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Zwift, the fitness company born from gaming, today announced virtual cycling and running activities undertaken on Zwift can now count toward select partner challenges on Strava.

In little over 3 years Zwift has been pivotal in overhauling the image and size of indoor cycling, making it more fun and more social than ever before. This January the Zwift community logged an average of 1 million miles (1.61 million km) per day, with major events attracting up to 3,500 participants.

“Our community loves Strava. 75% have connected their Zwift membership to Strava, accounting for 250,000 Zwift activities currently uploaded each week. These people are also passionate about riding and running outdoors, so it’s both fantastic and fitting that their Zwifting can count towards partner challenges on Strava.” commented Eric Min, Zwift co-founder and CEO.

According to Min, Strava members who sign up to Zwift ride more. “Our research points towards Zwift being an additive factor to cyclists’ lives. Strava members signing up to Zwift, on average, cycle 10% more per annum”.

Zwift is spearheading the global trend towards training at home, as time crunched consumers look to adopt software which turns lonely and boring workouts into fun and social experiences.

“We know many of our athletes are working out indoors as well outdoors, and Zwift has helped make indoor workouts more fun and motivating for many of our members,” notes David Lorsch, Strava’s VP of Strategy and Business Development. “Enabling virtual riding and running activities to count towards some of our challenges will help even more athletes benefit from the motivation our challenges and Zwift provide. We’re excited to have this additional team of riders and runners participate in challenges on Strava.”

The credibility of training indoors has benefitted from the masses of professional triathletes who choose to Zwift as part of their complete training regimen.

Lionel Sanders, ITU Long Course World Champion commented “Zwift is a high performance computer game but also a high performance training tool”. Famous for his commitment to training indoors, Sanders added “Bang for buck, training indoors produces better results. Whether cranking out 100km rides or 20km runs on Zwift, the quality of my indoor workouts is transformed by the gamified experience and the social aspect of training with thousands of other athletes online”.

Since its launch 500,000 cyclists have ridden on Zwift and the California based start-up is expected to build on its success in cycling with an imminent push behind Zwift Run, until now an Alpha product available to paying subscribers of its cycling product.

Performance cycling apparel company, Le Col, is the first challenge owner to activate a Strava partner Challenge in Zwift. The British brand are hosting their ‘10 Hour Season Starter Challenge’. Those signed up to the challenge and complete 10 hours of riding, either outdoors or on Zwift, between 1st and 14th February will earn a £50 Le Col reward.

Zwift is offered as non-contract, monthly subscription priced at US$14.99 / £12.99 per month. A seven-day free unlimited trial is automatically offered to all new account holders. Zwift is currently available on PC, Mac, iOS and Apple TV on the App Store along with Zwift’s companion app, the “Zwift Mobile Link,” which can be used in tandem with Zwift as a game controller, data display, event feed, and social integration tool.