March 16 2018
Amanda McGrory checks in days before she is to compete in the pro wheelchair division in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon.
Treadmills just keep getting smarter.
Technogym is the latest company to bring new technology to indoor running. Like many recently released pieces of workout equipment, the company’s new treadmill MyRun works like a traditional treadmill at its most basic settings but requires an app to reach its full potential.
So what do users get from investing in this machine (priced at $4,390)? Assuming they have a smart phone or tablet, users can measure their stride and cadence, create personalized training plans, listen to music with tempos that automatically match their pace and compare recorded workouts to gauge improvement over time. All of these factors rely on the MyRun App, which connects to the treadmill via Bluetooth access. Once connected, the app offers four main features: Running Rate, Running Music, MyRunning Logbook and personalized training programs.
These four features are where MyRun differs from standard treadmills. Though we’ve seen recent releases of apps that adjust tempos of songs in real time to match runners’ paces, Running Music selects tracks on a general song-by-song basis. More prevalent are the app’s training programs and stride assessor: while Running Rate measures its user’s cadence, stride length and vertical displacement (i.e. a stride’s bounce factor), the training programs use that information to create workouts with specific targets in mind so users can reach their fitness goals. As users pursue these goals, they can compare their most recent workouts with those they’ve logged previously to see how their results compare.
The Running Rate feature is MyRun’s most brag-worthy piece of technology. Created with researchers at the University of Bologna’s Department of Bioengineering in Bologna, Italy, the Running Rate provides instant feedback and makes suggestions based on its user’s stride measurements and training goals. This means that, though MyRun can be used by runners of all levels, it’s most relevant for those with specific training goals in mind. Casual runners that are primarily concerned with bypassing weather restrictions to continue logging miles throughout the cooler months don’t need treadmills this fancy. But for runners that are determined to improve their form or learn how mechanical adjustments can affect their pace, MyRun is a valuable tool.