treadmill running
Running, Running Reads, Training

Treadmills are Ok.

After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy and truth be told:

I don’t hate the treadmill.

Many long-time readers know I went to college and worked in Upstate, NY for several years. 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 when walking outside. There is zero shame in running in the treadmill or getting out there. Where you run only effects you, no one else. If running on the treadmill makes you feel good…cool.  There are some days; I just prefer the treadmill even when the weather is decent.

While New Jersey is a lot easier to run outdoors year-round, some places such as Upstate New York are not.  When I lived in New York State, some winters it was -30 outside and you’re so bundled up you can’t get more than a speed waddle outside.

I enjoy running, but I’m not going to run outside only to be miserable or be unsafe while doing so.

Back to the point of this post, I don’t mind running on the treadmill.  I’m able to put in a certain pace, zone out, and go.  A few years ago, there was a significant ice storm the night before my last my last twenty miler before Phoenix marathon. 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.

treadmill running

But how do you run on the treadmill if you actually hate it?

First, change your mindset: 

If you call it the “dreadmill,” of course, you aren’t going to enjoy it. I should take this mentality with shopping and call it dreading…maybe I wouldn’t like that too.

Do a Workout You Couldn’t Normally Do:

Is your area hilly?  Use the treadmill to get a flat run in.  Or use the treadmill to run a more hilly run.  You can get a run that you aren’t ordinarily able too.

Last winter, I did several shorter workouts on the treadmill.  Having a treadmill forces you to run workouts at a certain pace. I don’t necessarily love that, but it is a lot easier to get a good feeling of what a pace feels like than trying to run it outdoors.   I remember doing 12X400s on a treadmill at 6:00-minute pace to see how it felt.

Find a Friend:

Most runners aren’t the same pace.  With a treadmill, you can both run at your respected speed but still run together.  It’s a great tool to catch up with friends, and both get a good run in.

Netflix and Run:

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 watch TV and run outside.  These days, podcasts are all of the rage. I find it much easier to listen to a podcast inside versus outside.

The treadmill isn’t a bad training device.  Sadly, it does get a bad rep.

Questions for you:

Do you run on the treadmill?

What is your favorite treadmill workout?

8 thoughts on “Treadmills are Ok.”

  1. I don’t typically run on treadmills because I love getting outdoors and exploring and bringing my dog along in pretty much any weather possible. But that said, I totally respect people who run on treadmills for safety or comfort reasons or just preference! While my goal for running is to go outside and have fun (even if that means balancing on ice or bundling for negative temps) with my dog, if I was training more seriously for a race where I needed to train a certain mileage or pace, it would 100% make sense to rely on a treadmill for that purpose. Everyone has different goals and preferences for what running means to them and a treadmill is a useful tool. Also, if I didn’t have my large black dog with me, I would probably be too scared to ever run outside in the dark by myself.

  2. I used to run on treadmills, but haven’t been able to run on them since my knee injury in 2017. Not sure why, but they seem to put different stresses on the knee that I don’t get running outside. I wish I could whether the weather is too nasty to be outside. My alternative is the Treadclimber, which seems kinder to my knee.

  3. Yep, winters are for knocking out the NetFlix/YouTube backlog. I’ve actually had days here recently where I was disappointed to run outside (always will when it’s warm enough) because I was in the middle of a good vid or looking forward to next item in the queue.

  4. I don’t think anyone falls in love with running on a treadmill, but the amount of treadmill “hate” among runners gets to me. I am mostly a gymgoer now, but a lot of the ladies use the treadmills or machines or do classes because of gym childcare. Not everyone can just up and run from home at any time of day- especially with a working spouse and kids.

    Also, not everyone has a safe place to run. I once did an 11 mile long run on a treadmill because otherwise I would have had to run alone in an area I wasn’t comfortable with, safety wise. To be honest, this is one reason why I prefer the gym sometimes. I’m indoors, people are around, there’s an attendant at the desk, no one is going to cat call me, run me over, attack me, etc.

  5. I use the treadmill to control my pace. Sometimes I do a longer run at my marathon pace. Other times I push beyond my 5k pace.
    I also watch my my hands and shoulders in the turned off LCD screen. I tend to drop one shoulder but I’m pretty good about not swinging my hands wildly!

Comments are closed.