I have questions concerning the group riding dynamics too, and so I’ve decided to post here in the hopes that we will draw the correct “eyes”… As a result of riding in group rides associated both the the Zwift Academy, Zwift Tri, and other group rides where “keep together” appeared to be in play, I noticed that my speeds are dramatically different (for the same power output on similar terrain geometry). My questions are manifold:
What factor determines the group average? Is it the speed of the ride leader? The slowest member of the group? Or is it an average of all the riders? Or is it configurable by the organizer(s)? Other?
If speed is affected by the “keep together” rubber-band, are distances similarly affected (YES) - but how? Surely the distance covered by a group over a given amount of time should permit the game to calculate exact distances, no? If I had been riding with Coco for 75 minutes at 191 W average power, I would have covered just over 50 km. As it is now, my group ride only has me traversing about 30 km - a huge distortion!
What about “energy”? Calories? Are the calories transformed measured according to my actual power output, or are these numbers also affected by the group ride “keep together” algorithm???
I like to keep careful metrics, and while I enjoy these group riding dynamics, the keep together function appears to throw a wrench into accurate data-keeping.
Here are some specifics. Today, in anticipation of an Academy Tri Bike Workout (2), I rode with Coco Cadence (who most assuredly does not have a keep together rubber band) at power outputs that coincidentally were nearly identical to my subsequent workout. My average power in both rides was 191 W, and while the terrain was slightly different between the two rides, this differential was smoothed by the fact that I only did 20 km with Coco, while the Tri Workout was of a much longer duration and mostly flat.
Coco Ride: Average Speed 40.1 kpg
Academy Tri: Average Speed 24.9 kph
Can anyone shed any light on this dynamic? As I said, I enjoy these group rides, however, I run very structured training parameters, and these “keep together” group dynamics really throw off the calculations. Am I better off just duplicating the workout details into a custom workout, and ride the workout solo? Is there any way to adjust the group rides to obtain correct speeds and distances for the power that I output? Solutions? Ideas?
Thanks for your consideration!