It’s race day – Let’s do this

This week brings the off season cycling program to a close. For your Sunday workout,  you will execute a race event on Zwift – a great way to test your pacing and current performance abilities. 

Your assignment this week is to:

  1. Choose one of the events listed below.
  2. Prepare a race strategy that includes: target duration, anticipated pacing strategy, and hydration/fueling.
  3. Get ready to rumble!

Step 1: Choose an Event:

Choose one of the Zwift races listed below. Register on Zwift Companion (under Events) or via the Zoom links below.

  1. Each event has categories based on the level of the riders (A, B, C, D) . Race categories are typically based on Power/Weight (eg. watts/kg) at Functional Threshold Power (FTP). When you register, be sure to seed yourself correctly.
  2. If you want formal race results: ZwiftPower allows your results to be automatically posted; if you have a power meter or smart trainer,register with ZwiftPower.  Connecting to ZwiftPower
  3. The event times are staggered so I (we) can log in & watch. Yes, you can do that! See how to watch a rider/race here: race-spectating

3R Watopia Flat Route (4 Laps) @8:05 am ET

  • Distance: 41.5 K  – Total Elevation: 245M 
  • A fast, flat-to-undulating route. Because this race has four loops, it’s fantastic for pacing. Can you dial it in? 

HERD of Mountain Goats Climbing Race 3 @10:00 am ET

  • Distance: 40.8K – Total Elevation: 544M
  • Route: Triple Loops (London)
  • Bike through the City of London, followed by the famous London Hills (at least famous on Zwift!). The most climbing of the three races.

3R Racing Petit Boucle @12:20 pm ET

  • Distance: 45K – Total Elevation: 430M
  • “Boucle” means “buckle.” This is a figure-eight, rolling course through the French countryside. Less climbing but a tad longer than the HERD Race. “Laissez les bon temps roulez!”

Step 2: Plan a race strategy

Think about how you will ride the event you have chosen. Here is what to consider. Email me with any questions.

Expect races to be competitive across all CATs. 

  • Research your race course! Zwift Insider provides detailed info about Zwift routes (elevation, KOMs, sprints, even recommended bike frame,  etc). Know that cycling races are not steady state but surges tend to occur on hills. You may need to surge to keep up. You will have to adapt the race and dynamically adapt your plan. It is always faster to draft.
  • Estimate your completion time & the average power you will use for the race based on the course and  what you have learned about yourself throughout our training progression. The shorter the duration of the event, the more intensely you can/should race. Think: Tempo, Sweet Spot, Threshold, V02, vs. Sprint effort. What will you sustain for most of the event? When might you execute any bursts or periods of higher effort
  • Here’s a guide for how much total time you can sustain each Zone. See your Training Peaks data for the range of watts associated for each Zone, based on your individual FTP). Use this guidance along with your own experience to plan your race.
    • Endurance: 4+ hours of effort
    • Tempo: 2-4 hours of effort at this pace
    • Sweet Spot: 60-90 mins at at this effort through the course of a race
    • Threshold: 20-40 mins at this effort through the course of a race – No one effort longer than 10 mins
    • VO2 Max: 10 mins at this effort through the course of a race – No one effort greater than 2 mins

Races go out fast. Warm-up and get up to power before the race starts.

  • Each race “pen” opens 15-20 minutes in advance. Get into the pen and complete a 15 minute warm-up before the race starts. You have a portfolio of warmups from prior workouts. 
  • You need to be pedaling at your race power the moment the race begins. There is a count-down clock in every race pen. The race will begin when it hits 00:00. A few minutes before the start, begin to bring your wattage up so that you are at your race power when the clock hits 00:00 and the race begins.

Your fueling needs will be minimal but hydration will be key.

Think about what you will drink on race day and be disciplined about your hydration.

Do me a favor and get a good night’s sleep!

Step 3: Let’s have fun with this!

Racing is learning. Integrate everything you learned these past 9-10 weeks. Take a few risks and have confidence in yourself. You have become much stronger.

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