I am officially a Zwift Runner!

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!

 

 

First Experience

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.

 

IMG_20181210_215355_564A 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!

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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 SmartSelect_20181207-164826_Stravaare 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”.

 

FootPod Discount

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!

Corey T. Queen over at Go Corey Go has his review up now here.

With Purpose and Kindness review has some great treadmill running tips!

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Running with Wonder Women: What it means to be part of an all women’s running group.

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the DC WONDER WOMAN Run Series as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with Wonder Woman. I was a huge fan of the original television show. As far as I was concerned, I would never come across a woman as amazing as Lynda Carter. I mean, I did not know any women who were beautiful, confident, strong, and kicking bad guys’ butts on the daily.  To this young child, she was incomparable and I wanted to be as “bad” as she was when I grew up.

Lynda-s-caped-crusader-role-is-still-her-biggest-to-date-481550Fast forward almost 30 years later to the day I joined my local Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town (MRTT/SRTT) chapter.  I initially joined the chapter because I was looking for other women who were training for half marathons. I had not run that distance before and did not know any women around me who would even think about running that distance with me.  I was nervous;  scared, really that the women in this group would be uber competitive, perhaps reject the notion that I was even a runner as to this point I had “only ran 5Ks”. I was at best a fair-weather runner.  Even with my hesitancy, I joined the group knowing that I could always leave the chapter if it did not work out. Little did I know, it would be one of the most life-changing things I had ever done (second to having children)!

When I entered the group, I watched silently for a bit; there were only around 200 women in the group and the chatter was about training for half marathons and marathons *gulp*. These women all had positive things to say about running and even met up to run together. Wow! That was intimidating to me. To this point, I had only run with my husband (far behind him, not really with him) or by myself. On a whim, I decided to show up for a group run. I was nervous but determined to push myself forward in my running journey.

What I found at that meet-up, and subsequently moving forward, was an amazing group of women. There were vast differences: Many, but not all, were mothers. Some were in training. Some ran for fun. They were running all paces. They were all shapes. They were all sizes.  But, there was one core component that bonded these women: they were all runners there to encourage others in their running journey.  Wonder Women.

These women told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. They told me I was a badass. They became my mentors and my friends. They goaded me into hitting the register button on more than one race. They had confidence I would finish my first marathon, triathlon, and ultramarathon well before I did.  They are with me at my highest times and at my lowest times of running. They pick me up when I get low.  I want the best things for them in life, just as they do for me.

Now our MRTT/SRTT group is over 1200 strong.  The women in this group have cheered each other on to amazing things–things I never saw the original Wonder Woman could do! As a matter of fact, as I watched the 2017 Wonder Woman Film (Gal Gadot version),  I thought to myself, “Wow, she is amazing. I feel like I know her. Wait, I know a bunch of women just like her! My running friends should have been in this movie!”

They are marathoners. They are triathletes. They are ultra runners. They run pushing strollers. They are Ironman finishers. They are mothers. They are strong. They are loving. They are compassionate. They are badasses. They are unforgettable. They are Wonder Women.

To celebrate these women, I am hosting a DC Wonder Woman Run Virtual 5K/10K meet up in my city.  Many of them will be running with me.  You should check out the race series and find a location near you– the series is in California (Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, or LA) or virtual.  Use code WWBIBRAVE for 10% off registration.