gear

Looking for the latest and greatest running gear to help you perform at your best? Check out the “Gear” tag session on RunningWithJoe.com. This section of the blog is dedicated to exploring the newest and most innovative gear and technology for runners, from shoes and apparel to GPS watches and other accessories. Our team of experienced runners and gear experts provide detailed reviews and recommendations to help you find the perfect gear to suit your needs and achieve your goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, you’ll find valuable insights and guidance in the “Gear” tag session to help you take your running to the next level.

Review for runners: Apple Watch Ultra

I recently exchanged my Garmin Fenix 6 watch for the Apple Watch and in this article I will show a comparison and analysis of this exchange. I have been using the Apple Watch for about 8 months and the main reason was the integration with the cell phone.

1. Durability and Design

The Apple Watch Ultra has been engineered with durability at its forefront, catering specifically to athletes and outdoor enthusiasts who demand ruggedness in their gear. With its titanium case and sapphire crystal display, the Apple Watch Ultra is built to withstand harsh conditions, from trail running to mountain climbing. This level of robust construction is comparable to Garmin’s Fenix series, which also emphasizes durability and is favored by outdoor adventurers.

While both brands offer high durability, the Apple Watch Ultra steps up with its certified water resistance to a depth of 100 meters and enhanced dust resistance, making it exceptionally reliable in more extreme environmental conditions than most Garmin models. This makes it an appealing choice for runners who frequently traverse challenging terrains or engage in multi-sport activities that include water exposure, providing a slight edge in terms of versatility.

Explore our detailed comparison of the Apple Watch Ultra and Garmin watches for runners

2. Battery Life and Performance

Battery performance is crucial for long-distance runners who rely on continuous GPS tracking. The Apple Watch Ultra offers up to 36 hours of normal use and extends up to 60 hours in low power settings, which is a significant improvement over its predecessors. However, when compared to Garmin, which offers devices like the Fenix series that can last up to several weeks on a single charge in certain modes, the Apple Watch still lags slightly behind in terms of long-term endurance.

For daily runners and those who prefer regular charging routines, the Apple Watch Ultra’s battery life is more than adequate. However, for ultra-marathoners or multi-day event participants, Garmin’s superior battery longevity provides a distinct advantage, reducing the need for frequent recharges and ensuring continuous activity tracking without interruption during prolonged events.

3. Health and Fitness Tracking Features

The Apple Watch Ultra comes packed with advanced health monitoring features, including an accurate heart rate sensor, blood oxygen monitoring, and an integrated GPS that competes closely with Garmin’s high-precision sensors. The Apple Watch also offers unique features like crash detection and a temperature sensor, adding layers of safety and biometric data that are beneficial for comprehensive health tracking during runs.

Garmin watches, known for their detailed fitness analytics, offer customizable data screens and in-depth metrics that appeal particularly to professional athletes and sports enthusiasts. While the Apple Watch provides a broad range of workout types and seamless integration with iOS apps, Garmin allows for more in-depth customization of data fields and longer data tracking history, which can be crucial for training analysis over time.

4. User Interface and Ecosystem

The user interface of the Apple Watch Ultra is one of its biggest selling points, featuring a fluid touch screen, crisp display, and the intuitive watchOS interface. The integration with iOS allows for seamless connectivity with iPhones, making it a robust choice for runners who appreciate having their data sync effortlessly with their other devices and enjoy the broader ecosystem of Apple apps and services.

In contrast, Garmin’s interface is highly functional but can be less intuitive for those not familiar with Garmin’s ecosystem. Garmin watches support excellent integration with a variety of fitness platforms and have robust native applications for workout data analysis, which might be more appealing to users who prioritize extensive customization and deep data analysis over general aesthetics and ease of use.

5. Cost-Benefit Analysis

The Apple Watch Ultra is priced at a premium, reflecting its advanced features and robust design. For runners who are also avid tech enthusiasts or those who are already embedded within the Apple ecosystem, the price may be justified by the seamless integration and the convenience of connected features alongside health and fitness tracking.

Comparatively, Garmin watches may offer better value for runners focused solely on fitness tracking and durability for long-distance events. With models available across a range of prices, Garmin provides options that cater to serious athletes who need extended battery life and more detailed customizability without necessarily requiring broader smartwatch functions. This makes Garmin a potentially more cost-effective choice for dedicated runners, depending on their specific needs and budget constraints.

Level Up Your Indoor Cycling Game with Zwift Workouts

In recent years, the world of indoor cycling has seen a dramatic shift thanks to the innovative and immersive platform known as Zwift. For many cycling enthusiasts, the thought of hopping on an indoor trainer meant hours of boredom staring at a blank wall or simply watching TV. However, Zwift has managed to revolutionize the way people think about indoor cycling, by offering a virtual environment where cyclists from all over the world can interact, compete, and train together in a fun and engaging setting. With millions of users now regularly participating in Zwift workouts, it’s clear that the platform is here to stay and continue to redefine the way we approach our indoor cycling routines.

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor cyclist looking to maintain your fitness during the colder months, or someone who simply enjoys the convenience and comfort of working out at home, Zwift provides a plethora of options for riders of all levels and abilities. By connecting your smart trainer, power meter, or using a speed sensor, you can transform your living room into a veritable cycling mecca with challenging workouts, races, and group events, taking place in beautifully designed virtual worlds. The gamification aspect of Zwift keeps things interesting and motivating, as you will earn experience points that will enable you to unlock new gear and accessories, while the various group rides and races cater to different preferences, whether it’s a casual workout or a high-intensity competition.

One of the most appealing aspects of Zwift as a training tool is its diverse and extensive library of structured workouts, designed by professional coaches and athletes. These workouts offer targeted sessions that cater to various goals, such as improving endurance, power, or overall speed. Furthermore, Zwift also offers adaptive training plans, which will tailor your workout schedule based on your fitness levels, goals, and the available time you have to train. This truly personalized approach to training allows you to make the most of every session, optimizing your overall progress, and helping you reach your goals faster.

Zwift represents a new era in indoor cycling, offering an enticing alternative to traditional home-based workouts. Through a blend of engaging and immersive graphics, community interaction, and personalized training plans, Zwift continues to level up the indoor cycling game and attract a growing number of enthusiasts seeking a more enjoyable and meaningful way to train. With constant updates and improvements to the platform, Zwift is poised to remain at the forefront of an evolving fitness landscape, providing a unique and effective way for cyclists of all levels to achieve their goals and connect with others who share their passion.

Zwift: Transforming Indoor Cycling Training

When it comes to indoor cycling, one of the main challenges a rider faces is staying engaged and motivated in a static environment. This is where Zwift, a groundbreaking immersive digital platform, steps in to transform the indoor cycling experience. Zwift uses gamification elements to craft an interactive world where cyclists connect with others and undertake tailored workouts designed to meet specific fitness goals. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, gamification has proven effective in increasing intrinsic motivation and promoting behavior change in exercise routines. Zwift enables users to elevate their indoor cycling sessions to another level, with customizable avatars, various virtual courses, and structured workouts to enhance performance and maintain motivation.

A standout feature of Zwift is its social aspect, allowing riders to join an ever-expanding global community of like-minded cyclists. By engaging with other users across the world, cyclists can now participate in group workouts, races, and events within a virtual environment. This sense of camaraderie not only fosters healthy competition, but also enhances users’ accountability to push past boundaries and stay committed to consistent training. In fact, according to a study in Computers in Human Behavior, social interaction and a sense of belonging contribute significantly to a participant’s motivation and satisfaction in an online fitness setting. With Zwift’s in-game messaging feature, cyclists are never alone in their journey to optimize their indoor training experience.

One critical component in achieving tangible progress through indoor cycling is following a structured training plan. Zwift offers a plethora of workout options, ranging from beginner-friendly sessions to more advanced workouts that cater to various cycling disciplines. The platform employs a similar training model to traditional cycling training methods, emphasizing power output, heart rate, and cadence. With detailed analytics and performance tracking, Zwift enables users to monitor their progress and adjust their workouts according to individual needs and goals. Additionally, Zwift is compatible with a wide range of smart trainers and power meters, allowing cyclists to tailor their riding experience based on personal preferences and equipment.

Zwift is not only revolutionizing the indoor cycling landscape by creating an engaging and immersive virtual environment; it is also contributing to the sport’s inclusivity and accessibility. Cyclists of all skill levels and backgrounds can easily immerse themselves in the world of Zwift, finding common ground with others who share their passion for cycling. Moreover, Zwift is an invaluable tool for those living in regions plagued by inclement weather or lacking safe outdoor cycling infrastructure. By delivering a dynamic and comprehensive training platform, Zwift has disrupted the status quo of indoor cycling and motivated countless riders to embrace innovative technology, create lasting connections, and strive for new personal records.

Choosing the Right Setup for Zwift Success

my zwift gear

As you begin to incorporate Zwift into your indoor cycling routine, choosing the right setup is essential for maximizing your training success. Investing in a quality training roller is just the first step; ensuring you have the proper equipment to fully engage with the platform is key. There are different types of trainers to consider, from basic trainers with no connectivity to smart trainers that offer a more immersive and interactive experience. Evaluating your goals, budget, and available space will help guide your trainer purchasing decision-making process.

It’s important to prioritize comfort and functionality when setting up your indoor cycling space. The bike should be adjusted properly to fit your body and ensure the right amount of exertion per training session. A fan might be beneficial in keeping you cool during intense workouts, while a comfortable mat will provide additional stability for your training roller. Furthermore, investing in a heart rate monitor for accurate tracking of your body’s response to workouts is useful. High-quality water bottles and towels at arm’s reach will help maintain a comfortable cycling environment.

The next aspect to consider when aiming for Zwift success is the digital setup itself. As the Zwift platform relies on a strong internet connection, having reliable Wi-Fi will make your workouts and races more enjoyable. To experience Zwift to its full potential, investing in a suitable device that is compatible with the platform, such as a laptop or an Apple TV, will guarantee seamless integration. Additionally, having a sufficiently large screen on which to view your workouts will contribute to the immersive experience Zwift is designed to provide.

using my gravel bike on zwift

One of the more unique aspects of Zwift is the social component, which can make indoor cycling more engaging and motivating. However, you may need some additional accessories to foster a pleasant social interaction within the platform. A quality pair of headphones with a built-in microphone enables you to communicate with your fellow cyclists for the in-game group chats or voice channel discussions. Moreover, employing a phone mount that attaches to your bike’s handlebars allows you to access Zwift’s companion app more easily during workouts or races. This app allows you to track data, check course maps, and issue “Ride On!” encouragements to fellow cyclists with just a swipe of your finger.

By carefully choosing the right setup for Zwift, you’ll be well equipped to tackle any virtual ride or race. Not only will this enhance your indoor cycling experience, but it can also translate into better performance and mental stamina when cycling outside, making you a fitter, stronger, and more capable rider overall.

Navigating Zwift’s Interactive Virtual World

Zwift app and indoor cycling trainer enhancing at-home workout experience

Zwift has revolutionized the world of indoor cycling by creating a virtual environment that connects users globally and offers an interactive and engaging workout experience. It’s a whole new way of training indoors, making it not only more efficient but also more enjoyable. With its 3D graphics, real-world routes, and a multitude of workouts, Zwift provides a user-friendly platform where riders can participate in structured workouts, races, and group rides. The virtual world of Zwift consists of several dynamic and interconnected maps, featuring a wide range of terrain. From the flat, fast roads of Watopia to the steep, mountainous climbs of the Alpe du Zwift, there’s something for cyclists of all abilities.

One of the most appealing aspects of Zwift is the gamification of indoor cycling, which not only motivates users to push harder, but also to keep coming back for more. The platform incorporates a distinct leveling system, allowing riders to earn experience points (XP) for every mile they cover and eventually unlock new in-game items and features. Moreover, cycling aficionados can join various clubs and teams or participate in challenges, earning virtual badges and rewards to showcase their achievements. According to recent statistics, over 3.5 million subscribers have joined Zwift, showcasing how captivating and popular this virtual cycling platform has become.

The immersive experience offered by Zwift doesn’t end with its virtual world and gamification. Utilizing advanced technology and data analysis, the platform provides a highly personalized training experience. By inputting personal metrics such as height, weight, and age, along with equipment details, Zwift can accurately estimate a rider’s power output and translate it into on-screen speed and performance. The integration of smart trainers and power meters further enhances the realism, adjusting resistance based on inclines, declines, and drafting behind other virtual riders. With these technological advancements, indoor cycling transforms into a highly engaging and tailored workout session.

The vast array of workouts and training plans featured in Zwift cater to a broad range of cyclists, from beginners to elite riders. Zwift’s library contains over 1,000 individual workouts and numerous training plans, designed to target specific fitness goals such as improving endurance, speed, or climbing abilities. Furthermore, the platform offers flexible scheduling, enabling users to fit their workouts around busy lives. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that structured Zwift workouts effectively improved participants’ performance and fitness levels in just six weeks.

Zwifting is a social experience and a prime example of the power of online communities. Cyclists can ride alongside friends and strangers, participating in virtual races, group rides, and even charity events. Leaderboards, chat functions, and the ability to “give kudos” (similar to a ‘like’ on social media) foster connection and encouragement within the Zwift community. A 2022 quote from Zwift’s CEO, Eric Min, highlights how the platform is “bringing people together from all over the world, breaking down barriers, and creating a global fitness community.”

While Zwift has already proven to be a game-changer in the world of indoor cycling, the company continues to grow and innovate. The virtual platform has expanded by adding a running option and has also hosted professional events such as the Virtual Tour de France and the 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships. These developments testify to the limitless potential of Zwift as a transformative force within the realms of fitness and technology. By joining Zwift, indoor cyclists can not only improve their physical capabilities but also experience a vibrant and diverse virtual world that has forever changed the way we train indoors.

Tailor-made Workouts for Your Fitness Goals

Indoor cycling has come a long way with advancements in technology and the creation of immersive virtual platforms like Zwift. One significant benefit of using Zwift is its ability to create customized workouts based on your personal fitness goals. Whether you’re aiming to improve your endurance, increase your power output, or simply maintain your fitness level, Zwift workouts can be tailor-made to suit your needs perfectly.

Zwift’s personalized workouts are designed to cater to cyclists of varying skill levels and fitness backgrounds. The platform offers a range of workouts submitted by other members, professional coaches, and even Olympic athletes for inspiration. You can also create your own workout using the program’s user-friendly interface. By opting for tailored workouts, you enjoy more variety in your indoor training sessions, ensuring that you remain motivated and engaged throughout the process.

One of the crucial aspects of seeing progress in your fitness journey is structured training. Zwift’s workout structure allows you to systematically increase your workload based on your objectives and your perceived abilities. For example, if you’re focusing on building endurance, the program will guide you through steadily increasing time and distance intervals to achieve this specific goal.

Another benefit of using tailor-made Zwift workouts is that it helps you track and analyze your performance data. As you complete your assigned workouts, the information is stored and presented in a visually comprehensible manner. By reviewing this data, you’ll gain valuable insights into your progress and determine the effectiveness of your chosen workouts. These insights can then be used to make informed decisions on tweaking your training regimen for maximum results.

A significant appeal of indoor cycling is the convenience it offers. When building custom Zwift workouts, you can factor in the available time you have for each session, making it even more accessible to fit training into your daily routine. Additionally, you’ll be able to adjust your workout intensity levels according to your energy levels on any given day. This flexibility helps eliminate the mental and physical barriers that may prevent you from working out, ensuring consistency in your training.

Though indoor cycling can sometimes be isolating, Zwift’s workout builder comes with a social aspect that makes it a lot more enjoyable. You have the option of joining various events and group training sessions within the platform, where you can interact with like-minded cyclists and even compete in friendly races. These group activities are known to improve motivation, help keep you accountable, and make your workouts feel less daunting.

Zwift’s tailor-made workouts provide a comprehensive, personalized indoor cycling experience that caters to your unique fitness goals. By embracing this platform for your training, you’re setting yourself up for success and significantly enhancing the enjoyment factor in your indoor cycling sessions. With its focus on customization, data analysis, flexibility, and social interaction, Zwift has revolutionized the indoor training experience, upping the game for cyclists worldwide.

Tracking Progress: Earn Achievements on Zwift

Among the numerous benefits of using Zwift for indoor cycling, one of the most motivating factors is the ability to track your progress and unlock achievements. With each ride, Zwift keeps track of your fitness levels, accumulating experience points (XP) and virtual currency called “drops” that you can use to personalize and improve your in-game avatar, bike, and kit. Additionally, the platform offers an assortment of achievements, ranging from covering specific distances to completing challenging workouts, providing cyclists with a sense of accomplishment and a reason to push themselves harder.

As you accumulate experience points on your Zwift journey, your in-game avatar levels up, unlocking new equipment and customization options. XP is awarded based on mileage or kilometers cycled, and additional points can be earned by completing specific challenges or participating in events. For those who crave some friendly competition, Zwift also features a leaderboards section, displaying various statistics such as total distance, elevation climbed, and calories burned. Moreover, riders can connect with friends, join group rides, participate in races, or even chase after coveted virtual jerseys awarded to riders who achieve specific high scores or reach prominent milestones on the platform.

In addition to in-game achievements, Zwift users can connect their accounts to apps such as Strava and TrainingPeaks, further enhancing the tracking of their riding progress. By connecting to these platforms, cyclists can compare their rides with others, set personal goals, and analyze their performance data to ensure they are on track for success. With regular use of Zwift workouts and the platform’s various challenges and competitions, riders can witness tangible improvements to their fitness, endurance, and speed – whether they are seasoned professionals or beginners seeking an exciting and effective way to level up their indoor cycling game.

Zwift is undoubtedly a game changer for indoor cycling enthusiasts who wish to transform their at-home training into an engaging and fun experience. By offering achievements, points, levels, and a sense of community, Zwift keeps cyclists motivated to put in the effort and persevere through challenging workouts, ultimately resulting in improved performance and greater satisfaction throughout the course of their fitness journey. So why not give Zwift a try and see how this immersive platform can help you level up your indoor cycling game?

Fiber Carbon Shoes

Why You Should Consider Carbon Fibre Shoes for Your Next Run?

As running technology continues to evolve, many athletes are turning to carbon fiber shoes to give them an edge in their training and races. These shoes are designed with high-performance materials that offer unparalleled durability, support, and speed, making them a great choice for runners of all skill levels.

One of the biggest benefits of carbon fiber shoes is their lightweight design. Unlike traditional running shoes, which can feel heavy and cumbersome, carbon fiber shoes are made from ultra-lightweight materials that allow you to move faster and more efficiently. This can help reduce fatigue and increase your overall endurance during long-distance runs.

Hoka Fiber Carbon Shoes

Another key feature of carbon fiber shoes is their superior support and stability. The carbon fiber plate found in the sole of the shoe helps to evenly distribute your weight across your foot, reducing the risk of injury and minimizing the impact of each stride. This is especially important for runners who suffer from knee or ankle pain, as carbon fiber shoes can help reduce the stress on these areas of the body.

The unique construction of these shoes allows you to move more quickly and with greater efficiency, enabling you to shave precious seconds off your race times. Whether you’re competing in a marathon or just trying to beat your personal best, carbon fiber shoes can help you achieve your goals.

While carbon fiber shoes may be more expensive than traditional running shoes, many runners believe that the benefits they offer are well worth the investment. If you’re serious about improving your performance and taking your running to the next level, consider investing in a pair of carbon fiber shoes for your next race or training session. You may be surprised at just how much of a difference they can make.

Overweight and not-too-fast runners

For overweight and not-too-fast runners, the idea of investing in fibre carbon shoes may seem daunting. However, these shoes are not just for elite athletes. In fact, they can be incredibly beneficial for runners of all levels. Fibre carbon shoes offer superior cushioning and support, which can reduce the risk of injury and increase comfort during runs. Additionally, they are often more durable than traditional running shoes, making them a worthwhile investment in the long run. For overweight runners, fibre carbon shoes can also help to reduce the impact on the knees and other joints, allowing for a more enjoyable and sustainable running experience. It’s important to remember that while fibre carbon shoes may come with a higher price tag, the benefits they offer can make a significant difference in your running journey.

Nike fiber Carbon Shoes

My personal choices

As a runner myself, I understand the importance of choosing the right shoes. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with different brands and models, and I’ve found that my personal favorites are the Hoka One One Carbon X3 and the Joma R3000, both of which feature carbon fiber technology.

I appreciate the combination of comfort and responsiveness in the Hoka One One Carbon X3. These shoes have excellent cushioning, making them perfect for long runs, but they’re also lightweight and snappy. In addition, the carbon fiber plate in the midsole provides an extra boost to each stride, making them ideal for speed work.

The Joma R3000, on the other hand, is a more budget-friendly option, but it still delivers great performance. The carbon fiber plate provides a noticeable springiness, and the shoes feel very stable and supportive. The upper is made of a breathable mesh that keeps my feet cool and dry even during hot and humid runs.

Overall, I highly recommend trying out shoes with carbon fiber technology, especially for overweight or not too fast runners. The added support and energy return can make a big difference in both performance and comfort. Just be sure to find the right fit and model for your individual needs and preferences.

Maximizing Your Indoor Workouts with Zwift: How I’m Using it with Garmin Fenix 6 and Stryd for Accurate Treadmill Training

Winter has arrived in Barcelona and for many runners, this means that outdoor training can become a challenge. But, with the help of technology, you can still continue to train and stay motivated. I’ve recently started using Zwift on my indoor treadmill workouts and it’s been a game changer.

Training for the Barcelona Marathon on March 19th can be a challenge, especially during the winter months when running outside is not as appealing. That’s why I’ve been relying on the virtual training platform, Zwift, to help me stay on track with my training goals. By using Zwift three times a week on the gym’s treadmill, I can keep my body in peak condition and properly prepare for the marathon. With this training plan, I’m confident that I’ll be ready to tackle the Barcelona Marathon come race day.

Zwift is an online platform that allows you to run and ride in a virtual world alongside other athletes from all over the world. It’s perfect for those days when you can’t or don’t want to brave the elements for a run. The virtual environment provides a fun and interactive experience that helps to keep you engaged and motivated during your indoor training.

I’ve been using Zwift in combination with my Garmin Fenix 6 and Stryd to track my indoor runs. The Fenix 6 provides me with all the data I need, including my heart rate, pace, and distance. And, the Stryd gives me power and running efficiency data, which is especially useful when training on a treadmill. By using all three devices together, I’m able to get a complete and detailed picture of my indoor training sessions.

One thing to note about Zwift is that while it does require a subscription for cycling, you can use it for running for free. This is great for those who are looking to train on a treadmill and want a more interactive and engaging experience, without having to pay for a monthly fee. By using a compatible device such as a Garmin Fenix 6 and a power meter like the Stryd, you can track your progress and see real-time data on your performance. This allows you to accurately measure your progress and make adjustments to your training plan accordingly.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my decision to start using Zwift for my indoor training. It’s a great way to stay motivated and continue to make progress, even when the weather outside isn’t ideal for running. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just starting out, I highly recommend giving Zwift a try for your indoor training.

Step by step guide on how to use Zwift:

  1. Create an account: First, go to Zwift.com and sign up for an account. You will need to provide your basic personal information, such as your name, email address, and password.
  2. Download the software: Once you have created an account, you can download the Zwift software to your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The software is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  3. Connect your device: In order to use Zwift, you will need to connect a compatible device to your computer. I’m using the Garmin Fenix6 and a Stryd, but you can find a list of compatible devices on the Zwift website.
  4. Set up your profile: Once you have connected your device, you will need to set up your profile. This includes adding your weight, height, and other personal information. You can also customize your avatar, which will be your on-screen representation while you are using Zwift.
  5. Choose your workout: Zwift offers a variety of workouts, from short and sweet to long and intense. You can select a workout based on your goals, experience level, and the amount of time you have available.
  6. Start your ride: Once you have selected a workout, you are ready to start riding. You will be transported to a virtual world, where you can ride with other Zwift users from around the world.
  7. Monitor your progress: As you ride, Zwift will track your performance and give you feedback in real-time. You can see your speed, distance, and other metrics on your screen.
  8. Complete your workout: With Zwift, you’ll receive a comprehensive summary of your workout performance when you’re done. Use this data to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your training plan. Plus, Zwift seamlessly uploads your activity data to Strava or Garmin Connect.

With these steps, you should be able to start using Zwift and get the most out of your indoor training sessions. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just starting out, Zwift is a great tool for improving your performance and keeping your training on track.

Scroll to Top