As you may know, next week WTRL is launching the first ever Zwift Running League!
I have my team already, and talking with my partners, one topic that emerged is the treadmill speed limitations.
Not everyone has access to a treadmill that can support the maximum speed able for that runner to race. For example, my treadmill only goes to max. speed 16kph, but I can race 4.4km (one of the events lengths) at 18kph.
So, we’ve been discussing about the opportunity to use incline and the typical incline vs speed tables to transform our speeds while racing in the league.
Let’s say we’re running at 16kph but with 6% incline (according to the incline vs speed table, that’s around 20.7kph pace, letting us do a final sprint if needed).
How are we able to input that “metabolical” speed? Using mobile phone apps like Treadmill Speed Transmitter or Treadmill Smart Speed.
So what do you think? Is there any official position from Zwift for this kind of tweaks?
You can’t change that data I’m afraid. Speed is speed in Zwift world
As I stated before, the idea is not to use as speed source the treadmill itself, nor a footpod or a wearable device.
There’re some apps for iOS/Android that let you simple select the speed you want to run in Zwift. Let’s say you want to run in Watopia at 10kph, you open the app, press “manual” mode and select 10kph. Then it’s done, your avatar starts running at 10kph.
This opens situations like this:
- My treadmill max speed is 16kph, so I start running at 16kph.
- Also, I put incline to my treadmill, let’s say 6%
- According to a incline vs. speed convert table: 16kph with 6% incline is close to be running at 20.7kph pace.
- Final step: put 20.7kph in the speed transmitter (iOS/Android)
I’m fully aware of the Treadmill Speed Transmitter app.
I use it as I want accurate reporting between the treadmill and Zwift.
The issue with your scenario is that you would need to record exactly how many seconds you spent at each speed and incline setting to be able to generate an accurate overall speed.
Then there’s the issue of people just cheating which I’m afraid will happen. I could win any race sat on my backside using an app. You would need to insist on cadence and HR to show people are actually running.
Yeah, that’s a good point.
Not sure why WTRL stated that only cadence is needed in this case. I think HR+Cadence would be better to make sure everyone is running for real at their stated speed (real or converted).
For example, my HR is quite similar if I run a 3:20min/km pace outdoors or 3:45min/km with 3% incline in the treadmill (we’ve already tested in lots of intervals workouts, like 3x2000, 10x400, etc).
Thanks for your reply Stu!
Insisting on HR can be tricky as there’s issues around data protection. It’s why there are options to hide this data.
Also it means another sensor is required to monitor HR which from a financial point of view can be restrictive to some people.
But it’s kind of strange… because they already asked for HR and Cadence for example in Zwift Academy Run!
Still, for a first iteration of this WTRL Running League, only cadence sounds fine! We’ll see how it evolves
Isn’t this the same as dumb trainers being capped at 400w?
You are limited by the equipment you use - you don’t get to use a curve to predict/broadcast estimated run pace?