The Treadmill Post.

The treadmill post.

We all know I effing hate the treadmill.  I don’t like to just go run on the treadmill when I can go outside and run.  I think the mill causes a lot of problems and quite frankly, I’d prefer to cross train my little heart out before using the treadmill.

That, however, doesn’t align with my running goals.  When you live in a place that it is unreasonable and stupid to run outside…you have to do things that maybe aren’t your favorite.

I have run on the treadmill before…it isn’t like I’m a n00b treadmill runner.  I don’t really have the best luck with it though.  You see I have a really weird running form and if you’ve run with me before you know I literally look like a human ostrich.  I run (and walk) for that matter, very far on my toes.  So much so that my shoes with 1000 miles still have almost perfect tread on the heals…I’m not joking.  It isn’t something I purposely do either.

The treadmill is a great tool when the weather is not okay to run outdoors and living in Upstate, NY,  I can almost guarantee you that is all the time in the winter.  I would prefer to run on the treadmill then running outside in the sleet, hail, ice, wind and cold.  Cold I can deal with until about 10 degrees and then adding in the wind chill…no thanks.

Here are some of the things I do when running on the treadmill:

  1. Once I start the button…I don’t normally touch it throughout the entire run.  It normally stays somewhere between 7.0-7.5.  That’s it.  I don’t prefer to go any faster than an 8 minute pace.  I know the treadmill could force me too…but that is exactly what it does…forces you too.
  2. I don’t get off for water breaks.  If I get off for a water break, I generally don’t stop the belt.  Doing that multiple times in a run can allow the belt to run for an extra mile that you are drinking water.  Plus if you find yourself needing 10 water breaks, chances are you are bored or the pace is to fast for you.
  3. I don’t push the pace.  I don’t care…these runs could all be slow and it won’t bother me.
  4. Speaking of pushing the pace, I don’t sprint the last 5 minutes of the workout to cause my overall pace to be 30 seconds faster than the last hour of running.  I don’t care that much and that is just saying, hey moving conveyer belt: here are multiple ways to injure me…do your worst.  My blog isn’t here to impress you with my training or for you to compare yourself to me.
  5. I do watch trashy tv and keep it mindless.

The treadmill doesn’t have to be the worst experience of your life.  It is actually a bit of a softer ground then running on concrete.  What you do have to do though is be a bit smarter with your training as to not promote injuries.

Questions for you:

1.       Do you ever have to run on the treadmill?  (or do you just like too?)

2.       What is your favorite surface to run on?

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  1. I have seen you run before (and walk, duh) and I remember thinking how strange it was that you were always on your toes. I guess that’s what they always try to get us to do with running, just a tad bit more exaggerated than most people lol I like your approach to the dreadmill. If you’re going to do it, you might as well not push it and try to enjoy yourself. it’s hard to keep up with the television if you’re too busy holding on for dear life so you don’t fall off haha

  2. I LOVE treadmill running! I get outside as much as I possibly can but I also live in an area where that it not always possible. Like this weekend I did half my long run on the treadmill and the other half outside. Outside was freezing cold and icy and I fell twice. Should have stayed on the treadmill and I am lucky I didn’t get hurt.

    1. Glad to hear you didn’t get hurt. I have come to the point that running on the treadmill doesn’t bother me too much and I’d prefer to just do it all inside. I can’t imagine changing clothes and all that jazz…I’d go into negative motivation mode LOL!

  3. I was running on the treadmill 2 winters ago – gave up the gym membership and have been forced outdoors ever since.. many days I wish I had one still…

    1. I can’t even imagine in Rochester! A lot of gyms allow you to do month by month…that is what I’m doing right now since I have no desires to stay in Oswego for a year long contract!

  4. I agree with this speed. I love watching people at the gym sprinting at a 10.0 on the machine. Like come on buddy, we all know you can’t do this off the mill so why both on?? I like to find movies / I have to cover up the number on the machine in order to really stay for very long. I can keep a clock around but watching the numbers on the machine make it feel like forever. Commercials drive me nuts on there.

  5. I feel like one of the only people in the world who totally loves the treadmill and it is mostly because of #5 on your list– I’m just starting out running and it’s all mental for me, my run is so much easier with some trashy TV to help me out!

  6. While I don’t love the treadmill, I put up with it for short workouts. Right now, I’m only using it for 20-30 minutes at a time, and that’s proving to be enough before I get too bored. And I need to do intervals, otherwise the time absolutely crawls for me.

  7. I prefer using the treadmill because I’m not a hardcore runner. It helps me keep a good pace. If I’m outside, I end up going too fast or too slow and it’s just a mess. And I’m never on it for more than 45 minutes or so. I like to do intervals to keep things interesting!

  8. I have to run on the treadmill a lot, because I live in a place with really crappy weather. I much prefer to run outside in trails when it’s decent outside. Good thoughts about treadmill running though…I agree!

  9. I really dislike running on the treadmill too– it feels so much longer than it actually is!!

  10. I totally agree with you. I can totally push myself too far on the treadmill. I am glad you’re smart about it and I’m even more glad about the trashy TV.

  11. I run on it occasionally, I did yesterday. I do a lot of intervals/speedy stuff on there since there’s no track nearby. Yeah, I know the belt moves me some so it’s not true to speed, but it definitely helps a bit. I don’t run on it more than once a week, if that, though.

    Trashy TV is the best way to get through it if you have to be on there long. I used to do like you and just run 6-7 miles on it at about that pace and watch an hour long TV show. Guess it’s not so bad if you were already going to watch the show, hehe.

    1. If you get your speed there so be it. I know a lot of people who choose to do speed on treadmills to make a certain pace and it makes sense. I personally have had bad experiences with that so it’s just better I don’t even attempt that..god knows I would fly off the back!

  12. I typically keep the treadmill set between 7.2-7.6 as well. I hate to run on the treadmill but do most of the time in the winter, because its cold and too dark at 6am for my liking!

  13. Oh dear. You’d hate me on a treadmill – I am one of those people who hates running on it but cranks up the speed so it forces you to run faster. I am ‘that’ person sprinting at the end of the workout to make the average pace seem faster. But I do that because I am bloody lazy, and I never achieve those paces outside. I’ve had a crap time with running recently and I find it really motivating to see half-decent paces for once instead of pathetic 9-minute miles when I used to see 7s and 8s. I need that incenctive, even if it is false , and I need to be forced to run fast because I am a gross fatso who won’t do it otherwise 🙁

    I have the opposite problem to you – I heel strike so badly that I wear out the heels of running shoes after only 3-400 miles. And my form is so weird (probably my huge arse dragging me down :P) that I can’t run more than 9 or 10 miles on the TM at a time without experiencing a lot of hip pain and deadness/numbness in my right leg. I wish I was a graceful gazelle who ran on her toes.

    I don’t give two hoots about the cold, wet, snow, wind etc. but what I do care about is the possibility of twisting my ankle again or worse breaking it. So I run on the treadmill in the winter, however much I abhor the damn thing.


    1. I have some pairs of shoes with the holes in the front LOL. We could make a pair of shoes last quite a long time between the both of us.

      I’m just as nervous to injure myself being outside due to the elements. I’d prefer to run inside then slip and fall or twist an ankle.

  14. I hate the treadmill too, but I use it in the winter because I hate the cold even more. That being said, I absolutely can’t run on it. I have a phobia that my stride is going to be too long and that I’ll end up flying off the end. Strange but true. And yes, trashy TV/magazines are a must – there’s no other way to feel less like a hamster…

  15. I hate the treadmill but I’ve accepted that its kind of necessary so I suck it up. I’m also not in any hurry when I’m on it.. its actually easier for me to get easy runs on them since I can actually control the incline and I suppose it is definitely better than nothing. Also, I am a fellow ostrich – Jimbo Allott calls me twinkle toes

  16. my problem is in the early am there isn’t a lot of trashy tv, I swear that would help those runs go faster. I still give you credit, the dreadmill is tough and I don’t even have to use it that much

  17. I like these tips. I’m so not a fan of the treadmill and always struggle to even get on it when I’m at the gym. Next time I’ll definitely use your first tip about not touching the dial. That way I’ll stay on it!

  18. I’m definitely not a fan of the treadmill and I think I’m much more prone to injury running on it than running outside BUT there are days when it is just unsafe to run outside due to ice or cold temps. I’d much rather be bored and run slow than get injured slipping on some ice. I also watch a lot of trash tv via Netflix on my phone. It makes the time go so much faster.

  19. I found that the treadmill really messes with my running form and leads to random aches and pains that don’t occur when I run outdoors. You’re right though, sometimes it is absolutely necessary to avoid the outdoors and the treadmill really is the best option. Trashy TV and loud music really does help though 🙂

  20. I wish the treadmill were an option for me. When I do use it, my achilles tendinitis comes back very quickly (after like 1 mile), and I start to get pain here and there. After I am done, I know the day will be spent wondering if I’ll be able to run the next day. I think I need you to teach me how to run on the treadmill without falling apart! So for me it means that rain or snow, or sleet, I will go outside and risk falling on my face, since not running is not an option….


  21. Me and the treadmill used to be bestiessss. I watched Boy Meets World at 6 AM or would wait until Regis and Kelly were on at 9 haha. I definitely prefer running on flat trails. Running on trails just feels so perfect on my legs.

  22. Im pretty sure I have said this like 230840398 times but I really like that you emphasize not pushing pace on that stupid machine. Otherwise it makes the time on there awful. Maybe the reason you are a speedy runner is because you run on your toes – I’ve heard that is supposed to increase speed compared to heel strikers.

  23. I love/hate the treadmill. Better than not running but not the most fun thing in the world. If I ever get off the mill during a run there’s no way I get back on so I just keep my water bottle on the treadmill which to me is one of the nice things about having a treadmill…you can stash stuff!

  24. I really don’t mind the treadmill, but have come to miss the outdoors since it has been so cold and I am back at school with no time. I like the treadmill for its convenience when I am on campus between classes. Thank you for not pushing the pace and possibly getting injured and/or falling off. I can’t watch TV I do music, but I imagine those personal TVs would work like they have at the Y

  25. I flipping HATE the dreadmill. It is really a form of torture if you ask me. But since I moved off campus after graduation and live alone (in the not so nice side of town) I have resorted to the TM.

    Which is why i fill my time with watching countless hours of trashy NIP TUCK!

  26. I recently decided that packed snow is the BEST surface to run on, as long as it’s not slippery. I know the treadmill is supposed to be softer than concrete, but I always seem to get strange pains when I use it (probably because it changes my stride or something).

  27. I have to run on the treadmill more than I like. I too live in upstate NY but don’t get the snow or cool temps that you get. It’s often icier here I think. That is what scares me the most, cold not so much. I remember doing the “Frozen Foot” races when I lived in the North Country. At the start of one race it was 20 degrees, F! That race was well attended too! 🙂

    Strictly speaking of surfaces, I like the new track surfaces but track running can get monotinous. My fave surfaces are trails. I like the variations, the fact that I have to pay attention, et cetera. I also like to be off road, in beautiful places where I can hear the many species of birds and other wildlife.

    1. Where do you live? There were Frozen Foote races when I went to college at SUNY Potsdam. I did one of them actually. I work at SUNY Oswego now 🙂

  28. I think running on the TM makes me faster as I can’t slow down. I also have a bad habit of notching up the pace every few laps. That is all I touch once I start. I set my incline & go. If I start to feel tired, I up the pace. Also, the TM is the only place I wear headphones so it’s the only time I get to listen to music when I run. I can’t watch sports, esp football or snowboarding as my body wants to juke around in response to the tackles, jumps, etc. which make me nearly fall off the TM! I have fallen off & it’s not fun!

  29. Yes, yes, and yes to numbers 1-5 of this post. I have a love-hate relationship with my treadmill. It’s great for days when it’s fuuuuurrrreeeezing out (which seems to be always where I live) but it’s never going to really improve my fitness. It won’t detract from it per se, but I’m never gonna be able to get an amazing workout done on it. It’s fine for maintaining fitness and it’s certainly better than not running at all. And yes, I watch shitty tv shows while running on it in order to force myself to not give up from boredom. There are runners out there who are “hardcore” and would never set foot on a treadmill let alone watch Chelsea Lately and Biggest Loser episodes while doing so….. and um, good for them and everything, but being a treadmill chump can be fun! Fuck the haters…

    1. I’m kind of confused about the treadmill not improving/maintaining your fitness? You can still a hold a base with it…well that is my plan anyways. I do agree it’s better then not running at all. I also know hardcore runners that run most, if not all their miles on a treadmill. Could I do that? No probably not.

      1. I just meant that personally MY treadmill workouts won’t improve my fitness. Mostly because I’m lazy as all heck when I get on it and my treadmill is old and has a shitty surface so I’m afraid I’ll get injured if I push too hard.

      2. I fear too that I’ll get injured pushing the pace…but that could be mostly because I have. I hope neither of us gets injured and preserves our fitness through the spring! 😉

  30. *Sigh* dreadmill running. Even though weather conditions can get, uh, let’s say unfavorable in Upstate NY, I will run outside in just about anything. For me, the treadmill makes it easier to hold a given pace, which is fine every one in a while, but there’s no way I could log the majority of my time on it. Oh, and my favorite surface to run on is one that isn’t covered in snow or ice. 😉

  31. I’m starting to embrace the treadmill…as you can tell. I think the only reason I tend to speed it up is because I usually have limited time when I’m at the gym because of classes. Somee day I’ll get to your level and be able to run double digits. As far as TV, I always watch the Today show since I’m there bright and early. That’s semi-trashy news, right?

  32. The treadmill was the bane of my existance…then I moved somewhere where it is unsafe to run in the dark (the only time I can) and I got over it.
    #4 haha!

  33. Is it okay that I gave myself a little pat on the back after reading this? I used to be INFAMOUS for sprinting the last 5 min to drop my splits (I did it on the erg too … but that was encouraged by our coaches). It hasn’t been the case on the TM this winter, and even during my half training in the summer and through my training in the fall and winter, if I want to push it at the end, I’ll do it for the last 1/4 of the workout, but not as intensely. I’m also a huge hater of stepping off the belt. If you need to step off, you should be slowing the belt down. That being said, I’m going to do my first speedwork (in prep for an upcoming half) on the TM tomorrow, and I’m almost hoping that it pulls me along a bit. I need to get back into figuring out what it feels like to get that quick turn-over and to get in the tougher cardio workout. Will I spend all my speedwork on the TM from here on in? Nope!! (spring will eventually arrive, thank god) But it’ll be a good help at the beginning. Mile repeats in the snow pit that is Ontario?! No thank you, especially not if we’re expecting freezing rain.
    Ps. Wish I had your natural toe tapping abilities. It took me a while to eliminate the majority of my heel striking. Mostly cured now!! (Running in the snow has actually helped a lot!!)

  34. OH the joys of the treadmill. I have a secret – I have only been on the treadmill two times in my entire life. Both times were inside a physical therapy clinic while I was getting therapied or whatever. But then again, like I’ve said, I’ve never lived in a place that forced me to be on the treadmill. Even the year I went to college in maine, it’d be cold and snowy as fuck but the roads were clear and it was never windy…and if it was we just used the indoor track. Which is only 0.0002% less boring but whatever. I like how you use the treadmill to get in miles and don’t push yourself on it cuz I’m in agreement with you, it can cause some injuries and imbalances if you’re on there too much and going too fast!

  35. When I lived in the states I’d prefer running outside.. um hello VA beach boardwalk is just beautiful to run on, but when I first moved to Kuwait (and was running), I would only run on the treadmill.

  36. I despise the treadmill. I just don’t feel ‘free’ in my run. I feel very constrained and forced to run at a certain speed. Outside you naturally change your pace, but with the treadmill you have to consiously think “right, time to increase my pace by 17 seconds”. And all I do is stare at my stats counting down the seconds until I can get off.
    That being said, hill work on the treadmill works well I find!

  37. I despise the treadmill. I just don’t feel ‘free’ in my run. I feel very constrained and forced to run at a certain speed. Outside you naturally change your pace, but with the treadmill you have to consiously think “right, time to increase my pace by 17 seconds”. And all I do is stare at my stats counting down the seconds until I can get off.
    That being said, hill work on the treadmill works well I find!

  38. You and I have the same outlook on treadmill running. I do it because I HAVE to (at least during the winter. NY and MA weather is the same freakin’ mess). I like to just naturally increase and decrease my pace and a treadmill doesn’t really allow you to do that without hitting a ton of buttons. Plus, I tend to be more injury-prone on a treadmill than outside. Give me the concrete any day. (Except when it’s cold or icy and I may break my ankle).

  39. hahaha yea NY weather def makes it hard sometimes to run outside in the winter, so I am forced to run on my treadmill. I usually do interval walking/running though because I’m in dyer need of a new one and am scared to run straight on it lol other than that I usually prefer running on the streets 😀

  40. I hate my treadmill with a passion. HATEEEE!! I have to run outside. I cannot go any further than 3miles on a treadmill these days..I just can’t do it. It hurts my knees, it hurts my brain, and it makes me hate running. My favorite surface is gravel or solid dirt to help with the impact of my heavy foot. I want my knees forever.

  41. Haha. These are great tips. I hate running on the treadmill too. Just thinking about it makes me get all anxious and makes me want to sleep. Lol. The complete opposite of being proactive 🙂

  42. Sometimes to keep things interesting, I pretend I’m in a Saw trap and theres fire behind the treadmill and the only way to save my life is to not stop running :O

  43. Oh gosh. I loved this post. Actually, I just love your entire blog in general. Always calling it how it is. Number 4 is probably my favorite!

    I used to HATE the treadmill. Then I fell madly in love with it. Then I fell out of love. Now I’m falling back in love with it.

    Moving to a ski town my options have been VERY limited when it comes to running. After it snows you have to wait for the snow to get packed down (by crazy mountain bikers, runners or snow cats) to have something solid to run on and not break trail.. as far as trail running goes. Road running, we have one running path in town that is four miles long. It is nothing but an ice skate most of the time… annoying! So, I result to the treadmill.

    Have you heard of using the 1% incline? I’ve read that running on a treadmill can actually simulate downhill running. If you put it at 1% it is closer to that of a flat road.

    My husband, I mean… “Santa”… found one on Craigslist that was barely used at a great price.

    When I’m not limited to a treadmill I actually prefer to run on dirt paths.

    1. Exactly. A lot of people who are graced with warmer weather, do not realize that we can’t just go outdoors and run…it’s too icey and dangerous.

      I’ve heard of the 1% rule for speeds faster then 5:30. I am not running anything close to a 5:30 pace on the treadmill so I keep it at .5% right now. Once I’ve been running on it a while, I’ll probably alternate anywhere between .5-2%. 🙂

  44. Oh the treadmill, I hate it. Avoid it. Don’t do it. (Unless I absolutely have to). I’ve probably run on the treadmill 10-15 times in almost 2 years of running.

    3 miles is almost my max, the longest I’ve done is 7 but that was unbearable. I actually get really bad GI issues on the treadmill, probably because I get so hot and I don’t have water with me most of the time.

  45. I’m right there with you, HATE the treadmill. I do anything I can to run outside or on other surfaces to avoid it. I totally agree with you about your points! I feel like I’m a treadmill injury waiting to happen. I’ve had so many “incidents” due to my clumsiness that I’m surprised I never treadmilled my face…

  46. Treadmills are evil and require extreme caution…and a posse to videotape your epic fail when you slip your footing doing an epic 0km per hour (yes I say Z.E.R.O.) crashing on the sidebar cracking a rib plus tearing an adductor in the process…I could have been a you tube star…next time I take my peeps lol hahaha. I prefer beachside paths and lucky to live in a place that allows this. Loved your post!

      1. My husband carries my smart phone now (inbuilt camera)…not sure if I believe his “so you dont drop it” story…I reckon he has just turned into paparazzi out for a good story lol

  47. I’m not a runner by any means but if I’m going to run I like to do it on the treadmill. Despite being super boring I can be in not stifling hot or freezing cold temps, I have a towel, a place for my iPod and my phone. I guess I want to have too much stuff with me for convenience when running so running outside doesn’t seem to work well with me. And I go so much slower outside.

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