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Monday, September 19, 2011

Treadin' on the Treadmill

This afternoon, I again made a date with the treadmill at the campus gym, and again, I set myself a new post-Caleb PR.  3 miles in 29:15!  At that pace, right now, I may as well be the Millennium Falcon set on Light Speed!

Still, I feel duplicitous about the treadmill:

On the one hand: Unbelievable boredom.  It's so tough, mentally, to run but not go anywhere.  Add to that the fact that I have nothing to look at but the monitor, and I find that 3 miles seems to go awfully slow when I'm watching those miles clip by .1 at a time.

On the other hand, physically, I find it so much easier to run on a treadmill.  I spend most of the time fiddling with the speed, and the beauty (or agony, depending on how you look at it) of the treadmill is that you HAVE to go that speed.  It's a run-or-fly-off-the-machine situation.  So, it just makes me RUN.  Plus, it helps that it's about 20 degrees cooler in the gym than it is outside, and that counts for a lot.

Tentatively, I'm planning to utilize the treadmill about twice a week, so perhaps I will just count those runs as "speed work" (I put that in quotes because true speed work seems planned -- using lots of numbers and an abacus, I assume; my version of speed work is just treadmill-style fartleks) since I'm no where close to those same digits in the outside world!

11 comments:

5'10" Irish said...

I totally use my treadmill for speedwork! I do .25 mile at 7mph and .75 at 6mph. It's tough but it makes the run go sooo much faster! Start out with a nice slow warm up mile and cool down mile and before you know it you've run 5 miles! And you totally need some sort of tv option. I used to get motion sick running and watching tv (actually I get motion sick doing most everything) but you get used to it and over it quick!

MCM Mama said...

Yep, same way I use the treadmill. I play with the speed to keep my mind engaged.

Lisa said...

I almost never use a treadmill (so far only twice all year) because of the boredom factor. I'll be interested in finding out what you do to keep it interesting enough to keep going back

James said...

I'm quite the opposite. My gait changes significantly when on a treadmill. It's almost a forced effort to run correct. I'm not a speed player. Usually I bring my phone with a movie on it and just veg out watching something.

runner26 said...

yay good job! i've found the treadmill is a good option when i want to do "speed" as well. setting the pace helps you do it with little thought. it certainly doesn't compare to the great outdoors, but as you mentioned, it does have some advantages (ie weather)

Robin said...

As much as I despise the treadmill at times, I prefer doing speedwork on it. It is great for intervals. I still prefer tempo runs outside though. If you do a couple of speedwork days on the treadmill each week, you are going to be super fast in no time!!

Leah said...

I hate running on treadmills but they do have a time and a place. I think there is a suggestion to put the incline at 1-2% to make up for the fact that the machine is doing some of the work for you (it's pulling your foot back) and there is no wind or other factors that you would encounter outdoors. I read that 1-2% is good...but I don't remember where I read it :). sorry for the lack of reference!

Nobel4Lit said...

I find it easier to run on the treadmill to a degree, but the stuffiness of a room (I heat up very easily anytime I exercise or just move in general) makes me want to die much faster. Therefore, I prefer to run outside, but it's much safer on a treadmill, so I pick my poison most days.

Sarah said...

Good work, Jess! I hate the treadmill too. I always alter my stride on the treadmill so I get shin splints.

Super props on making running work for you when you can, wherever you can! The heat and humidity sound killer.

Marlene said...

YAY for another treadmill run! Killer pace!! I hear you on the boredom, though. Messing around with the pace and incline usually helps pass the time.

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