Taking part in a group workout is a great way to experience the community nature of Zwift Run. But just like running with a group of friends outside, there are certain things you can do before, during, and after your workout to make it the best experience possible. Here are 10 tips to guide you through Group Workouts on Zwift Run.
Usually, Group Workouts are split into a number of different pace groups. This is very different from how cycling group workouts work in Zwift.
Each group will be listed in Zwift Companion or on the events page with its suggested pace range. It is up to you which group you join but you would ideally join a group which matches the pace at which you feel comfortable running.
If you fall between two groups then choose the slower of the two. You could run the fast sections marginally faster than everyone else, but slow down more to regroup during the recovery periods. Alternatively, join the faster group and try running out of your comfort zone. It’s important to stay safe on the treadmill but you never know, you might surprise yourself!
While it’s not a race and you can jump off the treadmill mid-run if you’ve forgotten something, it is good if you can stick with the group for the majority of the run. So try to make sure you have everything you need close at hand.
Turn on your device and load Zwift in good time. Click ‘Join Event’ and let your avatar wait on the start line while you make any final preparations. Always best to be early than rushing to jump on late.
Most Group Workouts will have a warm-up section built into the program at the beginning. However, if you have a stretching regime, do that at the side of the treadmill before jumping on. Then jog lightly on the start line as the clock counts down. This will also verify that your footpod is definitely connected and working.
Group Workouts will often have a leader. They can be identified by a yellow symbol next to their name and a yellow beacon above their head. The main pack will usually congregate around and stick with the leader. Any messages or instructions from the group leader will be shown clearly in the center of the screen.
A breakdown of the entire workout is shown on the left of the screen. The required current pace is shown in the middle of the screen, at the top. It’s surprisingly easy to become distracted looking at the Zwift scenery or watching the other runners. Keep your concentration and keep watching the screen for changes.
Group Workouts are supposed to be fun, but tough. Doing structured training requires a little getting used to. You might join the wrong pace group, miss an instruction, or have a power outage. Don’t worry. There will always be opportunities to take part in Group Workouts, and the most important thing is to have fun!
The recovery portions of a Group Workout are as important as the fast sections. In Zwift, as is often the case outdoors, we use these sections to regroup, but more significantly you need to use this time to recompose yourself both physically and mentally. Your heart rate should come down slightly, and you should check your body posture and running form. You should steady your breathing and use self-talk techniques to prepare for the next hard effort.
Towards the end of a Group Workout is when it can get very tough. If the group is still a cohesive unit, you can use them to pull you along. But it’s important to remember that this is where the gains are made. When you think you can’t do anymore. When your body and mind are crying out for you to quit. That’s when mental focus kicks in. Use your experience and any techniques you have in your locker to get you to the end.
The last tip is a constant for every run and after every training session. Those three things are the bedrock on which you build your running machine. They are the fundamental tools which maximize your training and deliver performance on race day. Eat a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Drinking water is fine but it may be beneficial to drink something which contains potassium, magnesium and sodium, commonly known as electrolytes. However, if you are eating a balanced diet, there should be a sufficient quantity of electrolytes in your food. Sleep is the body’s rebuilding time. Get as much of it as you can.
Follow these 10 tips for a constructive and enjoyable Group Workout on Zwift. The key to making gains is hard effort and recovery, both within the session itself and across your training block.
Looking to join a group workout? Check out Running: Weekly Group Workouts.
As always if you are having any technical difficulty with your Zwift setup, visit the Support Forums for help.