Today I hopped into my first official Zwift race. A good friend of mine is working with USA Cycling to get a racing program set up via Zwift and I decided to hop into it and test the legs. I will be honest, I have spent some time in the saddle, but nothing that I would deem as devout training. Last week for example, was completely off the bike and the majority of what I have done has been little more than tempo but I thought, “Let’s have some fun!”
Having previously calculated my threshold as roughly 3.8 Watts/kilogram and I decided to hop into the “B” race which was marked as 3.0 – 4.0 W/kg. I got a bit of a warm up in and was ready to go.
The clock counted down. 3, 2, 1, and we were OFF! There was not a single second of lollygagging, the pace started incredibly fast, with power above 500 watts. Thank god I checked in early enough to have a front row position for the start. Needless to say, that was the closest I would be to the front the entire time I was “racing”! This race reminded me of my first Cat 5 crit race, without the crashes that is. I was red lined from the gun and after 5 minutes, I found myself alone, riding laps dazed and confused at my apparent lack of high end.
A bit stunned, like I got slapped across the face I settled in at tempo, which is where I have spent a great deal of time over the past few weeks and it feels like home. I waited until I saw the green hoard of riders on my map which represented the lead group and hopped back in. This time through, I managed to hang on, until I had to call it for a phone call.
Am I disappointed? Not in the least. I went in with ZERO high intensity work and very few weeks of legitimate training under my belt to expect anything more.
Will I be back? Absolutely! It was a challenge and a learning experience.
What will I change? Quite honestly, for right now, nothing. I am doing these to add a little entertainment and some unstructured intensity to my training routine and I may even go in with a bit more fatigue on my legs because at the end of the day, this is for fun!