Friday, February 12, 2016

The benefits of running on a treadmill and some tricks to get you through it

There was a time when I toughed it out and would run outside all winter long, no matter what the weather was like.  Ice pellets in the eyes, slippery conditions, icicles growing on my eyelashes... I've done my time outside and in the dark and I've seriously come to love treadmill running.  



Now, I get it.  Treadmill running takes a certain amount of training.  At first I hated it.  I couldn't wait to finish a mile on that thing.  But over time I've come figure out a few tricks of the trade to get me through and actually enjoy running on the treadmill.  





Escape the elements!  
Now, you do feel quite badass when you finish a run in the driving rain, or a blizzard, or in the pitch dark.  But let's be honest, I don't find it fun to run in the dark or with ice pellets hitting my eyes.  I do like running in the rain....but I'm a little picky about what kind of rain.  A cold, bone chilling rain? No thank you.  On the treadmill, you get to stay warm and dry (except for the sweat) and get in a quality workout!  

Sweat! 
I'd rather be sweaty than frozen.  Warm muscles make for a better run anyway.  Now there are ways to avoid getting overly sweaty.  Turn on a fan or two....or open a window.  I know my favorite treadmill at the gym is right beside the window.  When I start getting too hot, I just open the window and continue to enjoy my run!  Just be ready with some ShowerPill wipes when you are done.  You'll need them!  (use my discount code WIPEDOWN for 15%)



Come prepared.
Bring what you need.  The benefit to the treadmill is that you have a place to put your stuff so you have it at hand when you need it and do not have to carry it.  Have your SOS Rehydrate in your water bottle, towel for the sweat, and favorite ear buds.   My iPhone has been key in getting me through lots of running on the treadmill.  



Always have a large stock of SOS!  And if you don't, you better have Amazon Prime so you can get it fast! (I've learned my lesson)

Mpow earbuds and SOS (along with my fave Altras, ProCompression, Spandits, and Run All Day tank)


I have since switched to wireless earbuds (because I kept yanking the cord of my Yurbuds and my phone would go flying).  My friend Seth turned me to Mpow wireless earbuds.  Mine are bit different than his, but I am loving mine!  



Music! 
I used to always run with music.  But I've gotten a bit more aware of the dangers of running when you cannot hear what's going on around you.  When I run outside, I usually do not listen to music.  Unless I'm in a race.  But when I'm on the treadmill, I like my music loud.  I don't like to listen to my race playlist too much though - because I don't want to be tired of my playlist before the race.  There is a great app call Spring.  



I've only used it on the treadmill so far, but I love how you can choose the steps per minute and music genres.  You can also skip past some songs you aren't in love with, however, you only allowed to skip past 5 songs.  Which I've only done once.  Most of the time I have loved the music played on the app.  



Movies!
When music isn't cutting it, I have a couple of favorite apps on my phone.  My DirectTv app and HBOtoGo apps.  I love to watch a great cheesy 80's or 90's movie without interruptions.  Movies have gotten me through many, many runs.  


And have some great workouts ready to go.....

The Incline Workout.  
I will be honest, I don't always turn the incline on when I'm on the treadmill.  But I know that my time on the treadmill isn't getting me ready for any races that's for sure...because basically non of them are flat! (well, maybe a small handful)   



When I trained for Mt. Washington Road Race, my best workouts were on the treadmill.  I'm not training for that race (yet), but I'm still turning on the incline!   The pace varies with this workout.   If I'm training for a 5k or 10k, I increase the pace of this workout closer to a 10k pace.  For the most part, I keep this workout at my marathon goal pace (which is 7.0 speed/ 8:34 pace).  



Ladder Workout.  
This workout can be any distance you want it to be.  Just make the adjustments.  It's a favorite of mine for sure.   I have found that it's best to do an odd number of miles to make a "perfect" ladder.  But even numbers work as well.  You just have to be flexible with it.  



Depending on my goals and distance, I may up the pace or make the pace increases smaller.  But you get the idea.  Start off at a comfortable pace and increase it.  Get to a plateau, then work yourself backwards!  It's easy to modify to meet you needs.  


Now.  What are your tricks of the trade for treadmill running?  What workouts do you enjoy most?





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