My favorite recent iFit runs
The past two weeks have been disappointing to say the least, with the highly contagious omicron variant making the pandemic more suffocating than ever as the coronavirus era prepares to enter its third year, which just hurts. This has made it especially hard to think creatively over the past few days, which is how I found myself under the deadline and with no clue for today’s list. Seeing as I am sitting here at my desk in the basement, staring at our treadmill, I thought I would rank some of my recent favorite iFit runs. You’re welcome.
6. Death Road Pillar Race, Bolivia
I’ve written about my fondness for iFit trainer Tommy Rivers Puzey, aka Tommy Rivs, a few times in the past, and this race is no exception, with the trainer leading you down the road to death in Bolivia. The trail apparently earned its name, with Rivs detailing instances of tour buses plunging cliffs and ticking off numbers linked to the hundreds of cyclists who skidded off the road and fell into oblivion. Whatever, apart from the imminent disaster, it is an easy descent with superb landscapes, even if the heights sometimes induce dizzying sensations.
5. Ocean Beach, Northland, New Zealand
Zac Marion is an affable trainer, the kind of guy who would probably hand you the puka collar of his person if you asked. And the whole New Zealand series is worth it, both for the scenery and the variety of workouts. Plus it starts off by asking you what you hope to see as you travel the country and what you want to do with your time there, a survey that got me to say, midway through and out loud to absolutely nobody, “I want to kill a Hobbit. To continue, it’s a solid race by the ocean, mixing tempos and effort. I even forgive the non-sequitur at the halfway point where Marion says he was wearing his flowered hat specially for this course, to turn around and add that in fact, he always wears this hat.
4. Race from the south bank to the river
Divided into six parts, each run lasting 40 to 45 minutes, this series sees you join Tommy Rivs in a race from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, to the shores of the Colorado River, then back up. The first four parts were a snap, while the last two, mostly done on a steep incline, had me ready to swear Rivs. Still, the end of the hike left me with a real sense of accomplishment.
3. St. John’s Fortress Endurance Race
Here, Rivs takes you running along the bay to the walled town of Kotor, then (unfortunately for my quads) up the hills, which ended the over-hour run. Despite the tilt, the setting offered a mix of history, political intrigue, and postcard-worthy views that helped pass most of the time.
2. Ponta Delgada Interval Run, island of Sao Miguel, Azores
I explored much of this wild volcanic island with coach Leah Rosenfeld, enjoying relatively flat trails along massive lakes and more challenging turns that move the action into the mountains. This trail fell towards the latter, with a few steep inclines giving way to some pretty phenomenal views.
1. Soca Gorge Endurance Race
This has become my go-to workout if I want a relatively long run (it lasts about an hour) but not completely strenuous, as a lot of it takes place downhill. As nature evolves, this is one of the best iFit has to offer, with Rivs leading you through a pristine mountain gorge and past waterfalls and grassy meadows. Meanwhile, he ping-pong between anecdotes, including a dissection of Ernest Hemingway’s experiences during World War I, which formed the basis of his novel. A farewell to arms, and legitimate advice on running technique, breaking down cell physiology and gait in an easily digestible way. The guy is really the best.