Race Anywhere: RunBetter's Digital Revolution in Treadmill Marathon Training

“Why not develop a way to help time-crunched athletes train for a specific race indoors on a treadmill when necessary? Why not use the treadmill incline feature to mimic the course elevation changes? And why not enhance that course-specific training with coaching from someone like Chris? Driven by these goals, I partnered with Chris and Curt to create RunBetter.”

Nicole Mann

Co-Founder @ RunBetter and Partner at McDermott Will and Emery


Co-Founded by three avid runners, RunBetter was created so no matter where you live, you can access a course's elevation changes from the treadmill. That way, you knmow what's coming on race day. Run the world's top race courses virtually on any treadmill.


Currently there is no digital solution for competitive runners to train for specific courses on any type of treadmill. All courses are different, and if you’re not in that location, it’s difficult to know what that course will be like without any insight.


RunBetter sought Eight Bit Studios' expertise to develop an advanced digital training solution, capable of simulating real-world race conditions on treadmills. The project demanded a fusion of innovative technology with user-friendly design, challenging Eight Bit to create an app that not only realistically mimicked the elevation changes of various race courses but was also intuitive and engaging for runners of all levels. The task involved intricate integration of various APIs, development of core functionalities like course selection and pace setting, and ensuring broad compatibility with diverse treadmill models. The goal was to align this technologically sophisticated app with the evolving demands and trends of the fitness technology market, positioning it as an essential tool for runners' training regimens.


The RunBetter app was designed with an innovative approach, allowing runners to choose virtual simulations of different race courses. Key

features included course selection, real-time incline adjustments, personalized training displays, and integration with various APIs to enhance the overall training experience.


The innovative features and user-friendly design of the RunBetter app resonated well with the global running community, leading to significant achievements and user engagement:

  • Adoption in over 25 countries, demonstrating the app's wide-reaching appeal and effectiveness.

  • Inclusion of 40 courses in the app's library, featuring prestigious races like the Boston Marathon and Ironman Kona triathlon.

  • Introduction of the app's first 5K course, the Austin Marathon KXAN SimpleHealth 5K, expanding its utility to shorter races.

  • Positive feedback from users on the app's intuitive design and practical functionality, enhancing their training experience, reflected in a 4.6 rating on the app store, indicating strong user satisfaction and approval.



Market Analysis, Strategy Workshop, and Planning

This phase involved an in-depth analysis of the market and strategic workshops, laying a strong foundation for the app's development.

  • Conducted a thorough competitive analysis to identify gaps and opportunities in the treadmill training market.

  • Held strategy workshops to delve into user flows, industry intelligence, and user journey mapping.

  • Engaged in user experience design sprints to conceptualize the app's functionality and interface, ensuring alignment with user expectations and industry standards.

  • Developed a comprehensive feature and technical business plan for the application, incorporating feedback from potential users.

Brand and Experience Design

This stage was centered on crafting the RunBetter brand and designing a seamless user experience.

  • Focused on developing a distinctive brand identity that resonated with the target audience.

  • Iteratively designed the app's interface, prioritizing usability and aesthetic appeal.

  • Ensured the app's design and user experience were consistent with RunBetter's brand values and user needs.

Development and Integration

During this stage, the team brought the app to life, focusing on functionality and technical integration.

  • Undertook detailed architectural planning to ensure a scalable and responsive application.

  • Developed key functionalities such as course selection, training display, and user account management.

  • Integrated various APIs to provide a comprehensive training experience and enhance the app's capabilities.

Launch, Feedback, and Iterative Improvement

Post-launch, the focus shifted to gathering user feedback and continuously refining the app.

  • Monitored user engagement and feedback to evaluate the app’s effectiveness and identify areas for enhancement.

  • Implemented a cycle of continuous updates and improvements based on user feedback and evolving market trends.

  • Ensured the app remained current with the latest training methodologies and technological advancements.

Ready to embark on an epic app quest