This past Friday night, I jumped into Zwift to get in some miles after only finding time for one other run during the week. I jumped onto the May Field track to warm up, and after a couple of miles of boredom, I decided to look for a group run or race. As luck would have it, a 5K B/D run was only 15 minutes out.

The Zwift Companion App can come in handy for finding group runs. I had no idea what their various speed designations were, but in the Zwift Companion App, you get a full description. The 5K B group goal pace was 8.2 mph which is just enough to challenge me but not enough to push me too hard for a training run. Game on…

I went out at 7.8 mph and found myself way out in front of the group, but there was one runner exceeding my pace but with a slightly later start. He passed sometime in mile 2, and since he was still slightly under goal pace, I decided to stick with him. Everyone else was running in the 8+ min/mile range so if this guy wanted to be pushed to 8.2, I was the only one there to do it.

By the end of mile 2, due primarily to a tracking hardware issue on my part, my friend had opened up about an 8 second lead. I kicked up the pace for mile 3 which he matched when he saw me gaining. At that point, I decided to wait for the 2 3/4 mile mark to make my final push to the finish. Keep in mind, I’m on mile 5 due to my 2 miles on the track before the 5K group run.

As soon as the distance hit 2.75 miles, I kicked the treadmill speed up dramatically. There’s always a slight delay in the speed registering in Zwift so it took a few seconds, but I was soon coasting a little above 10 mph. When my friend saw me coming, he matched my pace and held me off by a couple of seconds at the finish.

So much for a nice easy group run. Mile 3 came in at 6:45 min/mile pace. Hopefully my friend enjoyed his “win” but he better be ready if we meet at a real race. I had a lot more left in the tank even with the 2 extra miles already on board.