results power zones

(Terry Smith EFC) #1

Hi there,

can someone help please? when I look at my Zwift race results my bar chart is mainly yellow and orange while everyone else is mainly green? am I pushing myself too hard, is this a little dangerous given my age (47)?

also in the end column what does power and smart mean? mine says power.

thanks everyone


(Steve Ellis) #2

Zwift races are motivating you to work hard. If the doctor doesn’t tell you to stop, you’re doing well. You’re getting good training. You have to rest and recover as well, but if you work hard and recover you’ll get stronger.

With that said, first place doesn’t go to the strongest rider. It goes to the one who passes everyone else before the finish line. If you’ve worked the hardest the whole race, but haven’t distanced everyone else, the rider behind you who still has some energy left – a match to burn – will come around and pass you at the finish. Strength matters. Tactics also matter. Tactics may dictate that you sit in the draft and ride at a lower effort level for a while.


(Nigel Doyle) #3

47 is young. I’m 56 and ride hard in races however when looking at the majority of my time is spent at the lower end in gray and green. The trick is to get in a bunch and enjoy the draft and do as little work as you can. You then sprint it out at the end or if you’re strong, ride off the front a few km’s from the finish.

Power = power meter. Smart means they’re getting their power output data from their smart trainer. ZP means Zpower, an estimation of the power based on a known power resistance curve for that model dumb trainer. So you must have a power meter selected as your power source in Zwift.

(Terry Smith EFC) #4

thanks both, appreciate that. so basically I am probably working too hard in the race (trying to catch up with the guy in front or stay ahead of the guy behind). I should just try to stay in a group and rest a little more.

Nigel I don’t own a power metre,so looks like I need to change my settings. I only have a smart turbo trainer

Thanks again both,

(Terry Smith EFC) #5

hi all, can someone just advise AGAIN (sorry) why my power zone data is so much in the yellow and orange vs everyone else. I am getting myself in the pack, I am trying to take a rest where I can in the pack, although I must admit I do push myself hard every race. Is it really because I am pushing myself so hard? I look at everyone else in the grey and green and they must be having a sleep on the bike and yet they are way faster than me. Feel free to look at my data - I did the 5:35pm ZBR race today (GMT). I am so far off everyone else it makes me think something is wrong?

(Steve Ellis) #6

For reference – here’s the ZwiftPower link to the 

WBR 4 Flat Lap #pst Race (25.6 mi / 41.2 km) (B), Wed Nov 1st 2017

and here’s the profile link.

(Nigel Doyle) #7

Possibly your heart rate zones are set up incorrectly in Strava. Zwiftpower links to Strava.

(Terry Smith EFC) #8

Thanks Steve/Nigel (again)

Nigel - how would I change my heart rate zones on strava? I have just checked, I cannot see how I would do that, unless I need to buy the premium version? I have never set any heart rate zones on strava. definitely feels like something is wrong for me to be so much in the orange and yellow zone…

(Steve Ellis) #9

Terry: See if you can set your FTP and heart rate at

(Zee Kryder) #10

First, what is your ftp?

second, check that number in Zwift. One way is to check workout, and on the right side of screen is a slide up and down to set or alter your ftp #. I often find that my number (252) often gets reset to a different number (maybe a glitch) and will read 215 or so. Then my race shows all red instead of yellow and orange.

For me, it always seems a bit lower on

Maybe that will help.

(Terry Smith EFC) #11

Steve - I followed your link. Strava is saying that I need to upgrade to ‘Premium’ to change settings. Maybe that’s the issue? The heart rate settings are somehow incorrect and the only way I can change them is to upgrade to premium.

Zee - thanks for trying to help. I just checked on zwift and it says my ftp is 292. I have never input that or done an ftp test, I think this score just updates after each race I do. Maybe I need to do an ftp test to get a true ftp rather than use the ftp based on races? how did you get your ftp?


(Zee Kryder) #12

Terry: " how did you get your ftp?"

I have done the short ftp listed in zwift workouts. I have also gone up once or twice within a race. If I take some time off, I may do a retest and lower it from time to time. (You can’t stay at a peak for very long…at least I can’t but it doesn’t change by very much)

Zwift will reset your ftp when you do an ftp workout, even when it goes lower. If you raise it in a race or any other time, it will increase to your new estimated ftp (95% of 20 minutes.)

There are ways to estimate frp as well. Some use a step test, others 2 8 minute segments. Step test has proven most accurate for me. Or, if your insane, just ride a solid hour. That’s a true ftp. But, few can pace that correctly.


(Terry Smith EFC) #13

Thanks Zee, maybe I need to do an ftp test. I have never done a test before. I will try that and see if that fixes this power zones problem.

(Chris Tomasini) #14


Terry - I think you’re referring to the NP column of data, within ZwiftPower, and how sometimes there is a red, orange, green, yellow bar going part-way across that rectangular bar containing your np number.

That coloured bit refers to the variability index… how much your power varied during the course of the race.  This page has some info about what a variability index is.

My basic understanding is that you have red in that area when your power level fluctuated widely … so you had a very uneven ride that day. Then the green, yellow, green are various levels taking you down to no colour at all, which is indicating that your variability index is close to zero… so you were doing nearly the same power level for your entire ride.

It probably goes in this order… though this is me going by memory and also guessing:

Red - widely variable ride… power level all over the place

Orange - varied, but not as bad as red

Yellow, - varied, but not as bad as orange

Green - pretty tight… close to a long consistent effort

no colour at all - very tight… nearly the same watts the whole ride

that’s my understanding anyway!

(Al Crichton Manx) #15

Chris - can I ask a question, why is it that some results in ZwiftPower do not contain the grey bar at all?



(Chris Tomasini) #16

Hi Al - that’s beyond me. Hopefully someone else knows the answer. I’ve noticed the same thing when I look at my list of races in ZwiftPower.

Sometimes I’ve thought it had to do with the nature of the race or the fondo or the group workout… i.e. that sometimes an NP number isn’t worth providing for the nature of that ride?

BUT… then, most of the time I just figure it’s a ZP glitch.


(Al Crichton Manx) #17

Cheers Chris, it also appears that various other fields are missing from some of the results, as you said, just a ZP glitch!! :grin: