Disclaimer: I received a Zwift FootPod to review 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!
Running confession time: I have never enjoyed running on the treadmill. Several years ago, I joined a gym just for treadmill use in the months of January and February, when the weather is icy here at home. It was as I was training for the second marathon that I realized there was value in using the treadmill for training. Regardless of my respect for the device, I still find it a dull experience. Enter the Zwift Run app and footpod!
Prior to getting my Zwift footpod in the mail, I had not heard of Zwift for running, only cycling, so I was very excited to try this out. I quickly checked out the Zwift run website and found that I would need the following for use: A treadmill, the Zwift footpod or smart sneaker, supported gear, and an electronic device to run the Zwift App. (Full disclosure on the supported gear: my iPad was too old to support the Zwift app so I had to use my Andriod device, which is still in Beta testing. I found if you have an android device, you still will need a laptop/Apple TV/ iPhone/iPad for a fully integrated experience.)
So, I created my free Zwift Run account. Then, I downloaded the Zwift app to my laptop and the companion app to my phone. Next, I took the footpod and paired it with the Zwift software on my laptop. The settings are pretty fun to play around with so that you can customize your avatar. I then opened the Zwift companion app and picked a training run to get started. I set up my laptop beside the treadmill at the gym and I was off! It was really fun to see “myself” running in “Watopia” with other cyclists and runners. Once I was done with a 2-mile test run, I was able to look at my companion app to see my run route, Pace, Cadence, and splits. I was pleased with this as I knew in past running on treadmills did not provide me with truly accurate run stats. I could begin to like this treadmill thing!
My one big take away with the setup: calibrating the footpod to the treadmill run is the most important step as it sets the foundation for future Zwift runs and the accuracy of your run cadence and pace. Don’t get frustrated with this part. It took a minute for my Avatar to pick up the pace and get going; so have patience and let the technology do the work.
A few days later, I was really excited to do my first virtual group run as part of at BibRave Pro run with my BRPs who were at The Running Event in Austin, Texas! I got to the gym early, set up and was ready to go! Once the run started, I realized that my footpod did not want to pair with the software. I tried multiple times and chalked it up to a wifi issue and I was majorly bummed. However, at the end of the session, I noticed my footpod was not lighting up! I went home and changed out the battery in the footpod and VIOLA, the footpod pair instantly with the software.
Third Time is a Charm
My third Zwift Run went rather smooth. I had a new battery in my footpod and decided to do a Zwift 101 training run. I had zero issues with any of the gear or devices and can I just say I love the companion app?! As I run, I was receiving training advice and rationale for the type of training run I was completing. Time fly by as I watched my avatar run on the computer screen and before I knew it my training run was over. People walked by to check out the avatar and ask what I was doing. It was pretty cool to show off the technology to the runners and coaches at the gym!
I have had another Zwift run since then and I am sooooo looking forward to my next BibRavePro Zwift virtual run on Tuesday, December 18 from 7:30-8pm EST. Please join us! It is open to anyone!
Benefits of Virtual Experience
I have to say, I was skeptical at first. But honestly, once I figured out the battery in the footpod was my main issue, I have had a great experience with Go Zwift Run! The benefits of being a Zwifter:
- The virtual experience is pretty awesome and you never have to run ‘alone’! There are multiple daily events you can jump into or try a workout/training run.
- This is a boon for training using a treadmill; the workouts and training tips are great.
- You can set goals for yourself and the app tracks it all (distance goal, time goal, even calorie burn goals –this app will tell you how many pieces of pizza you burned on your run)! I am a visual person and love to see the readout at the end of my run.
- You can follow other Zwifters, give them kudos on runs and make new friends all over the world from the comfort of your home or gym.
- Zwift app links with all of your favorite running apps, including Strava and Garmin.
- This makes running on the treadmill less boring! Treadmill companies should def get on board with Zwift and make this a “thing”.
Need a Zwift FootPod? Use Code ‘BibRave15’ for 15% off the footpod (good only the first 1000 purchased with the code)!
Don’t take my word for it! Read other BibRave Pro reviews on this product by searching for #ZwiftBR now. If you are into technology and/or treadmill running, you are probably gonna want to learn more!
With Purpose and Kindness review has some great treadmill running tips!