Zwift Custom Workouts

How to create a Zwift workout from a GPX file

I discovered how to create a Zwift workout from a GPX file when a Club Ride was postponed due to extreme weather conditions. What a revelation!

I use Zwift a lot for high quality training based on power.

However, sometimes, you need something a little different in your Zwift experience.

The Zwift workout

Standard workouts are based around sets of intervals each usually incorporating the need to sustain power outputs at particular levels for set amounts of time. For best results each workout is part of a sequence designed to achieve a particular objective such as increase your Functional Threshold Power (FTP).

Zwift provides a huge choice of workouts to suit most riders and their goals but what if you or your coach wanted something different?

Custom Zwift Workouts

When choosing a workout you also have the option to select a custom workout or create a new workout which you can then ride.

It doesn’t take long to create a relatively basic workout using the Zwift tool but to create something with variety could take a long time.

Taking custom Zwift Workouts to the next level!

Imagine that you have a favourite training route or ride. It ‘ticks all the boxes’ but it’s almost impossible to simulate on Zwift due to the variety of terrain, gradients, etc.

Well, you can now!

OK, let’s not get carried away here and understand exactly what you can and cannot simulate of your favourite route. You cannot simulate the visual experience but you can simulate the power requirements to complete the route.

What do you need to turn your route into a custom Zwift Workout?

A GPX file, which includes elevation, of your route and that’s it! If you haven’t got a GPX file of your route, create one on Ride With GPS, Strava, etc.. The most important thing is that the file includes elevation because Zwift or other tool will need that in order to create the correct power requirements.

How do I create my workout?

Navigate to https://whatsonzwift.com and select ‘GPX to Zwift’.

Zwift Custom Workout Conversion Screen

  1. Select your GPX file.
  2. Your FTP, weight should be correct unless you haven’t updated recently so check these figures. enter your bike mass weight and your target intensity. A good all round figure would be 0.8.
  3. If you want to you can also adjust the advanced settings. You’ll see the link just below section 2. I leave the defaults but select ‘Include warm-up’ if you want one.
  4. Click ‘Create Personalized Workout’.

What’s next?

After a few seconds you’ll see your workout. There’ll be a map of your route and some summary information followed by something like this.

Zwift Custom Workout Summary

Click the button ‘Download Workout’ under the graphic.

You are downloading a file with ‘.zwo’ at the end of its name. This is a Zwift Workout file.

Now add your new workout file to your custom workouts

Copy your new ‘.zwo’ file to Documents > Zwift > Workouts

Zwift Custom Workout Folder

How do I find my new workout?

When you log onto Zwift select ‘Workout’ and then select ‘Custom Workouts’. You will find your new work out listed. Select it to enjoy your custom workout based upon your favourite ride!

Happy Zwifting – RideOn!

PS. A refinement

For a Zwift Workout file that is a little more refined check out http://www.bestbikesplit.com/ where you can undertake the same conversion and use more parameters plus, if you’re a Premium Member, create cheat sheets for your ride and many more features. Use Best Bike Split to create and download your Zwift Workout file to be added to your custom workouts without the need to use Zwift’s conversion tool.

Endurance Training – Why?

Jez
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Jez

A cyclist for 25+ years specialising in endurance events Jez has completed two London-Edinburgh-London 1400 kms Audax, time-trials at 10, 25, 50, 100 miles and 24-hours. Successfully completed Tour du Mont Blanc in 2017 as part of a 'Duo' team in 16 hr 39 mins (330 kms, 8,700+ m) plus various continental cyclosportives in France and Belgium.
Jez
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Posted in Preparation, Training.