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Zwift and Training Peaks Integration

Do you get your bike workouts via TrainingPeaks.com (TP) and want to ride them in Zwift? There are several ways to do this but connecting TP with Zwift is definitely the easiest! For this article I’m assuming you are using a computer or laptop to run the Zwift application. I’m also assuming your computer or laptop can communicate over Bluetooth (which is pretty standard for the last decade or so).

What You Need

What do you need to get started? There are tons of options, but I’ll try to focus on keeping this simple. A bike and a smart trainer are the key components, but let’s break that down a bit more:

  • Zwift account
  • Training Peaks account (I’m not positive, but fairly certain this can be a free account)
  • Bike workouts entered into TP as “structured workouts based on power” (as my Coach does)
  • A smart trainer for the bike. A smart trainer transmits power, cadence, speed to your computer and automagically adjusts tension based on the route or workout. [1]
    Here’s a list from Zwift of supported trainers.
  • A bike that will work with your trainer
    (details beyond that are out of my scope — work with your trainer manufacturer if you have a bike with disc brakes, for example.)
  • [Optional] An ANT+ USB adapter if you want to pull in your heart rate data to Zwift (I sure prefer to keep an eye on heart rate and it gives good data back to Training Peaks). I use this $14 unit from Amazon — there are many other options. Or get an HRM that supports Bluetooth.
    Side note: If you’re computer doesn’t have Bluetooth, this ANT+ adapter can also be used to talk to the smart trainer.
  • [Very Optional] TV nearby with Netflix or Amazon Prime…. if you’re doing a 3+ hour workout, even watching Zwift isn’t all that entertaining!

Get it all setup

Training Peaks has a good help document that will walk you through setting up. Click that link and it will open in a new tab for you to read through. Start there after you read the next paragraph.

Note that the second paragraph of those instructions has you going to zwift.com. To be clear: You do that in your web browser, not the Zwift application. You can’t setup the integration in the app, you have to go to the site, login, and then go to the Connections page under your profile. But that is just a one time thing, once the connection is setup you don’t need to go back to the web site again.

If you want more details check out this other Training Peaks article, “A Quick How-To Guide for TrainingPeaks Zwifters.” Mostly focus on the Workout Mode section.

What Does It Look Like?

Once you have launched Zwift and got past the usual equipment detection, you will first tell it you want to do a Training ride:

Click that red circled button for Training rides

The rides from Training Peaks are typically at the very top of the workouts list. Find it and click on it:

My ride from TP for this day is “Recovery Ride-Level 1”

After you click it you will get a little summary of the workout to the right. Look it over, then click the big orange “WORKOUT” button at the bottom of the screen.

This last piece is pretty optional: Select where you want to ride. You don’t have to, but I like to mix things up a bit. In this example, I can choose between Watopia (Zwift’s fictional world) or New York. I will go with New York but want to choose my route.

As you might guess, clicking the blue “Routes” button is the next step. You can sort the routes by elevation or distance. Elevation technically doesn’t matter when doing a workout. I usually look more at distance — if I am going to ride for 3 hours, I don’t really want a 4 mile route to repeat a kajillion times. Or sometimes I will choose a flatter route just to show more miles for my time.

In workout mode, the hills on the route don’t really matter. Your smart trainer will be managing how hard you’re pedaling (your power output), not the hills on the route. This means that your virtual speed may look a little wonky from time to time. You will find your self in warmup mode (low watts) climbing a virtual hill at 2 mph — or doing intervals above FTP going downhill at 45+ mph. Just shrug it off, enjoy the scenery, and do the workout šŸ™‚

Final Thoughts

When doing my TP workouts in Zwift I ride in ERG mode which takes care of adjusting power for me via the smart trainer. I just gotta pedal and manage cadence. Rarely even need to shift unless doing a huge jump of watts in intervals (I get impatient). If cadence ranges were specified in the workout Zwift will even nag you to adjust accordingly to keep you on track.

However, if doing an FTP test, you must remember to turn ERG mode off before you start the ride. You can do this in the Zwift app after you select your workout and before you start. With ERG mode off, it is up to you to monitor your power (showing in the Zwift app) and shift your gears to manage how hard you’re working. No more automagic.

Or, if you are me, turn off ERG mode mid-ride right after the warm ups and before the actual test starts. I use the Zwift Companion App (a smartphone app) and toggle off ERG mode on the fly from there. This lets you rely on the magic of ERG mode to get warmed up — but now you have to remember to manually turn it off or you’re going to be real disappointed in your FTP test results.

[1] If you don’t have a smart trainer, but do have a power meter or cadence and speed sensors on your bike, you may still be able to get it going with “zpower.” For the purposes of easily doing TP workouts in Zwift I do have to say this is sub-optimal and out of scope for this article.

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