The Treadpad

I got an iPad as a gift earlier this year. I use it in my home gym. Here's how it looks on my treadmill:

Treadpad #1

It was pretty simple to do this. I got some double sided velcro tape and put two strips on the treadmill:

Treadpad #2

And then I put two strips on the back of the iPad:

Treadpad #3

If you have more than one type of workout machine (ie treadmill and elliptical), you can move the iPad back and forth between both.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. Wille

    I’ve tried something similar, didn’t work too well for me:Hard to control if you’re running at pace (too much up and down movement of the body), and sweat running down your arms to your hands makes accuracy less than ideal.Maybe that’s just me. 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      video is good for running

      1. Elizabeth Priestman

        Works on a treadmill. Not on a Power Plate. 🙁

      2. Wille

        I’ve got a 24″ screen with a very adaptable stand right next to my treadmill, so I usually watch TV-shows and movies in 24″ goodness while running. 🙂

  2. Elie Seidman

    Good application. I use mine as a Sonos remote. I find it’s not all that good for much else. I prefer a laptop (new MacBook Air or my Lenovo X301) for anything real as everything about the iPad is too slow. Typing on it is too slow. The browser is too slow.

  3. Tereza

    Doesn’t your neck hurt?

  4. LIAD

    Is this for real…..seriously?are we on candid camera? victims of an elaborate hoax?step by step instructions on using double sided tape….i dont buy it.i think Fred’s been kidnapped! – i don’t mean to be pernickety but…the pieces of velcro on the second image aren’t even close to being the same length as each other. I can’t mark it any higher than a C+ (mostly for effort)

    1. Tereza

      He’s also made a quilted Android warmer in a number of seasonal patterns. Just perfect for when the mercury drops below freezing.And you must see his lovely decoupage mini-chest…to store his phone chargers with grace and style.

      1. fredwilson


        1. Steven Kane


      2. RichardF


    2. Guillermo Ramos

      agree. real Fred would have used Shapeways to solve this… ;-))

      1. fredwilson

        no shark jumping here at AVC

        1. Pete

          Hah! No doubt, Fred. I am not in any way suggesting that AVC has ‘Velcro’d the iPad’

          1. Tereza

            We have a new phrase!!It’s the VTI post!!!

      2. Dave Pinsen

        Blogging daily is tough, especially when you can’t write about everything in real time for business/confidentiality reasons.

        1. Pete

          I didn’t think I’d need the winky-semicolon-smiley faces, but maybe I was wrong.

          1. Dave Pinsen

            Absent cues available in a real life conversation (tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures), or by knowing a commenter personally (his sense of humor, etc.), irony often isn’t recognized as such online.

  5. marfi

    Are you able to do any exercising at all. I have tried cycling on the trainer and watching movies – no work 🙁

    1. fredwilson

      it’s hard to read when running, but you can watch videoi can read on the ellipitcal though

      1. marfi

        All I meant is I get distracted, or I forget to run 🙂 Glad it works for you. I try to stick to the following schedule – do one thing – done, move on 🙂

        1. Tereza

          yeah i’d trip and knock out my front teeth. i mean my veneers.

        2. Dave Pinsen

          I’m the same way when it comes to exercise. I guess it’s a matter of how hard you’re running. When you’re up to about 100% of your predicted max heart rate, multitasking isn’t an option.

      2. Bentar

        I do audiobooks.

  6. RichardF

    It’s the Lifehacker takeover on AVC today

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. It must be a slow day for this kind of post. More fitting for a Tumblr?

      1. fredwilson

        i had nothing to say guyssorry about that

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I’m in shock. 😯 (my attempt at wide eyes and jaw-dropped open-mouth smilie….)

        2. baba12

          Wonder if you could see an increase in sales of Velcro because some of the AVC users went and rigged their devices to their exercise machines.For people like me who run in Prospect Park as opposed to on a treadmill, a simple mp3 player is all that matters, used to be a CD player now a mp3 player suffices.I wonder if you use your ME skills still to hack stuff up around the house. I am a EE and I seldom use my skills to redo any circuits etc.

        3. Mike

          Yet you’re already over 40 comments at 10am CST. Impressive!You should pick a day / month (for days like today) where the community kicks off the discussion.

        4. Bentar

          Don’t apologize. I like a post like this once in a while. Makes you human 😉 This blogs brings tremendous value.

        5. Tereza

          Maybe given the season and the upcoming year-end you should do some sort of crowd-voted Best Of list.Or a virtual office holiday party where we get drunk, comment and gossip at the same time.

        6. ShanaC

          That’s ok

        7. Mark Essel

          yesterday I was short of stuff I needed to post. ended up fixing my chromium updater and jotting down how, and then sharing a Lego astronomical calculator. some days are slow.appreciate the lifehack, keep em coming. You never know who will benefit, no matter how simple the hack. I like the community grumbling about post quality. We take risks to improve or provide something extraordinary, there are no guarantees.There’s always something you want to get off your chest, but it may not hit you when you sit down or go for a walk to write it.can’t go wrong with a great video or a little portfolio love.

      2. Fernando Gutierrez

        Come on, give him a break! it can’t be MBA Monday on Friday! Lighter discussions are also nice sometimes.BTW, I bet many here are trying/will be trying something similar. Not sure about everyone, but a lot of people here like gadgets and messing with things. This one is not high tech, but it can make you more dependent on an iPad, so probably it’s weird enough.

  7. William Mougayar

    I put mine against the magazine holder that is bolted to the treadmill, and use a rubber band on each side. I just posted a pic on my Tumblr: Even lower tech than velcro!

  8. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    Love it! I spent a few years manufacturing stuff as a side business in the 90’s. Designing, developing and manufacturing my own products for my business PackRat Products. One product I made was a “briefcase insert”. Even then, the one distinct difference between women and men in business was that men did not carry purses. I designed a briefcase insert that served as a false bottom and allowed women to hide their lady stuff under it so that when you opened a briefcase in a meeting, all your “purse” stuff did not show, and you did not have to carry a purse. I sold all that I made, which was not a ton of them. If we had the www then I could have sold a sh*tload. I still use it today, but I use it differently. It holds my laptop securely during transit (adjustable so will hold most travel sized cpu’s) and keeps my legs from getting hot when I use my computer on my lap. Often times when I pull it out, people ask where I got it. Starbucks, co-working etc. I recently registered LPWRP in case I decide to make more. I could put it on Etsy. It is pretty cool, if I say so myself. I say all of this because it has a velcro component…Velcro and thermos. Wheels on luggage and icechest’s. Sometimes, it is just the simplest things.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      It’s as if a new facet of your career comes to light with each comment of yours. Why not start a business selling your brief case inserts now?

      1. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

        Thanks for reading my comment, and for the props…that was a compliment about my many facets right? ;>) Ahhheemmm, that is what happens when you are older, you have done lots of stuff. There is a front loading that needs to be done to manufacture and market something…and that requires time, attention and money. Right now my time and attention are elsewhere, and my money is spent on other stuff….but if I ever get ahead, I just might do that. Best!

        1. Dave Pinsen

          “There is a front loading that needs to be done to manufacture and market something…and that requires time, attention and money.”I’m aware of that, but that’s true of pretty much all start-up businesses.”Right now my time and attention are elsewhere…”Right, on your new “co-working” space, on Women 2.0, etc. But why not put some time and attention into your own invention, one you have successfully sold in the past? Why not at least launch a test site to gauge current interest in it? You could also hop on the iPad bandwagon by making version designed to hold iPads. Or maybe forget about the iPad and pitch a generic version to QVC?

          1. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

            It holds an ipad now. I am game to do something…you want to partner up on it?I don’t have a co-working space…so not sure about that but yes, I have spent the last 6 weeks steady building a model for Women 2.0. I am very happy (and proud actually) to say I have found a model that builds community and revenue…now to just wait out the holidays to get on somebody’s schedule to get it kicked off!

          2. ShanaC

            Why not talk to

          3. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

            very cool site Shana! Thanks, just might do it. Hope you had a good weekend and that your derivatives idea is taking shape!

          4. ShanaC

            You’re welcome

        2. Donna Brewington White

          Go for it, Kelley!

  9. ErikSchwartz

    My stairmaster has a book holder. The iPad goes in there, no velcro necessary.

  10. lazerow

    Love it. I actually did the same thing to the back of my 9 year old’s head. It makes the walks to school so much more productive.

    1. LIAD


    2. fredwilson


    3. Matt A. Myers

      That just got me thinking … I wonder where I could mount it when in a yoga class…

      1. Noname

        depends on the asana (pose).mount it to your advantage – where you get the maximum stretch!!!Make sure the content on iPad does not take your breath away!

      2. Douglas Crets

        I would say it’s perfect for downward facing dog. Put it on the mat, and as you stretch, you may flip through an illuminated text.

        1. Tereza

          Yeah, use your nose to flip the page.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            I must admin I was thinking of mounting it on someone else and just watching things as they get pushed to it … putting my nose close to someone might be awkward even in a yoga class. 😛

      3. Donkey

        me thinks that you post too much about your love for Yoga….we get it.

    4. Alex Murphy

      if you put it on your backside, perhaps your nine year old will follow you … 🙂

    1. JimHirshfield

      Ha! The Pringlator. Gotta love DIY.

    2. fredwilson

      now that is awesome

    3. Tereza

      I betcha the guy ate THE WHOLE CAN before installing it.

    4. JLM

      And you thought the red necks were just putting computer chips in their engines? Ha!

      1. Tereza

        American ingenuity at its best.Who needs computer chips, when you’ve got potato chips?

    1. Tereza

      That guy’s velcro installation looks a lot more solid than Fred’s.:-)

  11. Sebastian Wain

    I am waiting for an iPad doing exercise for me 🙂

  12. Steve Poland

    Fred- curious- what app or websites do you then fire up each morning? Flipboard? TechCrunch? YC! news? Rss reader?

    1. fredwilson

      twitter, techmeme, hacker news, tumblr, and my three kids’ facebooks

  13. Matt A. Myers

    Fred! You must take some inspiration from this guy….!”The iPad and Velcro, a Match Made in Heaven” ->…Enjoyable watch with fun music. 🙂

  14. jaredstenquist

    I love the Velcro. Here I was coming up with different “holder” ideas that I would bolt onto my excercise bike. Velcro might just be the trick.At the last gym I was a member at they had “Expresso” bikes where you ride on virtual tracks. ( It makes quite a difference exercising if you can play a game and listen to music while doing it.As much as I love the AVC blog, I stay away from reading while running on a treadmill. I think my eyes are bad enough from the hours I spend staring at console while working at my startup. Exercise gives them a break

    1. fredwilson


  15. guy behind SlateCast

    I would patent his and sell it back to Apple.

  16. Noname

    Here are few thoughts:1. If I were a tread mill maker, i will adopt the tablet type interface and chuck the existing physical buttons2. I listen to NPR while I run or bike indoors. Here is the opportunity for “Buy” button to appear when I am listening to the streaming “Radio” aka data!!!

    1. fredwilson

      totally agree with both comments

  17. Alex Martsenyuk

    at first i thought it’s was going to be a post about a startup which figured out how to connect ipads to regular treadmills.

  18. kevinmurphy

    This really begs the question of whole exercise equipment lines based on the iPad. “iHome” for exercise equipment.For example- suddenly the electronic component is something the user already has (lowers cost to manufacturer). Individual record keeping of workouts (work ethic, calorie count, heart rate, etc.) managed by the iPad. Plug and play, if you will, of your device as the display with your personal info on all of the machines you choose to work out on. Interesting social media implications as well…

    1. Dave Pinsen

      I wonder if FoxConn uses an iPad to keep track of the workers who jump out of the windows at its iPad factory.

  19. Lance_jones

    This post actually got me out out a 1-year+ lurk mode on your blog, Fred.I do exactly the same thing and love it. But my elliptical has a nice, deep lip on the readout panel, so I can go sans-Velcro.iPad + fast wireless + Netflix (in Canada now, too, eh?) means I can go 60 minutes pretty much daily — and so I’ve managed to lose 7 pounds since purchasing my iPad.Lance

    1. fredwilson

      thanks for commenting!we all appreciate getting to meet the lurkers

    2. ShanaC


    3. Donna Brewington White

      Many of us started as lurkers. I try to go back to that mode but interacting with this community is addicting.Hi, Lance.


    hello everyone. my first post. i’ve been following for awhile due to my background and interest in the media industry, and i figure i might as well jump in sooner or later.this is an interesting concept and makes me think back to my friend (and many in the press) who laughed at the idea of paying so much money for a “big iphone.” i love it when people come up with innovative ways to apply it to everyday life. that being said, doesn’t this mean that you can’t take it out of the house? or do you have another case with velcro on it that you can take out of the house?

    1. ShanaC

      And welcome to you to – I don’t understand why you couldn’t take it out of the house – it just means there is velcro on it when you take it out 🙂

      1. BRAINYK

        i hate the feel of velcro. and i’m a very visual person, so i don’t like the way it looks either. and doesn’t velcro get dirty easily? lol. i’m just super picky i guess.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          With you on the velcro.Although, must admit that function over form sometimes has value.

        2. ShanaC

          Not the soft side of the Velcro- thought I agree with you, it does get ugly looking

  21. Boehmer

    So i’ve considered doing this but always assumed that reading while running on a treadmill would give me a headache.

  22. kenberger

    I’m finding the Samsung Tab way more useful than iPad for uses outside the home, mostly because it fits in my pocket.And someone on Etsy is making me a custom belt holster for it too.Neither option is especially comfortable, but they’re impossible with iPad.

  23. kobyackie

    That’s pretty cool.

  24. Douglas Crets

    but can you interact with the machine? Like, is there an app by that company that would allow you to regulate your run and music choices, and even reading or viewing choices? Could you sync it up to do a runner’s template, so that you could act like you were running in the NYC Marathon? That would be kind of cool, if not a little geeky.

  25. bigshel99

    Pretty cool, just have to be careful not to sweat on the iPad.

  26. paramendra


  27. RichardF

    Your probably infringing some kind of Apple patent by doing this.

    1. JLM

      Hmmm, just saw it in the Apple store as a $4.99 app. LOL


    I have a new Nordic Track, it has a mount for my iPad as well as speakers and a input jack.

  29. Steven Kane

    Been reading your blog since inception.As you know, I am a huge admirer of both the quantity and quality of posts.But this has to rank in the bottom decile of posts.Too much holiday grog?;)

    1. Morgan Warstler

      I was just going to say the opposite!

    2. fredwilson

      not sure why, but i had nothing else yesterday morning

      1. Steven Kane

        your grade has dropped, but only from A++++ to A+++

  30. markslater

    wow slow day.

  31. goldwerger

    Very cool.Now, if only my 4-yr old boy will ever let me have my iPad back perhaps I could do that too…;)

    1. ShanaC


  32. JLM

    Hmmm, maybe Fred should go to “open mike” Fridays though I must say that I love the “arts & crafts” aspect of the blog post.Nobody can accuse Fred of not being in touch w/ his creative side.Given the world’s current fascination with all things “green”, I am going to have to cluck cluck about the waste of velcro — goodness that is a lot of velcro — and the random sizes are truly unworthy of an MIT engineer.Happy Holidays to all!

    1. RichardF

      I just heard from my fellow countryman Jony Ive at Apple, he tells me that they are so impressed with Fred’s design that they are going to incorporate it into iPad 2.0

  33. Jed Katz

    Good short-term solution, but don’t worry Fred – Netpulse ( is solving this problem for real. Just go to the WallStreet NYSC to see hundreds of their products in action. On-demand tv shows, movies, music videos, web access, working tracking, etc, plus controls for your machine, all without having to use any double-sided tape on your machine or your iPad! They’re deploying on all kinds of machines, both in gyms and soon at home, as fast as they possibly can. New machines will have them already built in shortly. The software and content is continuously updated. Makes working out much more fun.

  34. ShanaC

    Actually, this post makes me think of sensors. I really want a machine that interfaces with all sorts of gym equipment so that I know what is going on with my workout and my body. Even better -real time!

    1. baba12

      There are lots of those things out there. U.S. Airforce has sensors implanted in the ceramic of toilet pots for the fighter pilots they invest millions in for training. Sensors get readouts and send data every week that can help catch any symptoms early.It is a matter of time before you have sensors taking input from your workouts and recording that data for analysis.We have a plugin electric that we have been working on for a while, has 28 sensors and measures simple things like tire temperature and vibration, software then analysis the data and makes the motors behave accordingly.Question is would you be willing to share the sensor data with doctors and will the insurance companies try and use that information to deny you service etc…

      1. ShanaC

        yes, but very few good ones for consumers.I do think we need an insurance and medical revolution in this country for some of the reasons you talk about. As it is, I’m waiting on genomic testing (in my case it’s probably necessary. I have family in genetic studies). It is a lot harder to make good health decisions (which would lower my cost to the system long term) if I risk denial of services for those decisions. Which is insane.


    Am I the only one that noticed how imprecise the velcro installation is?Photo 3 makes me uneasy…It’s off center AND crooked…Twice.I guess in photo 2 they are off center and different lengths, but it’s not as noticeable on the busy UI of the TechnoGym

  36. Terence Craig

    Very cool! I actually went the opposite direction and removed the arms from my treadmill and stuck it under an IKEA standing desk to make a bootstrapped version of this –…. Now I can still work startup hours and get in my exercise. So far I have managed to not get distracted enough on a conference call to do a face plant but time will tell.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I have enough trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time. (Don’t chew gum, but same concept.)This is just wrong. ;-)…or maybe that’s why I’m not running a startup.

  37. vruz

    hey that looks like the Stark Trek spaceship bridge!:-)

  38. Donna Brewington White

    Did you intentionally show the post “Where Should Mobile Developers Focus?” on the iPad screen for this photo or was this just a coincidence?When I first saw this post before boarding a plane this morning, I think there were like 3 or 4 comments. I had to chuckle at this post and once again marvel at your versatility, thinking it would be a light day for AVC.So, now at the end of the day, I’m back and mine will be the 100th comment! On a post about velcro’ing an iPad to a treadmill! And I’m assuming that most of us are busy people!I think this is a community that looks for any excuse to party.And you are a great host!It’s a gift, dude.(Happy Hour Fridays at AVC? House party Fridays?)

    1. fredwilson

      yes, that was intentional

  39. Myles Fuchs

    Fred continues to be at the forefront of “Convergence.” Velcro meets Tablet ;-)Happy Holidays everyone…

  40. Mike Altschul

    Wow, who’d have thought this would be such a polarizing post? As a Lifehacker, I love the Treadpad! Best solutions are often the simplest. If video’s the name of the game on the treadmill, checkout CineXplayer to play DivX files.Fred, if you’re short on ideas to write about, are you taking requests? Your “What Does The Internet Mean For Radio?” post whetted my appetite for a music industry update. What’s your take on music these days? Who’s doing right? Who’s doing wrong? Why do you use Rhapsody instead of Spotify (personally, I recently switched)?I’ve been MIA for a year on this blog, finally getting time to catchup…nourishing!!

    1. fredwilson

      i have a long music post in my head but i can’t write it yet becauseof some stuff i’m working on

  41. paul

    if I recall correctly fred used to blog a fair amount while at the gym which always blew my mind.fred, next time you don’t feel like you have much to say, you should do a post on work/life balance. I have always thought it was awesome you clearly make time for family/fitness/music etc while clearly working a pretty demanding a professional musician, professional programmer and amateur boxer, this is always a challenge for me and I am always interested to hear about how others maintain a balance, especially over the long haul.

  42. jgn

    But why would you read your own blog!?

    1. fredwilson

      to read the comments

  43. gorbachev

    Sometimes low-tech is the best tech.

  44. palbi

    not sure about the whole arrangement but you certainly cannot do wrong when you go Italian with your treadmill !