Rain. Sleet. Snow. It’s not just for the mailman. It’s for runners, too. Every runner knows that training is an important part the process to becoming a better runner. But what happens when there’s awful weather? If the heat index is 95? If the windchill drops into single digits? You either brave the elements, or spend time on the treadmill! Or, as some runners call it: the dreadmill.
I will admit, I am not a huge fan of the treadmill. While I do own one, I only try to use it as a necessity. That said, in training for the Mercy Health Seaway run in June, in these winter months, we do become closer. It is convenient. It is close. (it’s in my basement) It is paid for. But, how do you log miles and hours when you have no scenery, and nobody on your side to talk too?
Here are a few tips that just might help.
- Set your treadmill near some kind of screen.
It’s amazing how many shows you can binge watch, or movies you can get through, when you have mileage to get in. Not to mention, it DOES make time fly! Personally, I enjoy watching college basketball. (Go Green!) I love watching a game while getting miles in. Usually each half of play takes roughly 55 minutes. For me, that’s about 6 miles. Besides, the stress of the game tends to make me want to run faster! For me, I’ve downloaded Netflix and ESPN onto my phone, so watching a show, or as I mentioned, a game, helps to make time fly.
- Use music.
The power of music is a curious thing. (ode to Huey Lewis) It takes your mind off of the chore of stationary running, and lets your mind wander. On average, most songs are just under 4 minutes long. So, if your training schedule has you running 30 minutes, you can expect to get through about 7-8 songs. If you have a pre-loaded playlist, make sure they are songs you LOVE! Or, hit up your favorite radio station. Although, be aware, the tempo might change. Speaking of which, a podcast is another great option. Just anticipate that very little music will be played. And sometimes, when all you’re hearing is the sound of a voice, the pounding of your feet tend to get a little louder!
- Try NOT to stare at the time / lap counter.
When you’re running outside, your mind can become easily distracted by the scenery around you. When on a treadmill, you stare at the same wall, (in my basement, it’s a water heater) for several minutes…several miles…or several hours. (gasp) When you constantly stare down at the lap counter and realize that it has only been 2:36 seconds since you last looked, it can be a bit exhausting. But, if you let yourself get lost in a show, lost in a song, or lost in a podcast, it much easier on the psyche.
While the treadmill can be your worst enemy to get your miles in, it can become a best friend when conditions are not in your favor. (it also is a safe way to train) I hope these 3 simple tips will help you achieve your training goals.