C almost B

I started using Zwift in January this year (2020) – primarily as a way to keep riding here in Ireland – as it rains a lot in winter – who’d have thought 😜. Ultimately though, with COVID-19, it turned out I got it just in time!

Alongside lockdown and being largely housebound I found myself doing more consistent riding than I had done in nearly 10 years and slowly started to see the improvements as I not only got fit again, but also stronger.

After an initial FTP test on Zwift, I was categorised as a category C rider according to Zwift for rides/races – so an FTP in the 2.5-3.1w/kg range – and initially was pretty happy to just ride in that category and try compete for a top placing as I got used to Zwift racing.

However, a few weeks back I joined up with a bunch of riders from Mayo here in Ireland and started doing a weekly (very competitive) race – and very quickly I’ve found my FTP increasing. As of this week though in Zwiftpower I got the dreaded “C almost B” rating. 😱

It turns out, after a bit of research, I am sitting right on the edge of being bumped into the B category! My “95% of 20min FTP” has been 3.17w/kg over the last three races – and 3.2 would put me into the B category – so I found myself thinking this week, should I get smarter about my racing tactics – try and hang in the draft more to reduce my average w/kg in races or maybe even (legally) try put on some weight as I’ve lost 7kgs since starting to train more seriously this year?

However, with the added motivation of my two boys cheering me on from the IRL sidelines of virtual races I’ve decided to embrace the C almost B categorisation and see how I can do when/if I get bumped into the B category. 💪

Obviously the upper-end of the B category is 3.9w/kg which means in the absence of really actually managing to lose much more weight (there is not much left to lose) the only way to compete is going to be to increase my FTP – so more training, or more specifically, more thoughtful and dedicated training is going to be needed to make the increases I will need to be competitive in the B category.

So, this blog might become more cycling related for a while as I embrace my C almost B rating (and impeding Category B rating) as a badge of honour rather and I may share how I do on my way to trying to get competitive in category B races on Zwift. 🚴

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