Lockdown treadmill app reviews

Should have published this before but it slipped when I was unwell.

Firstly an apology for taking so long to write this but I have been unwell (maybe corona, who knows(!)) and then really busy with work and family life. I actually wrote most of this over a week ago, just finished off now.

Peloton Digital

Even without paying all the way through your nasal cavities for a Peloton machine, you can use the app for guided running or cycling workouts. Is it worth it, let’s see.

The app is as you would expect for £12.99 a month, pretty well jam packed with guided training content, including everything from running through strength training to yoga and cycling. It’s a pretty slick app that is well designed but the real strength of the app are the instructors, they’re proper gym bunnies / rats that know their stuff!

The app does not connect to my Bluetooth devices (footpod or Garmin) so, without the actual Peloton equipment, it’s a dumb app, which is a real shame. The workouts are tough and it would have been great to be able to compete with others.

During a workout the instructors are really good at motivating you to go faster or harder up the hill etc, I actually found myself working harder than I normally would, which is interesting. The music is good in the app, shame you can’t use your own though, it is also sometimes a little louder than the instructors so you can’t hear what you are supposed to do, it often sounds like they are talking in code that I felt I might understand if I had a Peloton treadmill? That said, I have had a few great workouts using this and would recommend it if you want that ‘gym session’ feel.


App design 9/10

App connectivity 2/10

Workout 10/10

Value 1/10

Do I recommend 3/10 depends on your use case


Will I continue to use it? Probably not, it’s pricey and clearly aimed at the peloton treadmill users, which is fair enough. But it’s not for me, I have a training plan already which is based upon power. These workouts are based simply on relative changes to incline and speed, which is a little too unscientific for me. I enjoyed the workout, and I’m sure if I had a Peloton treadmill it would be perfect, but I’m not willing to drop thousands of pounds plus an ongoing subscription for that pleasure.

Treadmill Trails

Here we have a very different offering. This app seems to aim at simply letting you ‘virtually’ run in the most beautiful places in the world. No coaching, no metrics, just the trails and your music (if you want it).

A still image from a trail

I have to be honest. I like this app, I can just zone out and enjoy the views, although there is a lot that could be done to improve it.

Starting this app, the menu is a little dated but functional. You can download the sample video which is snippets of multiple videos, giving you a free 30 minute run. I have subsequently downloaded a couple more videos, they range in price from 99p to £1.99 and once you buy, are yours to keep, which is nice.

Using is as simple as playing a video on your iPhone or iPad, I airplay to my Mac from my phone, which works fine. Then I start my Garmin and treadmill then simply run, zone out and enjoy the views.

Ok this is nothing like actually trail running, but while in self isolation it’s as good as I think it could be without travelling (following guidance).


App design 3/10 it’s functional

App connectivity 0/10 no connectivity

Workout 8/10

Value 10/10

Do I recommend 8/10


This is a nice simple app that does what it sets out to do at a great price, it allows me to zone out and enjoy my run. Clearly it’s not being outside, but it’s as close as you can get I think! Will I continue to use it, definitely, especially during lockdown and our shabby winters here in the UK.


Time to pick it up!

It’s been a strange time hasn’t it!

Races cancelled or delayed, goals shifting, social distancing, no ParkRun, exercise limitations and the list goes on and that’s even before we start talking about pay cuts, furloughs and so on. If you add to that a new baby in the house, which, don’t get me wrong, is wonderful, but oh my, it’s difficult to keep running with the combination of being demotivated, working harder for less while getting slowly more and more tired every day from broken sleep.

Now though, now, it is time to start picking things back up, stop, well, let’s say reduce the alcohol and focus on improving my health. Now, I’m not a fast runner and never have been, never will be, I’m a big bloke, not built for speed! But, I am determined when I decide to do something, this particular something being to run an ultra, specifically, The Race to the Stones which has been delayed to next year. I won’t complete it fast, but I will complete it, so in order to do that I now need to start upping my weekly mileage which has recently been less than 20 miles a week every week.

My running over the last few weeks has been a challenge, I used to get up early, follow my plan and get it done but the passed few weeks, I wake up tired and demotivated then go back to sleep more often than I should, sometimes I get out but because I overslept I only have time for a short run. This past week, I have made the decision to start making time for my running again, if I get up early, I will run in the morning, if not, I will use my lunch break to run, even if for a shorter time, either way, I will run, I will increase my resilience. So this week, I have run every day, even when I did not feel like it, even when my legs were hurting, even when I wasn’t feeling it, so this week is the first time since lockdown that I have run over 20 miles.

That makes me proud.

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it, just getting out there freeing your mind for some time every day, this is where I’m really starting to find the value. Now I love running, have done for a few years now, but the difference I am finding since lockdown, is that it is definitely helping my state of mind. Here we are, coming out (slowly) from lockdown, we have a young baby (our beautiful little girl, bless her) and I have just been promoted at work while I can’t even go there to make an impact and with previously reduced running hours, all things add up to higher than normal stress. I found my reactions to situations have been off balance sometimes, when I reflect on this, I feel worse, but what is interesting is that as I have run more this week, my reactions level back out. This is cause and effect and I love it, it’s simple, relax and exercise, get fresh air, life gets easier.

For anyone who may be struggling, put on a pair of trainers and get out there.