After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy, and truth be told: I don’t hate the treadmill and think calling it a “dreadmill” is silly and counterproductive.
I’ve spent plenty of winters training almost exclusively on the treadmill. Before you say: “just get out there and run outside,” I’ll also let you know that I’ve slipped on ice and broken my arm just “running outside.”
While New Jersey is a lot easier to run outdoors year-round, some places such as Upstate New York are not. Some winters are -30 outside, and you’re so bundled up you can’t get more than a speed waddle outside. You get a much more quality workout by running on the treadmill. I hate the treadmill; you’re going to miss out on quality training.
I love running, but I’m not going to run outside only to be miserable or be unsafe while doing so.
In fact, I don’t hate the treadmill. I’m able to put in a certain pace, zone out, and go. There was a significant ice storm the night before my last twenty miler before Phoenix. It was either run 20 miles on a treadmill or miss the run. I watched 3 hours of Say Yes to the Dress, and it wasn’t bad.
In fact, there are several professional and high-level athletes that “don’t hate the treadmill.” Due to location and weather, they do almost all of their training on one. If a professional runner doesn’t hate the treadmill and, in fact, might like it, I think we can all learn from that.
But if you hate the treadmill, how do you run on one?
First, change your mindset about the treadmill (IE stop calling it the dreadmill).
If you call it the “dreadmill,” of course, you are going to hate the treadmill. I should take this mentality with shopping and call it dreading…maybe I wouldn’t like that too.
Hop on the Treadmill for 15 Minutes:
After 15 minutes, if you still hate the treadmill, get off. It’s still a longer running workout than you would have gotten. If you don’t hate the treadmill, keep going.
Do a Workout You Couldn’t Normally Do on the Treadmill:
Another way not to hate the treadmill is do a different workout. Is your area hilly? Use the treadmill to get a flat run. Or use the treadmill to run a more hilly run. You can get a run that you aren’t ordinarily able to. Even a high-intensity workout is good.
Just run something that you normally cannot. You are challenging your body in new ways and finding a love for the treadmill. You might still hate the treadmill, but at least you got a new workout in. Plus usually, new things go by faster too.
Find a Friend and Run Side by Side on the Treadmill:
Most runners aren’t at the same pace. With a treadmill, you can both run at your respected pace but still run together. Bonus points, you can hate the treadmill together! When it’s safe, it’s a great tool to catch up with friends.
Netflix and Run on the Treadmill:
I won’t tell you how many TV shows or series I’ve binge-watched while running. You can catch up on TV, the news, or whatever and still get a run. It’s a lot harder to do that outside.
The treadmill isn’t a bad training device. Sadly, it does get a bad rep. The first step to stopping hating the treadmill is changing your mindset and not calling it the dreadmill.
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.
Questions for you:
Do you run on the treadmill?
What is your favorite treadmill workout?
I usually run exclusively on the treadmill in the winter. I’m always cold and it makes getting out the door really hard. I have my own treadmill and change up the workouts every so often. I don’t hate it at all, it’s a welcomed change of pace.
I do run on the treadmill and while it certainly isn’t my favourite, I have found it a necessary evil with our cold Canadian winters.
I struggle with agoraphobia (essentially a fear of leaving the house) so the treadmill in my garage has been a lifeline! I love to catch up on tv shows because normally if I sit on the couch to watch a show I end up getting lost in social media on my phone and don’t even watch the tv lol.
I fell a couple of times this year already, darn it. So I decided, instead of getting injured this week was on the treadmill and I’m glad I have one, great post. I do love the outdoors and miss it sometimes.
We just got a crunch near me and I’m planning to join to use the treadmill so I can train all winter!
I do it when I’m forced to because like you I have injured myself running on ice so i never risk it, I hate it but I do become more tolerable of it the more often i do it so I’m thinking about maybe running on the treadmill one run a week even if its nice out, just to work on our relationship 🙂
I totally agree with you!!! I got booted back on the treadmill a little earlier than expected this year with some terrible smoke from local wildfires. It’s really not that bad and it’s the only time I can catch up on my girly shoes that my Hubby doesn’t want to watch.
I like it for pushing my pace! I think it can be a good tool to get faster!
I LOVE my treadmill! While I do enjoy running outside when I can, with 5 kids and running a home-based business, sometimes very hard to get a babysitter and get out for a run every day. So I usually do 2 or 3 outdoor runs per week, and the rest are on the treadmill. My fave type of run to do on the mill is speed intervals. It’s actually easier for me to be able to set a certain pace and just run. I also do hills though, I’ve even done long runs ( no honestly, those are not my favorite on the treadmill!). But seriously, I love it.
That is awesome to hear! Thank you for stopping by.
It’s definitely not my favorite, but that’s mostly because for some reason, I find it more difficult to go my typical outdoor running pace on a treadmill than I do when I’m running outside. You would think the assistance of the belt would actually make it easier, but that’s not the case for me.
Even still, I do see the advantages and will use the treadmill when there’s ice/snow on the ground. Or, sometimes, I just feel safer running on the treadmill than I do in the dark hours of the early morning or the evening.
I’ve also found it’s a good way to do speed intervals, because you’re forced to keep up with the speed of the treadmill, even if it’s very difficult.
I dont mind the treadmill. It annoys me when people call it the dreadmill- i agree that is just going into it with a negative outlook! I like catching up on shows – making my way through Netflix. once the weather dictates treadmill, ill Catch up on Gilmore Girls which i never watched when it was originally on
The treadmill is my last resort. I don’t mind the cold unless it gets below 20 and I can handle light rain but prefer to avoid downpours. Sometimes it’s a necessary evil for me, but since it lets me run when it’s not ideal outside, it’s not all bad.
i like this. i dont love the treadmill but i do love running w/ friends with different paces so that is a great idea!!
The treadmill isn’t my favorite, but it beats not running! And it definitely beats running outside when it is not safe to do so. I have used it on very hot and humid days as well. It’s never a good idea to sacrifice safety just to get a run in outside, or get a run in in general.
The treadmill used to be my life. I’d just go to the gym and pop up my iPad and binge watch Netflix while running. I still run on it whenever it gets too dark out or its below 50. lol I’m not a fan of the cold.
“Netflix and Run” <<<<<<<<< YASSSSSSSSSSSSS! I've been okay with running outside here, as long as the sidewalks are cleared. Sometimes that's not a possibility, and that's when I change my mindset. I've never attempted to watch a show while running on the 'mill. I guess I figure that I'm there and meant to suffer, lol.:)
I agree- I’m thankful for the treadmill on some of the most brutal winter days. I love doing short interval workouts on there- I know exactly what pace I’m going, and it helps the run fly by.
I spent so much time on the treadmill going through my flare and recovering and I loved it. Netflix and run was my jam! But now, I am healthy and not running to the bathroom every mile + my gym unexpectedly closed and haven’t run on one since June! nor have I skipped a run bc of the elements. I’ve learned to embrace the wind and rain, and the cold (thus far). I am actually surprised by myself. I will say I at times miss it for runs to zone out, but for me I think running exclusively outside has helped me regain my speed. Now just help me when the snow starts I will be scrambling then (aka fear of breaking a leg…or arm 😉
These are SUCH good tips, Hollie! I’m trying to get better at actually using my treadmill for running. (I do use it a lot, but mostly for walking and binge watching Gilmore Girls, haha)
I don’t hate the treadmill either but only use it when I have to. I bought one last year after having no option for the same reasons you described – snow and ice…or my kids having a snow day. The longest run I did was 15 miles and I listened to music while my kids watched TV so I had to see what they were watching. Not great but I got it done and was happy afterward. I think your best tip is to change your mindset!!! It’s all in your attitude!!
I actually love the treadmill- it’s much easier for me to go in the garage than it is to bundle up a 2 year old who hates the stroller when it’s butt freaking cold outside.
I find it easier for intervals, usually.
We had a mild winter here in NYC last year so I didn’t run on the treadmill a lot. Although it will never be my favorite place to run, it does serve its purpose. Like you said, if it’s too cold outside–or if the elements are truly adverse–then yes, running on the treadmill beats not running. Of, if need to get in a run super early/late in the day, the treadmill could be safer than running outside solo. One of my training buds PR’ed his half this past October doing most of his speedwork on the ‘mill. 🙂
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