Best Zwift course for sweet spot intervals?

I finally got my new smart trainer! I did Monitor the other day while riding on the Alpe du Zwift course. Kind of enjoyed it actually. It got me thinking, what are some other good courses for sweet spot intervals?

Gimme your thoughts guys!

Are you doing the TR plans whilst riding on zwift? If so I’m not sure any of the routes on zwift make a difference as the power is governed by TR, especially in ERG mode. If you’re looking for routes that last about an hour to 90 mins so you can collect zwift exp points, take a look at the routes on zwift insider, I try and aim for routes with under 50km and less than 500m of climbing but really depends on the plan I’m doing

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Not using it on erg mode. I don’t like how erg mode feels. Its paired to zwift so the course would determine the resistance.

Doing intervals this way, for me, I prefer anything with a steady grade - Alpe du Zwift, Ven-Top, Tick Tock, Tempus Fugit. Watopia Waistband (Rebeal Route) is another good one but you have to manually steer a couple of the turns.

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If you aren’t doing TR erg mode, I would go with something flatish or with a long enough climb that you can complete the entire workout in the climb. Trying to ride a SS interval while going down AdZ or the Epic KOM /Innsbruck climb or even some of the London climbs is going to be difficult.

I use TR erg and pair power to Zwift so terrain doesn’t matter. Other then I have a mental hangup with trying to push SS/threshold power while going downhill. I tend to pick flatish courses for workouts with longer intervals.

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Do not connect your trainer as controllable to zwift. Connect it to TR and select resistance mode in TR. That way you can ride any course in zwift and still not use erg mode.

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I do free-ride intervals too (no erg, Zwift controlling resistance according to terrain) and I like the flat route, Tick Tock, Tempus Fugit (those are all flat), or you can do repeats of the Epic KOM (forward is more consistent gradient) just like you would outside–ride up until you hit your target time, turn around and ride to the bottom, turn around and ride up again, etc. For one long climb, I really like Tour of Fire and Ice because it’s a long-ish (25-minutes or so) warmup before you hit the bottom of the Alpe. Haven’t tried VenTop yet, but that one is probably good too.

I just use an interval timer app on my phone to time the intervals because the starting spot never aligns directly with any kind of workout, but you could probably follow along on TR app too and just pause until you get to your hill or bit of “road”.

Another vote for Tempus Fugit on my end. When I do my hard interval sessions and my SS sessions I use that course. Has just become a habit now more than any other reason!

When I do my longer & fasted 2-3hr Endurance rides I get all crazy and branch out and tick off route badges. 6 to go!

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For me, if there’s no connection between the terrain on Zwift and the resistance you feel, I don’t see the point. Plus if you’re doing it in resistance mode, you’ll need to be looking at your power and your place in the workout all the time and not really getting the benefit of the virtual world.

I personally like the R.G.V (France) route as it has some short rolling hills. It replicates the terrain IRL, and I sometimes don’t use ERG mode to replicate taking turns while in a group ride.

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If you’re in resistance mode these types of efforts are best done on climbs. Here’s a quick breakdown of the longer climbs on Zwift by rough duration:

Watopia

Epic KOM/Epic KOM Reverse - 16 - 20mins
Alpe D’Zwift - 45mins - 1hr
Volcano KOM - 6 - 8 min
Reverse KOM - 3.5 - 5 min
Forward KOM - 90s - 3 min

Innsbruck

Forward/Reverse KOM - 16 - 20 mins

London

Box/Fox Hill - 5.5 - 8mins
Keith/Leith Hill - 9 - 12 mins

NYC

Forward/Reverse KOM - 3.5 - 6 mins
(Bear in mind there’s a 3 - 5 min climb to get to the segment on NYC)

France

Petite KOM - 5 - 8mins
Ventoux - 60 - 120 mins

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You can use TR in minimized mode and still see zwift and enjoy virtual world. By using TR resistance mode versus zwifts or even TR erg mode if you don’t wanna look and focus on power yourself, you get the benefit of riding whatever word you want and still doing workouts as you would normally.

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Just pair your trainer with TrainerRoad and then with Zwift. Make sure that Zwift is not controlling the trainer. Then courses shouldn’t matter.

If you reduce trainer difficulty in Zwift you’ll in effect flatten the world making all courses usable.

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You and I don’t have the same W/KG! Those brackets feel rather… narrow!

One tool not mentioned here in the case you’re looking to complete courses is Zwift Hub. You can make an account and tick off the routes you’ve completed if you’re looking to get all the badges.

That said, I echo having TR control the trainer and then pairing the power to Zwift but on smart control. You get the best of both this way imo. I always run TR on my phone and then run Zwift on my computer piped to the TV.

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This was exactly what I was looking for. I pair TR to my power meter and the trainer to Zwift. I like how the grades feel on zwift and the minor variations. So, for SSB intervals long and stead feels almost like being outside! Thanks!
-Hugh

do you guys even LIKE how the grades feel on Zwift?

I dunno, maybe it’s just my trainer (Elite Direto, not the new “X” model) but the Zwift terrain never feels anything like real riding. Rolling hills just ends up meaning constant, annoying gear shifts, without being able to use real-world type momentum to your advantage to keep the shifts smooth. I personally really hate it.

This depends on at least a few of factors:

  1. Your Trainer Difficulty setting in Zwift. It’s a mine field of discussion, but experiences vary depending on the setting.

  2. Your trainer. Different flywheel size and spin ratios lead to very different feels from one trainer to the next. Not to mention the Neo and it’s ability to simulate to specific rider weight, that is unique to it over any other trainers.

  3. Some trainers add downhill propulsion that can change how it feels up and down hill transitions.

  4. Your personal size and riding experience. This relates to trainers above, since some may do a better job of reproducing “road feel” in the sense of inertia.

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I don’t think this works the way you want it to. You have to let Zwift control or else you won’t get increased resistance from the gradient. But by having it control, zwift and trainer road will compete for the wheel. If you are doing it in resistance mode with trainerroad controlling, then it still doesn’t really matter what course you pick, it matters how hard you pedal.