Got a Treadmill? Got a TV? You Can Run the Boston Marathon

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My wife ran the Boston Marathon a few years ago. More impressive than that, I jumped in and ran the last four miles with her. Me! Four miles! I know! More than the actual race day, though, I remember her having to train during one of the crappiest, dumpiest Boston winters in recent memory—to the point that she basically had bronchitis the day of the marathon, yet still ran the whole thing. And me! I ran four miles of it! Remember that part!

And therein lies the rub for anyone who wants to run the Boston Marathon: You have to train for it during the dead of winter. In Boston.

(MORE: Boston Marathon’s Oldest Runner: After Cancer and Two Wars, a Race Is Nothing)

Ask anyone who’s tried to run, say, 15 miles on a treadmill (don’t ask me, my personal record is four—four!) while training for a marathon and they’ll tell you they’re bored out of their mind after the first hour—the lack of scenery being the biggest downfall.

A Boston-area company called "Outside Interactive" is looking to provide some relief for runners training for long races with a series of DVDs that provide a runner’s-eye-view of a handful of courses, including the Boston Marathon’s infamous route. You can adjust the speed of the DVDs to match your running ability, and the company used a steadi-cam to capture smooth footage so as to prevent the look of fast forwarding and rewinding at higher and lower speeds. The Boston Marathon DVD costs $40, with shorter courses priced at $20 each.

And for an extra shot of realism, the company is getting set to release its "Virtual Runner" software next month, which consists of a $250 sneaker sensor and computer software that can match the pace of the video to the pace that you’re running on the treadmill. The videos will instruct you to adjust the incline on your treadmill to match hilly parts of the courses, too.

[via the Boston Herald]

MORE: A Brief History of the Marathon