Can i use a treadmill with Zwift?

March 17, 2023 3 min read

Can i use a treadmill with Zwift?


The answer is yes, you can run on a treadmill with Zwift. However, depending on the type/brand of treadmill and your fitness level, there are different ways to go about it. This guide will explain how to set up your treadmill for Zwift and which combinations will be best for your situation.

How does Zwift work with a treadmill?

If you're a fan of cycling, then you'll appreciate Zwift. It's a virtual reality cycling game that lets users compete against each other in races and challenges. You can even create your own courses for others to race on!

Zwift is a freemium game for runners currently (meaning there's no cost to download) with an in-game currency called Kudos that can be used to purchase items such as new bikes or equipment for your avatar. 

Players can enter into multiplayer competitions with people from around the world by connecting their accounts through Facebook or Google+. The game offers leaderboards so users can compare their best times against friends and strangers alike or you can do workouts to develop your running technique or speed or endurance


Zwift with a treadmill + footpod

Zwift is a video game you can play on a treadmill that uses sensors to track your speed and cadence. If you don't have access to a power meter, you'll need a footpod that sends data via ANT+ to Zwift. This piece of equipment will then let you use the game's various features like racing against other players or training on different terrains (e.g., mountains).

Zwift with a treadmill + footpod and HRM

Zwift doesn’t require a footpod, but some users find it useful to have one. The footpod is a small device that you attach to the bottom of your shoe. It measures the cadence (steps per minute) and speed of each step you take, which can be used in place of a treadmill with a built-in speed sensor. Since treadmills measure your running pace by tracking how far and fast you move on the belt, using a footpod allows you to measure speed more accurately than if Zwift had to rely on only distance traveled from its algorithm alone.

However, keep in mind that while these devices are generally very accurate when they're new and calibrated correctly (and not worn out), they may begin losing accuracy over time as friction wears down components within them or just because they age naturally—so don't rely solely on this method if you want consistent results!

Zwift with a treadmill + footpod and ANT+ speed/cadence sensor

The footpod is a sensor that measures your cadence, or steps per minute. It also measures speed in kilometers per hour (km/h).

The speed/cadence sensor is a similar device, except it's more accurate and easier to use than the footpod. It not only measures these two things but also stores them for you so you don't have to worry about resetting it every time you start running.

There are other options for getting cadence data from your treadmill if you can't get either of those sensors working with Zwift, like using an iPhone app or connecting a wireless transmitter directly to your treadmill's computer interface (which may require disassembling the machine).

Zwift with a treadmill + HRM

  • You can use Zwift with a treadmill.

  • Your heart rate (HR) will be monitored by Zwift.

  • Your cadence (CAD) will be monitored by Zwift, but only if you have one of their sensors attached to the crank arm of your elliptical machine or bike trainer.

  • Your speed (SPD) will be monitored by Zwift, unless you are on a stationary bike in which case it already tracks speed automatically via the built-in sensors on the front wheel of most indoor cycles and some ellipticals like we've discussed so far today

Zwift with a treadmill + ANT+ speed/cadence sensor

You can use the treadmill with Zwift by adding a speed/cadence sensor to an ANT+ device.

There are three ways you can do this:

  • Speed/Cadence Sensor + Footpod (if you already have one)

  • Speed/Cadence Sensor + Footpod + HRM (if you already have one)

  • Speed/Cadence Sensor



There are many ways to set up Zwift with a treadmill, but this article has covered the most common. If you're still unsure of how to get started, we would be delighted to help and even recommend a suitable treadmill that suits your Zwift needs and budget.


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