Tips on how to improve race strategy and performance

hi there, i tried to find something in the previous post but couldnt find anything specific…sorry if there is a post already.
i recently finisht the last Zwift academy race Cat 6 pushing 2,9w/kg and 243W average reaching the 68th postition. i race about 19 races but i would put myself on a beginner level.
with my Numbers i thought i could aim for a top 10, 20. i see people with similar w/kg but much lower wattage in way better position.
im sure the numbers by themself dont help, but im wondering how can i use it in the best way possible to plan a strategy.
the C cat push quite hard in the beginning (beyond C cat values i guess) and if i want to keep with the peloton, its quite ttough, even if there are climbs involved :stuck_out_tongue: .
any hint or tips on how to improve yourself based on the numbers we collect?

i would go look over at this Guy , Learning how to race. he is a Cat C rider like your self more top end of C.

The start of a cat C race is not “beyond C cat values”. It’s within the zMAP values or the riders get upgraded. This is significantly above the zFTP values but that’s just how it goes for an effort of a few minutes when riders are fresh. Training for short term power (eg, 2-5 minute power) is a good solution for handling the starting effort. Also being warmed up and not too fatigued from other recent efforts. It’s important to stay in the draft all the time, so seconds before the start you want to be putting out just enough power to stay tucked in behind the leaders, and not so much power that you end up wasting effort and towing the group. If a couple riders go shooting off at the start, the group will probably come back together so let someone else close the gap. It takes some time to develop some intuition about how hard the start will be based on the field size, route, and distance. Long races and events with a significant climb generally start easier. Bigger fields generally include more heavy hitters and random crazies who will push harder at the start. Routes that start with a climb are also a good place to split up the field at the start since you can catch people napping (eg, Makuri 40, Country to Coastal).


Oi. Shush.


Thanks. What I meant with ‘beyond’ was just that first 5 min Numbers as you said, that wouldn’t reflect the average numbers of the Cat, but I believe it’s like this…
Thanks for the tips

normally don’t give tips since everyone has their own way of doing things but you probably don’t need to put out nearly as much power as you think you do at the start. 5 seconds at 800w is gonna cook you a lot more than 20 seconds at 400. just as an example

my power is good for 5 sec at 800watts will hurt less for me. then doing 400watts for 20 sec. bath salts like Sub 200watts or over 700wats. @S_A_Cestria_CC

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are you on a team? i find that helps when you have teammates in a race getting tips live is the best way.

But the main rule with race be lacy sit in the draft as much as possible.

Thanks, yes, I’m on a TTT team but I’m still not sure if I’m enjoying team races. I just did 2 so far…

TTT is a bit different. I was more meaning for any other sort of racing. Usually i’ll be on discord chat if i know teammates are riding good place to point out any tips.

e.g if i see a rider doing stupid stuff riding on the front wasting energy i’ll point it out. also calling out any points where i think the race might breakup to be prepared.

normally same, but i just made the numbers up lol. the point is really you want to do whatever effort you have to do at any point as little and late as possible, once you cook you’re cooked. easier said than done though

5v5 club ladder is more fun than TTT in my opinion. Does your club do those events? The tactics are very interesting because you can pay so much attention to your opponents both before and during the race.

i dont know. its the first time i hear about it.
i checked some in youtube and looks interesting.
what do you mean by checking before the race? like checking the wattage numbers, etc?

Yes our team leader has access to graphs of the opponents’ power, weight, and ranking. We study them and the route to decide pre-race strategy and choose which of our team members will do the race. My team is mostly heavier riders with a good sprint. I am a medium weight rider with good 5 minute power. I’m mostly employed to stay with people on climbs without trying to get away, and shut down breaks. We usually want it to end in a sprint and breaks to fail.

Sounds quite interesting.
And you have to finish all together?

No there are points awarded for each finishing position. You can have a rider get totally dropped and finish last while the team wins the event. One of your opponents can finish first and their team still loses.

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