The treadmill has been my nemesis for quite some time.
I'm not afraid of it. I'm not intimidated by it. I'm certainly not in a battle with it. But I avoid running on it at (almost) all cost.
A bigger-than-BIG goal of mine, this winter, is to have a much more open mind and a welcoming heart when it comes to indoor running. Heck, if I can make it through a Polar Vortex (and endure upwards of 20 Milly runs, all in one season), I can probably survive most any (near) catastrophic experience.
That's not an exaggeration.
Alas, I've decided to share a few tricks that got me through last year's Polar Vortex. Keep in mind, these coping mechanisms are unique to me, my mindset, and the particular locale of my treadmill (whom I not-so-fondly refer to as Milly).
Run short. Consider doing a simple, short run. It can be just a couple of miles in distance, or even just 20-30 minutes of cardio. You could make it into a quick speed workout, or just 30 minutes of easy-does-it running. Keep it short and sweet and it may not be so bad.
Mix it up. Personally, I just cannot do long, steady runs on the treadmill. Seriously, I think I have run six miles (once? maybe twice?), but usually five miles is my max. Those of you who can knock out double digit miles have my utmost respect, but not my envy (I say that sincerely). I usually have to switch up the speed and/or the incline intermittently. A five mile run goes a lot quicker (for me, at least) if each 1/2-mile has something different to offer.
Look elsewhere. My treadmill resides in our mud room, so there are no big screens for entertainment or distraction. A lot of my runs also happen in the early hours, so that window, looking out into our backyard, often times acts as a mirror when it's dark outside. Yeah. That gal in the window is entertaining for maybe the first mile, and then I get pretty bored with both her and her flopping ponytail. If you need a distraction, possibly your phone or iPad/tablet may suffice. Myself, I just suck it up and go without because it isn't worth the extra work (of focusing on a small screen while in movement), and I don't know how secure it would be from bouncing or sliding.
Swap in some strength-training breaks. As much as runners love their cardio, it's no secret a little bit of strength work makes us even better at running. Once in awhile, I pause after each mile and do a short set of upper-body strength moves, as well as a few lower-body moves. This is more of an all-body workout than an actual "run," but it gives me a few miles of cardio as well as some strength-training.
So, those are a few tricks I have in my treadmill survival arsenal. Not everyone needs such devices to get through the winter, but I do. I'm a die-hard summer runner gal at heart. I can tolerate the Winter, but that doesn't mean I have to love it.
Care to hear a bit more about me and my treadmill? Check out these posts:
The Treadmill: Five Recent Reality Revelations
A Treadmill Catharsis
I named her Milly
How do you feel about winter running? Do you find yourself running less in the cold weather? Running just as much? Do you take your runs to the treadmill when the temps get cold?
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Argh, I HATE the treadmill!! The only time I had to use it was on a business trip to India because there were no running options outside. So boring. I like the strength training breaks! I never thought of that!ReplyDelete
I agree...so BORING!!! Even though some distract themselves with TV or movies, etc., I don't think that would be a good fit for me...my form is already compromised on the 'mill; I got no business distracting myself further from the task at hand LOLDelete
I don't like running on a treadmill as I did only that over one icy winter and then hurt myself when I ran outside again (this was peculiar to me and doesn't mean I don't think people should run on treadmills). So if it's horribly icy out I will tend to do the same effort (time, usually) but on a cross trainer or static bike. I can read as I go then, too!ReplyDelete
I know the 'mill messes with my form and and stride. My long legs are almost a hazzard on that device, and I almost always feel it in my hips if I run too far (hence the 5-mile distance). BUT, I am glad I have it as an option when the weather isn't playing nice.Delete
I think we are using the same playbook. I usually aim for 3 miles, but might end up with 4, and definitely do intervals or some sort of progression.ReplyDelete
I know I have a lot of mental strength, but it goes out the window when I crank on the treadmill. And, I'm alright with that. I don't "need" anything further than those 5 miles anyways this time of year (at least while I'm inside).Delete
One way I keep my treadmill runs sane is by mixing it up with intervals. I also play "listening games" with my songs. Every time a certain word is said or if the chorus comes on I'll bump up the speed or incline. It keeps things interesting.ReplyDelete
Yes, I gotta keep the incline and speed almost constantly changing LOLDelete
Ah Kim, true life, I'm just off the tready from a 5 miler. There's so much ice outside that my weather app just shows a treadmill for every day of the 15 day forecast. To which I say my next outdoor run is going to be all the sweeter for all of the treadmill miles that will make it possible.ReplyDelete
Yes, that next outdoor run will be stellar!!!!Delete
You know I'm a treadmill lover! But that's because I've got endless hours of entertainment in front of me. I'm not sure I'd be able to just stare out the window or my reflection(!) for more than a mile or two! I'm totally fine just hanging out on my treadmill for the rest of the winter. It's my safe zone!ReplyDelete
You're lucky your body (and mind) can handle the treadmill for those long runs. At least I have discovered the magic and beauty of intervals (and incline variation) so I can tolerate the 'mill now and then ;-)Delete
I really admire people who manage (and even enjoy) long treadmill runs, but like you I don't envy them, LOL! I'm so glad I rarely have to use my treadmill but I love all the different ways you tackle the treadmill turmoil! Those post treadmill selfies of yours always make me smile, LOL!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Shathiso :-) I don't care how silly (or insane?) those outdoor selfies look, they are empowering to me. Everyone has their coping vice, right :-)Delete
I also avoid it all costs. Cannot remember the last time I went on mine! I have to watch tv or do something to distract myself for sure. Hope this winter does not keep you inside too muchReplyDelete
I really hope this winter will be a little kinder than last year. Having made it through last year's antics, I know I can do it again, if need be....but I'd rather just be outside :-)Delete
I definitely run on the treadmillmore, as you know. I’m with you on the short runs & progression runs. I have sometimes done longer runs . . . you do what you gotta.ReplyDelete
Yes we do what needs to get done. I'm just thankful I don't need to do anything longer than five miles this time of year LOLDelete
I actually dont mind the treadmill too much these days. There are times where convenience wins, and I appreciate being able to run at all. It can definitely get boring but I do many of the same tricks as you to change things up.ReplyDelete
I'm thankful that all of my treadmill runs are not out of necessity (for training, that is). ALL of them are elective, or I think I'd resent the 'mill even more. And, yes, those tricks are necessary for me...plus, they're a great exercise of my creativity. Glass half full!Delete
I have a new treadmill and while I don't like running inside, I can't complain about the ride. It even has a shelf for my iPad. If only I could get the WiFi to work in this remote corner of my house...First World Problems!ReplyDelete
Mine has an angled shelf, but the plastic shield isn't very big. When I do have my phone there, it rattles and vibrates like crazy, making it impossible to focus on what ever appears on the screen. I've thought about moving it downstairs, by the elliptica...but for the little I use it, I'm fine with the mental strength training it gives me. Yeah, first world probs for me, too.Delete
Good tricks! I like that idea of mixing it up with some strength training moves for variety. I definitely rely on Netflix on my Ipad for entertainment when I'm on the treadmill :)ReplyDelete
IF you have access to watching something, that's great! All I have is the view through the window (or my reflection LOL)Delete
I totally agree with all of that. There are some days I can easily knock out 4 miles without ever looking down at the distance screen. But other days it's just PAINFUL. Those are the days I switch it up every quarter mile. And it totally helps.ReplyDelete
Exactly! Sometimes I can go every half mile...but usually it's every 1/4 mile or bust.Delete
These are great tips! I agree that steady runs on the mill are hard. Mixing it up is key! I've been using the Peloton app lately to power me through 'mill runs.ReplyDelete
I just cannot do the long steady runs on the 'mill...I'm thankful I don't need to do them!Delete
Winter running is a wee bit different here, so I am usually fine to go out in our lowest temps (unless it's raining). The treadmill is very much my last resort. Also, I find people here use the mill more during the summer months than winter LOL.ReplyDelete
I love your outdoor selfies!
Sometimes the treadmill is a necessary thing. I love your tips. Many of the same as mine!ReplyDelete
I can tell it's been a crazy cold week or two because I've seen so many posts about treadmill running lately! I don't do it very often but when I do I need some kind of workout to help get me through.ReplyDelete
A few summers ago I did a lot of running on the treadmill. Yep, double digits for me. :-) I watched shows on Netflix which was my favorite thing to do. I also listened to music and used a timer while running at various speeds. Made the runs a bit more "exciting". The right gear is what makes winter running more bearable. One winter while training for a marathon, I did most of my runs outside. I think 1 or 2 were on the treadmill. I am still scared to run outside so treadmill running for me now.ReplyDelete