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How To

Zwift How-To: Setting Up the Runn Treadmill Sensor

on June 19, 2020

The Runn™ smart treadmill sensor is a device that measures the speed of your treadmill belt. It is sold in the Zwift shop alongside the Zwift RunPod as a way to get your avatar moving the game.

It is dual broadcast, which means it sends data via both Bluetooth and ANT+. As well as measuring speed, the Runn measures and transmits cadence (steps per minute) and incline data to Zwift. Let's talk through how to set it up correctly!

What’s in the Box

The Runn comes packaged in an understated white box with a magnetic clasp. Inside is the unit and a mounting cradle. There is a set of printed instructions, a USB cable for charging or continuous power, some white stickers, and 3M tape strips.

The 3M tape is used to attach the cradle to the edge of the treadmill, allowing the unit to jut out marginally over the belt itself. The white stickers are used on the belt as markers to be seen and read by the Runn's optical sensors.

Initial Placement

The Runn can be placed either at the front or the back of the treadmill. Attach one of the adhesive strips to the underside of the cradle and place it on the edge of the treadmill next to the belt.

Next, place the Runn unit inside the cradle, making sure it is flat and level and that the underside of the unit is around a pencil width above the belt. It may also be worth checking that your treadmill is level on the ground.

If your treadmill is near a power outlet, you can plug the USB cable into the back of the unit and leave it plugged in. Or you can simply charge the unit then remove the cable. The Runn will charge to 100% in approximately 1.5 hours.

Sticker Placement

Initially place three of the white stickers on the belt around 30cm apart depending on the length of your treadmill belt.

Align the stickers so they pass under the Runn unit when the belt is moving. There are some dots on the top of the unit which can help with placement, to ensure the stickers pass directly under the optical sensors.

For confirmation, press the white button on the back of the unit twice and the right LED will light up. Press once more and the LEDs will toggle left and right as it reads each sticker passing underneath.

Runn LEDs

A double press of the white button will turn ANT+ on or off. The left LED shows that Bluetooth is on. The middle LED indicates that the unit is USB powered.

The LEDs light up in sequence during self-calibration.

Updating Firmware

You may want to check that your Runn is using the latest firmware. To do this, download the Configurez iOS app.

This app will detect your Runn unit, automatically check for new firmware and install it. Be sure to close the app before attempting to pair in Zwift.

Pairing with Zwift

Load the Zwift app as normal and at the pairing screen, you should see the Runn listed as both an available speed and cadence source. Select it.

If everything has been set up correctly you should now be able to run on Zwift with accurate speed and cadence!

Adjustments

If the speed or cadence reported by the Runn does not appear accurate, you can experiment in the following ways:

  • Move the Runn unit between the front and the rear of the treadmill
  • Attach more or fewer stickers to the treadmill belt
  • Adjust the height of the unit in the cradle
  • Perform a self-calibration of the Runn
  • Calibrate the Runn using the calibration tool in Zwift

Incline 

In addition to speed and cadence, the Runn also reports incline data to Zwift. While you can see your cumulative elevation in Zwift using the Dashboard tab in the Zwift Companion App, Zwift does not display your treadmill incline percentage.

To see this you can download the GymTrakr iOS app. Be sure to disconnect the Runn Bluetooth signal from any other apps first. Open the app and connect the Runn. Start your treadmill and alter the incline. You should see the percentage change on the GymTrakr app in line with the display on your treadmill.

If the incline reported by the Runn appears inaccurate you can experiment in the following ways:

  • Move the Runn unit between the front and the rear of the treadmill
  • Adjust the height of the unit in the cradle
  • Perform a self-calibration of the Runn unit
  • Perform a factory reset of the unit

Self-Calibration

The Runn is factory calibrated at 5mph, but it is possible to perform a self-calibration of the device. This will attempt to calibrate the device to the speed and incline of your treadmill.

Set your treadmill speed to 5mph or 8kph at zero percent incline and leave it running. With the right LED illuminated (double press), press and hold the white button on the rear of the unit for 6 seconds. The LEDs will perform a sequence and begin the calibration process.

Once calibration is complete, your Runn unit should more closely match the speed of your treadmill, and the reported incline should be more in line with your treadmill display.

Connectivity

The Runn is a dual broadcast device. It cannot be turned off and is always broadcasting a low power Bluetooth signal. The left LED will be lit when the unit is connected to a Bluetooth device.

The ANT+ signal can be turned on and off by double-pressing the white button to toggle the right LED.

This means that the Runn Smart Treadmill Sensor can connect to your watch via ANT+ and Zwift via Bluetooth at the same time. Many people like to record their runs on their watch as well as on Zwift.

Be aware, however, that as the Bluetooth signal is continually on, you must make sure it is disconnected from one Bluetooth receiving app or device before connecting it to another.

Wrapping It Up

The Runn Smart Treadmill Sensor is a great alternative to using a footpod. It makes it easier for different family members to use the same treadmill without having to swap one footpod between shoes or having to buy multiple footpods.

It also sits in an attractive price bracket between the budget ZwiftPod and the high-end Stryd footpod. After some initial work to ensure the best set up, the Runn can report speed as accurately as the Stryd, at a more affordable price.

 

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