Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Training

The Gamification of Treadmill Running – A Zwift Review

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

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to spend quite a bit of time playing video games. I would go through really intense phases. Friends would introduce me to games (mainly MMORPG – massively multiplayer online role playing game), I’d get hooked, my friends would stop playing the games, and I’d still play for an additional few months all by my lonesome self. LOL. Ask some of my friends. This has happened more times than I’d care to admit.

So when BibRave gave me the opportunity to test out a running app that also seemed like a game, I was all for it.

So What is Zwift? 

It’s a mobile app/game that is essentially an interactive training app. Using your phone, tablet, or smart treadmill, you can connect to this app and watch yourself (aka your avatar) run through various virtual courses that they have. They have their own fantasy world called Watopia that you can run through or if you prefer to run through virtual routes inspired by Central London or Central Park in New York, you totally can.

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What do you Need for Zwift?

You will need access to a treadmill, a particular foot pod, and a device to run the Zwift app on (ie iOS/Android phone or tablet).

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Does it Have a Social Component?

Yes, it does. There are virtual group runs every day that you can join. You can look for group run events that occur that day or within the week and schedule a virtual group run. Then, at that time, you get on a treadmill and hit start and your avatar will be transported to the start line along with everyone else that signed up. You are then off to run with the other people. And as you run, you can chat with the other runs via text.

If you prefer to just run with people that you know, you can also do that. You can choose to run with friends from all over the world. They would just need the Zwift pod and app.

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My Experience with Zwift

I tried my first Zwift run a few days after my marathon. I know, I’m insane. I wasn’t 100% recovered, but I really wanted to get a feel for it before a scheduled group run. The app was easy enough to install. The Zwift pod was a little tricky to open and attach to my shoe, but a quick little search on google resolved the issue.

When I first logged into the app, I got to customize my avatar. Then I started my run. Pretty easy, right? I had every intention to run 1 mile, but in order to calibrate your pod, you should anticipate on running 1.75 miles. I am a completionist so when I found out 1.75 miles was the goal, I went for it. I ended up with 2 miles because it was so fun. It gives you instructions as to how to run – easy, medium, or sprint. Make sure to correctly calibrate your pod for more accurate future runs. During the run, it gave me the option to take certain routes. I could continue straight towards the city or go right towards the beach. This gives it a more interactive feel to it. And the further you run, the more achievements/points you get, which gives you more options on customizing your avatar. I actually just unlocked a new outfit for my avatar and am super stoked to put it on my avatar. LOL. It’s the little things, right? 🙂

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Misc Zwift Things

Zwift started out as an app for cyclists and they’ve since integrated their app to include both runners and cyclists. This means that if you go out for a run in virtual Central Park, there will also be cyclists zooming by you. My avatar unfortunately got run over by a cyclist and for whatever reason, my avatar stopped running despite me still running. It may have been a glitch or it may have been simulating real life. I mean, if a cyclist ran me over, I’m pretty sure I’d be stopped too. LOL.

So there you have it, my review of the new Zwift running app. If you have any questions about how this app works, please let me know. Also, read what other BibRavePros thought about the Zwift app below.

Jenn S. – Steph B.  – Vanessa – Jessica – Corey

Also, you can use Code ‘BibRave15’ for 15% off the Zwift footpod. 🙂 

Question for you: Are there any apps that you use for running? Strava is a favorite of mine and Zwift may start becoming another one that I use more frequently due to its gaming aspect. 🙂 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts

Welcome to TRE – My experience at TRE Influencer day

Disclaimer: I was invited to TRE Influencer Day as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Hello world! It’s been a crazy few weeks lately. November was my busiest month yet. I kicked off November with a half marathon in Vegas. I raced a 10k the weekend after and then ran my last 18 miler the weekend after that. I then wrapped it up with a trip to Austin for TRE Influencer Day. Today, I want to tell you all about my TRE experience, but first…

What is TRE?

TRE stands for The Running Event. TRE is a conference and trade show for all running related things. Running specialty retailers and race directors come together for a few days and discuss strategy on how to approach certain things. They also get to walk around an expo and talk to vendors who want to showcase their latest and greatest running technology. It is currently not available to the public.

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Our unofficial BibRave group run through downtown Austin (PC: Larry Castillo Photography)

What is TRE Influencer Day?

TRE Influencer Day is a day where influencers were able to walk around the expo and meet the vendors and discuss their technology and even up and coming releases they have for 2019. This is the first year that TRE has had influencers come to their expo and BibRave was a part of making that happen by having 20 of their BibRave Pro Ambassadors come and talk to these vendors and test out their products.

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At the Zwift Reception where they gave us our epic swag bags

What happened as part of TRE Influencer Day?

20 BibRave Pros descended into Austin Thursday afternoon and chaos ensued. LOL. Just kidding. As part of TRE Influencer Day, BibRave Pros attended a reception hosted by Zwift. I will go into more detail into what Zwift is in a later post, but know that it’s a running tracker that you attach to your shoe during treadmill runs. At the reception, we were given an EPIC SWAG BAG. Inside the bag were products from various vendors (IncrediWear, Vooray, Handful, Brooks, Altra, CEP Compression, Addaday, Arcanum, Nuun, Zwift). Also, at the reception, we cheered on fellow BibRave Pros who tested out the Zwift platform on treadmills that were set up for the run. Friday morning, we were given a tour of the expo where we met each of the vendors that gave us items and they explained to us their company and their technology. After the tour, we were also free to explore the rest of the vendors and speak with the other brands.

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Our Epic Swag Bag
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Cheering on our fellow BibRave Pros as they try out the Zwift platform on a treadmill

How was my experience with TRE Influencer Day?

It’s been 3 days since I was at TRE Influencer Day and I still just cannot believe how amazing the event was. I still consider myself a noob when it comes to running technology so the entire event was such an eye opening experience for me. I learned about so many new things and I just cannot wait to share all of the little tidbits I learned about each brand in future posts (Trust me, they’re coming). I have been so blessed with this opportunity and now have such an even bigger appreciation for both those up and coming brands as well as those big name brands.

What was the best part about TRE Influencer Day?

Yes, the swag was a HUGE part of what made TRE Influencer Day great, but I genuinely had a wonderful time speaking to the CEOs and representatives of each of the brands. Everyone was so excited to talk about their product and it made me even more excited about the product.

I also got to meet BibRave Pros I’ve interacted with on social media for years, but have never met in real life. That was the icing on the cake. We greeted each other like old friends and had lunch together prior to the Zwift reception. And in true runner fashion, we scheduled a group run for Friday morning to fill downtown Austin with BibRave orange.

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We all unofficially met up for lunch prior to TRE

So would I do it again? Uhh, of course! Do you even need to ask? LOL

Stay tuned for my upcoming reviews on the items I received from TRE Influencer day.