I Don’t Hate the Treadmill

6 May

And that’s not sarcasm either.  Most people loathe the treadmill, but I really appreciate mine.  It’s nothing fancy, just something I got on the cheap from Craigslist.  It was probably built in the 1980s based on the wood paneling and no arm holds–that took some getting used to.  But it has multiple speeds (who in the world uses 26!!!!) and incline from 1 to 15, as well as programs, intervals, and a calorie-counter.  It’s everything I need.  Though I think a fan and i-pod port and heart rate monitor wouldn’t be the worst features to have.

I actually wanted to write this post on April 11, because that was the ONE HUNDRED DAYS IN-A-ROW of treadmilling at least one mile first thing in the morning.  Which I am very proud of because it wasn’t always easy finding motivation, changing my lifestyle, and working it in despite long, early days at work and exam schedules.  But I did it!  Cool did it too.  So today is day 125 in a  row I think, but it’s my technical first day of summer break so I think it’s still appropriate.

Pagosa Springs winter hike

I love the treadmill because I’m a fair-weather runner.  I ONLY run if it’s 60 degrees F or more, and prefer no rain/snow.  Living in Washington, those days are few and far between.  I also like my treadmill because I don’t have to get ready, look presentable, or take the time to get anywhere.  I can roll out of bed, put on mismatched clothes, maybe even spandex, which I am horribly against (in public) and step onto the treadmill with uncombed hair and unbrushed teeth.  And no one knows but me, Cool, and the cats.  Thirdly, I think it’s great because I can listen to music (or even watch TV!)without cord control issues, which constantly bother me on the track.  Fourth, since I’m in my own house, I never have to wait for a machine, abort running plans because some class or sport has dibs on the facilities, or deal with other people’s lack of consideration (running in my lane on the track, leaving sweat on the gym treadmill.)  AND lastly, I like that I can keep an eye on all my stats, control my pace, and be constantly apprised of my progress on the treadmill.

Some people get bored on the treadmill, but I never do.  I try to vary my workouts.  For example:

-one day I’ll do speed and try to do the mile as fast as my feet will carry me.  During this I might focus on form, breathing, mental strength, or try to ignore the distance all-together.

-another day I might try walk/run.  Go to a speed higher then I’m comfortable, then walk for less time then I’m comfortable.  Right now, I do 9-9.5 speed, then try to walk no more then 40 sec on 3-3.5 speed.  Over and over until the mile is finished.

-I might do descending incline, with or without ascending speed.  I’ll start at incline of 15 and say, speed of 4.0.  Then every 30 sec I increase speed by half, and every minute I’ll decrease incline by one.  So it looks like:

18 min = incline 14, speed 5.0

17:30 = incline 14, speed 5.5

17 min = incline 13, speed 6.0

16:30 = incline 13, speed 6.5

16 min = incline 12, speed 7.0

You get the idea.  And you see how HARD 7.5 might be at an incline of 12!

-Some days I try for endurance.  Where I run half a speed higher then my comfortable pace and try to maintain that over the whole mile.

-Then, on about 2 days of the week, I do “strength” treadmilling, where I slow down to a speed of 1-ish, and do lunges +/- weights.  This is SUPER hard, if you lunge it out for 1.5 minutes, then try to run immediately at a 4+ speed, then go right back into lunges.  It burns!  I also turn to the side so my cheek is facing the control panel of the treadmill.  And on incline of 15 I do side-shuffles (like in volleyball).  I stay facing the side and do grapevines up the incline.  So it’s slow, but works on a lot of lower body musicles (and upper body if I use 5 lb weights simultaneously.

You can see there’s just an unlimited amount of combinations that can be done, so the only reason to get bored is mental weakness.  If you think treadmilling is somehow a lowly form of running, then I guess you’ll be bored and hate it.  Here’s some more workouts I’m going to try now that it’s summer:

5:00 segment2:00 pace3:00 pace0 – 5:006.7 (8:57)7.2 (8:20)5:00 – 10:006.8 7.3 10:00 – 15:006.97.415:00 – 20:006.87.320:00 – 25:006.97.425:00 – 30:007.0 (8:34)7.5 (8:00)30:00 – 35:006.97.435:00 – 40:007.07.540:00 – 45:007.17.645:00 – 50:007.07.550:00 – 55:007.17.655:00 – 60:007.2 (8:20)7.7 (7:48)1 hourAverage:~8:20

5:00 segment 2:00 pace 3:00 pace
0 – 5:00 6.7 (8:57) 7.2 (8:20)
5:00 – 10:00 6.9 7.4
10:00 – 15:00 7.1 7.6
15:00 – 20:00 7.3 7.8
20:00 – 25:00 7.5 8.0
25:00 – 30:00 7.7 (7:48) 8.2 (7:19)
30:00 – 35:00 7.9 8.4
35:00 – 40:00 8.1 8.6
40:00 – 45:00 8.3 8.8
45:00 – 50:00 8.5 9.0
50:00 – 55:00 8.7 9.2
55:00 – 60:00 8.9 (6:44) 9.4 (6:28)
1 hour Average: ~7:25
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