• Why I Love the Treadmill

    February 13, 2012

    Treadmill [n.]: A torture device perfected in the 20th century, designed to destroy one’s mind through sensory deprivation and monotony.

    Mark Remy, runnersworld.com executive editor, in The Runner’s Rule Book

    Ok, I understand why the treadmill gets a bad rap. It can be pretty boring, but I enjoy it, especially in the winter and for interval workouts. If a treadmill would fit in our basement (sadly, the ceilings are too low), I’d own one and run on it all the time.

    Maybe I’m a weirdo, but I really love running on the treadmill. Here’s why:

    • I never have to worry about the weather. The treadmill is located indoors where it’s nice and warm or nice and cool, depending on the season.
    • I can truly zone out on it. Running on a treadmill means I don’t have to worry about the potential hazards of running outside, like cars, potholes, snow, ice, rabid dogs, or gangs of wild turkeys. The treadmill is safe and cozy.
    • I can multitask. Ok, I multitask on my outdoor runs too, but I do more so on the treadmill. I listen to music, watch TV, and check my email/Twitter on my iPhone when I’m walking during rest intervals. (I know, I’m totally one of those people, but at least I keep to myself and don’t bother other gym goers by talking on my cell phone while I’m on the treadmill, right?)
    • It’s great for interval/speed workouts. When I do my interval/speed workouts outside, I often find it difficult to accurately judge my pace and distance out on the open road—even when I look at my Garmin a zillion times. The treadmill makes it easy for me to maintain a consistent pace and track my distance. It basically just takes the guesswork out speed/interval workouts for me.
    • It’s made me tougher: The treadmill workouts I’ve been doing lately include much faster speeds than I’m normally used to, which means maintaining that pace is no easy task. But, the fact that the treadmill doesn’t slow down when I start to tire (unless I change speeds) has pushed me to toughen up and keep my little legs running at faster paces. I hate wussing out during an interval, so I almost always push myself to finish strong.

    Are you a treadmill lover or treadmill hater?

    Workout

    Speaking of treadmills, guess what got me to the gym to run this morning? An oil change!

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    Hey, whatever works, right?

    My gym is located right next door to where I get the oil in my car changed, so I scheduled an appointment for bright and early this morning, so I’d have to get my butt in gear. I mean, what’s the point of wasting time, sitting at the automotive place, waiting for my car to be finished? I might as well break a sweat while I wait!

    Today’s workout was 5 X 400m with 60 seconds rest on the treadmill. I warmed-up with a mile jog and then got right to it. I knew it’d be a short workout, so I pushed myself on the 400s by turning up the speed on the treadmill to 9.0 MPH. The 4th and 5th intervals were killer, but I didn’t let myself stop or slow down. I finished the entire workout (warm-up included) in less than 25 minutes. It was short, but tough!

    Lunch

    After my workout, I came home for lunch, which was a veggie smorgasbord. When my fridge is packed full of brightly colored vegetables, I can’t help but make healthy meals. I’m also really cheap, so seeing food go to waste drives me nuts, which encourages me to eat it!

    On the menu: arugula salad with two hardboiled eggs, truffle salt, and balsamic vinegar.

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    Sweet potato wedges + kale chips.

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    Veg-a-licious!

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    After lunch, I satisfied my sweet tooth with some peanut M&Ms.

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    Snack

    I spent the next few hours working away before I started to get hungry again. I received Today’s Top 9 email from DailyBuzz Healthy Living about smoothies this morning, and I stumbled upon Brittany’s recipe for a Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie. Obviously, I needed to make it ASAP.

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    It did not disappoint, and it tasted just like an oatmeal cookie. YUM!

    P.S. Here’s an interesting article about “the science behind your booty” from Fitness magazine: How to Build a Stronger, Defined Butt.

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    { 91 comments… read them below or add one }

    Robin February 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I love my treadmill. I am a fair weather girl, so I have no excuse to not run in bad weather!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 13, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I like the treadmill too! It saves me from having to freeze my butt off running outdoors in the winter. :P I just wish my gym’s tvs had better channels to watch – that would make me like the treadmill even more!

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    Ashley February 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I don’t understand why the treadmill gets such a bad rep! When it’s cold outside I’d much rather run indoors watching TV. Glad to hear I’m not the only one!

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    Michelle (Better with Berries) February 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I go through periods when I dislike the treadmill, but it honestly hasn’t happened in a while. I love it for all the same reasons you do – ESPECIALLY the weather part!

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    CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com February 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    i like the treadmill for all the reasons you listed and also because time can be flexible. i workout before work at 4:30 am and the thought of being outside in the dark and cold is just not appealing.
    plus I love watching the news as a distraction :-)

    Reply

    Lauren February 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    I love the treadmill as well. Especially, especially in the winter. I just feel more comfortable in a controlled running environment for some reason.

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    Kelly @ Vegolosophy February 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I love how the treadmill allows me to do great interval training workouts. I always find it harder to complete interval runs outside, I usually like to just do slow, steady, and fun runs when outside :)

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    Brandi @ Faith Fitness and Laughter February 13, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    I actually love the treadmill. :) Yum! Your lunch looked amazing! :)

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    Hilary February 13, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve got a love/hat relationship with the treadmill. I think it has its place, and I like it for intervals, but I have to get my outdoor runs in too.

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    Emily @ The Swallow Flies February 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Treadmills… I like ‘em for about two miles, maybe three, but then I’m DONE. They are way too boring for me!

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    Sarah @ Sarah's Modern Bites February 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I <3 the tread mill too… a LOT. I do my long runs outside on the weekends but do speed work on the TM. I feel like I sweat more at the gym. I totally zone out and listen to the Moby station on Pandora. It is very meditative. I do 4 miles every morning during the work week and it keeps me energized, happy, strong and ready for my long run on Saturday! Sunday I 100% chillax.

    Reply

    Sarah February 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I love the treadmill too! And I get some trouble for it from my running friends. I’m a total beginner and it helps me with pacing. I hope to include more outdoor runs, especially as I get longer distances under my belt, but for now, I love the treadmill.

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    Heather February 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    I’m with you, I have a love/hate relationship with the TM. I like doing speedwork on it but long runs are tough!

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    Luv What You Do February 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I am anti-treadmill but have been pushing through this winter. I agree it is the BEST place for intervals and working on my race pace!

    Reply

    Nikki February 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    I love treadmills for all the same reasons as you do, Tina! In addition, the treadmill has been invaluable as I’m recovering from a broken tibia and has allowed me to run at the pace, distance and incline I need to help the recovery process. I want my own!

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    Ivana@Practicing Perfect February 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. But it’s moving more toward love than hate =)

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    Chetney (Czesia Lives) February 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I couldn’t get the link to work for the oatmeal cookie smoothie recipe :( Is it only me? I’d love to try this!!

    Reply

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers February 13, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    I really need to get a treadmill!! The dog photo is funny!!! My dog lays on my yoga mat! I say she’s doing her Down Dog Yoga pose! lol

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    Roxanne @ Little Madam B February 13, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I like them. There’s no love…but only because the one I used to own wasn’t very good(second hand and cheap) and the ones of the gym here in town(only 1 gym) are all less than spectacular. There’s potential for love, because they do help me maintain my pace and stop me from slacking off.

    Reply

    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife February 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I LOVE the treadmill too–for all those reasons! AND I can watch movies. I LOVE watching movies while running. The time totally flies by!!

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    Andrea (@FrSeed2Stomach) February 13, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    I got the idea for an oatmeal smoothie from KERF and tried it once. It tasted too much like dessert for me to believe it was healthy. I enjoyed it, but haven’t made one since because it just seemed so indulgent even though it was basically the same ingredients as what went into a bowl of oatmeal.

    Reply

    Jamie February 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Your post a little while ago about your sprints have pushed me on the treadmill recently and I finally feel like I’m becoming a faster runner. They are heard but they are worth every second of them! I have to try this smoothie recipe!

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    Emily February 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I sometimes love the treadmill. I can’t do more than 7 miles. Gah. But they are great for when the windchill is negative or for speed drills. And I can watch the Today show!

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    RunEatRepeat February 13, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I can’t stand the treadmill anymore, but I used to run on it 5 days a week because I was afraid of outside…

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    Megan February 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    Surely, you mean a “smorgasbord?”

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    Becca February 13, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Thank you for saying you love the treadmill! People always call it the dreadmill, etc. and I’m always thinking, “I love the treadmill!” but I never say it because I don’t want to be “that” person. I really think its so much easier to push yourself speed wise on the treadmill. I love it.

    Reply

    Hillary of GRAS Pizza February 13, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I’m not a “lover” per se but I really do like your workouts that you’ve posted. I’ve done the Pyramind so far and then the 50 minute elliptical work out tonight. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the quick changes, but a minute or two is a perfect amount of time to read a couple snippets in Glamour then see boom! Changing the speed! Awesome workout!

    Reply

    J @ ... semplicemente j ... February 13, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I do NOT like the treadmill … a necessary evil for me when in Mexico for business … I am learning to “like” it … will that ever be possible?

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    Khushboo February 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I am a treadmill fan for sure- between varying the speed and inclines, there’s no time to be bored!

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    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie February 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

    Cinnamon oatmeal cookie smoothie? Yes please!

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    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More February 14, 2012 at 12:21 am

    I LOVE the treadmill too! A run outside is good but I have found that spacing out on the treadmill is much easier because I don’t have the other distractions, I just have to make sure I don’t fall off the treadmill. ;)

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    Laura @ She Eats Well February 14, 2012 at 2:12 am

    Mmmm Your salad looks SO good! Eggs plus truffle salt…I die. As for the treadmill, I recently quit my gym as I prefer running outside, doing steps, or yoga. But I think if I lived on the East Coast (I’m in SF) I’d like to have a gym for back up when the weather gets crazy!

    Reply

    Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl February 14, 2012 at 4:10 am

    I’m a California girl so typically LOVE running outside by the beach. However, since moving to the Netherlands where the weather is about as bad as it can possibly get, I’ve learned to have a newfound appreciation for the treadmill. I indulge in my guilty TV like Teen Mom and don’t feel bad about it. 45 minutes later… I’m done!

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    Emily February 14, 2012 at 8:35 am

    I like to mix it up. Sometime on the treadmill, sometimes not, it completely depends on how I am feeling on any given day.

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    Margaret February 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I’m a treadmill lover too! Being in Michigan, the weather is super crazy and I’m pretty much a sissy :) Also, having a bathroom 10 steps away at all times is pretty convenient :)

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    Angela @ The Chicken Scoop February 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Ugh the dreadmill! (Can you tell my answer?) But it does have its perks. The major one for me you also mentioned. You can set the speed! And trying to do intervals outside using a Garmin is just insane. I can’t keep my fast pace at all. So I do those workouts inside!
    ~Ang

    Reply

    Sam February 15, 2012 at 2:24 am

    Eh… for entry-level speedwork it’s fine, I guess, but I didn’t truly improve as a runner until I moved it outdoors. And then to the TRACK. An important part of racing is the ability to judge and hold the appropriate pace. A treadmill de-trains that. A track, now, will heighten your ability to judge what a lap–a 400 or 200 depending on the track–feels like.

    Reply

    Amber K February 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    That’s exactly why I love working out in a gym! The weather can do whatever it wants and I can still work out. And I can read and people watch.

    Reply

    Meagan Marion January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I’m just getting into running and planning to participate in my first 5K this year. With the weather where it currently is, I love the treadmill. Yes, it isn’t as scenic but gets the job done. How long after you first started running did you begin racing?

    Reply

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