For a while I have been using Zwift for bike training. I use it in conjunction with my Tracx Vortex smart trainer. This is a great setup as it means I get to enjoy some good rides/ training in winter and still get to enjoy the hills, due to using the smart trainer. Well worth the £8 per month IMHO. You can opt out of the subscription in summer and reactivate the account once the weather turns. You also get 2months free if you are a Strava premium member. Zwift works really well with Strava and all rides import in as virtual rides so you get to see the route map and gradient aswell as the splits and other details. Bloody brilliant IMHO ;).
Anyhoo the reason for the post is to let you all know that Zwift is on it’s way to the running community too. A while ago I heard talks of this and was excited. Well in the last month I have been following the story with interest and now have actually got the alpha working myself. At the moment the treadmill running is still a hidden feature within Zwift due to it still being in the alpha stage. Anyhoo I got it working. I can run on the routes instead of biking them. The dash gives you heart rate zones you are running in, they are colour coded and this colour also flashes on the HR you are in. Very cool if you are HR training. It is easy to read while running due to the colour and large font used. I was well aware of my HR all the time I was running. You also see the pace and speed you are running as well as the distance covered. You also get a bar showing you how much of the route you have left before the finish. Nice to see that IMHO. You get X points when you reach a distance and also burn off some cals ( which is also shown on the dash screen).
Setting up is easy all you need is a foot pod ( I use a Garmin foot pod), a HR strap ( Garmin “run” HR strap), a ant+ dongle, a phone ( android phone here) so you can use the action screen, etc, a computer/laptop to run the actually app as it needs the CPU and GPU power ( i use my surface pro 4 ), oh and you will need a Zwift account.
Once it is all connected you just select the route you want to run and away you go. You can change the view options to like you can on the bike version. I prefer to see only the road ahead :).
I did a small run last night of 6miles and a long training run today of 22miles. I set the pace low so I could conserve some energy to enjoy the whole run. I must say that having done long runs on the treadmill while watching tv in the past this was much much better. I even ran with no tv or music. Just me and the zwift road is all I needed. It was a very enjoyable run. I did miss not doing the hills, though, everytime one came and went I wish I had struggled with them, but even without that feature, it is still a great tool for treadmill training. I was drawn into the run much more. I loved seeing the route pass me. I even sprinted when I saw a CP ahead lol.
I will be doing more long training runs using this now.This is such a great motivational tool for when you are faced with time contraints, poor weather, other commitments or reasons that pull you towards treadmill running. You can also do group runs with people from all over the world too so bonus. I will also be waiting for the day when they announce a smart treadmill that will take full advantage of all the zwift features. Until then I shall continue to run up and down the routes wishing my legs were suffering from the climbs.
Well worth a punt peeps and you get a trail period when you first set up an account so WOOT. GO GO GO 🙂
Ladies and gentlemen treadmill running just got a little more fun…