As I’m sure I have mentioned in prior posts, this Sloth does not like the cold. While the rest of you are out running in your shorts and tank tops in 40F weather, I’m usually bundled up in long sleeves, skull cap, and gloves. Beyond just hating being cold in and of itself, I also suffer from Reynaud’s Syndrome, a disorder that sometimes causes numbness and pain in my toes and feet when exposed to the cold. 

Because of my aversion to cool weather, you will usually find me indoors from November through February. On those increasingly frequent occasions where the temperature breaks through 60F, I’ll head outside, but for the most part, I prefer to stay inside until mid to upper 60’s return in the Spring. 

Now with a decade of experience on the treadmill and occasional time on a cycling trainer, Netflix is no longer keeping indoor training from turning into a chore. So I’ve started experimenting with virtual training applications like Zwift and Fulgaz

My treadmill setup is simple:

I want apps that work with *any* treadmill and an Apple Watch. There are a variety of options for smart treadmills and a select few for making an old treadmill semi-smart, but I like my BH Fitness treadmill because of its reliability and speed. A lot of the treadmills you see on the market top out at 10 mph or 12 mph, and while my need to run beyond 12 mph is somewhat rare, I have occasionally (intervals) hit the max speed of 14 mph on my BH Fitness. So I want an app that will allow me to avoid an unnecessary investment until my treadmill takes the long roll into the treadmill graveyard.

My current (pitiful) indoor cycling setup includes:

Needless to say, this is nothing compared to the pain caves you will find online, but it’s enough to get in and test drive the various virtual cycling options. Be aware, though, that you are not getting the full experience if you aren’t using a smart trainer. Having a power meter would be better, but dynamic resistance from a virtual trainer would make the uphill cycling much more realistic. And, the cycling gadget community has taken the realism much, much further.  For now, though, I’ll try these apps out and let them penalize me for not wanting to blow the budget on new gear.

Up first in my reviews will be Zwift, hopefully coming sometime next week, and then we’ll see where we go from there.