I have been using Zwift for two years now. What started out as something new to try during the winter months has turned into a training platform with results I can see and feel. When I first started on Zwift I took the normal tests and used the metrics to enter a few group rides. In those early days, I was solidly at the bottom of Cat C but as my riding and training improved I found myself creeping toward the top of the category and even nearing the cutoff between Cat C and Cat B. Awesome news right? I am improving and my results are starting to back up the feelings in my legs… or perhaps not.
I don’t feel this situation is unusual or unique to me. As many Zwifters continue to improve they must also follow categorical rules for events. ZwiftPower keeps those events honest as you can be DQ’d if your numbers are not in-line with requirements for the category you entered. In fact, this happened to me in my last Cat C race!
Overall ZwiftPower’s automatic filtering and disqualifying keeps the racing more even by organizing categories, determining category upgrades, and removing sandbaggers from the final results. So if you’re not registered on ZwiftPower go for it! It’s free and after you sign up there’s not much to do except see better results.
Now things get interesting, as I find myself at the bottom of the Cat B group. Making that transition from Cat C to B was one that made me feel super positive, I knew I was improving and now I could race with the ‘Big Boys’. However, while I was very competitive and working hard for podiums in Cat C, after my first few B events I’m setting simple goals of ‘Don’t take last’ or ‘Push it hard at the beginning to make the split…into the 2nd group’.
Oddly enough, it seems that sometimes improving can kill your positive outlook.
If you haven’t had the experience (riding inside or out), let me tell you that pushing hard and not gaining can be super depressing. So what to do? It can be overwhelming to always be pushing as hard as you can to simply hold a wheel. There is a sense of pride in it for me though. I have worked incredibly hard, early mornings and late nights to get the chance to ‘try and hold the wheel’. So I am choosing to use it as a motivator.
I was really ecstatic when I could start being competitive in Cat C races and I know I can get there in Cat B. It’s just going to take more time pushing my limits even further.
Zwift has created an environment for us all to work together and compete. Whether that’s against each other or just ourselves we have the chance to keep improving. Although I am at the bottom of the category now I hope to get into the middle with some more work and who knows, maybe push the top of the group sometime down the road. Wish me luck!
What About You?
Have you found yourself in the dreaded ‘Riding the line’ situation on Zwift? How did you deal with going from the front to the back of the pack? Got any tips to share with me?
I hope you keep pushing your limits and maybe next time we can battle it out for a win… or just not to take last!