Running instructor Jess Sims showed us how to take our indoor running game to the next level with the new treadmill.
It’s finally here: the highly anticipated Peloton Tread is now available in Canada. The American company, known for its home exercise bike with a waiting list of several months, can it make a treadmill coveted? If anyone could, we would bet on them. At the heart of Peloton’s success is, yes, its sophisticated high-end gear, but also its energetic and so good instructor-led classes, from HIIT and bootcamp to cycling and running. The Peloton Tread combines the sleek design the brand is known for with useful functional changes. For example, it replaces the traditional digital speed and incline buttons with two (very addicting) buttons that make upgrading your run almost, dare we say, fun. We hooked up with Peloton Superstar Instructor Jess Sims to talk about the benefits of running and how to get back to it, as well as why Peloton Tread is completely changing the running game into room.
Give me the Peloton Tread pitch: why are you excited about this and why should other people be excited about it too?
My favorite are the speed and incline buttons. They are a complete game-changer. In class, when I say, “Every time the song says that word, we’re going to add 0.1 to our speed,” it’s so easy to do with that button. It’s so user-friendly. It lets you go faster and climb higher on that slope because you know you can go down it as fast as you go up it.
The other amazing thing is how you feel like you’re in a class which is so important right now when we can’t go to the studio. The screen is right there in front of you. It’s so clear that you really feel like you’re in the room with the instructor. [The instructors are] always looking directly at the camera, speaking directly to you and motivating you to keep going.
What type of runners is the tread intended for? Beginners? Ironman runners?
We have so much content on the tread. We have walks, we have dynamic walks, we have hikes – and it’s on every level. Then we have a walk and a run, a 50/50 split of the walk and the run – and those are important elements. When I talk to someone who says they hate running because it’s in so much pain, I’m like, okay, well, how long have you been running? And they say 20 minutes. Well when was the last time you ran? They’ll say, oh, five years ago I was running everyday.
Guess what? In five years, your body has lost its ability to adapt to the impact of running. To run long term and make it a lifestyle, you need to do 30 seconds of jogging, 30 seconds of walking – or 45 seconds on, 45 seconds off – and develop yourself. And that’s exactly what these walking and running classes offer. If you are a very, very beginner, this will be a very light jog. If you are more intermediate it can be a race.
Once you start to run, all runs are leveled. There are beginners, intermediate and advanced. We have 10-minute classes and 60-minute classes, so that really eliminates any excuse or reason why you can’t take a class.
On top of all that, we have a bootcamp. That’s why we say our Tread is more than just a typical treadmill, because it’s a complete piece of equipment. In a bootcamp class, you run and then get off the tread and go on your mat and lift weights, then you get this hybrid.
How many times per week should a person run based on their experience?
It depends on your goals and current fitness level. But in general, for a beginner, I recommend going for walks and runs two to three times a week to start. For intermediates, I would say three times a week starting with the 20 minute lessons. For more advanced runners, like someone doing the Ironman, maybe five times a week. We have tempo runs – which are very important for marathoners and runners – where you run at a very difficult pace for the majority of the class. I would recommend doing a tempo run, endurance run, a few intervals and definitely take some strength classes because we know it helps prevent injuries and builds the muscles that help you get even faster and stronger.
What are some general tips for running the form?
Eyes are still up. Never look down – there is nothing for you on the pitch. Keep your chin parallel to the ground. The shoulders are down, away from your ears. You want to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees and you’re going to be pumping them back and forth, swinging like a pendulum by your side. Imagine that you have ice in your hand: you want to have a little tension, but not too much tension where you would crush it.
For your heart, you want a little tension. Don’t hold your breath sure, but think about it [contraction] you would if someone punched you in the stomach. Keep your pelvis hidden – many of us accidentally arch our backs while we run. Raise your knees and bring your heels up towards your buttocks. When you walk around, you start off on your heels. When you jog or run, you are more mid-foot. When you sprint, you are on your forefoot.
What advice would you give someone to get them back to running?
One thing I like to say is you don’t have to run, you can run. Just change that perspective. A lot of us, whether or not you were a former athlete like me, were punished by running. When we move that experience to this is something we get to do, it takes the pressure off us.
And start by doing less: less is more and slower is more. Even though you can sprint right now from here to the next block, that doesn’t mean you should. For someone who has just recovered from it, take your time, understand that it is a journey, and understand that it is a beautiful thing. Now is the time for you to be alone with your own thoughts, to stay super present, and not to worry about your to-do list.