Why is the word love in quotes you ask? Because I could never love the treadmill, this is more of a learning to “tolerate” the treadmill post.
I have begun half marathon training as I have now mentioned about half a million times. As a whole I am an outside runner. I love to be outside rain or shine and I love to get lost in the world around me (figuratively speaking here, getting lost for real is actually quite terrifying…and actually happens far too often, but that’s a post for another day). As I run, I like to see that the world around me is changing, there is always something new to look at, and I feel like I have more control. It helps me clear my mind and reminds me of why it is that I run.
Though the great outdoors is preferred and I love hitting the pavement, sometimes, I just have to hit the tread (cool treadmill slang, funny? yeah, didn’t think so). Between being a full time student (18 credit hours), a part time worker (20 hours), having homework, dogs to look after, several extracurricular activities, blah, blah, blah, in short I’M BUSY. It’s most definitely a balancing act. Sometimes my runs don’t happen until it’s dark out and I prefer not to run at night here because it’s just taking unnecessary risks. Between the bumpy sidewalks, lack of street lights, and being in a college town, night runs kind of scare me.
In addition, I am currently training with two other ladies and a friend who just tags along for the workout. Some days we train independently, but I firmly believe 2-3 workouts together a week will greatly improve our collective training. Due to our differing ability levels we usually do these runs on treadmills.
It kills me.
I am sort of afraid of treadmills so I start my speed gradually, but then I hate seeing my average mile pace suffer so I restart my workout to restart the pace. Most the treadmills are broken in some form or another at my Student Recreation Center and thus sometimes the only way to get it to turn on is to essentially commit to one pace for the entire run. That’s not all bad, but there is no way to vary it nor the incline on some of the machines. It sucks. I usually commit to a speed slightly more challenging than my comfortable pace. I can hold it just fine for most the workout, but the last 5-10 minutes of the workout become very uncomfortable. I see benefits to this as it is helpful for pace training, but it still isn’t exactly pleasant.
Then if that isn’t enough, due to the fact that my feet have an issue with supination, I just feel like I run funny and then I over-think it and then its just another thing that makes me dislike treadmill running. Also I am only 5 foot 1 and treadmills just aren’t designed for shorties like me. I get a weird gait and stride going. I feel like I can’t have proper form with my arms because the bars are right there and thus I hold them up higher in a very uncomfortable fashion. When I attempt to have “normal” form I always pull the emergency cord out and my workout just stops. UGH. But, optimism is the key so enough complaining.
How have I learned to “love” (tolerate) the treadmill..
1. Have a good – upbeat playlist of music to listen to.
2. Visualize your goal and focus on it.
3. Use a towel to cover up the time and mileage so you don’t continually stare (a watched pot never boils theory..).
4. Relax. This is a huge one, I always get all uptight and then my run suffers.
5. Change up the incline and pace.
6. Start your workout at a slower pace and work out. Vary the speed throughout.
7. Interval work, interval work, interval work. It really helps the time fly by.
8. Think positively before and during the workout. If you dread it all day then believe it or not, you will psych yourself out and your workout will suffer.
9. Make small goals. Like “okay 5 more minutes then I get a minute walk and water break,” usually, I end up making it through the 5 minutes and extend the goal. Most of the time I never take the walk break, but breaking the run up into intervals really helps it seem less daunting.
10. Have friends with you. Knowing the person on the treadmill next to you is enough motivation usually to push through. Even better, talk to them. The workout will fly by and you may learn something about them that you had no known before! Not to mention, you’re probably helping them push through their workout as well.
Are you an indoor or outdoor runner? Do you love the treadmill, the indoor track, the outdoor track, road running, or hitting the trails? Comment below and let me know what type of runner you are!
**Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, registered dietitian, physical trainer/therapist or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my stories and experiences with running, fitness, and life. When it comes to your health and fitness, do your research and consult a health career professional.**