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Monday 10 August 2015

RunSocial: Run The World ... On Your Treadmill

RunSocial offered me a free trial of the running app. I wasn't paid to review it and this is my honest opinion. 

The treadmill is the bane of my life. There’s nothing I can do about this but in the winter when the paths are icy and slippery and I need to get the speed sessions done and the long runs done it’s a necessity. 

If only it wasn’t so BORING.

There isn’t much to look at in the gym. I can either look at myself in the mirror getting progressively more sweaty and wild eyed and dishevelled, like the Evolution of Man poster but backwards. Or I’ve got a view of the large sweaty man on the stationary bike’s arse as he checks his phone (I haven’t been brave enough to ask him to pull his tracksuit bottoms up)  and watching the numbers on the treadmill just seems to make them run slower. 

RunSocial have come up with a clever little app which I’m hoping will solve my gym woes (no it’s not the bravery to make me go and pull Bike Man’s shorts up to his chin), but an app which will run on iPhone or iPad and which gives you a run through a beautiful destination of your choice. 

I tried the Swiss Alps. The first thing that struck me was the clarity of the picture and the graphics. Beautiful. 

You can hear the wind and the cowbells and getting immersed in the app makes the pumping gym music and rain on the windows feel a long way away. 

If there’s ever a 3D gym version then I would definitely sign up for that but for now this helps me forget that I’m in a concrete room and takes me away for a brief time to somewhere much nicer. And there are no sweaty arses. 

I found it calming to run to. I prefer running outside and this was the next best thing. Maybe if I can shift some alpine animals into my garage - a couple of goats, Heidi doing some yodelling – then it would complete the experience. 

I’ll find this app useful in the winter when I’m confined indoors due to the weather or conditions and I can’t do my workout outdoors, but in the summer I’m unlikely to use it unless I’m travelling and in a hotel gym. Or unless you challenge me to a running contest in the Alps but also in my garage. Do it. I’m totally up for this! 

Let me know if you fancy a run!

Maybe I’ll never really run the Swiss Alps and hear the wind as it blows across the mountains, but today in my garage I can pretend. 

Buy if:
  • You end up doing a lot of sessions in the gym or your garage
  • You get bored on the treadmill
  • You travel a lot and need something to use on a treadmill.
  • You have a basic treadmill with no TV *gasp*
  • If you want to have a race with friends when you’re miles apart. Can virtually race using the app.
  • Only have whole kilometres as speed options. I like to run about 13.5 but with the app I can only choose 13 or 14 not in between. 
  • You can choose to run where you left off last time, don’t have to see the same thing from the start every time. 
  • Find it motivating to ‘chase’ other runners.
  • You want to run in the Alps, US or elsewhere and don’t want to have to pay a fortune in travel expenses. 

Not for you if:

  • You don’t use a treadmill
  • You don’t get bored on a treadmill
  • Your treadmill workouts are geared towards complex intervals (unless you are ok with app running at a constant speed)
  • You haven’t got much space on your iPad or phone. The app is huge. 
  • You like looking at sweaty arses or yourself in a mirror at the gym. 
  • You already live in the Alps ...
A screenshot of the app as viewed on iPhone
Also you can send a route to your friend and when they join you both get the new route free! You can choose from Death Valley, Tuscany, London Marathon (!!), Sequoia National Forest, Killarney, Ireland and plenty more. 

For more information on the app or for free demos take a look at the RunSocial website here.


  1. This is a cool idea, but it seemed like it would work so much better if it were integrated in treadmills? Just between the memory requirements and screen sizes! Cool idea though :)

    1. That would be wonderful ... although it would be out of my budget! I have a tired old treadmill which isn't very happy about ever going faster than 16kmh ... am working on a shoestring so an app that costs a few quid and takes me to the Alps is a pretty good deal to me :) However should I win the lottery then a PROPER trip to the Alps plus a new treadmill would be on the shopping list! :)