About a week after I joined Healthworks Cambridge, I started noticing a few signs around that let members know about the installation of new equipment. “How exciting!” I thought, “I just joined this beautiful gym and now they are bringing in even more equipment.”

I forgot about the new equipment that week (I was on a class-taking kick!) and went on my way. Then my friend, Allie, from home started talking about doing a 5k on Thanksgiving. I shouldn’t say she started talking about it. She more or less challenged me. And of course, I could not pass up this bit of friendly competition. So I started doing some research. It seems like everywhere you turn there is a chance to do some good for yourself and others by running in a 5k. This one in particular peaked my interest because of its name: “Smoke the Turkey.” It’s a Thanksgiving Day “Turkey Trot” to benefit the Hospice Program of Northwest Ohio (where I am from originally). It will also help me feel better about indulging on Thanksgiving Day (mash potatoes, anyone?) – not to mention that I can only imagine how awesome the runners’ t-shirts will be.

Anyway, after taking on this challenge, I started to panic. Allie has taken up running and her personal goal is to beat her standing 30 minute 5k time this Thanksgiving. (Please note, I am of the school of thought that looks at running as the punishment for my sport. Whether I was playing volleyball, basketball or softball, running lines meant we were in trouble.) I started to wonder what time would be realistic for me. I wasn’t so sure about the 30 minutes but I thought it might be a reasonable goal if I started to train. That’s when I got the idea to try out the new treadmills at my Healthworks.

The particular treadmills I am talking about are the Life Fitness Treadmills and they are awesome. What first attracted me to them was the TV display. What better way to run, than to have something in front of you to make you forget you are running. With that perk alone, I jumped on the treadmill and started to warm up. As I entered in my personal information, I played around with the touch screen. There are options to run hills, work on weight loss or build up endurance. You can also hook up your iPod to control your playlist on-screen or plug in a USB to track your workouts. While poking around I found the perfect option for me and for anyone else who has ever wanted to run a 5k – Sport Training. You can find it under Select Workout and then Advanced. Once I selected the 5k option and entered my weight, intensity level and speed, I began to run – and watch TV!

Another selection on the Life Fitness equipment that you can pair with your workout is the Virtual Trainer. Select from a man or woman trainer and they will provide tips and advice about the program you select. They also offer motivation as you hit milestones during your workout. You can view your course through Workout Landscapes to see just how far you have run. During my run I used the view profile and TV mode to flip back forth between tracking my process and watching a movie.

After the workout, I was prompted to plug in my USB and then save my workout. The process was quick and before I knew it, I had a record of my first 5k workout and a congratulations wish from my Virtual Trainer.

I felt great after this workout and I’m ready for my next session on the treadmill as I look forward to the 5k. I think this training option is awesome for anyone pressed for time who is looking to train for a race or anyone who wants to track their progress. As for me, it will help integrate one of life’s experiences with my overall fitness.


How do you train?