From Dread-mill to FUN!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Footpod to review Zwift 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!


Wintertime is here and for many of us and that makes it all the more hard to get outside and get a run in. This is the time of year where a lot of us, reluctantly, turn to the indoors and the dreaded treadmill, or the dreadmill, as I like to call it.

The treadmill is not my favorite but I also don’t like running in the frigid cold. It’s a conundrum and thus, Winter is really hard for me to keep my motivation for running and exercise. I’ve learned a few tricks to keep me on the treadmill for a decent run and now I have another trick up my sleeve… Zwift!

This is the footpod!

Zwift is a digital platform that matches your speed on the treadmill to an avatar of you in a virtual world. You can run on your own, touring the virtual world of Watopia (the Zwift world), while other people, real people, are also running or biking in the same world. You can also join a run club or group run.

What you need:
-A treadmill (nothing special needed)
-A foot pod (Zwift makes their own) or supported blue tooth treadmill (like these)
-A device to connect to Zwift (Computer, iPhone or Ipad – right now Zwift is not compatible with Android devices.)
-Optional: a separate device or phone to connect to the companion app, which makes it easier to chat while doing a group run.


My Experience

The first time I tried Zwift was for the BibRave 5k group run. All I had to do was to sign up for the event by clicking it and then when it was time, you join the event and it stages you at the virtual starting line while everyone else pops in. When it’s time to start, you start running on your treadmill and your avatar runs your same pace in the virtual world. If anyone else is running your pace, you’ll see them next to you or if they’re faster, you’ll see them pass you, just like in the real world. You can wave to them or give them a thumbs up while they run past. It was pretty cool to run with fellow BibRave pros from across the country.

The second time I tried it, I just picked from the pre-made courses/worlds (I chose running through a volcano) in the Zwift app and did my own thing. There were other people running and biking at the same time and you would see them zip by in real time.

My footpod and the iPhone I was using paired really well; I had no problems (I know some of the BibRave pros some difficulty getting their footpod to stay connected while in the run). I do really hope Zwift will soon be compatible with Andriod products. I use an Android phone and tablet and the only way I could connect to Zwift was on my boyfriend’s tiny iPhone. I think having a larger device that I could bring to the rec (like a tablet) would make Zwift even more enjoyable. Zwift does work with a computer, but I thought that would be really weird to bring my MacBook Pro to the rec center and set it in front of the treadmill.  😛


Innovation

I think Zwift is really on to something.  I think it is really cool that you can organize a group run with people from across the country and actually run with them at your own speed. This could mean meeting new people, spending time with friends and family that don’t live near you, and even connecting like-minded communities from around the world.


Practicality

Besides connecting people, I also love the idea that this brings new motivation for running and exercise. Like I said in the beginning, I have such a hard time getting outside for a run in the cold months and the treadmill never sounds appealing either. Zwift takes the dreadmill and makes it fun (or at least bearable for those that REALLY hate the treadmill). Instead of counting down the tenth of each mile, I spent the time watching my little avatar running through different, beautifully crafted scenes.

Right now, the Zwift Run platform is free. Zwift did start as a cycling platform and I know they have a monthly membership but I’m not entirely sure what is included. I don’t know if the run platform will eventually move to a paid membership but I definitely think that it’s worth the cost of a footpod to give some more motivation to running on a treadmill.

I know there are a ton more features that I have yet to discover, but I’m excited to have this in my so-called “bag of tricks” to keep me motivated this winter.


Get started:

Visit Zwift online to learn more.

Get a footpod! Use coupon code BibRave15 to save 15% (available for the first 1000 sold).


See what the other BibRace Pros think:

RunNerd Girl | TmilesandRunning | The Running French Prof | Running with Log | The Marathon Lady | Running Through Life | Run Katy Run | Elbow Glitter | With Purpose and Kindness | Bluegrass BAMR |

An OOfos Convert

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos OOriginal Sport 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 had heard of OOfos before. A lot of people swear by OOfos. A lot of people slip on a pair as soon as they finish a race or a run. A lot of people have a pair (or two) at home. I see them at all the running stores.

But. I’ve never tried them.

I don’t mean, I’ve never bought them. I mean I’ve never even gone near them. And honestly, it was for fear that I would love them so much but not be able to afford them.  I had heard such good things about them and knew that I probably could use them because I have constantly aching feet. Yet, I never even wanted to try them on because I didn’t want to “want” them and not be able to buy them.  Yes, this is a true story.

Then, I was (gratefully) accepted to test a pair of the new Original Sport by Oofos and couldn’t wait to get them on my feet.

You know what? Everyone was right. They are wonderful.


So, what makes these sandals so special? Oofos has been on the market since 2011 (yes, 7 years!) and they are marketed as recovery footwear. With an upgrade from the OOriginal sandal, the new Original Sport offers a new color design with the same impact absorption, superior arch support, and unbelievable comfort.

Do they actually work? Yes, from the moment I slipped them on my feet, I was a convert. They are super “soft,” squishy, and comfortable to walk in. It was like walking on memory foam. Almost, more like OOFoam! HAHAHA, I crack myself up! Actually, Oofos has their own type of foam that they have developed and used in their footwear and it is called OOFoam. This type of foam greatly reduces the impact on your body every time you take a step!

Also, the arch support is amazing and is perfect for people like me – people in possession of really high arches. Unlike stiffer arch supports in other shoes, the foam molded to the shape of MY foot. I have noticed that in other shoes that sometimes the arch support is in a weird spot and not directly fitting MY arch and thus feels like I’m always walking on a rock. This is definitely not the case with OOfos; the arch is perfect for any type of foot or arch.

They did take a minute or two to get used to from the look and the way you walk in them.  The shape of the shoe is very rounded, but this is to enable a more natural movement and foot strike. It feels a little weird at first but your body quickly adapts.

Both the shape and the foam used helps reduce stress on the feet, knees, and back. After being on my feet racing directing all day, or after a long run, I crave slipping on my Oofos, even it’s just for walking around the house or to wear in the shower at the gym. I could definitely see myself buying some closed toed footwear from Oofos so my feet can still be super comfortable even as winter is rolling in (or I’ll just keep rocking the socks with sandals look).

Walking around the house doing chores but it was too cold for just sandals.


Get yourself a pair: I’m a new Oofos convert. Given what I know now, I definitely think this footwear is worth the price and should have bought a pair a long time ago. I am on my feet a lot with all my jobs and they are constantly aching. I need to let my feet recover properly.  The recovery and comfort of runners’ feet are highly worth it and these sandals do the trick! 
They retail online for $59.95. Check them out HERE!

#FeelTheOO for yourself: Check out their website: www.oofos.com 
And be sure to follow them on Twitter: @oofos
And Instagram: @oofos


Check out the other BibRave Pro’s reviews:

RunNerdGirlCrazy HampsterRun Bigfoot RunBen |


Funny addition:

Ironically, right as I got my pair of OOfos in the mail, I was reading the latest edition of Runner’s World and there was a full-page ad for Oofos.

Scoobtober 5k and Tons of Swag!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series 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!


Last week, I set out to complete the Scooby Doo Run Series Challenge. The 2nd race (and final race) of the series is the Scoobtober 5k. Tristan and I’s goal was to run this race a little bit faster than the Doo Good 5k in September, but we had a little hiccup earlier in the week that made this goal a little unreachable.

Tristan decided to get in the garbage a few days before and ate a bunch of trash that he shouldn’t have. Not to worry, he’s fine and recovered well (not without an accident in the house and lots of trips outside for a few days). I thought he was doing better by the time of the Scoobtober 5k, but as we set out for the race, I could tell he wasn’t feeling well and was running way slower than usual, with me practically dragging him behind me.

I turned around and dropped Tristan off with a mile into the race. He looked at me with sad eyes as I shut the door to finish the 5k by myself. With the stop off at home, I definitely didn’t get a faster 5k time than the Doo Good 5k, but that’s okay! Tristan and I still earned our bling and celebrated together when the medals arrived in the mail a few days later!


Race Review:
If you like virtual races, this is definitely a must do! I highly suggest getting on their mailing list so you’re notified when they do another one. The theme is super fun and cute; who doesn’t like Scooby Doo!? Plus, the swag is no joke! The medals, shirt, backpack, and doggie bandanas are high quality! I mean, they dog medals are super cute and unique and the medals humans get are way bigger than I expected!

Above all, this race series gives you a great excuse to get out, exercise and run with your doggie!

I do think the race could use some more communication with its racers (how fun would it have been if they sent out some emails with a Scooby Doo theme to encourage people to run their virtuals races! They could have even made up some mystery story to go with each race!). I also would have loved to see more interaction on social media posts, because that’s always fun (but maybe virtual races don’t do that in general. I don’t know).

Overall, this virtual race series is WELL WORTH IT! The swag is amazing, the theme is fun, and it gives you a reason to take cute pictures with your dog!


Check out the race page HERE.

 

Next race: The Scoobtober VIRTUAL 5k!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series races 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!


As part of being a BibRave Pro, I got a chance to participate in the first ever Virtual Scooby Doo Run Series! So, far Tristan and I have completed race one of the series, the Doo Good 5k, and earned some awesome swag! Check out my post-race recap HERE.

As we get closer and closer to Halloween, the theme for the 2nd race in the series, we’ve still been running a couple times a week together. We’ll complete our Virtual Scoobtober 5k on Tuesday, the day before Halloween.

We’re going to stick to our same course and our goal is to try and beat our time from the Doo Good 5k.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see how training is going and we’ll do live posts of the race on Instagram Stories!