New to zwift - Cant keep up

Hi there. I’m new to zwift and finding it really hard to keep up. Ive done a couple of races and group rides in category C and D and have really struggled. Im in pretty good shape but am a bit demoralized with the results.
Can anyone explain how riders that are heavier than me, putting out a lower w/kg and power are finishing 4 minutes faster for a short 30km cycle. Am I missing something here. I’m using a wahoo kicker. Ive increased my power estimation to 100% from 50% - Not sure if that makes a difference.
Appreciate any help.

The trainer difficulty won’t change anything. It might be that they are in a group drafting and you are solo “out in the wind”. You need to stay in the draft for races. Much less power needed overall for the speed.
Just a first thought.

Hi John

Have you tried doing the advanced spin down to calibrate your Kickr? I had a similar experience with my new Kickr at the start and once I had done the advanced spin down it made the experience more realistic!

Hope that helps.


Thanks Mark. I’ll try to keep up with the pack next one and draft more

Hi Mark.
I’ll try that tonight. Ive done a couple of regular spin downs. Thanks for your help.

THe group rides don’t have categories as such they have a w/kg which they try to stay at. Stay close to the beacon and don’t follow the riders at the front who shoot off at xx more w/kg for a reason known only to themselves.

If you are racing at C/D then find a 2.0 or 2.5 w/kg group ride and get the feel for that. You should be able to keep up and you will also get the draft effect.
I am a group C trider and I always end up riding on my own in races as they start off much to fast and I just stay at my own pace. I am a TT rider IRL and have no need to try and improve my race start. I keep an eye on the board to see how I am doing against other group C riders.

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Being in a draft for 30km instead of riding by yourself for 30km could easily make a 4 minute difference, even at a lower power. Try to stay with the bunch at the start of the race, they will slow down eventually.

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Drafting is key, just like real racing. Riding in a pack is 30 percent or so easier. Work hard to stay with the lead pack at all costs or find a sub pack to ride with. Getting dropped can easily cost you 4 min at the end

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You have probably checked this but if you happen to have chosen the TT bike you wont benefit from the draft in group rides and races which make a huge difference.

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Thanks! That may explain why my first group ride was so hard!