Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod while attending The Running Event (TRE) Influencer Day in Austin, TX as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Are you a runner? Do you ever find yourself running on a treadmill? Then you need Zwift! After running with Zwift on the treadmill, I am wondering where it’s been all my running life!
If you are into cycling, then most likely you have heard of Zwift as a virtual training environment to use while riding your stationary bike. After all the success they have had in the cycling space, they have now expanded into the running space creating a virtual running environment to use while running on a treadmill.
Here is how Zwift works:
- Get a RunPod, or another connected device like smart running shoes
- I used the RunPod and it was really easy to set up. All you have to do is add the battery
- Download the Zwift App
- This is the app you will use to start your virtual run
- Note: Its good to download the Zwift Companion App as well
- This is the app you can use to find events, or just follow along to see who else is currently running, and cheer them on
- Have a device to play/display the virtual environment on like a PC/Mac, Smart Phone, or Ipad to use while you are running
- Have access to a treadmill
- Start using the virtual running environment every time you are on the treadmill!! (its a virtual runner on the screen that represents you, and you move along the road until you complete the run event or you decide to call it quits for that workout)
While attending The Running Event Influencer Day I was able to watch first hand as 4 of the BibRave Pros used the Zwift App while on treadmills at our welcome event that was put on by Zwift. They were participants in a larger virtual group run of BibRave Pros from across the country. We were lucky enough to have representatives there from Zwift who were able to walk us through the App and the virtual world they created called Watopia (its really cool looking)!
Since I didn’t run in this event, there was another BibRave group run scheduled for December 18th that I was able to be a part of from the comfort of my own home treadmill. I used the Zwift Companion App to sign up for the event and then used the Zwift App when it was time for my event to start to run on my Ipad when I was on the treadmill. As I waited at the virtual starting line, I was lined up next to all the other runners that signed up for that event. There was even a chat box on the side of the screen so you could write to the others at the starting line. I did the standard “Hi Everyone, hope you have a good run”. Once we started running, everyone took off at their own pace and you proceeded to go down the street on the route that was predefined for this event. We were provided with cues telling us what speed to put the treadmill at based on what pace group we signed up for prior to the event. The only hiccup I had was that I didn’t know I needed to calibrate my treadmill to my RunPod prior to this event starting, so the tracking on the virtual screen that was telling me my pace wasn’t exactly on with the pace I programmed my treadmill for. After the run I figured out how to calibrate (which only took about 2 minutes to do) and was good to go.
For a virtual environment I would say it was great. You could customize your avatar to have a closer resemblance to yourself based on a handful of predesigned features. The scenery was all very interesting to look at, and I loved the cues I was provided with while running, but I do wish that the cues would have been verbal in addition to written as I found myself having to lean forward to make sure I could read everything. Perhaps the more you do this, the easier this is to read, or know what they are going to say. I also liked that as you passed someone, or they passed you, it told you the name of that person above their avatar. That way you could see if you knew that person or not.
I will definitely continue to use this app while running on the treadmill, especially during the winter months. I would always dread the treadmill for the simple fact of staring at the wall just isn’t appealing to me, but this virtual environment gives you so much to look at that it makes the run so much more enjoyable. I can’t wait to see all the routes that they have created, and hopefully to see all of you on the app as well!!