Friday, December 21, 2018

From Dreadmill to Treadmill with Zwift Running

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.comto review find and write race reviews! 

So let me go ahead and put this out here. If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, or my socials, you may have noticed exactly 0 pictures of me running a treadmill. I legit don't like them. To me, it is mind numbingly boring. I have only ever run treadmill if I had no other choice. Even then, when given the option, I would usually choose the elliptical over the treadmill. It's just not my thing. 

BUT... I may actually have learned about a new product that just may convince me otherwise. 

Zwift Running

What is it? Basically, it is a way to make the treadmill fun by watching a cute little avatar of yourself go on virtual runs in fun places with other people while you chug along on the treadmill to power them. Think Sims, that you power with your feet. You run in the real world, and virtual you runs across virtual courses. 

To try it out, I met up with some of my BibRave Pro buddies to do a Virtual Race. It is super easy to set up and join events. There is even a companion app that you can download to your phone in order to chat during an event. 

The Run Pod clips right onto your shoe
There was just a bit of set up pre-event. First, to power your little cutie, you need to download the Zwift app to your laptop, phone or tablet. I used my iPad since I thought that it would be a bit easier to see on it than the phone and didn't want to try to prop up a laptop on the treadmill. You also will need a Foot Pod or a Bluetooth enabled Treadmill. I used the Foot Pod, which you can get online (stay tuned, at the end of this post there will be a discount code for ordering one). I connected my Foot Pod to my shoe and synced it with app and in no time I was ready to go. 
Rare shot of me SMILING on a treadmill

Since I don't have a Treadmill or a gym membership, my Mother In Law was kind enough to let me hang out in her workout room and use hers. (Thanks again). I did a quick pre-event workout to make sure that everything went smoothly and it all went off with no problems. Which, with my level of comfort with technology (practically non-existent) I was sure there would be issues, so I arrived pretty early. Next thing I knew though, it was event time and I had already run 3 miles. 

Let me repeat... I ran 3 miles on a treadmill without hardly realizing it. It was so fun watching my cute little me running around. You get to choose your route by picking the direction you want to turn and there were so many cool things to look at like hot air balloons floating around and a volcano. It even started raining on my little virtual me for a bit. 

Virtual me, happily running in the rain

5 minutes before the official BibRave 5K event started, I got a notification that my event was starting and just had to click it to join. I was then taken to the start line with my fellow BibRave Pros. 

And the BibRave 5K  is ON!
It was super fun to see everyone's little avatars rearing to go at the start. There was a count down at the start of the race and we were off. I started running on my treadmill and my little virtual me started running her little virtual heart out. Every so often, you got asked which direction you wanted to go, left or right. I pretty much stuck to the routes along the beach, but at one point, I swear I was running underwater. It also started raining at one point, which I thought was pretty funny. All and all, watching little me run around kept me pretty distracted, but not so much that I couldn't keep a decent pace.

I must have had a connection error at some point while running because I kind of lost my BibRave Pro friends and somehow ended up running with a bunch of people on bikes, but it was still pretty neat. Since I had come to put in 5K, that is what I did. Well, actually, I put in just a bit more than that. And after your run, you get all kinds of cool stats about your activity. 

Overall, I actually enjoyed running on the treadmill. In fact, between the pre-workout, the 5K and a bit after, I put in 7 miles on it, which was a record for me (previous record being 6 miles). It was fun to look at all the neat things on the screen while running through the little virtual town of Watopia. I'd love to try out one of the other areas in the future: Central London and Richmond, VA. 

If you would like to try out Zwift for yourself, they are running a deal currently - purchase a Run Pod at and the first 1000 people to purchase get 15% off with discount code: Bibrave15. 

Also, be sure to follow me on Zwift if you try it out, just download the Zwift Companion and search for me: Lissa Nypaver. Hopefully I will be able to get treadmill access again soon and put in some more runs. (OMG, did I just hope to run on a treadmill?!?!) 

Maybe I'll run into you somewhere out there in Virtual Watopia! 


  1. Great review Lissa. Let me know if you ever decide to use your mil's treadmill again and want to "meet" up for a run!

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