I Hate Running on the Treadmill, but This App Changed My Mind Big Time
There's something about running on a treadmill with tired limbs in front of fixed, unchanging scenery (aka the monitor) that makes me want to skip out on it every time (the StairMaster is more my jam). Sure, I listen to pump-up songs. Sure, I am fully capable of completing a workout. But for me, it never quite seemed to stick. That is, until I tried the Peloton Tread.
I'll break down the cost right off the bat and explain why the treadmill, from the same company that created the Peloton Bike, is indeed wonderful, but you don't necessarily need it to enjoy classes. Peloton Tread costs $4,295 (or $179 per month for 24 months) plus a $39-per-month membership fee to access running, walking, strength, etc. sessions (the bike, in comparison, costs $2,245 or $58 per month for 39 months and the same membership fee).
Note: Peloton paid for my treadmill along with accessories like weights, a heart rate monitor, and a workout mat — and I used it for two months. If you were to buy Peloton Tread, you'd stride on a rubber slat belt that's easier on your joints (at least for me) with an iMac-sized screen in front of you broadcasting whatever session you were streaming. It runs smoothly and looks like a fine piece of machinery — even my dog tried hopping on more than once. But there's an affordable digital app that gives you access to (almost) the same library of live and on-demand classes for $20 a month. I'll get to more about the classes later.
I would highly recommend booking a Peloton Tread Studio Class to try out a Peloton Tread yourself and see if it's worth the price. My experience was so good that, when they picked up my press loan after two months, I continued my membership with Peloton and switched over to the digital app. I personally can't afford the treadmill at the moment, but I wanted a way to keep up my momentum. Ahead, check out why I'm now willing to spend almost $20 per month for the app and how it all changed my view of running.
Peloton Made Running Convenient
The Peloton digital app gives you access to 20 live studio classes daily starting as early as 6 a.m. and going until as late as 8 or 9 p.m. on weekdays. That means you're streaming footage of a class happening in New York City. You can interact with other people taking the class from their personal Peloton Tread or from their digital app by "waving" at them, and sometimes the trainers will even call out your name during these live studio sessions. For me, the fact that I was able to do these late at night was very convenient because that's when I normally work out.
It's important to note that I have access to my own treadmill in my basement, so once I gave back the Peloton Tread loan and switched to an app membership, I still didn't have to stress about getting in my car and heading to a gym so I could use a treadmill there. Everything is still right in my home. That's also why taking on-demand classes is convenient — if you miss a session that you really want to take live, you can do it after the fact since it's saved in Peloton's library. That made me more likely to try out these treadmill runs because I knew I had control over when I worked out.
Peloton Gave Me a Variety of Fun Classes
Speaking of classes, I was shocked by how many different kinds the Peloton Tread and the digital app have. (The slight difference between the two is that you only have access to scenic runs, where you can stride in front of prerecorded routes in cities like NYC and Morzine, France, on Peloton Tread. Digital, though, has guided outdoor runs that are strictly audio.) Classes range in difficulty level, length (five to 60 minutes), and type. There are HIIT workouts, hills, warmups and cooldowns, even fun runs! The variety assured me that I didn't have to run at the same speed for the same amount of time each workout. I could change it up in more ways than one.
My favorite sessions to take were and still are, actually, the power walks and hiking, because they raise your heart rate but aren't as intimidating. Don't get me wrong, though; they're hard. One of the hikes I took a few weeks ago had me gasping up a 15-percent incline. And you can do boot camps that sometimes combine running with strength (don't get me started on how challenging those are). Each class is set to music, so you can sort them by genre as well. This makes it easier to get through hard sessions. I've provided a screenshot of what a section of the Peloton running library looks like so you can get a good idea of how wide-ranging the classes are.
Note: You can access other classes besides running that I've also taken full advantage of. There's cycling (you'll need access to a bike if you don't have the Peloton Bike), strength (more specifically: full body, core, chest and back, glutes and legs, arms and shoulders, bodyweight, toning, and beginner), yoga, meditation, stretching, and cardio. It's a lot.
Peloton's Instructors Kept Me Motivated
One of the best things about Peloton are the certified trainers who lead each class. They are all super motivating and keep you accountable during your workouts, which is exactly what I needed (and still need)! Becs Gentry brings her knowledge of marathons to walk you through proper breathing and stride. Rebecca Kennedy, a former gymnast, dances between intervals and sings along to her favorite songs without fail. (Then, there was that day Olivia Amato made my abs quake with hollow holds I didn't even know existed because — yes — I loved taking strength classes more than anything!)
Every Peloton trainer manages to slip in motivational quotes about showing up, optimizing your time on the treadmill, and staying mindful of your body and well-being. After my workouts, I feel accomplished and pretty damn proud. I also feel like I ran with a (very wise) friend by my side. Sure, I could have forced myself on the treadmill without these instructors, but they make the classes about more than just your speed or the distance. They make them about your self-worth and your ability to stick with a workout.
Yes, I will continue to use the Peloton app for runs and the other classes as well (even the five-minute strength sessions bring the heat!). But it's helped me recognize that running on a treadmill doesn't have to be this tedious, stress-inducing thing. It can be therapeutic; it can be formatted in a variety of ways; and, with the right person guiding you and the best music choices, it can be fun.