Since it has been in the 30s and 40s here recently I have done a few treadmill runs for the first time in a long time. I have a love/hate relationship with treadmills. On one hand I love not having to run in the freezing cold, on the other hand it is pretty boring. Even with all of the new tv treadmills I still get bored quickly and easily on a treadmill. My typical treadmill run:
- Get on treadmill and set the speed at a nice warmup pace (think faster than job but very comfortable running pace).
- After about a mile (usually less) increase pace to my average long run pace.
- Get bored and increase the speed every few minutes to make the run end sooner
- Finish the last mile or so of my run at race pace
On the plus side this is probably a decent negative pace work out. Unfortunately doing this run multiple times a week is likely to lead to injury or burn out.
However this doesn’t even cover the worst part about treadmill running: the ability to stop at any instant. We all have crappy runs: days where your body never warms up completely, your stomach hurts, your just not mentally into it, or all of the above. On a outdoor run you might be able to cut it short by taking a different way home, but on a treadmill all that is stopping me from ending my run is a little red button with the word “STOP” on it.
This is why I hate treadmills the most. On a normal run any decision I make still requires more running to get home. I can slow down but that will just make the run last longer (usually what you are trying to avoid on one of those bad days). Since no decisions results in instant gratification (the end of the run), I am forced to stick it out. I usually get home feeling good about the run despite the momentary pain.
In contrast, on a treadmill I am constantly taunted by that little red button. Knowing instant gratification (no more pain) is only one slight touch away makes the pain even worse. No tv show or sporting event can ever completely distract me from this mental anguish. And that is why I hate treadmill running.
Here is hoping that what does not kill you only makes you stronger