After having a few issues with the RunPod, from dropouts to not being recognised, I thought I’d share what seems to have worked for me, on the road to achieving consistent behaviour. I’ve also added suggestions below to the Zwift dev team that might help mitigate customer issues with this product.
Ensure your RunPod’s battery isn’t running low and isn’t a low quality battery. I’m using a Panasonic CR2032.
Download the Milstone app (Zwift’s RunPod is a rebranded Milstone RunPod) and update the firmware on your RunPod. The Milestone app also has the advantage or syncing your non Zwift runs and providing some run metrics, like cadences, gait, etc.
Make sure the RunPod is NOT paired with your phone in the usual manner. Most paired devices appear in the Bluetooth pairing list. Make sure the Zwift RunPod is NOT in that list. Zwift seems to only recognise the RunPod(for me) if it ISN’T in that list and it connects to the RunPod directly.
Make sure the RunPod is facing the right direction. When facing the wrong direction I would get frequent dropouts where my avatar would stop running. This happened especially at high running speeds. At lower speeds it behaves a little better. The CORRECT way it should be facing is with the dimpled area closest to your toes and the pointy part of the Zwift logo (the Z) closest to your shin. Once I turned the RunPod around and had it facing the right way I did not get any dropouts, regardless of the speed I was running.
If you are running in a gym, make sure you are either on the gym’s WiFi or that your data connection is connecting at 4G or higher. From my experience, if it is any lower you’ll end up with mostly black background with just the data overlays, as the app doesn’t have the bandwidth to load all cycling and other terrain graphics in real time. Just what I observed.
Occasionally to get the RunPod detecting correctly you may need to take out the battery and put it back in. This seems rare, but it does require it sometimes.
2.1 Now that Zwift owns Milestone, the updating to latest firmware should be built into the the Zwift App. Customers shouldn’t have to use yet another app, to upgrade their rebranded RunPod.
2.2 Even though the Milstone app gives run metrics, for some reason it ALWAYS says I’m heel striking, when I’m a forefoot runner. Doesn’t matter which way the RunPd faces, it still says heel :).
3.1 I’m not sure if Zwift could pick up the RunPod if it was already/accidentally paired to the device and in the Bluetooth list and either just use that, or tell the customer to un pair so they can proceed unhindered.
4.1 To make it easier for customers to fit the RunPod correctly to their shoes, I’d suggest printing a triangle Δ on the RunPod just in front of the dimpled area, to clearly show which way the RunPod should be fitted and facing.
5.1 Maybe Zwift could add a “Low-Res” outline of the avatars instead of fully textured avatars when it detects that the data connection isn’t fast enough?? Thus allowing the app to show something rather than an ugly black background with nothing there.
I hope the above helps others.