Like anything in the world, many people including myself, are guilty of the comparison trap. Now that social media is everywhere, it has become much easier to compare.
The constant changes in weather and hurricane season caused me to think of justifying where or when you’re running.
My personal mentality for running is simple:
Run When and Where You’re Most Happy
If you like running in the morning, night, inside, or outside, do what makes you the happiest. As long as you’re happy, you’re a “real runner” but alas a post for another day.
The weather got me thinking out loud about justifying yourself. Before social media, we felt as though we had no one to report back too.
If we wanted to run on the treadmill…fine…if we wanted to run outside…fine.
There wasn’t a “which one is better” or “you aren’t a real runner if you run inside” type of mentality.
We didn’t go for a run and immediately upload it to whatever social media website preference. I am as guilty as anyone for doing this. I post my training logs weekly, I post photos on Instagram, and I love a good race recap.
With social media, it is much easier to fall into the comparison trap. You can compare running where, why, how, when, how much…the list is endless. Anything you want to compare, you can.
For instance, it’s easy to tell someone to get outside. It’s easy to say there is never an excuse to run inside. Critiquing someone else is easy…but you know what?
Who cares if you run inside or outside? At least you are getting out there doing your thing. Personally, I hate running outside in pouring, freezing rain. It’s miserable, I look a mess and honestly it’s just not fun. Sometimes I would instead zone out on the treadmill and catch on TV inside. Maybe I want to use the treadmill for pacing. Whatever the reason, I just want to run inside. I don’t ever plan to justify my decision of where I run…I just do what makes me happy.
Sometimes I would instead zone out on the treadmill and catch on TV inside. Maybe I want to use the treadmill for pacing. Whatever the reason, I just want to run inside. I don’t ever plan to justify my decision of where I run…I just do what makes me happy.
To those who think the only running is outside…that is false.
To those who think the only race out there is the marathon…also false.
To those who think there is no reason to ever run inside…
LOLZ, sorry running in the 35-degree rain is not fun. I spent the better part of 2015 and 2016 racing in those conditions, and it was not pleasant.
Running in hail is not fun.
Running in 120-degree weather is not fun.
Or what if you are short on time and want to catch up on your favorite TV show and fit a run in? I think that’s better than sitting on your couch catching up TV?
Some people are not comfortable running outside, and it’s essential (for others) to realize that people do what they are comfortable. Safety should always be a runners number 1 priority.
Finally, the majority of us are never going to be elite athletes, and we don’t need to have a rigid plan. Even elites athletes use all sorts of methods. Some elites love the treadmill, high mileage or low mileage. We do what makes us happy and what is best for our personal needs.
Life is too short to do something that makes you miserable. Running outside in the rain is miserable, and I feel no need to justify that to anyone.
I guess I’m thinking about the ways social media has affected our running. Before social media, we ran how we felt like it. If we felt like running outside, we did. If we felt like running inside, we did. If we felt like training for a 5k, we did…a marathon…we did.
Social media will always cause us to compare. It’s something tough to avoid in our modern day world. My point is that not to put others down because where and how they choose to run.
We are all one giant community of runners and human beings. We do what makes us happy and move on with it.
Since posting on Instagram about running on the antigravity treadmill, better known as the AlterG, many people have asked to write about my experience on the AlterG.
The AlterG is a great tool that I am fortunate to have access too. You can see a full list of AlterGs near you or in your area. If you’re Philadelphia or Southern New Jersey local, the one I’ve been using is it at RunningCo. Of Haddonfield.
AlterG is not paying me or sponsoring this post is anyway.
Like many runners, when I have the time I like to run outside. I’m no stranger to the AlterG and have used it recovering from a few injuries. Injury recovery is probably the most well-known reason to use an antigravity treadmill, but it’s not the reason I’m using it now.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m busy for a few weeks and running outside is not always an option unless I want to run in midday in 90 degrees. Since I don’t, my choices are run on a regular treadmill, run on the AlterG treadmill, or don’t run. Because I also don’t know what each day is going to bring, my training could also be all over the place. One week, I could have time for 70 miles. The next week, only 20. Drastic changes in mileage would create an injury. So, I settled on running on the AlterG treadmill. I’ll still get a workout in and retain muscle memory. However, I won’t put as much stress as my body.
As I mentioned, many people use the AlterG treadmill to run while recovering from an injury. There are a few great articles and case studies of how elite runners have trained on the AlterG during recovery. It’s widely chosen as a rehabilitating tool by many physical therapists. Many professional runners also use the AlterG treadmill to keep stress off their bodies, so they are less injury prone.
You can run anywhere between 20% body weight and 100% body weight.
Here are just a few benefits with the anti-gravity treadmill for runners:
AlterG Treadmills are great for physical therapy following an injury to a lower extremity (like the feet or legs)
AlterG Treadmills can help prolong your running career by building leg strength without the full impact on your body
Antigravity treadmills create less stress to joints and muscles
Antigravity treadmills maintain and develop cardiovascular fitness while injured or away from sports
AlterG treadmills can improve mobility strength and safety.
On an AlterG, you can run longer and recover faster with less pain
AlterG treadmills can help gradually progress and easily adjust the intensity of your workout
On an AlterG, you can safely change your running form without becoming more injury prone.
AlterGs are safe for those with neurological conditions and neurologic patients
The Antigravity Treadmill is a safe way to lose weight and exercise for those who need something with less impact
AlterG treadmills allow you to walk or run on injuries with less pain (or none)
So What Exactly Happens on the AntiGravity Treadmill?
You put on a pair of specialty pants, step into the AlterG and allow the air pressure to calibrate to your body weight. The machine calibrates to a precise unweighting measurement. From there you can adjust to how much weight you would like to run at. You can run anywhere from 20% body weight to 100%.
Right now, I feel between 80 percent is a good number for me. After the machine calibrates, you just run. You can do anything that you do on a normal treadmill including hills or speed. I have seen several local elite runners do workouts on it and some people (like myself) just prefer to Netflix and run.
So Why Have I Chosen to use the AntiGravity Treadmill This Summer?
It’s not a secret I’m injury prone. Due to my form, I stress my metatarsals more than the average person. When my training becomes inconsistent, I get injured. As I mentioned, since I am busy this summer, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to consistently run.
That isn’t because I don’t want to run but because I don’t have the time. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been out of the house from 6 am-7 pm. Sometimes I have a couple of empty hours in the middle of the day, but at that point, it’s 90+ degrees. I would prefer to run inside anyways. It just makes the most sense right now to use the AlterG and not overly stress my body. I can train without pain and reduce impact. No pain and less impact is always the goal. We know running is a high impact sport, so there is no point to stress the body when I can exercise intensively while unweighted.
Incase you missed Monday’s training log, I posted a short video about going through the process. (And yes, I do make random comments like that frequently)…
After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy and truth be told:
I don’t hate the treadmill.
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 it has been -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 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 mind running on 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 how do you run on the treadmill if you actually hate it?
First, change your mindset about the treadmill.
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.
Hope 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:
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. Even a high-intensity workout is good.
Find a Friend and Run Side by Side on the Treadmill:
Most runners aren’t the same pace. With a treadmill, you can both run at your respected pace but still run together. 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.
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.
Running this week was cold. It seems to be the theme of the week, but that’s what happens when you run in February. To be honest, once I got below 20 degrees, I opted for the treadmill. I would rather run in the warm gym and catch up on trashy TV versus freeze outdoors and be miserable.
6X1 mile repeats (6:36 pace)
My easy runs outdoors were boring and easy. I didn’t run with a watch.
Workout Wednesday: 6X1 hill mile repeats (6:36 pace)
About 1 mile into my run it started snowing out. The roads were slushy, and the snow melted through my shoes, but I made it through the workout so I can’t complain.
Was it my fastest? No. Did I feel the greatest? No, but I made it through injury free.
I spent this weekend running on the treadmill. As I mentioned earlier, I don’t have an interest running outdoors when it’s freezing. I would prefer to run inside when it’s warmer. To be honest, I feel more miserable than I do badass so for the most part, I don’t mind the treadmill. I just watch the TV and just zone out.
I also don’t like to do treadmill workouts. Having a weekend of no workouts and no races was fun. As I said in my January recap, February is more of a step-down month for me. There aren’t a lot of races this month, and I have no interest to freeze at races. I would rather take the time just to relax.
We only have two more weeks of February and hopefully a warmer March. It looks as if next week will be warmer and I can get outside. I’m taking the month with a grain of salt. I can’t say it will be my most exciting month of training but no excitement is better than injury excitement.
My goals for February are to run consistently and make it out injury free.
Questions for you: Do you like the treadmill? How has the weather been in your area?