Race Review: The Elf Virtual Run

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Elf Virtual Run 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!

SANTA!!!!
Ok, I didn’t actually see him on my Elf Virtual Run but the bling I received for running this virtual race was pretty dang sweet! Before getting to that, though, let’s talk about the race itself. It was a 100% virtual race that could be run anytime and anywhere. So all you had to do was register and wait for your running kit to arrive and ready, set, go!

Race Management/Virtual Support: The RAM Racing team was really great with communication pertaining to when they were mailing out bibs and shirts and when to expect them. They were also extremely apologetic when an issue arose with the medals, informing all that they would be coming later than the other items. Consistent email updates and always ready and quick to respond to questions, should you have them. I can’t say how impressed I was and always am for RAM Racing events and their team.

SWAG: One of the best races I’ve run when it comes to the swag! First, you get a themed customized bib! next, you get a sweet forest green winter beanie with the Elf logo on the front. Third, a quite warm red zip-up hooded Elf sweatshirt, logo on the left breast. And last, you get a very sweet snow globe style Elf medal! The day these items arrived, it really was like yelling out, “Santa came!” Easily a virtual race you should consider running next year or sometime in the future because it is worth it.

My Race Experience: I hate to admit it but I copped out with this run and ran it on a track where I could better keep track and calculate my distance without going over or miscalculating out somewhere random. So, it wasn’t the most interesting with views aside from the train that came by near the end of my race. That was about the only interesting thing, visually. But I did enjoy running a race on a softer surface than the roads I normally run on when I’ve done previous virtual races. So I’ll chalk up my run as fun in the sense that I had control and I came close to setting a 10K PR for myself.

So that’s my Elf Virtual Run wrapped up in a nutshell! Oh, and yes, I did watch the movie later that night after the run! Definitely consider it for next year!

Product Review: Let’s Go Zwifting!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod 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!

So, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m talking about when I say, “let’s go zwifting!” Well, I don’t blame you. The word sounds bizarre but, then again, so is the concept until you use it and then everything changes! How much does a run on a treadmill suck? Let’s be honest, running by yourself or even in a gym on a treadmill is boring. There’s nothing to really drive you other than maybe a goal you have if you’re really training for something. How often do you find yourself competing with a fellow runner at the gym? Ah, I got you on that one, didn’t I? The Zwift RunPod and its corresponding apps provide an amazing experience that totally changes the “boring” treadmill run.

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First, the basics: what you will need. You will need a RunPod (attached to my shoe above) and you will need to attach it to your running shoe in approximately the same place as mine. You will need access to a treadmill. And you will need a device to use Zwift, the program, such as a iPhone, tablet, PC, etc. Once you have all that established and the Zwift app and Zwift companion app downloaded,  you will be able to join other runners around the world running together. Yes, around the world. Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 11.01.57 PM

Put the battery in your Zwift RunPod, attach it to your shoe and start running on a treadmill. This will enable you to pair your pod with whatever device you have downloaded the app on and will also calibrate the pod to match your strides. Then you are all set to join a group run or just run on your own. Some of the group runs take place in London (which is really cool) and others take place in a fictional land called Watopia. Ok, that may sound odd but where else can you run past and through an active volcano?

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This was one of several screenshots that I took during the course of my run on this particular day. Now, I’ve done a few solo runs and enjoyed them but I was curious as to what a group run might like. So, using the Zwift companion app where there are listings for the group runs (various distances, locations) I found one and entered its queue. Then, you wait. Or, as in my case, I jumped into a solo run just to pass the time until the start. They even provide you with a countdown so everyone can join in. Like I said, runners from around the world compete with you on the same course.

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After the group run is finished and you’ve completed the distance, you are able to see how well you performed among all the other runners who joined the group. This is actually one of the best things I like about Zwift. It really did turn my treadmill run (or as we all call it, the “dreadmill”) into something more engaging and exciting. I was into my run and that’s not always the case on the treadmill.

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Now, with the pics I’ve posted here you probably noticed that my avatar is wearing the same thing in all of them. That’s because I wasn’t able to really venture into too many different styles because I hadn’t run enough with the pod yet. The more you run, the more you unlock for your personal avatar. More clothes, colors, haircuts, styles and more. Just another really cool way Zwift keeps you involved and entertained is what it normally a stagnant treadmill run.

Also, there are so many other great features of the Zwift RunPod. You can create a running meetup with a Zwift companion (just like any social media app, you find friends.) You can import custom running workouts should you be training for a specific distance. You can create a custom workout for yourself and then you can add it into a custom training program. All within the app and with the pod. You can chat with runners if you like and, who knows, maybe you’ll make some new running friends who join you every morning or evening on a virtual run together. That’s the power and awesomeness of the Zwift Runpod and app. Screen Shot 2018-12-27 at 10.26.49 PM

Definitely check out the Zwift website and if you like what you see, then use code BibRave15″ good for 15% off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com. It is good for 1000 Pods only though.

If  you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out or if you just have some comments. I’d love to hear from you!

As always, happy running!