Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oakland Running Festival 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!
Did you know I have a gym membership?
Yep, for the last 7 years or so. I’m the type of customer they love, I pay monthly but only show up 4 or 5 times a year. Luckily my membership is less than 20 bucks and work reimburses it so it makes it really easy to ignore it. But I hate the treadmill, only need it for emergencies i.e. weather above 105. At least that’s what I thought.
I received a Zwift foot pod to try out through Bibrave and it turns out I like the treadmill- I just hate the gym. Who wants to hook me up with a treadmill?
Zwift is an app built for cyclists and runners to liven up their time on the bike trainer or the treadmill while getting in training miles that they can’t do outside. The app creates virtual running routes where an avatar version of you goes for a run. You can go solo while others are out for rides and runs around you. You can join planned events. You can plan meetups with friends across the country. It’s like a video game where you are the main player.
Now here’s where it gets tricky- there are actually two apps. Zwift and the Zwift Companion. The main Zwift app shows the route and metrics as you run. You can use your phone, tablet or laptop. The Zwift Companion app shows all the upcoming events you can jump in on, runners/ cyclists you can follow and gives you ways to chat or cheer on other runners while they run. However that might require 2 devices.
I have run virtually around London, through a volcano in Zwift world of Watopia and around beaches and mountains in Watopia. Other famous cities are also available. I have run more on the treadmill in the last month even being sick than I have in the last 2 years.
I love the app. That being said, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. My foot pod and I don’t always see eye to eye. On one run it will be fine and on the next run, it’s about a mile behind. I’m not using Zwift to track my overall mileage so it’s not a deal breaker it’s just kind of frustrating when your pace is right there in front of you and so off what the treadmill says. Sometimes my avatar just stops and chills for a bit. I may take photo breaks on outdoor runs but not treadmill runs! I did notice on my last run that my shoelaces bounce off the foot pod sometimes. It made me wonder if the pod was sensitive enough to be confused by my shoelaces. My run this week will have me lacing my shoes in a different way.
Another thing that didn’t really work for me was the timing of the group runs. There are a variety of group runs and workouts available but with me being on the West Coast and my work schedule, most of them happen when I am at work. The ones that don’t happen during work hours happen around 3:00 AM in the morning and I haven’t started liking the treadmill enough to give up sleep. I did try to jump in on a Zwift Academy Tri 5K race but I was 10 minutes late and no hope of catching up with the speedy folks. A few more later options would be nice.
I really do like using Zwift. I have big plans for this year so anything that gets me running more in the dark Winter months is a plus in my book.
Want to try out Zwift? Come run with me!
Use code BibRave15 for 15% off (valid on first 1000 pods only)