What is Zwift about?
Zwift is a large Multiplayer Online Application that helps track what you do in the physical world and convert that effort into a virtual world. There are two methods of conversating with the application: Running and Cycling. Both runners and cyclists are necessarily interacting in the same world. In this world, you can connect with people all around the globe and run or cycle together in a group, offers each other kudos, do workouts and explore many virtual maps together. I will be objectively trying out and reviewing the Zwift Run offering in this post.
I am starting newly on Zwift Run.
To make use Zwift Run, you’ll need to do three things:
1. Purchase a RunPod
An iPod is a small device that you fix to your shoe, that will track your running cadence and pace and transmit it into the Zwift App. Zwift will then translate this data into a virtual world and set your avatar to run at that space.
Another option, if you have a Bluetooth Enabled Treadmill, you can simply connect the Treadmill to Zwift.
There are different RunPods out there. Each of the pods differ in accuracy and the number of metrics they capture. I suggest to go with a cheaper option that is provided by Zwift. The Zwift RunPod which costs $30.
For functional analysis of other RunPods out there, I would recommend viewing this video: Zwift Running Setup: Best Footpads
2. Downloading and Installing the Zwift App.
3. Hoping on a Treadmill and Join the Virtual World.
Once you install the app and create an account, you will be directed to pair either your RunPod or your Bluetooth that Enabled Treadmill to the app. A bit of annoyance is that you will need to do this each time you start up Zwift, as it does not appear to remember the devices that you connect to before.
Once you have the RunPod paired or connected, you’ll want to calibrate it so that it correctly reads your speed. Another bit of annoyance is that you will need to do this each time you join a session as well. I observed that on my second run, where I did not calibrate the RunPod, the speed at which I was running on the Treadmill was off by 0.5 mph on Zwift. And After recalibrating, it was resolved instantly.
Once you get past those setup steps, you will get to the main screen where you can choose what run you want to do at that time.
Overall, the app is a fascinating tool to help spice up your indoor training sessions. It includes a lot of features that help you train for your goals, keeps you motivated, what you think is most important, make you feel like you’re apart of a broader community. Each cyclist or runner you see in the virtual world highly represents someone working to improve themselves and their fitness.
I have widely considered myself to be an outdoor runner and never enjoyed running on a treadmill. But today, this app has made the experience more enjoyable and lively, and I do see a lot of advantages. In this virtual world, I do not have to worry about cars or stop at lights. I can keep running as long as I do like.
The concept is excellent, but, as you’ve read from my experience, it is not without flaws. To get a good experience, you’ll need to be using a tablet or a TV to be able to see the entire interface. A phone can work, but it will be challenging to view. How to use the app is a little confusing as well, but I am sure this can be solved by gaining more experience using the app. To get started is not free, and you will need to invest some money and get a RunPod.
Overall though, I think it’s a great app to at least try if you’re into indoor training. I’ll certainly be using it in my practice from now on! Runner’s Life