A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

A hate-love-hate affair with treadmills

on October 26, 2013

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My interest in running on a treadmill has definitely waxed and waned over the last  year. I was actually terrified of treadmills to start with, as evidenced by this little blurb on SparkPeople from July 31, 2012:

“Yesterday, I decided to go visit our local YMCA to see what their work out options were. I like the idea of all of the classes and somewhere to work out inside would be nice when winter hits (Midwest = loads of snow & me crashing & falling!). I was hoping they’d have an indoor track and was disappointed to see they didn’t. I started on an elliptical, because those I find pretty easy to operate and have played with them before. The whole time I kept glancing at the treadmill, really wanting to get my couch to 5K intervals in, but afraid of looking like an idiot in front of other people. You see, I’ve never actually used a treadmill. I tried once in college, but couldn’t get past the controls asking your weight and starting speed, etc, without getting confused and frustrated and feeling like everyone was staring at the fat girl who couldn’t operate the exercise equipment.

Finally, I made the jump (elliptical was harder on my legs than I expected and I wanted to have the energy to get a jog in later!) to the treadmill. It was easier than I expected! I just had to push go. I had a little trouble figuring out exactly what pace I moved at and adjusting that I was went, but I did it! I did my jogging intervals (even up to 90 seconds twice!) and by the end, was walking confidently to finish my work out. It was fun and I felt like I accomplished a lot! Best part is that I was able to do all of my jogging intervals without quitting early and that I didn’t let the exercise equipment intimidate me! Yay me!”

After getting over the terror of the first time, I found myself defaulting to the treadmill more and more. I didn’t have to think as much about how fast I was going or where I would run. It was a little easier without incline and with the belt helping along. Plus, it felt like lower impact on my feet. However, running indoors on the treadmill presented me with a rude awakening when I realized I would actually have to run outside for my first 5K! It is harder to run outside, physically, and it is also harder for me to breath in the cold air (I get a little laryngospasm from breathing the cold air!). After that 5K, I spent most of the next 6 months running indoors and didn’t really get back into the habit of running outside until I started 10K training. At that point, I made myself starting running outside more because a) the 10K and the half marathon to follow would be on pavement and I knew I needed to train on the surface I’d be racing on and b) knowing that the treadmill is a little easier, I knew I needed to work in more road running to really build my endurance and form if I was going to be a “real runner”.

Once I started regularly running outside, I got hooked! I realize now why people dread having to run on the treadmill so much – running outdoors in the fall is breathtaking in the best possible way.

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I’m going to hate giving that up when winter really starts to hit Nebraska, but I know I’ll need to limit some of my running outdoors when it gets snowy/icy just so I don’t risk hurting myself. Ideally, I’d like to at least get my long runs in on the road rather than the treadmill through winter (and am researching what cold weather gear I’ll need to make this work). I am grateful that my gym (Lifetime Fitness) has a ton of treadmills so I’ll always have a place to run and won’t miss out on my training when it gets cold. I’m looking at a treadmill run this weekend because I’m on call (can prop the phone up so I can see it rather than relying on my ability to hear it over my heavy breathing when I run outside), but am glad now that I’ve learned to mix it up more and embrace the different running surfaces.

Anyone else a little afraid of the treadmill to start with? I saw a poor woman fall off the treadmill when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago and my heart just broke for her because I was always terrified that would be me. I haven’t fallen off of one yet, but I’ve dropped many a towel and my headphones and other things that then go flying off the back!

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

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One response to “A hate-love-hate affair with treadmills

  1. […] A hate-love-hate affair with treadmills (littlemoreeachday.wordpress.com) […]

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