Treadmills are Ok.

After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy, and truth be told: Treadmills are ok. I don’t hate them, and I’ve spent months running inside because it was the safest option.

treadmills are ok.

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. During that time, I came to appreciate treadmills and running indoors. It might be an unpopular opinion but sometimes it’s a safer option.

Before you say: “just get out there and run outside,” where someone chooses to run, it is actually none of your concern. There is zero shame in running on the treadmill or getting out there. Where you run only affects you, no one else. If running on the treadmill makes you feel good…cool.  If you only like running outside, that’s cool too. Do what makes you happy and safe. 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.  Even California has a month long fire season that is too dangerous to run outdoors. When I lived in New York State, some winters were -30 outside, and you’re so bundled up you can’t get more than a speed waddle outside. I learned very quickly treadmills are ok and it’s fine to do your training there.

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.  With it, I can put in a certain pace, zone out, and go.  A few years ago, there was a significant ice storm the night before my last twenty miler before the 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 was ok. I had a good run.

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. Stop calling it that.

Repeat after me:

Treadmills are ok.

Treadmills are ok.

Treadmills are ok. 

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.  Or use the treadmill to run a more hilly run.  You can get a run that you aren’t ordinarily able to.

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. I did some of my fastest speed work on the treadmill, so of course, I’m going to think treadmills are ok.

Find a Friend:

Most runners aren’t at 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 as well. When running indoors, you are able to listen or watch things might not be able to outside.

Conclusion:

Treadmills are ok and aren’t a bad training device.  Sadly, it does get a bad rep. Change your mindset and you might log some of your fastest or best runs indoors. There are so many options to make it a more enjoyable experience.

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Questions for you:

Do you run on the treadmill? What is the furthest you’ve run indoors? 

What is your favorite treadmill workout?