5 Ways To Take The Dread Out of the Dreadmill

….and My Story Runs On….

I’m so behind on blogging about my 50 Mile Training journey but will get back to that very soon.  I couldn’t pass up posting about the dreaded treadmill as I’ve wanted to post about this before and it hasn’t happened it.

I’m an AZ girl and even in the summer when it’s 120 degrees, I run early in the morning or at night.  I’ve always hated the dreadmill!  One of the reasons I love trail running is because I’m out in nature enjoying the great outdoors. I seriously don’t know how people run on the treadmill all the time!  But remember, my message to everyone when it comes to running is that we each have our own running story so I respect that someone’s running story might just be about the treadmill!  This morning it was pouring so I didn’t have a choice…dreadmill

If you refer to the treadmill as the “dreadmill” or “Satan’s sidewalk”, you probably use it because you have to due of weather or maybe you are out of town on business and don’t know any safe locations to run.  This morning, I didn’t want to run in the rain and realized it is possible to take the dread out of the dreadmill…here are my suggestions:

  1. Change your attitude:  This was a huge epiphany for me. I realized just calling it the dreadmill was not positive. I am making a choice to run and what it the other option?  Not run at all? Well, of course I want to run! So embrace the treadmill as your option for this particular run and enjoy it! Just this change in attitude made me feel better about it.  Maybe you can get really good with your attitude and be like this guy!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLfUgXcvq4g]

  1. Mix it up:  This is a great time to try some intervals. Instead of thinking about being on the treadmill for 30 minutes, think about it as six 5 minute intervals!  In each 5 minute interval, switch it up every minute: you can go faster by increasing speed by .5 every minute OR you can add a bit of incline every minute, you can add walk breaks OR go faster than you normally do…which brings me to…
  2. How fast can you go? : The treadmill is a controlled environment. You can see and adjust your speed immediately.  I had a lot of fun working on speed intervals.  Even when I’m doing a track workout, I have to keep looking at my watch to see my pace.  On a treadmill, you can see it right there and so long as you are careful, you can manipulate your pace immediately. I had some fun with my intervals and seeing how fast I could go. I was playing around so I didn’t do this for long but it was funner than I thought it would be.
  3. Focus on your running form:  As a ChiRunning Instructor, this is something that I do often anyways.  However I realize that are some specific form focuses that I can feel better on the treadmill.  We always say in ChiRunning to make pretend you are running on the treadmill when you are on the road because the treadmill helps by bringing your legs behind you. I love focusing on pelvic rotation when on the treadmill as I can really feel the treadmill bring my leg back and then my hip follows it.  This morning I was working on really relaxing my lower legs and letting my knees bend and letting my pelvis rotate. One of my other favorite focuses on the treadmill are combining breathing with cadence.  I can get into a great rhythm! By the way, if you are a ChiRunner, click here for some great tips from Danny Dreyer about treadmill running. dannytreadmill
  4. Get distracted:  As much as working on form is a priority for me, sometimes it’s nice to get distracted too.  I rarely listen to music on the road or trails but on the treadmill, I enjoy it because I hardly ever do it. This morning I listened to a podcast for a while and then switched to some music. I’ve had friends tell me that they’ve watched entire movies or Netflix while on the treadmill too.

So next time you have no choice (or do you?), try these tips and see how they work out for you.  Heck, I might even just add a treadmill workout to my weekly routine after my 50 miler!

Anyone else have any other tips to share? 😉

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

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