As a light weight rider with better long term power than short, it’s going to be really tough in most Zwift races unless you are very selective about the route. If the time works for you, you might try doing the Masters SA events like this one:
Some riders also get a more accurate CE category by doing max efforts at shorter durations, even in a free ride. Those kinds of efforts don’t usually happen during races (at least for me). Whether it works depends on your existing power curve and abilities. I was able to get my zFTP value more in line with my actual FTP by doing a 3 minute test. Go to zwift.com and click on My Feed → My Profile → More Info to see your current CE data. Make a note of it before trying anything, then check back and see what happens to zFTP afterwards.
Thank you, Paul. I will try what you suggest.
I need to be able to enter a C or D race.
I’m old (very) and raced sanctioned races 38 years ago at 37 years old. I’ve kept up my strength and fitness as much as my age will allow. It’s a losing battle, but I can still train with strong riders here in Dallas. (I quit racing about a decade ago)
I’m a lightweight rider at 149 lbs. Zwift allows me to train and race hard in relative safety when the weather doesn’t cooperate here.
Unfortunately, Zwift doesn’t include the dynamics of real cycling/racing. But it should at least allow racing based on race placings and not some theoretical standard.
I need to get catted down before this winter is over so I can start events with more enthusiasm.
As far as I can see you don’t need to be entering B races (possibly Category Enforcement Cat B but I doubt it)
You are a ZwiftPower Category C and can enter Category C races which fall under the ZwiftPower umbrella.
It looks like you entered (over the past few weeks) 3 Category D races run under ZwiftPower race conditions. As you are a ZP Cat C you will receive the UPG disqualification if you race in D category, even if you don’t do so well.
I wish it would allow me to enter “C” races. They’re grayed out. I can’t click on them. B and A are my only clickable options.
I can sometimes do well in a “D” race (but usually get out-sprinted if it comes to that), but would rather race “C” where I’m always stretched to the limit and turn inside out to stay with the lead or 1st chase pack. (I’m 75 and have been racing since 38 years ago)
You are not alone asking questions about your category. You do however have power numbers to put you into C Category so it may also be a case of finding races which suit you better than short flat races.
There is the option for you to write into Support and ask them to invalidate a specific activity’s power numbers in cases where you feel that power wasn’t correct, which should bump you down depending on what is invalidated. Keep in mind this is intended for instances where your trainer misreads, your spouse or child uses your account and inflates power, etc. and you’ll be asked some questions around why you need the invalidation.
Took some digging but with your help, I found my Fitness information. I don’t believe there’s any way someone with my numbers can stick in a “B” race. The “C” racers are generally more powerful than me. In Zwift Power, I can see what the others have done in the same races. I can look at their profiles and hands-down, they’re very accomplished and powerful racers.
Suggested Category B
Minimum category allowed in category enforced events.
Estimate of your current Functional Threshold Power (FTP), the power you can sustain for a long period of time, i.e. > 40 min.
Estimate of your Maximal Aerobic Power, i.e the power at which you achieve peak oxygen consumption in a short duration effort 4-6 min.
Estimate of your maximal oxygen uptake relative to your current weight expressed in ml/kg/min. (Assumes a fixed cycling efficiency)
*For accurate metrics estimation you need to have done maximal efforts of at least 12 minutes in duration.
If you divide the watts by the W/kg, it shows that some of your numbers have you at as little as 57kg, others are as much as 67kg. That’s probably affecting your CE calculation. It may correct itself after the data times out (60 days).
Part of the problem lies in the fact that Zwift doesn’t distinguish between flat races and climbing races, even though everyone recognizes that different metrics (watts vs w/kg) determine success there.
Your 30 min w/kg is higher than mine. But 3.23 w/kg for me would be over 290 watts. Even without taking sprinting into account, on a flat course my raw wattage is going to overpower yours, even though you should be able to outclimb me on a long enough climb (we’re not so far apart in w/kg, a short enough climb would likely not make enough difference). As IRL, even though I’m likely also larger than you in profile, the extra drag doesn’t make up for the extra raw power.
If Zwift wants to keep using physiological performance numbers (as opposed to wins), they should be classifying people separately for flat and climby races.
Sprinting will make a difference too, but that’s less on Zwift. Your power curve is very flat–your 30 min w/kg is higher than mine, but my <1 min raw power is significantly higher. But to me, the fact that someone can sprint better than someone else is less of an issue of properly organizing racing, and more of a simple issue of competition. I also play volleyball, and there are plenty of people who jump a lot higher than me. Just something I have to deal with, not itself a reason to shuffle us into different leagues.
I corrected that weeks ago when I saw it and did the conversion to pounds. My bad. I changed my weight to my actual and true 149 lbs. I’m now thinking that my lower kg factored into my theoretical ability, skewing me into higher classification and cause the “UPG” in one of the columns in Zwift Power. Thank you for the help. I hope the minimum classification goes down soon. It’s very frustrating to be at my absolute limit and it’s not good enough to stick to watch others finish.
Thank you for posting these figures. As Paul has pointed out your old ‘last year?’ Weight of 56.7kg is being used, in part, for some of your Peak Power numbers. This does affect your CE category calculation and I suspect because of this you are right on that cat B boundary.
Those weights will drop out on 13th and 20th February if you decide to do nothing else.
Above you mention the UPG you have on your ZwiftPower race record. I believe the reason is nothing to do with weight. At first glance it looks like you entered D cat races when you were a ZwiftPower C cat racer.
You are currently limited to race in A or B category under Category Enforcement. However if you find any ZwiftPower races that allow you to enter all categories then for now you should enter the C category.
Thank you, Ian. I’m anxiously awaiting for Zwift to cat me down to at least “C”. I didn’t notice any change on the 13. The 20th is only 2 days away. There aren’t many races that are not enforcing category. Seems like placing dead last in almost every “B” race would get me catted down.
Without the dynamics of real cycling built into Zwift, it’s been tough. I’m looking at different platforms that are more similar to real cycling. The only reasons I haven’t left Zwift are that it’s the most popular and I’ve been here for something like 4 years. Hard to change.
Well would ya look at that! I’ve never heard of Zwifthacks. But almost every race scheduled for today is NOT Category-Enforced! Only found 2 out of 10 or so that I clicked that WERE Enforced.
I don’t know why my regular Zwift account has such slim pickings for races and almost all are Enforced.
I believe that this is going to help a lot. Racing as a “C” might get me UPG disqualifications, but at least I should have more fun. My goal is to be in the winning pack some day. 1st place is out of the question for me, but just being there to watch the finish will be an accomplishment.
So as a B rider, you feel you are unable to ride with the C riders?
You can draft off the C’s and give them a draft - provided all the classes are visible.
As A C rider, have you ever drafted a B rider who happened to be in your group?