’s extensive library of workouts and training plans. Zwifters will be able to search by workout duration and perceived effort, and will be able to learn more about each individual workout through improved graphic detail.
One of Zwift’s most successful recent additions, PacePartners is set to graduate from the FutureWorks test program. PacePartners are prominently featured on the home screen, and give Zwifters the ability to join a group ride for a social workout at a variety of paces. Now evolving from the success of PacePartners are Zwift’s all-new Holographic Replay. This feature will launch under the FutureWorks test program and will allow Zwifters to compete against a ghost of their previous personal records, providing a personalized competitive element to their training. FutureWorks Holographic Replays will precisely replicate your previous personal meaning Zwifters will also gain a better understanding of correct pacing for any given segment in the game.
Another exciting innovation is Route Based Workouts. Route Based Workouts provide an alternative to FTP-based training, providing a more accessible pathway into structured training on the platform. Living up to their name, Route Based Workouts use Zwift’s terrain and marked segments to create a structured workout plan, allowing for a mix of different efforts. This new feature will appear in the Zwift Academy Road program this year before expanding with more workout plans later this season. Zwifters taking advantage of Terrain Based Workouts will not need to know their FTP but will be able to learn more about their strengths upon creation. By testing various different systems, Route Based Workouts will not only be able to accurately calculate FTP, providing a pathway into ‘traditional’ structured workouts, but will also provide Zwifters with their cycling phenotype, helping them better understand their cycling strengths and weaknesses.
Racing on Zwift has always been a popular way to train, and this year’s calendar, and other details can be found on a new dedicated racing website. On-demand racing is a fun way to scratch that competitive itch, and could even lead to a shot at winning a UCI Esports World Championship. Zwift Racing League is back and open for registrations. Zwift Racing League is Zwift’s biggest competition league with more than 1,800 teams and 15,000 riders taking part last season. Zwift Racing League offers racing for all abilities.
New for this season is ZRacing, a thematic race series for each month of the year. ZRacing delivers always-on, easy-to-access competition. A new stage will run each week, and those taking part will be able to earn a monthly badge. ZRacing is designed to fit with your schedule, allowing you to warm up, race and then cool down in under one hour.
For those with an eye on Elite competition, Zwift will once again be the host platform for the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. Maintaining the same accessible pathway as in 2022, Zwift will open a qualification pathway to the 2023 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. Qualification events, followed by Continental Championships will provide an opportunity for any Zwifter to represent their country, and follow the pathway of 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Champion, Loes Adegeest who qualified via this open pathway.
For those who regularly take part in Zwift racing, there have been a number of developments, making Zwift Racing more fun and also fairer. One of the most popular event series is the WTRL Team Time Trial League, a race format also run in the Zwift Racing League. New TTT race functionality helps improve the most social form of competition on the platform.
In addition, Zwift has also been rolling out auto-categorization to make Zwift racing fairer. Auto categorization ensures Zwifters are matched against riders of similar abilities, based on their most recent ride data captured in the platform.
And finally, the thing that all Zwifters love – more new roads! Zwift’s roads are ever-expanding and Makuri Islands will expand in November with roads, gravel, and dirt surfaces winding through the lush Urukazi (woo-roo-kah-zi) map. “Urukazi” is the combination of two Okinawan words — “uru” means “shore,” and “kazi” means “breeze.” The combination of the two words is meant to evoke the serene, untouched character of the Southern Japanese archipelago. On the terrain of Urukazi, you’ll find a Zwifty interpretation of those islands’ scenery, as you ride pavement, gravel, and a new type of surface not yet found anywhere else on Zwift.
Zwift is excited to share the best-ever season on Zwift with you, please look for all the updates in the coming months. Zwifters can learn more here zwift.com/this-season-on-zwift
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Zwift is the fitness company born from gaming. We’re dedicated fitness enthusiasts, experienced video game developers, and disruptive thinkers. Play is in our DNA and we know fun fuels results.
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