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Group Running on Zwift - Taking your First Steps

on January 27, 2019

So you’ve joined Zwift Run, a vibrant, innovative, active community. You’ve downloaded Zwift and the Companion App, you’ve set up your footpod or Bluetooth-connected treadmill and you’ve taken your first steps on our virtual running paths. What next?

Exploring Zwift on a solo run is a great way to get to know the various routes, to take in the scenery and get a handle on some of the technical aspects of how Zwift works.

But one of the best things about Zwift is its community. The idea that you can run alone on a treadmill and yet alongside people from all over the world is much of what makes Zwift so engaging.

One way to really connect with the Zwift community is through Group Run events. Search events on the Companion App and you will find a variety of Group Runs for all abilities.

Some are social events where you run at your own conversational pace. You can interact with others in the group using in-game messaging. Others are tempo runs where the focus is on sticking together and helping each other to complete a more demanding session. Each event includes a description so you know the aim of the run before you sign up.

Pace Groups

Group Run Events can be further divided into different categories. A standard Group Run may have a set distance and a set target pace for everyone. Other Group Runs may be divided into pace groups such as A, B , C and D. Each pace group will have a different target pace, meaning those who want to run at a fast pace might join groups A or B and those who want to take things a bit easier might join groups C or D.

Structured Workouts

If you would like a little more structure to your training, consider joining a Group Workout. These are Group Events using Workout Mode, which alters your screen slightly to show a set of instructions on the left indicating when to speed up and when to slow down.

A typical Group Workout might involve running 600 meters six times at a fast pace, with a 200-meter recovery in between each, on either side of a short warm up and cool down.

You can do these workouts solo, but it’s much more fun and far more motivating to do them as part of a group!

Run Leaders

Often, these events will have a Run Leader, indicated by a yellow beacon which appears above their head and next to their name. From time to time, you will see messages appear in the center of your screen. These are from the Run Leader, either issuing instructions or offering encouragement.

If you join any group event where there is a Run Leader you should attempt to stay with them as much as possible. This keeps the group together and ensures a motivating and engaging experience for all.

Races

Races have a set distance but no Group Leader, no instructions, and no target pace. Go for the win or simply do the best you can and try to keep improving.

It’s a good idea not to do too many all-out efforts close together. This risks injury and fatigue. But taking part in a race once or twice a month can be a great way to gauge your progress!

Joining a Group Event

You can join Group Run Events in a variety of ways. The most common way is by signing up using the Zwift Companion App. Click ‘Events’ and filter for running. Choose from the various events on offer and click the plus button to sign up.

You can also see upcoming events in a list in the top right corner of the screen when you log in to Zwift. If you are already signed up for an event in the list, you’ll see the word ‘Going’, otherwise you’ll see ‘Join’. You can click this to join the event.

Finally, you can join events from the Events page on the Zwift website.

Flagship Events

Zwift has three flagship weekly events which are popular, inclusive and fun.

  • Monday Run Club is designed to give your week a kick start. It’s a Group Workout designed to get your heart rate up and your legs moving without taking you out of your comfort zone.
  • Workout Wednesday is for those who would like to push themselves a little. This is usually an interval session and although it’s hard work, you’ll be pleased you did it.
  • Saturday’s Run in the Park has an emphasis on enjoyment. Not in Workout mode, it’s often a progressive run where you start slow and gradually increase the pace. But there’s no pressure and Run in the Park is often where the community feel of Zwift is most evident.

All the flagship events occur more than once across different time zones and include different pace groups and Run Leaders. Use the Companion App to find the one that best fits your work-life balance, and check out “Running: Weekly Group Workouts” for details on these events.

We look forward to seeing you in a Group Event very soon and remember: you’ll always have someone to run with when you run on Zwift.

 

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