I've been hooked on rhythm games for as long as I can remember. Guitar Hero convinced me to buy an actual guitar, I still keep my electronic drum kit plugged into an old Xbox for Rock Band, and now Peloton has tricked me into dialling up the incline on my runs with the launch of Lanebreak Tread.
Lanebreak Tread is effectively a running rhythm for the Peloton Tread treadmill. Each level (well, workout) is set to music and takes place in a Tron-like environment on a stage with multiple lanes. Beats appear in each lane, and in order to hit them, you need to adjust the incline of your treadmill. Hitting a beat in the furthest lane means turning the incline way up, for example.
On top of this, there are also zones that require you to maintain a certain speed, and "hills" where the incline will automatically adjust as you run. All of these elements contribute to your score, and there are even times when a level will give you the option of an easy lane and a hard lane.
It's basic in practice, but the elements come together for a fun, unique running experience. It tickles "the big number go up" part of my brain that wants to get the highest score possible, and I've found myself running on the kinds of inclines I simply would not attempt in a normal workout.
Each level tends to have a genre theme. In the beta I tested, there were runs set to metal, hip hop, pop, and EDM. The beta only had a small number of levels, but having tried Lanebreak on the Peloton Bike, the available content should grow exponentially over time.
I'm hoping for more metal or metal-adjacent levels, as I found myself more invested in earning a high score when I was vibing with the music. Running to whatever the latest dance floor hit is just doesn't do it for me.
Lanebreak is a novel alternative to Peloton's instructor-based classes that motivates in a different way. While I'm still fundamentally chasing a score - whether it's the literal high score in Lanebreak or a spot on the leaderboard in a class - Lanebreak's video game experience makes me want to go all out. That's made it better for shorter workout sessions, rather than trying to do multiple levels back to back. After all, what's the point if you're not a sicko trying to get the biggest number?
Lanebreak Tread is available now for Peloton Tread owners with a Peloton All Access subscription. We'll have a full review of the Peloton Tread in the coming weeks.