Running on a treadmill with Google Maps™ is an incredible experience, allowing you to virtually work out anywhere in the world you choose. Simply download the map and watch the location of your choice unfold right in front of you.
If a treadmill is iFit compatible, you can view the maps on your tablet or smart phone as you run. If it is iFit enabled, you can view the maps right on your machine. Most of the more expensive models are iFit enabled.
Note that there is a yearly membership fee to use the service, but at around $99 last we checked, it is well worth it.
Select treadmills now feature iFit and an Android™ web browser on a console equipped with a touch screen display. With this technology, you can view routes from streets, trails, and even famous marathon courses right on the machine’s console.
Launched in late 2009, this exciting and entertaining way to work out lets you download exercise programs from the internet, including those designed by pro trainer Jillian Michaels, as well as event train for 5K races or full marathons, run virtual competitions against other runners, and follow along a world tour of interesting routes.
The iFit street view is integrated with the treadmill computer. As the route changes with hills and flat terrain, the machine automatically adjusts the incline and resistance to simulate the elevation data from the Google Maps.
You can choose from many pre-drawn maps, including some of the most famous marathon courses in big cities, or map your own course route. Once the route is set, switch to Street View and start your run as you watch the scenery of a city or country trail on the screen, as if you were actually there.
There are still a few technical issues getting resolved with the innovative iFit Live and the browser. Users report that the feature has some bugs, for example, in the set-up utility with Mac computers, and some treadmills have a sluggish lapse in download speeds for the data sent to the firmware. These are known issues that are addressed in a warning at iFit.
If you have a treadmill with Google Maps and find it difficult to get on the iFit.com website, it is likely due to the server experiencing a high numbers of users. While iFit expands its server capacity, and with the popularity of virtual runs increasing, you can expect this exciting new workout experience to be the future of training at home.
The advantages of running race routes in the weeks leading up to the big day will help you with split times and pacing strategy. Even if you have never run in a real competition, perhaps a virtual run on a treadmill will give you the motivation to enter your first race.
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