Friday, December 14, 2018

Treadmill Tricks

I typically avoid the treadmill; I just don't enjoy running on it like I enjoy running outdoors.  I made it through winter 2017-2018 running 7 days a week with only one run on the treadmill, on a Sunday when we were iced in at home.  I also did one run on the indoor track at the YMCA (7.5 laps = 1 mile, but I went for time so I didn't have to count laps!). Otherwise I found a way to get outside every day, through a combination of lunch break runs, screw shoes, and the right gear and strategies.

After my calf injury in September, I was able to return to running on the AlterG treadmill at 40% body weight about a month before I could run outside.  Although I will never love any treadmill, I sure embraced this one - because my other workout options were the elliptical, bike, and pool!  I ran most of my November mileage on the AlterG, and during that time I learned a few tricks.

I've always covered the treadmill display when forced on it by icy roads, leaving only the pace and incline uncovered so I can see them to adjust.  I've also always frequently changed things up with the pace and incline, plus on the AlterG I could gradually add a little weight throughout the run.  I listened to Pandora radio on all of my AlterG treadmill runs, and during many of them I would change something each song - up the pace, up the weight, or up the incline.  It would break things up to have something to "look forward to" at each song change.

The downside of having the display covered is that you have to uncover it occasionally to check your time/distance, and this was becoming a game for me; I was basically seeing how long I could go without checking and trying to gauge my time by other things (e.g., number of songs that had played, how much daylight there was outside, who was coming in the PT area, who was coming or leaving the adjacent gym)!  Then I started setting the timer on my phone to go off when the amount of time I wanted to run was up - and I never had to uncover the display again!  This quickly became my favorite treadmill trick.  I'd usually set my timer for an hour and run until it went off.  I did this on the elliptical when I was injured too!

I also think if you have to run on the treadmill, workouts always go faster than easy runs.  I like music over podcasts because I can zone out at times without missing anything, but the occasional podcast is fun too.  I would watch marathons on my DVR if I ran on my treadmill at home (I have the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon saved and protected for such occasion!), but on the AlterG at most I could watch people playing basketball or doing bootcamp in the adjacent gym.  I mostly watched my shirt covering the display and the fan on the wall in front of me, hah.

One thing that is worse than treadmill running is no running.  There are times when the treadmill may be necessary for safety (e.g., winter weather, road conditions, lightning, traveling in a sketchy area) or because of other life obligations (e.g., childcare).  I don't plan to run on the regular treadmill at all if I can avoid it, but after so much time on the AlterG I now know I can make it through any ice storm the Midwest throws at me!

For as expensive as an AlterG treadmill is, the display is
decidedly unfancy

No comments:

Post a Comment