Zwift racing is an exciting and fun way to get in shape and challenge yourself. Over the past few weeks, I have been participating in Zwift races and have picked up some tips and tricks that I’d like to share with you, especially if you’re new to racing on Zwift.
These tips will help you become more competitive and enhance your racing experience. In fact, I used these tips to win my last race and achieved the lowest watts per kilo than the top 10 in my category.
Warm Up Properly
Before starting the race, it’s essential to warm up properly. Warming up can help you perform at your best by increasing your heart rate, blood flow to your cycling muscles, and getting them ready for hard efforts. Give yourself 20-30 minutes to get a good warm-up. I like to have some caffeine and then pick an easy pace group and ride with them for about 20-30 minutes, throwing in a few short, hard efforts to get my heart rate up a little bit.
Start Strong and Position Yourself
How you start your Zwift race can mean the difference between a podium finish and missing out. Zwift races usually start hard, so about 10 seconds before the race starts, I start ramping up my power. Two to three seconds before the start, I go hard, but not a sprint type effort. This helps me quickly ramp up my speed and position myself with the front group. It’s important to position yourself with the front pack if you’re going for a podium finish. After 30 seconds or so, the group will start to settle at a more manageable pace.
Drafting in Zwift is a feature that allows riders to save energy by riding behind other cyclists. When you draft behind another rider, you can reduce the wind resistance you experience, which can help you maintain a higher speed with less effort. In a race, positioning yourself somewhere in the middle or back of the pack will help you conserve a lot of energy. Keep an eye on the pack and be prepared for surges on rollers or climbs, where stronger riders can try to separate from the rest of the group.
In Zwift, power-ups are a unique feature that allows riders to temporarily boost their performance during a ride. These power-ups can give you an edge over other riders in a race, but it’s important to use them at the right time and place. Before the race, check the race details page and understand which power-ups are available and plan when to use them. Each power-up lasts for a different duration, and it’s important to understand the effects and duration of each power-up and use them effectively.
Finally, it’s important to know your race course. Reconning a race course before a Zwift race allows you to familiarize yourself with the course, identify key sections where surges can happen, and plan for power-ups. You can watch previous race replays on YouTube or Twitch, look up the profile, or ride the course yourself to get a feel for it.
In conclusion, these tips will help you become more competitive and enhance your racing experience on Zwift. Remember to warm up properly, start strong and position yourself, take advantage of drafting, use power-ups effectively, and recon your race course. If you wan to see how I applied these tips to win the race, watch the video linked above of just click here to watch it on YouTube.
Good luck in your next race!