TR Workout and Zwift racing

Just to see what happened I have entered a number a races on Zwift whilst doing a TR workout. I am obviously not reacting or trying to compete in the race, just wondering how I would get on if I just tried it.

Mid pack mainly…it does seem to matter when the race starts, if you are in a rest period, the bunch rides away from you quickly and you tend to pull riders back during the race. If you time it right and be in one of the efforts, you can sit in the bunch much better.

Longer steady state workouts seem to be best.

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I had the same idea last time. I think the best workout will be the threshold type

I’ve done it on Events like Tour of Watopia with an Endurance or Tempo workout. Works well, as it stops me going harder than i should

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I have been doing TR workouts while entering a Zwift race for weeks. In my opinion, in order to get the better “racing” experience, you need to consider the correct w/kg group, racing route/timing and TR workout type.

My FTP is at 3 w/kg, but I often finish at bottom 50% at a D group (1 - 2.5 w/kg). Go for a lower w/kg group increases the chance of you staying in the pack. If I have to ride solo for most of the race, I don’t see a point putting myself into a race at the first place.

The race route and timing is important, too. If it’s rolling hills, the ideal timing will be your avatar climbing when you do interval workout and down-hilling when you at the rest period. If it’s the other way around, you may loose too much ground at up-hill and ride solo again.

Lastly, the TR workout type. I find long steady sweetspot workouts fits better than VO2Max workouts if average power is similar, especially on a flat course. It’s those 50% - 65% FTP resting periods costing you falling behind in a race. If it’s just a 1-3mins rest, you will probably be fine and catch up at the surge; but if it’s a 6-mins resting period, everybody will be gone soon.

I do enjoying doing TR workouts while Zwift racing very much. It certainly distracts my attention and makes those 4 x 8-minute near FTP workouts or O/U workouts way more tolerable. My focus would shift from interval minutes to how many seconds away from the front rider.

Always time the start of your first big interval with the start of the race / ride…so if there are 8 minutes of warmup in the workout, so those “in the pen” or out on the roads before joining the event. Then when the event starts, you are at a decent wattage level to get a good position at the start.

I did TR workouts for almost every stage of the Tour de Zwift…worked well for mid-pack finishes. But I also usually overshot my recovery wattages, too…(i.e. I would ride significantly higher in recovery intervals than what i was prescribed).

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I’ve done this a lot. Obviously not the best way to win a race, but still kinda fun. I did almost all of the tour of Watopia doing TR workouts.

I have to confess my zwift racing sins here. I did an alpe race Sunday while doing 4x20 at 90% ftp of 4w/kg. The only event that lined up with when I started was the E group, which started 30mins into my 2hr workout (higher cats had much later staggered starts). I ended up in 6th place. Normally I just do lower cat races because I can be way off the back and not affect race dynamics but still have rabbits to chase when B or A events would leave me in no mans land

I have to add, with all the z-power and clueless newbies apparently populating zwift now, categorized races are pretty meaningless. Apparently everyone is world tour level these days

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I did Avalanche Spire +1 on a Zwift race up the Alp and finished mid pack last month. Was a great workout and really didn’t care where I finished.

I can’t honestly believe anyone takes Zwift racing seriously. I did a D race the other day just to get a solid hard effort in. My Avg w/kg was 2.4 which was dead on the w/kg for the category. I ended up 40th and the top two were over 5 w/kg!

It’s a great training tool (not as great as TR though!) and I’ve been a member since the beta days, but the “racing” is a total joke.

The barrier to entry to be “A” grade on ZwiftPower is 4.0 w/kg for 20 minutes, now in a lot of races I’m seeing the top of the list with 5.6-6 w/kg 20 minute power. I get there are some pro’s on the platform now, but it’s quite rediculous to think there are that many gifted riders on there. If Zwift is staying w/kg categories they need to make a 5-6w/kg category because racing A grade with a 4.2-4.5 w/kg 20 minute power or FTP is pointless.

I do TR workouts while having Zwift in the background just to pick up XP, drops and badges to buy better equipment for when I do race.

Honestly struggling to understand what the point of doing a Zwift race while doing a structured workout would be though. I can understand racing for training purposes, since reacting to what’s happening around you can be a great distraction and often allows you to dig deeper and for longer than you would riding on your own. But if I couldn’t react I think I’d just be enormously annoyed at seeing other riders around me! E.g. If I was at X watts and just slowly drifting off the back of the pack I don’t think I’d be able to resist the temptation to bump up the workout intensity until I was back in the pack. And if by chance I found myself still in contention for a podium finish near the end of the race then there is 100% no way I wouldn’t be turning off the TR workout and going hell for leather…

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The only thing that I can think that you can achieve by doing this is to bugger somebodies race up (because they thought they could work with you) and most you can achieve could be achieved by watching a old race, at least zwift shows you that riders are doing workouts

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A good, if not slightly analogue, alternative is to do a TR workout while watching a crit or race on YouTube.
You still get into the race and find yourself hammering along to “keep up” but you aren’t having any of the negatives of dealing with other riders in Zwift or messing up anyone else’s ride.

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Haven’t raced, and am clearly one of those “clueless newbies” given what I’m about to say - there’s extra XP’s for completing events/ routes, isn’t there? Does that apply to races? I’ve only done a stage of Haute Route, and a couple of social spins, but it did cross my mind to do some races while doing TR to get route badges/ extra XP’s.

@Macy - this link should help, tons more info on the site 8 Ways to Earn More XP and Level Up Faster on Zwift | Zwift Insider


Yep, was on the TT bike on a new flat route for pettit this morning :smiley: I thought there was extra points for events, but isn’t. So it’d really be for route badges only to bother with a race (and not every route has a badge anyway).

See my previous post about riding over my recovery interval wattage. :rofl::rofl:

ETA - usually when I do a race to ride in conjunction with my TR , it is to participate in an event like Tour de Zwift or something similar. I’ll blow off an occasional TR workout for a Zwift ride / race, but when it is something sustained or includes multiple events, I’ll do my TR workout in conjunction with Zwift.

Some events like Tour of Watopia have double XP I think, so those might be worth doing. There are some routes like Bologna that you can only do in an event, but I’m not sure those routes have badges. Otherwise the only XP reason to do events would be if the draft benefit of being in a pack meant you got enough free speed to pick up XP more quickly than you would on a TT bike. Probably pretty marginal though!

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Why would you even want to do this? It can totally ruin a race for those that actually want to race. Just stick to riding around if you’re doing a workout.


Doing a TR workout during a Fondo or open format group ride I can understand. Doing a TR workout during a race makes no sense to me.

There are all these complains about sandbaggers and out of category people interfering with results. If you down-select your category and do a TR workout you are doing just that and contributing to all of the complaints about zwift racing.

If you want to race then do a race. If you want to do a workout then zwift solo or do a non-categorized Fondo or group ride. There are ways to entertain yourself without interfering with races and race results.