The dreadmill, ah I think that one word says how many runners feel about treadmills.
I guess I have always been a bit odd (what else is new!), because I like the treadmill.
There I said it, I like the treadmill and I said it again, just to be sure that you understand that I like running on a treadmill.
Now, do not get me wrong, I would much rather run outside – well most of the time, but we will get to that in a minute.
I can hear it now, old weird Harold spouting off again! 🙂
Why in the hell would I want to run on the hampster wheel of death (according to some)?
When I run outside (usually by myself) and I have a specific workout that I want to do, I tend to get lazy, lose focus. You know that getting distracted thing (that car that zips by way too close) and all those other things that can happen to me on a run that takes me away from running. If you look at the graphs of most of my outside training runs (even when I don’t run with Bennie), they look more like a crazy squirrel running around or a bad EKG result.
Yes, I know my pacing is wacked, even if my splits look reasonable.
I tend to run too fast or not fast enough outside, I get into that sort of comfortably easy or comfortably easy pace that is not where I actually am trying to get to.
This answers the first problem too.
On the treadmill, I can get close to having a steady pace and that is pretty damn close to the pace I actually want and stays there.
If I am supposed to do 1.0 mile at 7:00 minute per mile pace intervals on the treadmill that is pretty damn close to what I do, instead of outside where I am somewhere between 6:40 and 7:30, with a final spurt to get back down to the overall 7:00 minute mile.
The only changes of my pace on the treadmill are when I change my stride length or cadence (something that I do once in a while to play with what works best or I get tired).
Third – the weather
The weather outside can be with way too hot, humid, or too cold, nasty, icy and windy to accomplish little more than survival running or becomes too dangerous to safely run in the elements. Never mind accomplishing what you had planned.
Most of the time where the treadmill is located is pretty much climate controlled, you do not have to worry about heat stroke, freezing your arse off, slip sliding away to a pulled muscle or shivering your way into a bad case of hypothermia or winds that will just sweep you off your feet.
The convenience factor. Winter running is very clothing intensive, because have to be able to run in a variety of conditions you have to get out the “bigger” gym bag. Carrying 1-2 layers, plus a running jacket, gloves or mittens and headgear suitable for the forecast.
Running on the treadmill allows me to wear shorts/t-shirt and not worry about carrying multiple layers or all the extra outside gear necessary for winter running in Maine.
Running on a treadmill does not replace running outside, but it does enable me to run and train when I otherwise would not or a more consistent pace that stays within the zone I want. It is another training tool that I can use to enhance my running.
Yes, it can be boring at times, but I can zone out to my play list and chuckle at some of the stuff that I see at the gym or simply shake my head and go WTF.
Could I live without running on a treadmill.
I have done it before, so I know I can do it again.
At the same time, I would not get the same number of total miles in or the higher quality of workouts that I do get on a treadmill, especially during the winter months.
So for me, I see the benefits of running on the treadmill and will keep enjoying my jaunts on them.
Even if I would really prefer to be outside running, well most of the time.