No matter how much I personally dislike running on the treadmill, I can’t deny that for some folks the treadmill is a necessary evil.
Several of the #DizRunners aren’t exactly fans of the treadmill, but due to the crazy weather this winter there are more than a few that have been logging some miles on the dreadmill.
For real though, my heart breaks for them!
That said, there are some ways you can make treadmill lemonade when you’re stuck running inside.
The Treadmill’s Saving Grace
If you like running on the treadmill, then more power to you.
I’d make the argument that you have something wrong with your head, but that’s another discussion for another day.
But for those of us that aren’t fans of the treadmill, when we are forced inside for whatever reason we do what we have to do.
We may not do it cheerfully, but we do it.
In this situation, getting on the treadmill and grinding out the necessary miles is certainly an option.
But, if you’re going to be on the damn conveyor belt, you may as well get some value out of it, right?
The one thing that the treadmill really has going for it, that running anywhere else simply can’t match, is the ability of the machine to control your pace.
When life gives you lemons and forces you inside, may as well make some treadmill lemonade, eh?
Making Treadmill Lemonade
Here are a few suggestions of ways you can use the treadmill to help you improve your pace control, the next time life or Mother Nature forces you inside for a workout.
If you’re a run/walk athlete, does your running pace stay consistent throughout your runs or do you tend to slow down as you go?
One thing that a lot of runners struggle with is going out too fast and then fading in the second half of a run or race.
I never thought about run/walkers struggling with the same thing, but it turns out that some of them do!
If this sounds like you, use the treadmill to help you maintain the same pace for all of your run intervals.
Note, this might mean that you might feel like you’re holding back on the first few intervals.
If there’s one thing I’m sure you’re sick of me talking about, it’s the value of the easy run.
Whether you’re going all in on HR training or not, figuring out how to run easy is a challenge for a lot of us.
In fact, running easy may actually feel more difficult at first because you’re not used to it.
If you’re trying to adjust to running easy out on the road or the trails, there’s a pretty good chance that you mind end up not slowing down as much as you need to in order to truly run easy.
Enter the treadmill.
Set the pace to something that is easy, and don’t change the pace.
Sure, it might feel a bit awkward at first.
But guess what?
You’re never going to get comfortable with running easy until you practice it enough times that it starts to feel natural.
If you struggle with keeping your easy runs easy, use the treadmill to help you get through that “awkward phase” and adjust to running easy.
For my money, tempo runs are the most difficult high-intensity workout there is.
The idea behind a tempo run, in case you aren’t aware, is to basically push yourself almost to the limit without going too far.
In an ideal world, that means your miles at tempo pace should all be pretty much exactly the same.
But what happens all to often is that tempo runs look more like a mild progression run.
We start off at a certain pace, and then get a little faster with each mile.
It makes sense in theory, and I’m totally guilty of doing this exact thing with most of my tempo efforts. But that is not a true tempo run.
If you struggle with holding that “this sucks” pace for 3-5 miles on your tempo runs, and instead have a tendency to start a little slow and finish a little fast, use the treadmill to keep your pace constant.
I’m here to tell you it’s going to suck.
But if you’re going to do the workout, you may as well do it right.
It’s a Tool if You Let It Be
If you’re as anti-treadmill as I am, I’m not saying you have to fall in love with the damn thing.
But if your options are limited and running inside is required, the treadmill can be beneficial to your long-term progress within our sport.
If you’re going to run on the dreadmill, it might as well serve you, eh?
How Do You Use the Treadmill to Help You Reach Your Running Goals?
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