More than three grand for a treadmill? Couldn't we just run around the park? Yes, but we'd be missing out on the new T7-0's 'FlexDeck', a sprung running belt that can be adjusted to become more or less shock-absorbing to simulate, er, the diversity of outdoor running. And with the T7-0 we wouldn't need to keep a training diary, because it records each workout (there are 18 programmes to choose from) and logs our progress.
And, of course, we wouldn't get sun-burnt, drenched or heckled. Treadmills have their advantages - they're great for speed work and hill training, for example - but you need to pay top dollar to get one that doesn't sound like a pneumatic drill or fall apart as soon as you step on it. Then again, it takes up a lot more space than a pair of trainers. The T7-0, £3,295, from Life Fitness (01353 666017, lifefitness.com).
It seems we can't go anywhere without our own personal soundtrack these days. So I wasn't surprised when I came across the Finis SwiMP3 player, an underwater MP3 player attached to apair of goggles. While I struggled to get it running, don't let that put you off - I've only just accepted that CDs have taken over from vinyl, so I'm something of a Luddite when it comes to music technology. A friend set it up for me in the end. His verdict: 'Getting the tunes on there is simple enough. Oddly, it sounds as if you are under water until you actually submerge your head. Then it sounds fine. Mind you, I was only ducking my head in the bath.' More competent swimmers might be interested to know that this is the only waterproof player that uses bone conduction - the direct transfer of sound vibrations from the cheek-bone to the inner ear - while lesser models rely on the transmission of sound through water or air, which can be muffled. The SwiMP3, £129.95 (plus £3 p&p),from SwimTec, (01904 788427, swimtecheartrateuk.com).
Rummaging through the women's section in most sports stores (that's once you've found it, tucked away in the back corner) is enough to put a girl off working out. If, like me, you're sick of the limited ranges and dull, homogenous kit on offer, get your hands on SheActive's summer catalogue. Clothing, footwear and accessories from hard-to-find brands such as Sugoi, Rohnisch, Calmia and Pearl Izumi (alongside the usual suspects) helped bring out the inner athlete in me. My best buy? An ingenious pair of cycling Capri pants with removable padded inner shorts. Not only can I ride in comfort without looking as if I'm attempting to train for the Tour de France, I can also avoid the 'huge bum' look you get from most bike shorts. Result! Gore Bikewear Terra pants, £55, SheActive. For a catalogue, call 0870766 2566 (sheactive.co.uk).
And the rest
If the hours you're putting in at the gym aren't yielding the results you'd expect, you may need to rest more. A study published in the Journal Of Strength And Conditioning Research found that weight-training participants performed ahigher total training volume (number of repetitions performed and the amount of weight used) when a three-minute rest interval was used between sets of the bench-press exercise, compared to a one or two-minute break. If time is of the essence, you can still benefit, simply by working a different muscle group during the rest period - rather than checking yourself out in the mirror.