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Review: Zwift Runpod

The Zwift Runpod is a cost-effective way to get into the Watopia world, and also acts as a great companion for those long treadmill runs this winter.

Zwift’s Runpod offers a great way to stay motivated during those long treadmill sessions this winter through interaction with other runners, lots of different routes and detailed workout data, all for a relatively cheap price.

The Runpod is simple to setup. Once out of the package, you easily slot in the battery, and then clip the Runpod on to one of the upper laces on your shoe, and you’re good to go.

Having never used Zwift for its flagship cycling program, I wasn’t sure what to expect when trying out the Runpod. It was fun and added some motivation and data to my treadmill run that otherwise might have been monotonous and boring.

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Apps are available at both Apple and Google Play, and the Runpod connects to your device via Bluetooth. Once you’re in Zwift, it calibrates automatically.

Knowing the unreliability of my phone battery, I used my iPad with the Runpod, and it worked great.

Once you’re in, there are several options for workouts, including a distance or time goals, intervals, calories, heart rate, intensity and more.

You then start running around Watopia. There are a few different route options to pick from as you cross paths with the other runners and cyclists who are out and about.

I chose the 5K option and the program offered some words of encouragement throughout my run to keep me motivated. It also made suggestions for when I should up the pace, and when to back off to ensure I finished strong. During my run it even started to rain in Watopia – which was still much better than the snow outside.

The program tracks your pace and cadence based on footspeed, meaning that the speed won’t perfectly align with the one on your treadmill, but it is very close. For me, the best part about the stats was getting the split for every kilometre, along with a projected split for your current one based on the pace you’re holding.

Once you finish your objective, you receive a full report with all of the data you could want: pace, distance, duration, calories and elevation. It also creates a plan for you to follow depending on what your goals are.

After revolutionizing the indoor cycling market, Zwift’s Runpod is a simple way for runners to enjoy similar training benefits while running. The device is available for $52.99, and a Zwift membership just for running is free.

So whether you’re an experienced Zwifter who’s looking to add running to the mix, or you want to see what all of the hype is about, starting with the Runpod is a cost-effective way to get yourself into the Watopia world.

It also makes that long winter run on the treadmill that much more enjoyable.