Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On treadmill running...

On days that "The Man" is beating you down and you can't escape his clutches with enough daylight to run, a treadmill run is the way to go. My only qualm is that it's indoors. No wind in your hair (unless you have a fan attachment), no pretty trees (unless you're watching the travel channel), and no fresh smells wafting from nature (unless you like BO). So how do you keep your focus for 4-6 miles on a machine that's not going anywhere?

Well, here are my personal tips for treadmill running:

1. Vary your speed a lot by running intervals. This actually gives you a better workout than staying at a steady pace the whole time. Plus, it gives you something to focus on so you don't get bored. This kind of running constitutes as a speed workout, and helps to increase your average pace in a race.

2. Elevate your treadmill to a steeper grade. This applies to hill workouts. Last year, I had the great misfortune of finding out my race route had hills DURING my run. That's called being ill-prepared, boys and girls. And now I know better. At any rate, I need the occasional hill workout, and this is the less strenuous way because the treadmill is easier on your knees than pavement. So feel the burn and push through the pain. Remember to stretch afterwards.

3. iPod. I LOVE my iPod. Actually, my iPod has kept me on track so much, that I'm dedicating a whole other post for my iPod. So you'll have to wait until then..

4. Schedule around TV shows. Thanks to my girlfriend, Raquel, if I'm not training then I'm a couch potato. I swear, I've never watched so much tv in my life. I never had cable in highschool, and I didn't own a tv in college (grad school)! So while I know a lot of you think there is nothing good on, tv is fascinating to me. Call me a hick, but I'm even entertained by the weather channel (well, only if there's a natural disaster).

5. Avoid the stench. Contrary to what most people believe about techie professionals, I'm not rich enough to own my own treadmill. However, I do have a nice gym discount from my company. So, running on the treadmill for me equates to going to the gym. I'm sure that most of you can relate to occasionally encountering the Mr. Stinky, who doesn't wear deodorant, jumping on the treadmill next to you. Don't try to be polite and suffer through this, like I used to. It's NOT worth it people, especially if you sacrifice the run and give up early. If you still want to be discreet, go to the bathroom, and come back to another treadmill. But, if you feel so inclined, turn to him and say, "Dude, you REEK! Degree Men: learn it, live it, love it."

1 comment:

sidewalk monkey said...

these are some good tips! i hate treadmill running, and on days when i don't run outside i "run" on the elliptical at the gym. but your ideas for making the treadmill run less odious are inspiring me to try it. thanks!