We got our treadmill at Sears. It isn’t really that fancy, but it gets the job done. It has a fan, which is an absolute necessity. I hate it when I go to the gym and the treadmills don’t have fans.
My treadmill lives in my basement. It is the perfect place for it to live.
2. What led you to start using a treadmill?
I actually got my treadmill when I was pregnant with my son…about 5 years ago. I was so sick of being pregnant and everyone told me that walking was a good way to induce labor. So, I would get home from work (I had a desk job) and I would walk until my feet were so swollen I couldn’t take another step. But, it worked. He was born 15 days early!
After I gave birth, I walked on the treadmill to try to lose some of the baby weight. The treadmill was in the living room in front of the TV, so I had a distraction.
For the next 3 1/2 years, the treadmill basically collected dust. It was rarely used and my husband gave me all sorts of grief about how I NEEDED to have it, yet I NEVER used it.
Fast forward to the spring of 2009. I decided that I was going to run a 5K at our home town festival. Every small town in the Midwest has one. Ours is Colby Cheese Days. I started run/walking on the treadmill when I was supposed to be studying for my online classes. Eventually, I got to the point where I was running more than walking and I finally ran an entire 5K on the treadmill about a week before the race. I ran it in 35 minutes on the treadmill. I ran the race in 30:06. I was hooked. I signed up for a few more 5Ks that summer and I haven’t looked back.
3. How often do you use your mill?
I use my treadmill more than most people out of necessity. First, I live in Wisconsin. That means that for about 4 months of the year it is nearly impossible to run outside. For another 2-3 months, it is really uncomfortable to run outside. The rest of the year is quite pleasant….unless it is raining, or humid, or mosquito-infested. 🙂
The second reason my ‘mill gets a lot of use is because I have a 4 1/2 year old. If it is a day when he isn’t at day care, I can’t really take off and leave him home while I go for a run. I try to schedule my shorter runs for the days when he’ll be home with me. I couldn’t imagine running for 3 hours on a treadmill.
This is what my son usually does when I’m running. He’ll ride his bike. He’ll tell me to say ‘ready, set, go’ so that he can do his own races. It’s adorable.
I’ll also use the treadmill at the gym after work some days. And sometimes, I just don’t feel like running outside. I like knowing that if I have to go to the bathroom, I can just pause the machine and walk to the bathroom; rather than trying to run to a public restroom.
4. What kind of workouts do you do on your treadmill?
Most of my runs on the treadmill are just miles that need to be done. Since I’m training for my first marathon, I’m just trying to get the miles in. My treadmill is perfect for speed work, but speed work and I don’t really get along. 🙂 And since I’m pregnant, I feel like I can use that as an excuse to skip the speed work. But after the baby is born, I will be putting together a speed work plan. I have a goal of running a sub-2:00 half marathon next year.
5. In some of the previous posts, some comments mentioned that boredom can be a barrier in treadmill running. Do you feel that way? If so, how do you deal with it?
I do have to combat boredom on the treadmill. I think everyone does. It can be physically and mentally draining to keep staring at the same 4 walls for mile after mile without anything to break up the monotony. I’m lucky enough to have a little boy who is typically yelling something so that I don’t fall asleep mid-stride.
I also have the TV and my DVR. I will record shows (I watched the entire season of So You Think You Can Dance while running) and that keeps me entertained.
I also have my motivations. May 30th was my first half marathon and September 19th is my first marathon. I find that it helps to keep me going when I would just as soon skip the last mile, or take an extra walk break. I really want to finish that marathon and feel good about it. Having that reminder, along with all my race bibs and a bunch of my race T-shirts, helps to keep me going.
Even with all the distractions and motivations, I still have to resort to covering the display so that I don’t have too look at how slowly the miles are creeping by.
6. Any last words or tips?
I think a treadmill is really great for people who are just starting to run or get active. I know that when I first planned on running that 5K last summer, there was no way I was going to train outside where people could see me (and judge me). I felt much more comfortable running in my basement where the only person who knew my pace or distance was me.
Now that I am more confident in my ability (although not much faster) I like running outside; especially for my long runs. But my treadmill will always hold a special place in my heart, and my training plan. The treadmill is versatile and the perfect running partner. It doesn’t care what pace you run and it will always stay with you. It doesn’t care if you need a walking break and it won’t judge you if you choose not to run up the hills at the same pace you run the straightaways. You can hop on the treadmill any time and get in a good workout. It doesn’t matter if it 100 degrees out or 40 below (more likely in Wisconsin). It doesn’t matter if it is raining or snowing or humid or dark or windy. It is always perfect weather for the treadmill.