Even though I get to travel to London every 2-3 years, I’ve never actually ran in the city itself, around all the great sights. I’ve wanted to, even planned some routes along the Thames, but it has never worked out.
That is, until last week, when I virtually ran there with Zwift!
Zwift started out as a cycling platform, allowing cyclists to meet in virtual environments to train and compete.
This same concept has recently been extended to runners. All you need to get started is a free Zwift account, a treadmill and a compatible foot pod (unless you have a fancy-smancy Bluetooth enabled treadmill).
Get 15% off a Zwift runpod with code BIBCHAT15 (first 1000 orders).
I’m not a treadmill fan at all, and rarely log any miles on one, except for a warm-up mile before working out at the gym. I find treadmill running very mundane, and struggle to run long distances on them.
After trying Zwift, my treadmill warm-up runs increased from one mile, to 3-4 miles. The Zwift environments, even though I’m using it on my small iPhone screen, are quite immersive and take your mind off the treadmill.
Unfortunately I was not able to test using a larger screen (computer or large-screen TV, etc.). If I had a home treadmill I would put together a set-up with a larger screen because I think that would be amazing.
BibRave Virtual Run
It was really fun to meet up with all my BibRave people across the globe and run together in Watopia — a fantasy island created by the people at Zwift. I was able to see everyone who had joined and send messages via a chat screen.
Again, this is where a computer or larger computer would really come into play. You need good eyesight to read the messages on a tiny iPhone screen — especially when running!
We ran 5K together in a number of different pace groups. I signed up for my chosen pace group in advance using the Zwift companion app. When I got to the gym early, I started a normal run, and when it was time it automatically switched me over to the BibRave run.
Running Through London
One of my favorite Zwift runs was when I was able to run around some of the streets in London. While I’m not from London, and didn’t recognize where I was at times, the feel is still very London, with red phone boxes and double-decker buses, etc.
Another thing I noticed on this run is that some routes have options to turn one direction or another, or if you like, turn a complete 180 and run back the way you came.
Syncing With Running Apps
When you’re finished, your run will upload to Zwift by default. You can check your past run history using the Zwift Companion app. It is also possible to upload your run to other running apps like Garmin and Strava.
This is a really great feature as it will send the GPS coordinates and map details to your favorite running app. I chose not to use this as my pace differs quite a lot on a treadmill, and I’m so used to using my watch to track my runs anyway.
Now, every time I visit the gym, I don’t leave the house without my runpod attached to my shoe. If I owned a treadmill at home I would be using Zwift way more frequently, and on a bigger screen.
Zwift also have several training programs built-in to the app as well which guide you through your runs.
The running platform is still relatively new, and I recommend you try it out while it’s free to run (the cycling accounts require a subscription).
If you bump into me — say hello!