So, you’ve just started dabbling in eRacing but have no idea what your next steps are or how to plan your race calendar?
eRacing can seem complicated at first but if you take these tips you will find success indoors.
Find Out Which Platform Works For You
While Zwift is the big online racing platform, it’s not the only one. There are many other platforms coming onto the scene which offer a different experience, and different opportunities.
Zwift needs no introduction – it’s undeniably the biggest platform meaning there are loads of different types of races going on all the time– hilly, flat, TTs – so you can do the type of race that you want usually at a time that suits you.
Then of course there are things like the Zwift Academy for you to look out for. Zwift Academy provides opportunities for you to compete to win a pro contract or a place at Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. The triathlon academy also offers months of mentorship from Wahoo athletes Sarah True and Tim Don.
Learn more about racing on Zwift with our Top Tips for Racing on Zwift
CVRcade has an equalized system which means that your speed is defined by your individual effort – therefore if you weigh 100kg you do actually have a realistic chance of beating the 60kg rider up the hill.
The platform has regular World Cups – allowing you to win up to $5000. Who knew you could get paid!
The races are on real outdoor roads and the RGT platform has been used to host some Pro U23 races. Mostly though, RGT is a good way to practice and familiarise yourself with any upcoming outdoor races you may have as, with their Magic Roads software, you can submit a GPX file and the game will recreate your route!
Join The Community
Like everything in the online world, there are huge communities behind all of the online platforms.
Facebook is where most of them are so get onboard and get talking to others. They’re a great place to ask questions, find out about races, and make friends.
Keep your ear to the ground on the online forums for which race series are drawing the most attention and making the most noise and get involved.
Yes, of course, you don’t get the same face-to-face interactions that you do in club riding or outdoor racing. But don’t underestimate the power of social interactions – even online. Talk to people – give kudos, use the message services before and after the race, comment on people’s Strava posts, and interact on the forums. You’ll make good friends and meet some pretty inspiring people.
Here’s the thing with online racing – it doesn’t matter where you come – no one sees you! So get stuck in.
Start off by scheduling a regular race every week. Find a time that works for you and then commit to it weekly. This schedule is a good way to determine your training progress as well as a confidence boost. It gives you the chance to learn the course inside out and practice your race tactics oftentimes against the same riders each week. Can you say virtual weekly worlds?
Every time you race on a course you are learning where the break happens, where the accelerations take place, where you struggle the most, and so on. If you really want to geek out, take notes on the course before Zwift races using zwiftinsider.
On CVRcade there is in-game steering for you to negotiate too so you may need to practice the courses even more – focusing on where the roads narrow, where the obstacles are, and remembering when to slow down on a turn to avoid sliding off your bike!
Join a Team
Joining a team will have one of the biggest impacts on your online racing experience and provide you with opportunities to be invited to things like the Pro/Am race series. When you join a team, you’re joining a community of like-minded riders who you will race with and sometimes train with. Most teams use the Discord app when riding together which is an in-game chat where you can message/ voice chat and is an awesome way to talk tactics and cheer each other on! It makes a big difference to the game experience to be racing with a team and interacting over Discord.
Some teams will even have a race leader watching the race and giving you a heads up on where everyone is at, what’s coming next and when to dig deep! The Wahoo X LeCol Esports team has Tim Fulford from CyclingHub for big races as the race leader, a sort of sports director. It makes you feel like a Pro!
If you want to join a team on Zwift, make sure that you have ZwiftPower set up. Go to Zwiftpower’s team page, read the team’s information on their page, find one which best suits you, and click join!
Consistency is Key!
Be patient. Just because you have high power numbers it doesn’t mean you will start being competitive or even winning right away. Stick with it.
Be you. Don’t compare your progress to someone else’s. Keep doing what you do and watch your fitness soar and so will your positions in races. Remember, it’s your training that wins you the race and rest & recovery within your training shouldn’t be underestimated.
Corinne Fox is a keen cyclist who competed in the Zwift eRacing National Championship finals 2019. As a Pilates & Lifestyle coach, she enjoys practicing what she preaches, combining her training with Pilates and good food! Corinne rides and races for the Wahoo X Le Col eSports team.