I’ve always had trouble getting motivated to run on the treadmill. I have a love/hate relationship with my treadmill. I love that it’s there for me whenever I want to run, but I really hate the damn thing. It’s just so BORING!! Treadmill, dreadmill. Most days I’d rather run 5 miles outside than 5 minutes on the treadmill. I’ve tried everything too – music, podcasts, TV shows, tempo runs, programs, hill training, movies on DVD, intervals, circuits, books on tape, etc. Nothing cures the treadmill boredom. I find myself struggling during my treadmill runs, probably because I’m pushing myself harder than I should just to get through the run quicker. When I’m running outside, I am able to adjust my pace subconsciously to how I’m feeling. Outside I can look around, my mind wanders, I work things out in my head…when I’m on the treadmill, I stare straight ahead and curse each step. The only thing that works for me is picturing my goal (which right now is to look amazing in my wedding dress) and running towards it.
In order for me to start looking at the positive side of treadmill running, I posed a question in the LLR of RA about the advantages of the treadmill. I need something to help me tip the scales more towards “love” in this love/hate relationship we have. Here are my Top 10 favorite reasons to love my treadmill.
- Climate Control - You never have to worry about the weather on the treadmill. You can run in sleet, ice, snow, wind, scorching heat or humidity and never have to worry about battling the elements, having the proper attire, dealing with a frozen ponytail or with sunscreen melting into your eyes.
- Safe at Any Time - You can run whenever the mood strikes you, even at 2:30 am and you don't have to be afraid of creepies out at night that might get you. Even in a relatively safe neighborhood, running after dark is not safe due to muggings, traffic, etc. My basement, on the other hand, is about as safe as it gets.
- Hands-Free Running – On a treadmill, you don't have to carry anything. You can still have your water, Gu’s, gels, Body Glide, etc. with you at all times and never have to carry them around in a fanny pack.
- No One Watching - You can mix-match your running clothes and wear whatever you want – no one’s going to see you! No fear of ridicule when wearing only a sports bra with those rolls of back fat. No one who might observe you dancing to and singing along with your favorite music – feel free to bust a move!
- Easy Potty Breaks – Most runners have had at least one bad experience of being out on a run (far from home or a convenience store) when a bathroom emergency strikes. On a treadmill in the house, bathroom emergencies are not a problem.
- Smooth Terrain – On a treadmill, there is no worry about tripping over footpath bumps, cracks in the sidewalk or about running into a telephone pole. That doesn’t mean that you won’t still trip over your own feet…but if you do, see #4 above.
- Intervals and Hill Programs – My treadmill has complex training programs that allow me to alter the speed and even the incline at regularly scheduled intervals to mix it up a bit. Or, I’ve downloaded some of the Nike+ Sport Mixes from iTunes that give coaching on interval training, from other great athletes like Lance Armstrong, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Kara Goucher and Alberto Salazar.
- Reality TV Made Easy – Distractions are key in order to pass the miles and what better way to do this than by watching trashy reality TV shows. I’m going to start using my treadmill time to catch up on all the goodies: Flavor of Love, Girls Next Door, My Super Sweet 16, Real World, The Hills, The City, Top Chef, America’s Next Top Model and my personal favorite, Project Runway. Bring on the Tivo!
- Shock Absorption – Treadmills are easy on the knees. They are loaded with extra support to aid your feet, shins and knees during runs. No more complaining that concrete causes knee problems, and no more worry about wearing out one side of your shoes when you’re on the road.
- It’s SO Convenient – Really, it’s downstairs, what excuse do I have not to use it? None. So put your shoes on and get to it! HTFU!
So there it is - ten great reasons for me to suck it up and get on the treadmill. I have no idea if this will actually help motivate me, but I guess it can’t hurt to try! I’m ready to rev up the speed and incline on my love for my mill.