Speed Hound Recovery Boots Review

Overview

I have recently been doing a ton of riding and a few runs here and there. In between these hard rides I have been using the Speed Hound recovery system to help me recover before the next day of riding. You can use this system while getting some work done(literally writing this article while using the boots), or bing your favorite TV show and recover while your at it! This system is very similar to Normatec and Rapid Reboot, but at a more affordable price.

Details

The system has two modes, A and B. Here is a brief explanation of each setting. Mode A will start from the foot, and make its way up to your thighs, turning off the previous zone once the next zone is fully inflated. Mode B will also start from the foot, but unlike mode A, it will hold keep the zone on until all of the zones are fully inflated. The system will then hold the pressure for a few seconds, then release all zones at the same time. The system can also go up to 200mmHg of pressure(pressure goes up at increments of 20mmHg, starting at 20mmHg). You will also be able to toggle zones on and off(total of 4 zones), and you will have the option of 10, 20, or 30 minutes. Overall this is an awesome system and it is very beneficial to my recovery. For a link to purchase the system, head over here.

Key Features/Details

  • Wide range of pressure settings to suit everyones needs (20mmHg – 200mmHg)
  • On/off toggle for different parts of legs
  • Flush and Massage mode
  • Time settings of 10-30 minutes
  • Carrying case included
  • 2 year warranty
  • 45 day return/exchange policy

Noise Level

This recovery system is fairly quiet, meaning you can still watch TV and not have to turn it up much more than you normally would.

Does it actually help?

I have been using this system for awhile now and I love it; I can really feel the difference in my performance the next day. I highly recommend looking into one of these recovery systems, it really benefits my recovery. Recently after doing the Uber Pretzel on Zwift, I used this system for a good hour, and the next day I wasn’t even sore, which was a huge plus because I had basketball practice the next day. I would recommend it for all types of athletes, runners, triathletes, basketball players, not just for cyclists! Speed Hound also offers hip attachments and arm attachments that are available for purchase seperately.

Purchase

Ready to buy the system? Here is a link to purchase: https://thespeedhound.com/products/speed-hound-properformance-recovery-system.

Top 5 Hardest Climbs On Zwift

Looking for a challenge on Zwift? Zwift featuring lots of climbs like Alpe Du Zwift, a replica of the IRL Alpe Du Huez, Ven-Top, the replica of the famous Mt. Ventoux. One of Zwift’s most popular climbs is Alpe Du Zwift, a popular climb for Veveresting, and daring races. Here are the 5 hardest climbs on Zwift.

Ven-Top

Ven-Top was added in the June 2020 update, and this climb is by far the hardest climb on Zwift. The climb was used for the virtual Tour De France, where riders climbed to the Chalet Reynard banner. The Ven-Top route takes you up 5,033 feet in 13 miles. This climb is a virtual replica of the Mt. Ventoux climb that the Tour De France sometimes goes through. The climb features some pro cyclists, or former pro cyclists names written on the roads to help push you to the finish. Once you crest the top you are going to do a small loop, which will then lead to the long descent. With an average gradient of 8%, this is an incredibly challenging climb, and you’re going to need those gears!

Alpe Du Zwift

Alpe Du Zwift was added back in 2018, and since then thousands of riders have done this climb. Alpe Du Zwift is known for the Yeti that can sometimes be spotted towards the top of the climb. There is also is spinning “wheel of fortune” where you can score a Lazer helmet, KOM gloves, or Lightweight Meilenstein wheels. The climb is 3,399 ft (1,036 m) over the course of 21 hairpin turns. The climb is 7.5 mi(12.2 km) long, and typically takes around 1-1:30 to complete the climb. The average grade is slightly more than Ven-top, with an average grade of 8.5%.

Innsbruck KOM Reverse

The Innsbruck KOM is another replica of a real life climb. The climb is not very long, and only slightly less steep than the other two climbs. This climb is an average grade of 6.9%, and is 3.5 miles long. This is not a very popular climb as only a few routes go through it, Lutcher(Lutcher CCW), and Achterbahn. This is still one of the harder climbs as the climb has a few steep bits that you really have to push through to get over the hump. The climb takes around 20-40 minutes depending on your ability.

Epic KOM Reverse

The Epic KOM reverse is a very popular climb. This side of the Epic KOM is shorter than the Epic KOM, which is a longer way up the climb. The Epic KOM reverse is however steeper than the other side. This climb is very similar to the Innsbruck KOM reverse. The climb is just slightly longer, but not as steep as the Innsbruck KOM reverse. The climb is 3.8 miles long, and an average grade of 5.9%. The climb typically takes around 20-40 minutes.

Bologna TT Climb

This is one of the most popular routes for time trials, the route is short, and includes a very steep climb at the end. This is a replica of the Bologna TT climb from the Giro. The beginning of this course is very flat and fast, but once you hit the final ~2 miles, the road will start going up… The average gradient of the climb portion of the climb is 9.6%, the grade hits over 15% at some points of the course, making it very hard to pedal. The climb is 1.3 miles long, and it ends at the upper lap banner. One way is approximately 15-40 minutes long depending on how fast you are going.

Zwift Academy Make-Up Weeks

Missed a Zwift Academy recovery ride or base line ride? From October 11th through 25th there will be make up weeks, where you can do the first recovery ride, baseline ride, finish line ride, and the Zwift Academy workouts. As long as you finish the Zwift Academy workouts by the end of the make up week, the Zwift Academy workouts in the workout folder will still count towards the Academy.

There are two different Zwift Academy recovery rides, one was held on the Sand and Sequoia route, and the other was on the flatland loop route. To see which rides you have and have not completed, go to your Zwift Academy dashboard on the home page of the companion app, and the circles filled in, you have already completed. Unfortunately you can no longer register for Zwift Academy, but you can always do the workouts whenever you want!

Zwift Academy Tri is also starting on the 11th of October, for more information on that, head over to this article: https://pursuitcyclingforkids.com/2021/08/17/all-about-zwift-academy-tri-2021/.

How to broadcast Zwift to a TV

    Broadcasting Zwift to a TV can be pretty simple. Zwift does not have a button that will directly cast the game to a TV. There are two ways that I know of that you can broadcast Zwift a TV, getting an Apple TV is also a way that you can use Zwift directly on a TV. If there are more ways, let me know in the comments and I will be sure to add it.

    The first way to do this is using the google home app with a google chromcast, one ofthese. The google home app if available in the app store and the google play store. Once you have it download, just setup your chromcast device by plugging it into your TV, then following the instructions here: https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/2998456. Once you have completed that, all you have to do is chromcast your screen, open the Zwift app, then you are good to go!

    The second way is by using an HDMI adapter. These are available for USB-C, iPad Chargers, and most other chargers out there. You can find them on Amazon for a relatively good price. The setup is very easy. First, plug in the HDMI cord, then plug the HDMI cord into the HDMI adapter. Finally, make sure your TV is set to whatever HDMI the HDMI is plugged into, and open up the Zwift update.

Best Zwift Rides Under 60 Minutes

Got an hour to burn but not sure what to spend it on? Here are the top three rides that you can do in an hour or less. Almost all of the Zwift workouts are under an hour long, so there is a great selection of workouts to do in 60 minutes or less.

The best workout that you can do in this amount of time that will really get that intensity in is The McCarthy Special. The workout is made of up three builds of 3 minutes in zone 4,5, and 6. In between you will get 9 minutes of rest before the next effort. This workout works is exactly an hour long. It works on increasing your FTP and simulating a race. This workout is very tough, over the course of an hour you will have a total of 90 stress points. Everyone loves an FTP increase! You can find this workout under the less than an hour to burn section.

The next is the SST(Short). This workout works on improving your sweet spot power and increasing you FTP. The workout is made up of some over-unders. There will be 4 sets of 5 minutes at zone 4 and then 5 minutes at zone three. These blocks go on continuously, which means there is no rest in between each set. The workout lasts almost an hour, leaving time for you to cool down a bit more. This workout can also be found in the less than an hour to burn section.

The final ride is a race. Racing on Zwift is very fun and also gives you a great workout. Everyday there are probably around a hundred races to choose from. Most are under an hour, and some slightly over an hour depending on what category you race in. I would highly recommend joining a race 1-2 times a week(Depending on how much you normally ride) and just race and have fun! Unlike outdoor races, you didn’t pay anything(other than your Zwift subscription), so you have nothing to lose! Feeling like recovering? There are also tons of group rides throughout the day that are paced anywhere from 1-2.5 Wpk. I highly recommend a Pac ride or a Herd ride.

The best Zwift rides series…

The best Zwift rides under 45 minutes

The best Zwift rides under 30 minutes(Coming soon)

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this article interesting and helpful. If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment below!

Tips for Zwift Academy Road 2021

Here are a few tips I have for riders who are participating in Zwift Academy. If you want in on the event and are not already signed up, it is not too late! You can sign up through the companion app or the Zwift app. This is my 3rd year participating in the academy and every year it just keeps getting better.

My first tip is to use ERG mode. ERG mode helps you hit the correct cadence and power outage by increasing and decreasing the amount of resistance that Zwift gives you. For riders who are new to structured workouts, I highly recommend using ERG mode to ensure that you earn all of the stars. Remember, the more stars the more XP! I love everything about ERG mode except for the ERG spiral of death. That is when you are pedaling and it suddenly gets really hard to pedal. One work around that I have found for that issue is to just turn ERG off for about 5-10 seconds, and then turn it back on.

My second tip is to take rest days in between workouts. I found that these workouts are pretty hard for me, the next day my legs are usually dead. If I were to do the workouts back to back, I likely would not hit the power numbers and I wouldn’t get the full benefit. Now that the Zwift Academy recovery rides are scheduled, I would highly recommend joining one of those, turning the HUD off, and enjoying the scenery. Don’t worry about the leaders pace, just go at your own speed and keep the HR low.

My third and final tip is to do an FTP test/Ramp test/Max effort race. The reason why I included a max effort race is because that is how I do most of my “FTP” tests. I don’t like doing the actual test itself because it is less motivating and more boring. Instead I normally do a Crit Race and aim to hold a high power rather than trying to save energy to have a good position in the finishing sprint. For me racing is a lot more fun than FTP tests, and I am pretty sure most people do not enjoy FTP tests. Zwift will automatically detect if you set a new 20 minute power output, and increase your FTP if you do get a new FTP.

All about Alpe Du Zwift

Ever seen this mountain looming over Watopia? Alpe Du Zwift is a crazy high mountain, although it may not be the tallest mountain in Zwift now, it is still the most scenic and rewarding(In my opinion). In this article you will learn all about the challenges that this giant mountain brings. You can see this climb from almost everywhere in Watopia. Once you get to a certain part of the climb, you can even be up above the clouds and look down at the rest of Watopia.

Alpe du Zwift is a simulation of the real life Alpe d’huez in France. Over a thousand meters high, making it the tallest and most challenging climb in Zwift. It was released into the world of Zwift back in 2018, since then, thousands of riders have tackled this climb, from the average riders, to the professionals. The climb features 22 hairpin turns, a spinning wheel at the top where you can win exclusive gear, or XP, and over 1000 meters of climbing. Once you start the climb, a segment board will come up, showing you your average power for each segment, heart rate, and time. It will also show your PR’s for the climb if you have done it in the past 30 days.

Zwift easily motivates people to take on this challenge by putting a spinning wheel at the top, where you can win gloves, a helmet, or even some new wheels. To get one of these prizes you must finish the whole climb, not just part of it. If getting to the top is easy for you, try doing it in under an hour! Or try and grab the jersey! Getting to the top of the climb takes around 3.4wpk or more to get sub 1 hour. I have done the Alpe in under 1 hour twice so far. One hidden feature on Alpe du Zwift is the Yeti, riders can very rarely see the Yeti roaming around turn 9-7 on the climb. I personally have never seen the Yeti, but I know of others who have. Have you seen the Yeti? If so, leave a comment below with an image of it!

Recently I climbed up Alpe Du Zwift for the 25th time, Which was the same ride that I got to level 50 on. It usually takes me just over an hour to get to the top of the climb, so a pretty solid effort. The thing I was really looking forward to was the spinning wheel. I ended up getting the laser bullet helmet, which was what I wanted. Overall, Alpe du Zwift is probably the most scenic climb in Zwift. It is no longer the largest climb in Zwift, as last year Zwift released Ven-top, which towers over 5000 ft high. 

I would highly recommend using a light bike for this climb. The current lightest set up is the S-works Aethos and the Roval Alpenist wheels. You can also win the Meilstein wheels at the top of the climb, which are currently the 1st fastest.

Thanks for reading this article, I highly recommend trying to tackle this climb, it is very challenging yet scenic. If I am looking for a long effort, Alpe Du Zwift is my go to climb. In my opinion it is much better than Ven-top as the scenery on Ven-top is not great. Here is a quick promo video that Zwift has of Alpe Du Zwift: Alpe du Zwift Preview. Any questions or comments, leave a comment below!

How to create a Meetup on Zwift

     Many cycling clubs also train/ride on Zwift. Since Zwift has not fully rolled out their clubs feature, cycling teams and clubs have to use the meetups feature to create a group ride/race. The meetup function is great for smaller group rides, but is not ideal for races. Here is a step by step tutorial on how you can create a meetup.

    First, be sure that you have the Zwift companion app installed, also be sure that all of the riders are following you. In order to invite riders they must be following you. To get started creating a meetup, just click the events tab, meetups tab, and hit create meetup. It is that simple!

    Once you hit create meetup, you will have all sorts of different setting that you can change, the time, date, world, route, distance/duration, meetup settings, and a meetup message. To change the setting around just tap the setting you want to change and you will be able to scroll or click a different option. Every world and route is open except for event only routes/worlds. You can also switch so that you are creating a run meetup, which has the same settings.

    The last thing that you will need to do is select who you want to invite. You can invite up to 100 riders other than yourself. You can only choose from the riders that are following you. Then, hit create meetup! Up until 5 minutes before the event starts, you can edit the details. 

    In order to have the most riders possible, contact the riders and let them know that the ride is happening so that they know to check their companion app. Riders/runners will get a notification telling them that they have been invited to a meetup. You can also comment on their activities or use other forms of communication to let them know that you want to ride! Thanks for reading and ride on!

Why your Garmin Heart Rate Monitor Isn’t pairing Zwift: 3 Work arounds

Many users wonder why most Garmin Heart Rate monitors won’t pair with Zwift, this can be for several reasons. Three reasons and possible work arounds will be discussed in this article. I personally had this issue when I was trying to get a Garmin HRM to pair with Zwift. None of these work arounds really were a good option for me, I ended up getting a new HRM, a Polar H9. I highly recommend checking it out, other well reviewed HRM’s are the Wahoo Tickr, and the Garmin HRM Dual.

Reason 1: Your HRM does not have Bluetooth

This is most riders/runners issue. I did not know going into it that most Garmin HRM do not have bluetooth. The only 2 HRM’s made by Garmin that have Bluetooth are the HRM Dual, and the HRM Pro. If you are riding on a computer and have access to Ant+, this should not be an issue. Note: The use of Ant+ requires an Ant+ dongle which can cost up to $50 depending on the one you choose. If you do not have access to Ant+, you could get an Ant+ to Bluetooth bridge. The only one that I know of that works well is the NPE Ant+ to Bluetooth Bridge. It is just about $50, which is almost the same cost as a new HRM, which is why I did not end up getting the bridge. If you have multiple Ant+ only devices, this could be a very useful purchase. If not, I would recommend getting a HRM like the Polar H9, or a Wahoo Tickr. If you are also a rider who rides or runs outside, most watches/bike computers can pair to Ant+ HRM, so you could always have one for indoor riding, and one for outdoor. If you don’t want/need 2, you can also sell it on ebay or other places like that. Here is a link to the bridge: https://store.npe-inc.com/cable-connect-ant-to-ble/. The newer Garmin watches can also broadcast Heart Rate from the wrist Heart Rate or an external device. For a tutorial on that, head over to this article by Dcrainmaker: https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/04/quick-how-to-garmin-wearable-heart-rate-broadcasting-to-apps.html. One random/unexpected work around that I found was that you can use a concept 2 rower to bridge Ant+ and Bluetooth. I explain the whole process in this article: https://pursuitcyclingforkids.com/2021/08/17/how-to-row-on-zwift/.

So your telling me none of these work???

Reason 2: Your HRM is out of battery

This is a very simple issue to fix. Unless….. You don’t have the correct batteries. Most HRM’s use a CR2032 battery or a CR2025 battery. These can be found at a local shop or Amazon. For instructions on how to install the battery, head over to this video by Garmin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qDzMJQaFrs. You can find the correct batteries under the specs on the product listing. I am pretty sure they all use CR2032. For a link to some Duracell Batteries, here are some that I found on Amazon.

Reason 3: A possible bug in Zwift

If you think that your issue is a bug within Zwift, leave a comment below and I will investigate and see what I can find. If there are any currently known bugs, there will be a part in bold here saying so. As of 8/28 there are no reports of issues with pairing a Garmin HRM with Zwift. One work around is to use Ant+ instead if available. Ant+ dongles cost around $20-40.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, there are no super good work arounds for this issue, which can be very disappointing. This was a very frustrating issue for me which is why I wanted to post about it so that others know what the issue is, and what are possible work arounds. Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, leave a comment below.

How to Row on Zwift

        In our pain cave we also have a Concept 2 rower. I have heard that you can row on Zwift with a concept 2. I have done it a few times myself just to see what it is like, and it works pretty well, the only issue is when your activity uploads to strava it will upload as a ride not Row, and if you switch it to a Row, the pace will be messed up. To row on Zwift you will need one of the two apps, Rowedbiker(Link to google play version:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.charlotteip.rowedbiker&hl=en_US&gl=US) or Painsled(link to google play version:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.rower.rowcycler&hl=en_US&gl=US), both work pretty well but I prefer to use Rowedbiker. All you have to do is download the app, hit the menu button on your concept 2 rower (Note: This is only compatible with the pm3 and newer.) Once you are in the main menu, hit connect. Then you should be able to pair your rower to zwift. You will need one device running Rowedbiker and one running Zwift. You can also use this as an ant+ Heart Rate Monitor bridge. It is a painful process to bridge the Heart Rate Monitor, but if you really need to use a Heart Rate Monitor(HRM), then this is a way to do it. You can pair a HRM to the rower, pair it to the rowedbiker app, and then it will pair to Zwift as the name of the device you are using(ex; iPad 7th Gen 128428). Let me know if you have any questions! It would be great to see rowing on Zwift eventually but I think we will have to wait a bit longer to see this implemented. Thanks for reading and I hope you found this article helpful!