I am pretty new to Zwift, have around 450km done so far. My main question is regarding my HR and racing or even working out sometimes. I feel like my HR goes up very fast and stays there for quite some time when I do hard efforts like races that require you mostly to almost go all out if you want to stick to 1st group. Now what bothers me is that my FTP (223W @68kg = cca. 3.2W/kg) puts me in the top of C category but I still get beaten easily by riders who output about the same W/kg or even around 3.0W/kg. I also use ZwiftPower so after race I can see the results and other riders have much lower average HR than I do. I know that with higher age your HR tends to be lower but even though I am “only” 22 I feel like my HR is still waaaaay to high for the effort I do.
To give you an example I will give you data from today’s race:
Average HR: 180bpm
Max HR: 192bpm
Time spent in HR Z4: 10:09 min
Time spent in HR Z5: 51:22 min
Winner of the race:
Age: Master (30-40)
FTP: Zwiftpower says 320w so that would be 3.47W/kg but he averaged 3.2W/kg for this race
Average HR: 169bpm
Max HR: 196bpm
4x Park Perimeter Loop (NY) = cca. 39km
Total ascent: 504m
So I got dropped on the last lap on the “longer climb” (for those of you who know this track). I couldn’t hold even the guys in front of me since I hit the “wall”. Now is this due to me being out of shape in a way because it seems unhealthy to me that I would spend 51:22min in HR Z5 despite having the same W/kg. Is there really such a difference on flatter courses that my weight gives me almost no advantage even on shorter climbs? Is it normal to spend that much time with HR this high for my age? Is it normal to be at the max. W/kg you can have for C category and still not be able to end with the top guys?
I hope someone can answer to my questions, if you need more data please tell me what else to provide. Thank you in advance