Hi everyone, I’m writing this as I had some difficulty finding information about Zwift run and ride with this watch. Hope it can help others out there.
If you have ANT+ available on your device used to play Zwift, you can use the broadcast HR functionality available on a wide variety of Garmin sports watches. You will still require a speed/cadence/power sensor(s) of course.
Alternatively if you’re using a bluetooth laptop like myself, you’ll need to open virtual run, connect the HR sensor in the ride devices menu and start the virtual workout. The workout should be trashed afterwards as you’re not running - just leveraging the bluetooth heart rate reading from “virtual run” which “broadcast HR” cannot do.
Note: Virtual run is only available on limited models. See here for a detailed description of both heart rate options.
Using Virtual Run:
Firstly I must say your mileage may vary but this is my experience so far. My first run was non-calibrated and my watch reported 13.2kmph when I had the treadmill (commercial gym quality) set to 12kmph. This was slightly annoying but I decided to stick to it and calibrate my next run.
On my next run I calibrated to 12.5kmph and ran 10km. At the end my watch reported 10.2km and the treadmill reported 10km. 200m of error is more than okay for me. I was really happy with the results and accuracy.
My next session had varying levels of speed, I found the watch was close, but not perfect. 13kmph turned into 13.2kmph and 11.5kmph reported around 10.5kmph. As it’s a wrist based sensor there’s obviously going to be an increased deviation when running outside of the calibrated zone. From memory there was about 300-400m of error after 10km total.
My latest run was shocking. I ran 30km in two and a half hours. Garmin reported to Zwift 38km!! I ran around 12.5kmph but no matter how much I slowed my wrist movement, Garmin thought I was running 14-16kmph.
That last run made me very frustrated and I didn’t stop to calibrate as 30km was more important to me than statistics. I will re-calibrate in future as it seems to have lost my previous calibration.
Overall I’m happy with the watch and the margin of errors are within acceptable limits for me (minus the 30km run). You will need to run with consistent form and arm movement though. If you get tired and run in mini bursts to keep up with the treadmill, you’ll find the increase in arm movement will speed up your character quite a lot.
Any questions please thread below and I’ll do my best to help you out.