Leave the great outdoors behind with these trackers
Whether its the colds of winter or it’s the spring rains, psyching yourself up for that evening run outside becomes more challenging.
Excuses like not having enough battery on your running watchor Bluetooth headphones start to be used more frequently, and before you know it you’re out of your once-consistent training regimen. But thankfully, if you’re looking to trade the cold of the outdoors for the warmth of a gym, there’s a crop of wearable gadgets out there to help keep you on the right path.
So whether you’re simply looking to stay fit during the dark nights or you’re looking to keep up with a training plan for an upcoming race day, check out the best wearables for use on the treadmill below.
And keep in mind that we’re looking at trackers with genuine programmes for the treadmill, and not simply watches that tack on a treadmill mode to the wide range of potentially trackable activities.
While there are plenty of Bluetooth headphones out there that will let you tap into smart metrics during exercise, crowdfunding success Vi, from LifeBEAM, is one of the first to hone in on AI coaching.
After initially only being able to provide you support for the outdoors, LifeBEAM recently added the ability for Vi to be used on the treadmill. Much like the standard outdoor mode, it’ll take advantage of the onboard heart rate sensor and track steps and cadence to offer personalised coaching in real time.
This is a hearable primarily aimed at beginner and intermediate runners, so don’t expect any wild marathon training coaching here, but this is still a very solid choice for anybody wanting to block out the eardrum-popping gym music and get insights from the same device.
$199.99, getvi.com | Amazon
Apple Watch Series 3
The Apple Watch has quickly become a solid fitness all-rounder, with the Cupertino giant dipping into a broad number of activities since it introduced GPS in the Series 2.
However, it’s the more recent changes to software that mean it’s in line to become the go-to smartwatch for treadmill training. Previously, those wanting to track their run on the belt would have to make do with Workout’s standard treadmill mode, which was inevitably inaccurate due to the device relying on the accelerometer. With watchOS 4.1 finally bringing Apple GymKit to the Watch, though, receiving accurate data is only a tap away.
All you need to do is make sure your gym is on board with the latest equipment from the likes of Life Fitness, Matrix Fitness and Technogym, and you’ll be able to partner the two to get a more detailed picture of your training.
It’s also worth mentioning that while GymKit is Apple’s own way of helping you train indoors, third-party apps such as Studio also leverage the Watch’s biometric data to help assist treadmill workouts.
Also, any model of the Apple Watch can update to the latest software and take advantage of GymKit, but original Watch owners will have to be aware that their device isn’t able to tap into the new heart rate metrics introduced through watchOS 4.
From $329.99, apple.com | Amazon
The Lumo Run is one of our favourite wearables we’ve taken out running and was highly commended at the Wareable Tech Awards in our Speciality Sports Wearable of the Year category.
Why did we like it so much? Well, it’s because the sensor that clips onto the back of your running kits serves up real-time coaching and tracks key metrics like cadence, bounce, braking, drop and rotation.
While it’s best used outdoors where it can piggyback off your phone’s GPS to map out your session, it does still provide useful data and real-time coaching on the treadmill as well. Just make sure you turn off auto pause in the app settings to ensure the app doesn’t think you are just stationary.
From $99.99, lumobodytech.com | Amazon
Anything the Apple Watch can do, the Fitbit Ionic can do too, right? Well, for those who aren’t necessarily interested in Apple’s offering, or maybe don’t have a gym that’s on board with GymKit just yet, you can also explore Fitbit’s first smartwatch.
After launching in October with the redesigned Coach platform on board, users are able to follow on-demand workouts, receive recommendations based on their activity and follow along with audio coaching.
And while the crop is currently limited to the Fitbit smartphone app, the company has indicated you’ll be able to pick from both guided outdoor running and treadmill sessions from early 2018.
You’ll be able to select the difficulty, duration, trainer and music, plus have your workout automatically recorded in the Fitbit app. Just make sure you have a pair of Bluetooth headphones that can sync up to the device, too.
$299.99, fitbit.com | Amazon
Moving away from watches brings us to Moov, and its Now tracker that offers one of the best ways to coach yourself to become a better runner, even when you’re indoors.
It’s worn around the ankle, and offers a host of training modes of varying difficulty levels that really will push you and motivate you to train harder.
You can also combine it with the Moov HR Sweat headband and you’ll be able to receive insights into your heart rate and coaching based on the real-time numbers. For example, if you’re on the treadmill and taking part in some HIIT training, the coach will give you an indication of how long you have left to hit a certain heart rate zone.
And since this is heart rate monitoring from the head, it’s also more effective than the wrist at tracking high intensity workouts – a big positive for those use the treadmill regularly for shorter, more focused bursts.
$79.95, moov.cc | Amazon