I know the mere mention of this apparatus is enough to send many runners fleeing for the hills, but the reality is that sometimes it is a necessary evil.I am very familiar with running on the treadmill since I do it twice a week. Because I am at home with my two boys, and my husband leaves for his commute at an insanely early hour, I am relegated to running indoors at the YMCA two times a week. An added bonus–FREE child care which affords me the opportunity to shower uninterrupted after a nice sweaty workout (priceless!).
I have made peace with the treadmill largely because the treadmills at the YMCA have their own personal televisions, so I can at least have something to watch instead of a cinder block wall. After completing many runs on the treadmill, I found a few positives to using this exercise machine when your find yourself with no foreseeable option for running outdoors.
I find that the treadmill is often my ally in speed workouts. The settings on the treadmill help me to ensure that I hit the right paces at the right time. By setting the speed on the treadmill, I can also achieve a consistent pace, something that is a bit more difficult with the obstacles that you encounter when running outdoors. Treadmills are also good for working on hills– since you can only
go uphill on a treadmill, you don’t have the added stress of running downhill (which exerts more force on your body). Lastly, most runners can agree that the softer, more giving surface of the treadmill is a little easier on the joints than asphalt.
If you find yourself needing to hop on the treadmill more than you might like, there are a couple of things you can do to make the experience a little more enjoyable. One thing that I have done is find some interesting workouts geared specifically towards the treadmill. For example, one that I have tried and liked is a workout that simulates a large hill (it’s called the Pyramid). Here are the Pyramid and a few other treadmill workouts. Constantly adjusting speed and incline can help immensely in breaking up the monotony of a treadmill ru