Running on a treadmill with Google Maps™ is a great alternative when training outside is not possible, or if you just want to experience the joy of views of roads all over the world.
A New Way to Workout
Select treadmills now feature iFit Live™ and an Android™ web browser on a console equipped with a Panasonic Viera Connect HDTV. 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 workout 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 Live 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.
Available Only on Select Machines
You can find a treadmill with Google Maps from Icon Fitness, which offers select models of NordicTrack, Proform, Smooth and FreeMotion branded machines, as well as some of their lesser brands, with the patented iFit Live technology. Please note: you must be a registered iFit Live™ user with an iFit Live™ compatible treadmill. Also, the iFit Live site requires the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed on the browser as well as a WiFi network connection to your home’s internet access point.
The Future of Home Training?
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 MacIntosh 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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