If you have read my blog before you probably know by now that I am not a fan of the treadmill. I run outdoors whenever possible and the 2-3 times a year when I do run on a treadmill I am miserable throughout the run and complain about it afterward. Over the past week I not only declared that I wanted to buy a treadmill (on the day of a blizzard) and then started a free one week trial at a nearby gym so that I could run on one while we are still dealing with less-than-ideal running conditions.
It’s good to have running-blog friends who talk about their own running because a few days ago Meredith wrote this post about the Benefits of Treadmill Running for Outdoor Runners. I definitely agree there is a place for treadmill running and it can serve it’s purpose and even be beneficial. While I was running my 5
torturous slow miles on the treadmill on Wednesday I came up with 5 reasons why treadmill running is actually a GOOD thing for me to be doing right now. Here’s why.
1. I run much slower on the treadmill for some reason. I usually start is at a 5.5 which is well below a 10 minute mile pace, and my first mile usually clocks in around 10:10 or so. Typically my easy runs outdoors are 9:30, sometimes faster. I have no idea why it takes me so much longer to warm up on a treadmill but I think part of it is getting comfortable with my stride and not feeling like I am going to fall off. However, despite my irrational fears I think this is a good thing because it forces me to truly slow down, especially right now while I am not training for anything specific. I know some people think treadmill running is easier and they naturally run faster but this is not me. Sometimes by the end of my run I get closer to an 8:00 minute pace but my overall pace is always much slower than outdoors.
2. I found that while running on a treadmill I am forced to really focus on my form. This is one of the things I am working on after visiting the UVA Speed Clinic, and I only got to run outdoors twice after my visit there before the blizzard hit. While I am on the treadmill I am not only running slower but I am really thinking about how my body feels, where my feet are landing, running tall, etc. I am also 100% willing to stop and reset if needed. In fact I usually stop and walk for 30 seconds about every mile or so when I run on a treadmill. I drink some water, change up my music, and then I start back up running again and feel like I am able to hold a better posture because I am not tired from running the whole time.
3. Safety. Of course I want to be running outside but I know it’s not safe between the possible ice and piles of snow everywhere and lack of sidewalks. It’s tempting when I see on Instagram that other runners are out there but I know that in my neighborhood right now it’s just not a good choice.
4. Being on a treadmill is a change of terrain which can definitely be a good thing. I run on the same surface every day because trails are not easily accessible. This will give my body a little break while I am also running slower and less miles.
5. There will be less sweaty running clothes! The laundry situation can get really ridiculous when I wear so many layers to run in the cold, so it will be nice to just wear shorts and a tank top again.
I haven’t decided if I am going to do a monthly membership after my week trial is up but I am kind of waiting to see what the outdoor running situation is like after this weekend. It is supposed to warm up a bit but we really have a lot of snow and it may not melt for several weeks. I don’t like the idea of driving to and from a gym just to run but it may be worth it just to get through the next month.
[Tweet “@runningoutwine is not a fan of the treadmill, but read about why it’s a good option right now! #run #treadmill #fridayfive”]
How do you feel about running on the treadmill?
Are there any other runners who sometimes feel like treadmill running is a necessary evil?