Anyone else secretly race the person on the treadmill next to you? I do it all the time when I go to the gym. My inner competitor loves the challenge and I always want to beat the person next to me. But that doesn't always mean I've been training enough to outrun them, and I end up slowing down before I blow out a knee. After the last time this happened, I decided I needed a running coach to guide me through my mental barriers and help me hit a new PR. That's where Aaptiv came in.
Aaptiv is an app that offers a variety of audio workouts, including treadmill and road running programs, led by certified personal trainers. Since the classes are audio based, you can do them anytime, anywhere. I downloaded the app and searched for 30 minute treadmill workouts; at least 20 different classes popped up. I chose a class with Meghan, an Aaptiv trainer whose style is described as "technical"—exactly what I needed to shave a few seconds off my race time.
Meghan's 30 minute class was called "Runner's Range", an intermediate progression and tempo run. As soon as I popped in my earbuds and hit "Start Workout", I was greeted by Meghan's cheerful voice. We started the treadmill workout with a warm up jog while she gave a detailed rundown of what to expect.
The class started at 5 mph, with an increasing pace and incline. Meghan was super instructive and helpful and her guidance throughout the run helped me focus on my form and push toward my speed goal. The way that she explained form was easy to understand. There were a few times where I could power through a tough section of the run just by focusing on the beat of the music. By the end of the class, I realized I hadn't even looked at the person next to me and made it to 6.2 mph. And you know what - it felt awesome! I finally felt like a person who knew what they were doing on the treadmill.
After only a few weeks using Aaptiv, I've been gradually improving, specifically with my pace and endurance. Since that first class, I've tried out a bunch of other classes, like HIIT, strength training and elliptical, and have found even more trainers I really like to workout with. The best part is, Aaptiv adds new classes every week, so I don't have to repeat the same classes over and over (although, I definitely added a few to my favorites). Nothing beats having a trainer in my ear who can push me to the limit and give me the encouragement to keep going. Now, not only am I a better runner, I'm the person you need to be keeping up with at the gym.
Update 6/18/18: For a limited time only, Aaptiv is extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to receive a 30% off your first year of membership.