Zwift, the fitness platform born from gaming, has expanded its product offering to the triathlon and running communities with the launch of Zwift Run Free Access. Until this week Zwift Run was an Alpha product, available only to paying members of its indoor cycling service. Zwift Run is now being offered free of charge to everyone, in the run up to a subscription service roll out, scheduled for late 2018.
Since launch in 2014, Zwift notes that it has revolutionised the indoor cycling market. The community driven fitness platform has connected half a million cyclists worldwide to socialise, train and race in its rich virtual 3D environments. This January the Zwift community logged an average of 1 million miles (1.61 million km) per day, with major events attracting up to 3,500 participants. Zwift is now aiming to shake up the indoor run market in the same way, ‘providing the most complete indoor training solution for triathletes around the globe’.
“Zwift Run is our big play to the triathlon community and the cornerstone of our business goal to create the world’s largest training community in triathlon,” said Eric Min, Zwift CEO and co-founder. “Whether at home or in the gym, Zwift Run is an accessible and easy to turn on product. In three years, Zwift has made the home turbo trainer a super desirable product to own and an essential part of a triathlete’s training regimen.
“We’re going to give the ‘dreadmill’ the same makeover! Zwift Run will make indoor running more structured, more measurable, more motivating and more social.”
According to Zwift, triathletes currently account for 22% of its membership base. The Californian based start-up plans to push this figure much closer to 35% in the next 12 months. Despite being more well-known in cycling circles, Zwift adds that it has big gains in the triathlon market with many of the world’s top triathletes regularly spotted ‘Zwifting” with the public online.
“It’s amazing how the Zwift community really helps you to get the extra bit out of yourself,” said Lionel Sanders, ITU Long Course World Champion. “I do the bulk of my training indoors as it’s far easier to structure my time and my training. Indoors, you can control all the variables. Zwift really helps me keep motivated and the community ensures that you never feel alone out there.”
Essentially a Beta product, Zwift Run Free Access plans to expand its product offering through 2018, with Running Group Workouts and brick sessions planned for the months ahead. Zwift also plans to roll out Swim, Bike, and Run training programmes for athletes who train indoors and outdoors.
TrainingPeaks integration allows athletes to import personalised training sessions into Zwift for workout execution and data sharing with coaches. Strava also allows Zwifters to share runs with their community of friends, recording virtual miles and keeping records of best times across Strava segments. As of February, virtual miles recorded in Zwift can also count towards Strava challenges.
Zwift Run is compatible with all treadmills by using Bluetooth or ANT+ footpods. Footpods are connected to iOS devices, Apple TV, or laptop/desktop computers and calibrated to the treadmill speed in the Zwift App. A rising number of Bluetooth-ready treadmills can also connect directly to Zwift, without the requirements of a footpod.
“Technogym believes in connected wellness,” said Nicola de Cesare, Digital Division Director for TechnoGym, the treadmill and gym equipment provider. “Our offer, centred on the MyWellness open cloud platform, is a complete ecosystem of smart connected equipment surrounded by content and services to provide unique and engaging training experiences.
“Now, Technogym’s MyRun and MyCycling compatibility with Zwift allows both runners and cyclists to enjoy the very dynamic, engaging and interactive environment of the Zwift platform with a consistent training experience across the two products.”