“Treadmill running can be a mind-numbing boring training session – something to make it more interesting is welcome.” – Noel Paine
Guest blog review by Jeremy Whalen (On Instagram: sixrunfeast). Jeremy is an avid runner, home cook and sports fanatic. His new blog highlights a hungry runners life spent balancing kilometers and cravings.
Its called a Zwift Run Pod.
The Zwift website describes it as: “Are you ready to run? Just grab the Zwift RunPod and you’re halfway there. Our new RunPod connects to your device so you can train at home or on a gym treadmill. Experience running with a community and you’ll see treadmill workouts in a new way! And you’ll even get to experience new routes in worlds like New York that are for runners only.”
- Easily pairs with Zwift via Bluetooth
- Calibrates within Zwift and is always ready to go
- Measures and broadcasts speed, cadence and distance
- Includes a standard CR2032 battery that’s easy to replace
- Product weight: 13g
WHAT YOU NEED TO START ZWIFT RUNNING
- A treadmill
A footpod or connected shoe
Note: The Zwift RunPod is one of the easiest ways to get up and running on Zwift.
- A device to run Zwift
Zwift also has a Youtube video to help you get setup.
A ZWIFT REVIEW
I’d planned to run 30 minutes and give Zwift one last chance to shape my opinion. The time on the screen has just hit 44 minutes, the treadmill under my feet is finally crawling, my Twitter has stopped. Any doubt in my mind about the power of Zwift was gone.
Just over a month ago when I picked up the Zwift pod from Noel, I was a bit taken aback. The orange box was surprisingly small, sleek and a bit underwhelming. I immediately wonder what was missing. Inside there was a battery, a Zwift RunPod and some setup instructions. I inserted the battery into the pod, ignored the instructions and went looking for a pair of shoes to jump on my treadmill.
ZWIFT RUNNING AND WATOPIA
After a quick account setup process, I was calibrating the pod and discovering Watopia, Zwift’s private island. As someone who grew up a gamer, the graphics are impressive. My runner is kitted up, and he stands by the road stretching while he waits for me to finish my prep. As I start the treadmill he starts walking, then trotting along with me as we take our first run. The first run is slow, as recommended, while I get used to the user experience and the incredible amount of data being displayed.
As I’m running along, the app pings at me. I’m startled. I almost bite it. I grab the hand rails, gather myself and carry on. My Zwifter hasn’t missed a stride, he’s in mid-turn, another experience I’ll need to quickly adjust to. As we move into the next turn, I look away from the screen, so my brain doesn’t think I need to lean into it, we both carry on without falling.
Another chime from the system, I’ve gained points. This is exciting! Like so many hours spent in front of the TV in my youth, my Zwifter is levelling up. The only difference now is that I’ve earned it with some serious cardio.
A few runs into my Zwift experience I start to push the software doing workouts, joining in on group runs and trying using the built-in workouts to keep up with my training. Then frustration strikes. A couple runs in a row my runner simply stops. I’m running along at a healthy pace, but my screen reads 0.0mph. I’m ready to give up on Zwift.
I head upstairs frustrated and I’m quickly humbled. I still haven’t read the simple one page instructions and now, blaming Zwift for my problems, I learn that I never set up my pod properly. It’s been tied too low!
I vow to start always reading all the instructions. At least when it comes to new running gear!
After a month of testing Zwift through evening and weekend runs, challenging it on a long run here and a workout there, I can honestly say I’m thrilled. Whether you’re like me and already believe in the power of the treadmill or you need a serious boost to beat that basement run dread, the app really does offer something for everyone.
I love the fact that the points allow you to unlock more outfits, paths and content. Pushing you to reach the next level so you can match your runner to your own personal style or explore a new regions of Watopia. The pursuit of these points has even helped me extend my cooldowns an extra quarter or half kilometre a time or two, something I usually cheat on while running outdoors.
The experience is nice. The bigger the screen you use, the better. An iPad, MacBook or Apple TV are perfect, while the smaller screen of my iPhone had its limitations. Swiping away those mid-run Twitter notifications, setting down my phone a bit too hard and locking your screen and all together closing the app a mile in caused me some early frustrations.
Overall, as this Ontario winter looks like it might never end, running around a volcano in the sun is a great change of pace from Netflix and miles. The guest worlds like New York and London let your mind wander while putting dreams of future marathon pursuits in your head.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to escape these late March snowstorms to run my intervals along a beach or through these international cities. Until then, Zwift has won me over.
The Zwift Run pod retails for $29.99
Connect with Zwift!
Zwift website: https://zwift.com/en/run/
Thanks to Jeremy for the amazing guest blog! Run on my running friends!