Once you have started using Zwift, participating in some Zwift racing may become of interest. Through a bit of trial and error, I have 5 tips that may help you get the best result with your current fitness levels.
1. Get a “Power Up” First
Before you start a race, you can warm up first on any course. I suggest warming up on a selected course (a flat short course is best) so you can ride over a sprint session or lap and earn a “power up”. A “power up” is a “draft boost” or “lightweight boost” that you can use during your race at a critical time (look for the small icons). You might use the lightweight one on a climb to attack or hold a group or the draft boost for the sprint or to hang on when lots of attacks are going.
2. Get There Early
I have found in races with large numbers it can help to be there with 5 mins to go to get near the front grid. This can help in the start of races when it is often full gas for the first 5 mins or so. Every bit of an advantage can help.
3. Be Race Ready
The start of most races is full gas for the first 5 mins until groups form. I have found if I do some race surges during my warm up, I am ready to go hard and hold it until groups start to merge. It is best to wind it up with 10 seconds to go before the go so you are already going high wattage.
4. Know The Course
Knowing key parts of the course give an advantage to where the pressure will be really on! Normally the climbs are the key stages or near the end in lumpy parts of courses. Best to save the attacks or to hang on on these stages are the drafting on other parts neutralises many moves.
5. Select A Suitable Category
Selecting the right category is important as if you are in the wrong category, it is likely you will get dropped early and end up doing a long time trial. It is better to be in a category that you are able to sit with and have the ability to attack a few times or hang on in key moments to get that variability in the race. Once you have done a few races you will get a good idea where you best fit.
I hope these five tips help you perform better if you take on some Zwift races. If you want to know your lactate threshold look up Fitlab for details how to get a test. Knowing this number helps you best select which race category to compete in, group to ride with or correct levels for set workouts.