One lesson we’ve learned over the past year: You can get a solid workout done without leaving home. And there’s plenty of gear out there to add some spice to your sweat sessions and help take your fitness to new levels. Plus, lots of food options to fuel your every mile.
So we tested the products designed to give you an edge in your fitness, helping you get stronger, more powerful, and faster on your feet. Here, we’ve selected the best tools to support you through your training and across the finish line with a shiny new personal record.
Getting a cardio workout indoors has its perks. Of course it protects you from the elements, but it can also offer a safer way to exercise when winter hits and the streets get slick. Many machines also provide pre-programmed workouts and enthusiastic instructors to keep motivation high, and by mixing up your cardio method with equipment beyond the treadmill, you also reduce your risk of injury—the beauty of cross-training.
“[Cross-training] is good for working the same large muscle groups you use when running, but in different ways, to create variety and better balance and to change the repetitive stress of running,” says Brooke Carmen, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist at Whole Body Health Physical Therapy in Portland, OR. Many runners get injured from imbalances or overuse, and cross-training can help you mitigate those causes, Carmen says.
We love Technogym’s compact tread on its own, but recommend that you BYOT (Bring Your Own Tablet) for a next-level run. The integrated sturdy stand anchors an Apple or Android device to the treadmill’s frame so you can swipe through a library of in the . Hop into a trainer-led bootcamp class, toe the line in a virtual race, or take your run “outside” by putting some miles on the Gibb River Road in the Australian Outback with the run simulator. If you’d rather revisit closer to home, you can do that too. Sync previously recorded GPS data from , , Runkeeper, or MapMyFitness, and the Technogym will replicate runs on your favorite neighborhood loop, right down to the pace (up to a 4:50 mile) and (between 0 and 12 percent).