What is Zwift?

Zwift “run” is a free online and mobile platform, for both iOS and Android, that allows you to run virtual routes with your own created avatar. You can explore the virtual world, race your friends, create meet-ups, complete daily challenges, and run Zwift workouts.

What can Zwift control and why?

Zwift can read the speed, cadence, elevation gain and heart rate data from the treadmill (not the actual incline). Zwift does not (officially) control the treadmill at all. You can read more about Zwift’s limitations here.

There are run workouts and training plans to choose from in the Zwift app, but they will not adjust your treadmill speed/incline for you. However, with the new feature in Kinni called FitCast, once you connect Kinni to Zwift, you can now run your own workouts through Zwift hands-free.

We recommend Zwift is best used alongside Kinni and your treadmill as an activity tracker and a fun and motivational virtual environment.

Zwift vs Kinni

Zwift has many pre-defined workouts that may be similar to your own planned workouts. However, there isn’t a way to create your own workouts from within the Zwift “run” platform.

Top tip: If you love the look of one of Zwift’s workouts, you can create the same workout in Kinni and then run it through Zwift! 

Previously, your treadmill will only connect to one app at a time, but now with the addition of FitCast you can.

To put it simply, FitCast acts as a bridge between different apps and sends the data from Kinni to Zwift. All you data-fanatics, you are going to love it!

How does Zwift and your treadmill work together?

On the Zwift platform, you can run in a variety of different virtual worlds. There are a bunch of options to choose from when you decide where you want to explore:

Workout – Different types of workouts, races, and community challenges

Plans – Follow a plan to help you on your way to reaching your goals

Just Run – Run however and wherever you like!

There is two ways to connect your treadmill and Zwift together:

  1. Using FTMS Bluetooth on your treadmill
  2. Using FitCast to act as a bridge/virtual treadmill if your treadmill doesn’t have bluetooth

Zwift vs Strava/TrainingPeaks

Zwift will track your activities in an activity feed, and keep an eye on your friends too! You can view past activities on the activity feed on your Desktop, or join Live Zwifters on the mobile app to run alongside them, chat, and generally see what they’re up to. 

This is similar to the activity feed on Strava‘s platform, and isn’t as organised as the training calendar you receive on TrainingPeaks.

On Zwift, you will always be able to view the data from your workout; such as duration, distance, speed, power, and more on your own feed. However, you can decide whether this is made public or private after completing each activity.

However, if you want to share your data between platforms for consistency, you can do this easily through the desktop version of Zwift. When you have completed your activity, Zwift will automatically export the data to the connected apps. 

Don’t forget – you can also manually export your workouts to a FIT file so you can analyse them, or share them with your friends too!

A cool feature of Zwift is that there is a way to follow your own workout plan in Zwift by using a third-party app called TrainingPeaks. Further information about Zwift with TrainingPeaks can be found on the TrainingPeaks website. However, TrainingPeaks cannot control your treadmill either, sadly. The only app that will do this is the Kinni app.

You can (and really should) download the Kinni app for iOS and Android.

Zwift vs Kinomap vs Rouvy

Zwift, Rouvy, and Kinomap can appear quite similar as they all involve running in a virtual online world! The main differences are that Zwift has hundreds of virtual routes compared to Rouvy and Kinomap, who are both a bit younger and have fewer destinations.

Zwift allows you to run in a virtual world with either fantasy routes, or animated tours of popular places across the world such as, New York, and London!

Kinomap and Rouvy use real-world GPS videos. 

You can also create your own avatar on Zwift (similarly to Rouvy). When you explore the virtual routes you can envisage that you are really there with the panoramic views and other runners/cyclists! 

Zwift has some great features to keep you motivated with numerous badges to collect, routes to complete and achievements to aim for. You can upgrade your avatar’s clothes, shoes and accessories by collecting points. The more you run, the more points you receive!

Was this article helpful?

Send me updates!