Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Treadmill survival skills

This is probably the 3rd time I've used this meme. Mother Nature, please don't make me use it again!
Yep, someone made Elsa mad. Or maybe Mother Nature. What started as a decent, normal winter has turned into a full blown Polar Vortex v2.0. Seriously. The calendar says February but my thermometer says Arctic Circle. And if you live in the eastern part of the US, your calendar says Ridiculous. Six feet of snow? The winter weather has been hard on everyone, except for Californians and Floridians, and clearly there is no relief in sight. For most of us, moving to a warmer clime, while attractive, is not a viable option.

In case you missed it, my -2F, -20 WC 10 miler that I ran on Sunday, in order to avoid running it on the treadmill. Still waiting for North Face to call me to thank me for promoting this awesome Thermoball jacket. I didn't feel the cold.
If you've been following me for any time, you know how much I despise running on my treadmill. I run in extreme conditions to avoid running on my treadmill. The cold doesn't bother me much when I'm dressed appropriately. But during the winter, there are workouts I have to do on my treadmill. Speedwork, for one, is pretty tough to do outside this time of year. Unpredictable conditions make for uneven laps. And wiping out on black ice is never fun. Up until this week, I was training for a March Florida half and to prepare for the conditions, I was doing "heat training". Silver lining to pulling out of that race is no more heat training. I'm all about the glass being half full. One less 'mill workout for me to do per week. One more run outside. That's what I like.

I am sad about not running the Sarasota Half but I will not miss these "heat training runs". Ugh.
Yep, first world problems. When you think about everything that goes on in the world today, really, having to run on the treadmill and complaining about it is silly. But it doesn't mean I have to like it. I should be glad that I have the damn thing, right? And I will grudgingly admit that I am. In January, even wrote a blog post dedicated to my treadmill.

Since this is a running blog, and I'm amongst friends here, I think it's ok to complain about my treadmill. Just because I do it doesn't mean it makes me happy. But I do have some suggestions about how I survive running on the treadmill.



1. Listen to music. I wear my spibelt, tuck my phone in, just like I do on the road, and crank the tunes. Music makes me run. Music makes me sing! Running makes me happy. So I say, sing out loud too. Seriously. Sharing my playlist because I've added a of new tunes and let's just say they've given me wind beneath my wings. Disclaimer: don't judge me on these songs. They get me moving. And that's all that counts.



2. Visualize yourself running outside. See #1 above. What's really interesting about music is that it has been shown to provoke memories. So when I hear songs that have propelled me to a great run or across a finish line, I can relive those same feelings on the mill. I just have to lose myself in the music. Mind over matter. Music does it for me.

3. Do intervals or speedwork. There is nothing better to help a runner pass the time than running fast for a set period of time, taking a break, and doing it again. Counting down the miles, the minutes, however you do it, really really helps. Trust me on this.



4. Dress lightly and have a fan blowing on you. Make it easy on yourself! And drink water. Or Nuun. When I was doing my heat training, I wore heavy clothes and did not use the fan. That sucked. But I did allow myself to hydrate.

5. Mind over matter. Tell yourself you can do this. Again. And again. We say this for so many things, but treadmill running is so boring, that you need to tell yourself that this is going to make you mentally tough. I will say that 1 hour is my limit. Anything longer than that, I have to take it outside. I did do an 11 miler on the mill once, when I was training for a January half marathon. Guess where I took my next long run. Yep. Outside. Guess I'm not tough enough.

***

What do you do to push through a treadmill run? I have to remember that there are runners who actually like training on the treadmill! Care to weigh in? For those of us who don't, remember, this too will pass...


I'm linking up with MCM mama runs, My No-Guilt Life, and Run the Great Wide Somewhere for Tuesdays on the run! Be sure to head over and check out what everyone else has to say about running on the treadmill!!!

47 comments :

  1. Ive done one half marathon and all all training watching movies on the DREADMILL :-)

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  2. Just started treadmill running last week for marathon training week 6. Its unsafe due to no roads or visibility left for me to run outside at night. This will be my second training week with midweek mill runs. I'm going to take your advice. Thanks!!!! #CrazyMamaRunner

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    1. This is one of the reasons I don't do a spring marathon...the weather is so unpredictable, and I couldn't do those long runs on the mill.

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  3. Great tips! I usually get bored running on the treadmill so maybe I'll have to try visualizing running outside:) For me its all about staying distracted. For the first coupe of miles I can't help but think about how slowly the time is passing!

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  4. This mill, like anything else, once you just buckle down and DO it, isn't so bad.

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  5. I watch TV and movies on the treadmill. It really isn't so bad but 9 miles is about my limit.

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  6. I like that you did heat training. I never thought to do something like that!
    The treadmill is about to be my BFF this week, but really I don't mind it. I just zone out and listen to my music. Much more comfortable to me than forcing a sub-zero run outside! These are great tips!

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    1. I had an experienced marathoner tell me to do heat training. I won't get to test it out this spring, tho!

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  7. I think I must be the ONE person who runs so differently on the treadmill than I do outside that it doesn't even feel like the same activity. It also bothers my Achilles tendon. For those reasons (and I was tired of dusting it), I recently sold it. I had mixed emotions about it. And I think I may actually miss the darn thing later this week when the temps will be in the teens (that's cold for me!!).

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    1. I used to run differently and had issues with injuries and stuff, but seems like I've gotten in a groove the last couple of years.

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  8. I've only really started using the treadmill on a regular basis this winter. The one nice thing I've noticed about treadmill running is that it makes it easier to run a nice and even slow pace. I can simply plug in the requisite MPH and just space out. When I'm outdoors my pace is all over the place, and it's usually too fast!

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    1. That's true! But if you're training for a race, it's hard to train your mind for a certain pace when you're on autopilot!

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  9. I like watching TV on the treadmill. It really passes the time. -L

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  10. LOL I just posted that pic on my page last night. I loath the treadmill, but have been tackling it all winter as I am too wimpy to go outside like all of my awesome running friends. I have tried every trick in the book and nothing makes the treadmill fun or bearable for me, but I do it anyhow, LOL.

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  11. I just got a TNF Thermoball parka for the winter this year and I am loving it! I'm amazed at how warm it keeps you for how light it is. I'm a big fan of doing intervals on the treadmill. Keeps things interesting so I don't get too bored!

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    1. How cold do you go before you break out the thermoball?

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  12. It's so funny that we are total polar opposites on this one :)

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    1. Well, we couldn't have everything in common, right? ;p

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  13. Music makes me run too :) I always do some intervals on the treadmill, it keeps my mind busy. I haven't been out in the cold much this year since I am injured, I am sure it will be a little rough at first but I always prefer cold rather than too hot.

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  14. Wendy, I am on my third straight day of treadmill runs and let me tell you...I am ready to get outside! Sheesh! We have ice everywhere, no snow for traction, so it's been tough; things should melt off, for the most part, today and I'll at least be able to drive to the track tomorrow for my speedwork. Good golly. I'm with you; I know these are first world problems and I am definitely thankful that I have access to a treadmill but I'm ready to be off of that thing - ha! An hour yesterday and today?!? I'm done.

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    1. I'd rather have snow than ice, for sure! But everyone is getting cabin fever--winter has to come to an end soon!

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  15. I don't have a treadmill but I do have an elliptical and a rowing machine and I find when I have to use them that watching Netflix makes the time fly by much faster than anything else. and having kids fighting makes the time go slower.

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  16. Sharon Couto - SeeGrandmaRunFebruary 18, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    I haven't run on a treadmill in years - maybe 5 years - but this Northeast winter had me miss 2 runs last week. (I really dislike going to my Y to find every treadmill in use with a long waiting list.) SO this past Sunday, my husband and I headed to our detached garage, opened the big box that had been sitting in there for months, and assembled the treadmill. I used it yesterday - 3 miles, and today - 5 miles. I LOVE running outside, but I cannot complain about the treadmill because I wouldn't have run otherwise. My husband set up a television, so that passes the time mindlessly. Our garage is kind of big and filled with stuff from our move 3 years ago... so I run and look and plan how to get rid of all our stuff and then create a nice space for my family (including 11 grandkids). We've got a "summer kitchen" that needs updating, Christmas and other holiday storage that needs to be organized, summer and grandkids sports stuff that needs easy access. Hmmmmm, I have a LOT to think about and it made today's 5 go rather quickly. Getting used to treadmill running will take some time, but it's that or a big fat 0 miles. I will not complain, and even named my treadmill -TreadMillicent. She will become a very good friend, I'm thinking. Loved reading the other responses!

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    1. Way to make it a positive experience! And spring will come...

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  17. Visualizing myself outside that is a new one! I do avoid it when ever possible but watching a movie helps or watching Scandal!

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    1. My music takes me to places I've had great runs. Helps a ton!

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  18. Thanks for sharing your treadmill tips! I live in upstate NY and have been forced to start my marathon training on a treadmill. I have always hated the treadmill and have never run more than 4 miles on it. I just discovered the Cardio Cinema at my gym and on Saturday I successfully ran 6 miles on the treadmill while watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I'd still much rather be outside and hope to be again very soon, but Ferris sure helped me on Saturday!

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  19. Well, this summer when I'm running outside in the Florida heat and humidity I'll be thinking of how Northern runners have to do "heat training"! I'd never heard of that, but it does make sense, especially with winter and spring races in Florida if you don't live here! I really need to learn to tolerate the treadmill! Thanks for linking up with us!

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  20. I always end up doing speedwork, even though it may not technically be 'intervals' day. I'm glad I'm not the only one! I have to run a half tomorrow in my marathon training and I really can't do 10 degrees...last week I did 30 degrees no problem, but 10!?! EEK!!!!

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  21. I'm thankful for my treadmill this winter but loathe it all at the same time. I honestly don't know how I get through all the miles on it. I just did a 10 miler this morning and I can't remember half of it. Maybe I fell asleep but was still controlling the speed and incline? Sleep running is the new fad.

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    1. Haha! Sounds like a good run, if you just zoned out like that!

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  22. I am with you! I hate the treadmill! I know for a lot of my northern blogging friends this is a must! I walked one day last week and was ready to throw myself off after 15 minutes! Thank goodness my Serial podcast went for 43 minutes!

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    1. Everyone is talking about Serial. I may have to check it out.

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  23. omg the last meme (micro vs treadmill minute) is so. on. point. Particularly in the morning.

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