Fitness-running the distance

Has the thought of going on the next run raised an inward groan? By chance I came across a way to avoid all that – and useful in all weathers too. You can even travel the world

My local gym has a large collection of treadmills some facing the windows and some a bank of TV’s. This time however I tried the Life Fitness latest treadmill. As usual it offers time, distance speed, incline etc. but I chanced upon the interactive trails option.

Although I put in the usual distance speed and incline- suddenly I was running along a trail in the Rockies. As that was a bit foreign I changed and was instantly transported to a sunny city running along the water side on a dock side pavement. Having new places to look at and distract me was quite fun. Before I knew it I had covered that area and was now running in a city park with magnificent municipal buildings.

I also looked at the other venues that they offer as these are a mixture of out in the countryside, or in the mountains or along winding river valleys. They seemed to be from around the world but, sadly no air-miles given for getting there but in compensation neither is there any 4.00 am airport check ins.


Then another day I tried the sociable run, not quite sure what to expect. This is even more a technological triumph. I picked a route in the mountains of Europe. It was a nice country lane. Suddenly I came upon a human like shape of ” Marco Aconi” from “Milan” who was running in the other direction. Then there was a group about 60m ahead. It was a great boost for my running enthusiasm that without changing my pace I was able to catch up with them. As I got closer other runners with names and nationalities from around the world came into view. What was more astounding was that as I reached N Borghi of Messina he suddenly disappeared electronically and then at the screen side I saw his name and position getting further behind me.

This method has useful benefits. If you are wanting to get motivated then, it is worth imagining that irritating chap from the next door office is one of the runners ahead of you. Then, even though they may in reality be quite an athlete, you can catch them up, make them vanish electronically and see them disappear into the distance.

Now that you have retired petty office politics are not important. There are
however plenty of things that irritate and having a good run/burn gets it all into perspective. This is especially true if one can make the issue disappear electronically.

Perhaps with the coming of 5G and Virtual Reality headsets all this may become even more like reality. One could even “run the world” from your local gym

A big bonus however is that the saying ” By the time you realise your are unfit it’s a long walk home” can be avoided through running on a treadmill.

By the way, if your gym does not have one of these visual services for running on the screen, a good mystery programme on the TV like an Agatha Christie story helps makes the time fly by. Or one can even revert to watching the sunset or other scenes out of the windows- these change all the time

Enjoy your retirement and remember that by keeping fit you will be in that much better shape to enjoy it.

Useful links

Article about online fitness Telegraph 04/05/19

Online cycling group Peleton

Does online training work

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