Treadmill: The love/hate but a great training tool

Treadmill running: it is something that all runners will have to experience in their careers.  The sessions could happen when people are rehabbing or need to acclimate (hot or cold).  I, being from South Eastern Ontario, just had to deal with Ice Storm 2013 – not much fun. Power being out, road conditions were/are awful but running is still on my must do list.  I decided to stay safe and stay in doors and just run on the treadmill until the conditions clear up and the footing is better.

I have done the long treadmill runs a couple of times in my career.  The first time was in 2011 when my family drove down to Hilton Head Island.  I had to get up early and run 5 miles in the morning and 8-10miles on the t-mill when we arrived in the next city.  That was one experience you learn from.  Finally, when we arrived in Hilton Head it was so dark that it was dangerous. For some reason, these communities don’t have street lights! So I ran 500m out and backs 32x.  I dig running!

The next time I turned to the machine rubber band was this summer.  The fellas and I headed down to Houston to watch the Blue Jays and have some fun.  I was in the middle of a marathon build and needed to some runs.  Anyways, it’s like 40+ celsius in Houston during the summer so I elected to run on the treadmill (good travel buddy those t-mills are!) I ran all of my runs/workouts on the treadmill including a 25mile workout.  Ya that’s right, a couple of hours staring at the Toyota Center.  Hear me now folks, these are some of the tricks I have learned to run for a long time on a treadmill both in public settings and hotel settings:

  1. Acceptance – make the best of the situation by knowing that this is what your body and mind will be doing for the next X number of minutes/hours
  2. Distractions – I am a huge fan of stand up comedy sets on a treadmill.  It’s funny and if the set is good, the comedian takes your mind to another place.
  3. Wear the right clothing – maaan i have seen people at the gym running on the treadmill for 30+ minutes with long sleeves on.  All I’m thinking is, bet you could have run more if you weren’t sweating profusely and feeling self-conscious about it.  Singlets or tanks and of course shorts.
  4. Incline of the beast – If you are on that sucker for more than 20 min, I suggest not running at level 2 incline the whole time.  Give those calfs a break folks.
  5. Random setting – Keeps you guessing and those unexpected inclines can feel like a treat.
  6. People watch – now be discrete, folks!
  7. Make mental goals – In a busy gym sometimes I will test my concentration by seeing if i can stare at something (NOT someone!) for a 5 minute song or a set time.
  8. Play with pace – Have a set range and play around with your running speed in that range.  Never have I ever heard of a person running a perfectly paced run!
  9. Fuel up – If you are switching temps (-20 to +20) your bodies sweat rate will change with that.  Make sure you have enough water or e load for the ride!
  10. Training is training.  Put your work boots on and get’r done!

I gotta giddy up and go but have a Happy New Year’s Eve!


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