I’ve been riding on Zwift for the last few years and haven’t found that I am getting faster, until just recently.
For starters, I found that when I ride with a group, I tend to ride faster. One of the interesting things about doing a group ride on Zwift is that there is a “stay together” option. So, no matter how fast or slow, you can stay together. The faster folks still put out the watts, they just don’t go the distance.
If you do a quick search on the internet, all of the bloggers agree that when you ride outside with a group, you will go harder and faster than you do when you ride alone. That being said, I find Zwift to be the same.
The First Group Ride:
The first time I rode with a group on Zwift was this year. I found myself seeing other people I knew and that pushed me harder to keep up or to excel and pass them.
On that ride, my power was up nearly 20%!
I found that when I did it again, it was the same.
When I’m alone on Zwift Doing a Workout
When I do a workout on Zwift and I’m in Zone 1, between the machine yelling at me and me not focusing on it I just ride. However, when you train with other people you know, you do go faster and harder and that will help make you an efficient cyclist.
What I found Interesting
Interestingly, I was looking at the stats on one of my training partners Strava app and noticed that when he road his Heart Rate stayed in the 140s. Hmmm… I never get that high I thought. Then I started to think about the group rides and the workouts. I must not be pushing it.
After that, I started to wear a heart rate monitor while riding and Zwift and noticed that when my heart rate went down to 110, I pushed harder to get it up to 130. When I stayed in the 130 – 140 range I was easily staying in zone 2, 3 and even 4!
That’s when I had an a realization. At that moment after seeing my friend’s heart rate, I knew I was doing this all wrong. I was riding as if I were on a hybrid bike taking my time seeing the sites instead of using this as a training tool to improve!
So, from now on, I’m staying in the 130s and keeping my head down on Zwift!