The Why: This is a great opportunity for those of you who've ever aspired to run, but haven't been sure about how. Training to run long distances is much harder than putting one foot in front of the other. These downloadable workouts provide both companion and coach. The companion is Lance Armstrong (as in 7 time Tour de France winner and sub-3 hour New York City Marathon finisher), and the coach is Chris Carmichael (as in Lance Armstrong's long time trainer). Together they guide and accompany you through two different running workouts (see offerings below for descriptions), which you can download to your computer and then upload to a portable MP3 player. The workouts are in real time, meaning that if you are instructed to jog for 10 minutes or sprint for 2 minutes, the minutes are timed for you as you listen to instructions, support, and/or music. You'll be sprouting wings on the backs of your sneakers in no time...
The Health Bonus: Cardiovascular exercise! Even if you're not up for a sub-3 hour marathon finish, just a little exercise can help lower blood pressure. Current recommendations are to get 30 minutes of moderately strenuous exercise on at least five days of the week. Even a few minutes a day is better than nothing.
What We Liked Best: It's free, portable, and reusable-indoors and out!
What We Liked Least: Might not be great for beginners.
What It Replaces: Sitting on the couch, or forking out big bucks for a trainer. (Maybe you can save that for later, when you're a pro...)
The Price: Free through November 22, 2007. Each workout is valued at $9.99.
Audio Workout #1 - Running Intervals - 58:20 - Emphasizes speed and your body's ability to transport oxygen at maximum capacity. Alternates between 1 and 2-minute speed intervals with 2-minute recovery periods.
Audio Workout #2 - Tempo Intervals - 1:13:20 - Designed to improve aerobic development, help establish a good running rhythm, and simulate race conditions. This workout includes running at tempo pace for 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12-minute intervals with 2-minute recovery periods.
Where to Buy: Download free!
FYI, a 155 pound person running for 60 minutes at 5 miles per hour would burn about 560 calories. The same person running at 6 miles an hour would burn about 700 calories in an hour. To estimate your own customized calorie burn from these workouts (and/or other activities, too!), use our Calorie Burn Rate Calculator.
1 Runner, with sneakers
2 Audio Workouts
1 MP3 player
Water, as needed.
Instructions: Upload audio workouts onto MP3 player. Apply MP3 player to runner and push play; take off slowly. Monitor temperature, drink water as needed.