Hey, runners: hands up if you've ever secretly raced the person next to you on the treadmill? You know when they're running super fast, and you try to up your speed to match theirs? This happens to me all the time when I go to the gym. I hate the idea that I can't really keep up with the random person next to me, but I always chicken out when I get up to 6 mph and find myself gripping onto the handrails for dear life. After having one-too-many of those moments at the gym, I wanted a way to help push myself past that barrier and become a better runner. That's where Aaptiv came in.

Aaptiv is an fitness app that offers a variety of audio workouts (including treadmill 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 intermediate level treadmill workouts around 30 minutes long, and at least 20 different classes popped up! I chose a class with Meghan, an Aaptiv trainer whose style is described at "technical"—just what I needed to help me become a better runner!

Meghan's 30 minute class was called "Runner's Range." It's an intermediate progression and tempo run. As soon as I popped in my earbuds and hit "Start Workout", she gave a detailed rundown of what to expect throughout the class. This included a final jog where I'd have to run past my dreaded 6 mph mark. The class started at 5 mph, with an increasing pace and incline over the rest of the class. Meghan was super instructive and helpful, her playlist had a lot of fun dance music, and hearing her instructions throughout the run helped me focus on my form and push toward my speed goal. There were many times where I could power through a tough section of the run simply by focusing on the beat. 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. It was 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 have 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 12/24/17: For a limited time only, Aaptiv is extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to receive an additional 25% off your first year of membership.