- Zwift, my journey, my weight and my fitness.
I did my first race (in group C) for an age today after extensive eye surgery. I’m not as fit as I was but still a decent group C I think. The start was more mental than I even remember and I managed to hold on to the front group for about 5 minutes cranking out 3.5-4.0 W/kg waiting for them to calm down but they never did! My heart rate was going through the roof so I had to ease off and wait for the second group about 15 seconds back. I hadn’t recovered by the time they swept by at about 3.0 W/kg so I just had a lonely ITT to the end and finished 17th out of 20 classified on Zwift Power.
Looking at the Zwift Power result the winner of group C averaged 3.4 W/kg and most of the top 10 were over 3.0 W/kg with 2 other riders at 3.2 W/kg. I thought the group C limit was 3.1 W/kg but then I found the classification system had changed. However, I couldn’t find anywhere on the Zwift Power forum which explains what the new categories were. Can someone possibly post a link to the new categories?
Apologies if this has been covered before but I’ve been on and off the bike for the last 8 months and haven’t really kept in touch with Zwift racing.Posted 6 months ago
It’s the average of your top 3 95% of 20mim efforts in the last 90 days that decide your category. So for a given race you could be over.
I’m not 100% what happens if the current race is what puts you up a cat but think that as long as you entered the correct cat at the start your result will stand. Even if it causes you to be upgraded.Posted 6 months ago
There’s also a button to show the 95% on your profile and race results page.Posted 6 months ago
I’m sat at 3.201 or something as an average so a B.
In about 2 weeks if I can’t get another one above 3.2 I’ll be downgraded to C and I’ll be dropping down to basically hoover up some cups. I’m currently not able to get over 3.2 (I don’t try to not achieve it) but the 2 results that bumped me over came in a week I felt amazing after a 2 week enforced taper over Xmas.
Currently happy taking a kicking in B and finishing bottom 3rd generally. But you know cups :0)
What I really wanted to know was what the category criteria were now defined as for each group. In my group C, they seem to be saying now that 3.4 W/kg is OK as long as you haven’t exceeded some 20 minute FTP level. The examples I have seen are confusing now though.
As far as I can see is all that seems to have happened is that they have bumped up the power level (for group C at least) from 3.1 W/kg to 3.4 W/kg. I used to be able to finish top half of group C races and have a decent race but in yesterday’s race I just got obliterated. I don’t even have the option of dropping down to group D now because I am classified as group C in Zwift Power and will just get DQ’d apparently for entering the wrong group race.
I don’t understand what is going on now with Zwift Power.Posted 6 months agowelshfarmerSubscriber
You can’t go back. You can never go back 🙂
I have been off the turbo now for over a month due to illness so knew I would be well down on power. So thought I would try and enter a race as a C. Was the right call, in that my 20 min 95% was only just over 3.0. I effectively managed to get 6th place in the Cs. I was, however, DQ’d on the basis of previous results putting me in the B cat. I would have been flat last as a B yesterday. But was nice to race against a whole group of C’s, even if the result doesn’t stand on ZPPosted 6 months ago
Take 95% of your 20minute power and divide it by your weight in kg.Posted 6 months ago
If it’s over 3.2w/kg on average for your best 3 events you get shunted into B. If you keep racing C most events will DQ you on ZP. What Zwift need to do is force people into their specific category unless they choose to race above it.
Mine is JUST over the limit so I’m a B but in 2 to 3 weeks I’ll lose both of the races which are over 3.2 and I will be categorised as a C again, unless I can produce that in a race again. I’ll currently choose to race C again with the hope to be promoted again. Some won’t like this as my tested FTP is 3.44 but I so far haven’t been able to produce that in a race.
Also on the profile of a rider lick on the info box next to their category to see the best 3 results. At the top of the results list on the RHS of all the boxes there’s a 95% box to see all the 95% results.
In C with a decent crowd you need to be getting up to 3wkg or 250w plus average to be worrying the podium generally.
Also there is a new category system being worked on based on the US road race model. See FAQ here https://www.zwiftpower.com/rankings.php
Oh jeez. I went outside for my scheduled pre race warmup – in the middle a single 3 min 350w average climb .
I didn’t make it, worse I felt terrible legs and sick . Does not bode well for tomorrow!
I had that on Thursday. Couldn’t hold 350w 50 second repeats even after knocking 10% off. Sacked it off. Did fine Friday night racing.Posted 6 months ago
Hopefully you’ll find your legs. At the end of it it’s not a priority event.
Fair point Tomlevell – I’ve been in this place before. I’m mid training block anyway and these sessions are often designed to be a muscular wake up call rather than a successful training exercise. FWIW I’ve be doing, 1x 4 Sprints, 2×20 and 1 x 1:45 across a week for some time now so very much steady state in the main, so this is just a small “sharpener” before what was originally planed as a “B” race.Posted 6 months ago
Never use the phone part myself.
It’s a nice course for racing that, be aware when you hit that hill it’s 1min for you but will be 375-450w to hold your group. Certainly at the pointy end. If you can hold some power after that hill you can make up masses of time in the next minute as many fade after the hill, hit an aero and 300w and you’ll gap many.Posted 6 months agoAlexSubscriber
Finished the ‘build me up’ 12 week workout. Missed nearly 3 weeks with illness and being away for work. First 7 weeks, only missed 2 workouts, last 5 missed 12! Did the FTP test with a bit of a hangover, and the 20 min actual test started on the ‘down’ from one of the big London hills. That just felt odd.
With 8 mins to go and my HR at 99% of max, I just wanted it to stop. Last minute really tried to get the power up, so at the end I couldn’t physically pedal anymore. New Max HR!
New FTP as well. Came in at 229, finished at 254. Reckon I could do a bit more if I paced myself sensibly. Don’t have time to sign up to another workout and I’m riding way more outside now, so I reckon I can’t put racing off any longer!Posted 6 months ago
Well that was a disappointment. Would have been easier to have ridden the course first.First went off average about 350w and was the usual shock to the system. Sat mid pack and waited for things to settle a little.
The first time the hill came was tough – not knowing of the second little lump on the downhill after, but also not knowing of the flat recovery to come. Anyway I settled in a decent group, but they started to get a little slow. They force me to shoot forward on small inclines despite doing my best to maintain power with them, then the flat sections were very slow – I was riding those in Z2 with the next group 34s in front, but it would have been me that would have had to push and chase and I didn’t want to make all the effort. On the hill I found myself with the front riders, just spinning at 310w to stay with them.
Left it until the sprint on the last lap, but 3 of the group went for the long sprint and I couldn’t get past.
Not a great race and under power with 3.1w/kg average.Posted 6 months agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
I use the phone app. But mainly to look at the map or communicate. Also use it to fire powerups as using a mouse isn’t that easy ‘under load’ :).
You can just hit the spacebar to activate a power-up, which is also easier than a mouse.
Hilarious that pro riders are weight-doping on Zwift, above. I guess it’s no surprise that you can be very good at riding bikes and also a massive idiot. As ever it comes down to the whole ‘the internet, it’s not real life’ thing.Posted 6 months ago
You can just hit the spacebar to activate a power-up
short one for me today, did wonder about a outdoor ride today, however the only rideable bike i have has 808’s and its windy as hell so didn’t bother, did the 13:05 3R Volcano Flat 2 Lapper – was with the front group for about 11km, when i got dropped, think the group spread out in a line at this point rather than a blob, 5 of us bunched together but i couldn’t get back on, ended up doing the final 14km with 1 other, never got caught by the large bunch behind, kept the pace high, 292w NP, got done on the line by about a tire width, tried to go with about 600m left on the downhill, did 400w for over a minute, was too early, and the rider was strong, 7/20 in BPosted 6 months ago
Kryton – We all fall into that trap in the race where you could go harder but you don’t want to do all the work. BUT as it wasn’t a priority race you probably should have tried to either bridge the gap or drag the group back and hope someone will help. As long as you managed the effort so you didn’t blow up and lose the group you were in I’d have said being done in the sprint by most of your group would mean a good result for you. Race effort made. Hard work done. Sprinted as best you could after flogging yourself.Posted 6 months ago
Tricky balance so don’t take this the wrong way. I should have done the same last week up the finish climb. Didn’t help I couldn’t remember how long time wise it was but then that was my other issue for not rechecking beforehand.
A rare cup (though not on the road) for me last night, upgraded one slot due to a missing HR from second place. One lap of Watopia Figure 8 reverse in the KISS short race. I like this course as the climb lengths suit me and I can normally raise my effort enough to pull away from some riders. I’m also quite liking these mass start events without power based start bins (ZP sorts out the rankings post race).
For once the start wasn’t quite its normally craziness, which I was especially happy about having only got into the game five minutes before the start. Gave me a change to relax into it an coax my parkrun tired legs into action. Given the smaller field size I was determined to hold the front for as long as possible. The esses came and went easily, no real power hike needed on the shorter ramp at the top that you sometimes need. Onward to the main climb. I made sure I was on the front as the road steepened which meant I didn’t had to go nuts to latch back on, instead just need to raise the effort a little more as the road flattened to catch the three that had started to break away. The four of use already had a comfortable gap or 4 seconds by that point and it continued to grow up too 20s at the top. The group seemed to work nicely together though I don’t really have the fitness or power to pull A riders for more than 15/20s before someone will start to slide past again. Need to work on this part of my riding as it would be nice not to have to hide out of necessity when working would be more beneficial. The gap continued to grow as we work and up till the the second big climb it was a largely uneventful section. Other than one member not paying attention out of the underwater section and dropping back a few seconds. I tried a hard pull at this point to see if we could gap them and become a three however their A+ power was too much.
Onto the second climb. I had a draft bonus from the sprint which I used to rest as we went through downtown. Was hoping for a feather but picked up a aero instead. The climb started well and we were all close till around the 300m marker. I wavered a little at this point and a small gap opened. As it went flat I hit the aero and desperately tried to close back up. Got it down to 1s by the time the aero ran out but just couldn’t close the last bit. At that point I realised I’d got a second aero at the top so hit it and went all in. Same again unfortunately, just could not quite reattach, damn. 7k to run at this point and I’m knackered and on my own. A quick check showed the following group had split more and there were 3 riders 2 minutes behind. ITT time as there was no way I wanted to be caught. As the distanced ticked down I kept an eagle eye on the gap and their power levels. Had a couple of scares where it seemed to be tumbling however I managed to keep it around the 2 minute mark till the end of the tunnel. With 2kish to go I knew I was pretty much safe and relaxed a little. No point ig sprinting so I trundled across the line at a steady 3w/kg in fourth.
Wife is out tonight so I considering a long zwift session. Legs don’t feel up for a race so thinking about doing the pretzel as I’ve yet to attempt this.Posted 6 months ago
Great report and mirrors some of my rides in a way, but instead of me holding that gap, i’m usually the one being closed down and picked off in the last KM. Well done for not being me 🙂
I’m either thinking rest day and taking the KTM out in 30 mins or possibly the 5:10pm for the greater London Flat.Posted 6 months agoscaledSubscriber
I took the sketchiest of about 15 line choices at Hit the North and failed to have the required skills to execute it in the mud. Straight over the bars and landed on my shoulder. about 5 years ago, in the same small, urban park i did a lvl 4 acj separation of the same shoulder.
40+ enduros and two trips to the alps between the injuries and an xc race in phillips park does me 😀Posted 6 months ago
I took on Bibby, he beat me. By lots!
Race was going ok for first 1/3. Then some A guy and a 4.5 B caught us averaging 4.3 each! I hung for next 3/4 of a lap but then fell off back and sat at 239w for 1/2 a lap or so until a 4 caught me and hopped on wheel. We were closing on group ahead, well, I say we, it was more them as I was sucking wheels. 2nd of 4 in our sprint.Posted 6 months agonickdaviesSubscriber
Bear with me, off topic but thought this would be the place to ask! Just finally got my bkool turbo up and running 3 years after buying it and using it once, life gets in the way. ho hum.
Just done an introductory workout, and when in free pedal, feels great, quite natural but i can pedal at a good lick and I’m doing about 4 kph. Once the workout starts and i have a power target, it just feels unattainable (slow not too hard). I literally have to be in lowest gear, and pedalling right at the limit of how slowly i can turn the cranks otherwise I’m just putting out too much power. Each time the power required ramps up it seems to be wanting a similar cadence from me, which is too low.
Is this how it’s designed to work or am I missing something in setting it up, calibration etc? It’s a bkool smart, with a garmin cadence sensor linked.Posted 6 months ago
Swavis – I jumped straight in with a ride, a FTP test then a race. If doing it again I’d skip the FTP test and race as that’ll give you a good enough idea where you are at. Then I did a fair bit of map exploring and efforts up climbs and odd bits of racing. Not into group rides.Posted 6 months ago
If you want to find a category do a decent effort up one of the big hills. Leigh or up the main mountain on Watopia.BadlyWiredDogSubscriber
Morning all, complete Zwift noob here. I got my Tacx Flow smart trainer on Sunday and had a lap around London just as a play but what should I really do first?
Unless you’re desperate to go racing, I’d just use it by going for a spin. Work out how things function, like power-ups and drafting and what the rider boards show you – click on someone’s name and you’ll ‘watch’ them but also see their power rate, cadence and HR which can be useful if you’re racing, and inclines and stuff. There’s loads of info online, zwiftinsider is pretty comprehensive if you like understanding things like the effect of weight and notional air resistance etc.
If you want to go racing, go racing, bu bear in mind that you’ll be at a disadvantage initially just by not knowing where the climbs are. I think everyone learns differently, I kind of like understanding things as a gentle learning process, others don’t care. It’s all pretty obvious mostly, but it’s easy to forget that some of it’s quite confusing to start with.Posted 6 months agoFlaperonMember
I wish ZwiftPower enforced their own rules. Ride the other day saw me pipped to the post by a rider with no HRM who also kept mysteriously popping in and out of view. He’s not been DQ’d despite the race rules stating that all category winners need to provide heart rate data.
Likewise, there’s a rider who weighs 50kg who you can actually see backing off from time to time to keep his average watts under 250W to avoid being upgraded into A. So the results consistently show aa W/kg of about 4.8, but average power of 249W, leading to continual wins in B.
Categories should be automatically generated based on where you finish in overall rankings, IMHO, and ZP-calculated average power data shouldn’t be available during the race.Posted 6 months ago
Explore the worlds. Don’t forget Watopia is always available but you have to select it.Posted 6 months ago
I’d try a training plan at some point to see if it works for you or not but not straight away.
Racing is fun and a good way of giving yourself a kick up the backside if you are a competitive person at all. Hurts though :0)
Flaperon – Report it on the forum on ZP. Both the result and the sandbagger. They might upgrade the sandbagger eventually. He’s probably weight doping as well to manage the watts just under the limit. Linky?
Categories should be automatically generated based on where you finish in overall rankings, IMHO, and ZP-calculated average power data shouldn’t be available during the race.
The problem with having no categories is it takes some of the tactical elememt out of it for the slower people in C and B. Last week I chased down 2 Cs and dragged them to the finish line to keep a B at bay. If the Cs helped great but I didn’t have to think about them in the sprint. Enforced category selection is what is needed and hopefully the new ZP ranking system works out when it arrives and is utilised by Zwift.Posted 6 months ago
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