Walking/Hiking in Zwift?

In my little workout room, I have my bike and trainer (bike is currently in the shop getting serviced), my Concept 2 Rower and an old Proform Crosswalk 370 treadmill I got from a friend years ago to store and just kind of got stuck with it. I just use it pretty much to hike or walk with. Now that I have gotten into Zwift I figured I could diversify my workouts and start using my treadmill more.

One thing is, I am a horrible runner. Even when I was in the best shape in my life in high school back in the 90’s, I couldn’t run to save my life. It wasn’t because I was out of shape or something, but its something I really didn’t like to do. Plus having a 25 inch inseam, I always had to run twice as hard or fast to keep up with everybody else. School kind of ruined running for me because when I was a little kid I ran everywhere. Didn’t help running was used as a punishment for everything by the coaches and teachers. So running is out of the question, plus with me being fat and out of shape now its defiantly out of the question. I’ll probably end up hurting myself until I get into better shape anyway.

I know Zwift is used for those that run and it seems like its more geared up for that. Does anybody out there in the Zwift universe ever use it for walking or hiking?

I have thought about hiking up Alpe Du Zwift… that seems like that would be pretty fun. Set the incline to 10 and off I go. I wonder how accurate it is in speed? If you walk or run at 3 mph is it pretty close to it in game or are things calculated and even though you are going at 2.5-3 mph on the treadmill you are going 1 mph in game because of FTP, weight, and stuff like that?

Zwift Running doesn’t factor in weight, cda, drag, etc. Whatever you use to tell Zwift your running speed is how fast you go. (Ie if you are running at 6mph in game on a 0% grade [flat] and then hit a 10% grade you will still run at 6mph in game)

I was going to race my pals up AdZ. Me running and them cycling. I’m obviously not affected by the grade.
I imagine it’d be actually quite nice to walk / hike up

I am still pretty new and don’t know much about this aspect of Zwift so I am sorry for the stupid questions.

The little sensor you can buy and hook to your shoe. Is that just a counter for steps or is there much more to it? Can you use a treadmill that isn’t a smart treadmill or whatever not hooked up to Zwift and that is what the sensor is for? How does it figure out what your speed is?

I figure if this is a viable thing I can do, even though I don’t have a real high tech treadmill I plan on matching the grades manually to make it a little more immersive.

There’s more to it. It has an accelerometer inside (and I think some other sensors), so it can tell how fast your foot is moving, how high etc. From that it can calculate your stride length, and in turn how fast you’re running. I have the original Milestone Pod (which became the Zwift Pod), and found it accurate enough (although I use a Stryd now).

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Your treadmill won’t need to be too flash as you’ll be spending most of the time walking between 8-12% gradient. At that gradient you’ll not be pushing anywhere near the max speed of the treadmill. Hopefully your treadmill inclines to that sort of percentage.

All this talk of walking / running up the Alpe is wetting my appetite and I’m quite keen on doing it with the actual gradient being simulated.

The only thing you’ll need to be aware of is there is no direct start point at the bottom of the Alpe. The closest route is road to sky but that has a 5km lead in to the base.

If my memory serves me correctly my main gradient on my treadmill is 10%. Which should be plenty. I guess if I really wanted to go extreme I could put blocks under the front of the treadmill and raise it up even more for that ultimate realism. Haha

The past few days I have tried to go as far as I can in AdZ on my Concept 2 Rower while my bike is in the shop getting serviced. Made it to checkpoint 12 yesterday before I was cooked and had to tap out. I am hoping as I get in better shape I can make it up in one shot on both my bike, rower and hiking… Also working on getting the Tron Bike… I have a long ways to go still.