The Upside of Running on a Treadmill

I’ll admit it: I’m one of those weird people who kind of prefers running on a treadmill. Which is why when I stumbled upon an article (The Upside of Running on a Treadmill | Runner’s World & Running Times) dealing with this very subject, I had to read it.

It wasn’t always this way (much like the author of this article).  When I first started running, I ran almost exclusively outside. But after a hot summer, a cold winter and a gym membership came into play I grew to not only be okay with running on a treadmill – but discovered that I could actually accomplish things I never knew I could by running outside.

As a mostly treadmill runner, I’ve cut my mile time back significantly. I remember the days that I thought I would never be able to make it to a 10 minute mile. After several years of playing speed games on the treadmill, I’ve gotten my pace down to about 8:45 – and I don’t know that I would have been able to do it outside. Why? Because the belt keeps you accountable. You can speed up, you can slow down, but you have to make a conscious decision to do so. Outside, you face cars that force you to stop. You get bored and slow down unintentionally. You say forget it because it’s raining, or snowing, or hot. Treadmill? No excuse (well, unless it’s January, and the treadmills are all taken, but that’s a completely different beast. We’ll get back to that subject in the next few weeks).

Which do you prefer – outside or on the treadmill? I love both, but I find that for me personally, I’m better off on the treadmill if I want to push myself, but I’m better off outside if I’m just looking for a leisurely jog. It’s a personal preference!

On “Favorite” Machines and “My” Spot

Last night, as I made my way up to the cardio floor of my gym – Tuesday is running day – I found myself hoping it wouldn’t be a battle to get a “good” treadmill (one of the ones with the little fans built into them, hopefully with a working tv). I was in luck – my favorite treadmill at the end of the aisle was open. Or so I thought.

Just as I had settled in and was about to put my earphones in, one of the personal trainers walked over to the side of the machine. “Do you mind if we use this one? We’re working on a circuit.” In my mind: “Yes, I mind, there are at least a dozen other machines open.” Out of my mouth (along with a pained look and an eye sweep around the floor), “Uh … I guess so.” He clearly read my face, because he followed up with “This is your favorite, isn’t it?” “Yes,” I replied, pointing to the fan/vent combo directly above the machine, “that’s why.” Since I like to keep the peace, and I know there have been times my former trainers have booted someone off of something so we could use it, I moved halfway down the aisle. It was about two down from a fan, one down from a vent, and ESPN came in kinda fuzzy. But I sucked it up and did my 6.5 miles.

It got me thinking about how territorial we become about our “favorite” machines or “spots” in a class. I can tell you right now what all of mine are (as far as cardio is concerned, it’s the aforementioned end treadmill with the fan/vent combo, the end Precor elliptical in front of the window with the vent facing directly downward, and anything on the end of an aisle if I can help it; before I started teaching, in a cardio class, it was always the front row, to the left of the instructor, or in a Pilates or yoga class, front row, on the end – in fact, despite almost never having time to take classes outside of my own, I found myself in my same “regular” spot when I took a couple Piloxing classes when I was at home during the week of Christmas). And I know I’m not alone on it – in fact, I’ve gone as far as calling out regulars in my classes when they’re in a different place than their “normal” spot.

It’s funny to think about, though, because especially as far as classes are concerned, people get upset when someone (usually a person new to the class) takes “their” spot. I hate to admit it, but I definitely remember times in the past where I spent a class scowling at a person in “my” spot – once or twice maybe even getting a little too close (hey, if I accidently hit them, it’s their fault for taking my spot!) But really … how is a person supposed to know? It’s not like you can put a “reserved” sign in the middle of the floor – though I guess this is why people rush to a Spinning class and put down towels, then disappear for 20 minutes (in fact, my gym has a policy against this in the January/February timeframe – and with good reason). You can’t blame someone for simply claiming a space or machine that appears to be available.

So, do you have a “favorite” machine or spot in a class? And what do you think or how do you deal with it when someone pushes you out of “your” space?

Treadmill FAIL … This is Really Funny!

Came across this video earlier and couldn’t help but share – I can hear my mother laughing from here. Kind of makes me think of this story my former trainer – my darling Steven (seriously, he was awesome) – told me about something he witnessed in a gym when he was working in Los Angeles. I’m  not sure what I’d do if I actually witnessed something like this … would laughing make me a bad person? But seriously – you can tell some of these people did this on purpose (A Swiss ball on a treadmill? Really? A dog on a treadmill? Okay, mom, I know you like to let Frank on there once in a while … but still weird).

On another note … another successful day getting back into running on this end. Logged 6.3 miles, with only a couple of minute-long breaks (I’m TRYING to do it the way I know I should be – working my way up slow-ish). I’m only adding half a mile with each run, so before long I’ll be back where I really want to be. But the good news is that the foot is feeling great, no pain, so fingers crossed I can continue to be injury free for a while!