How to Survive the Treadmill
Daylight saving time has begun and the mornings are dark and the evenings darker. Since I leave the house at 6:30 and get home at 5pm, this means that essentially I will be in the dark no matter when I workout: morning or evening. For me, this means, no more biking outside during the week, only on the weekends, and running has become a challenge as well.
While I could run in the dark, I choose not to do so. First, I am clumsy, and having little to no visibility most likely means scrapes and bruises. I already trip during full daylight in dry conditions. Second, the sidewalks/roads near my apartment to run are not the best lit and my only other option is trails through the woods, which are pitch black. This brings up the safety factor. If the Beast wanted to go run with me, I would consider doing it, but he doesn’t and won’t and we run at different speeds/distances.
This essentially means that until about March, my runs and bike rides during the week will take place inside. I don’t mind staying inside for the bike because I am more than happy to set up my trainer and watch a movie or two and pedal all day long or go to the gym for a spin class. However, running inside means I have to use the treadmill, the machine I hate most in the world.
I steeled myself on Tuesday for my first trek to the gym to run and my first run since my nasty chafing from last Friday’s long run.
Then I decided that my relationship with the treadmill for the next 5 months or so couldn’t start on a sour note, and I needed to find ways to make this partnership blossom, thrive! So here are my tips for surviving the treadmill.
1. Be positive. Easier said than done, but going into the workout dreading and harrumphing the treadmill is going to make it worse. Way, way worse. Unbearably worse. I rationalized with myself all day that this was my only option and if I wanted to continue running this was the safest and best way to do it.
2. Arm yourself with music. Taylor Swift’s new CD has been a lifesaver for me. The tunes are catchy, the beats are good, and it provided lots of entertainment for other gym goers as I danced and lip-synced on my treadmill. Other options also include having a movie or TV show or something to listen to and entertain you. For the treadmill I prefer the fast paced music as opposed to my book on tape or a movie which are not going to be an hour long thrill ride most of the time.
3. Turn on the TV monitor. Even if you aren’t going to watch it or listen to it, it provides another visual distraction and at least some scenery is changing while you’re running in place.
4. Have fun! I dance, sing, and do a myriad of other weird things while I run on the treadmill. Yes, there are many other people around, but I am getting in my workout and trying my best to enjoy it. If that means I look like an idiot and end up on YouTube at some point, so be it.
5. Mess with your speed. I like to have a range that I am aiming for whenever I run on the treadmill. I am sure my speed varies when I am running outside from quarter mile to quarter mile, so when I am on the treadmill I increase and decrease by 0.1 every lap. This adds some variety and breaks the whole run up in quarter mile intervals. If I can just make it to the next quarter mile mark, then I can change the speed, and that resets my mindset.