There’s often no choice but to hit the treadmill when the cold weather hits. Most of the time I’d rather run outside, even if it’s cold, wet and dark. But if running paths get slippery and icy, I need to head to the treadmill.
But the problem with the treadmill is, we get bored easily. And you know that when you are bored, everything seems to take twice as long!
The Hamster Wheel
So how to make things more interesting?
After much dislike, I have finally made peace with the Treadmill. For many years, I despised running on a treadmill, mostly because it made me feel like a bored and unhappy hamster. You spend lots of time and energy, and all the while you are not going absolutely anywhere.
Whereas last year I ran outside through the winter, this year the winter has gotten the better of me. I’ve been blaming this allergy to the cold on me getting older. And I have a growing instinct to secure my basic needs of warmth and shelter.
For lack of alternatives on many occasions, I found myself giving the treadmill another chance. And gladly learned that it has genuinely increased my running pace quite significantly.
The method I’ve been using for my treadmill workouts goes something like this:
- Set the treadmill for a 30-minute run.
- Spend the first 5 minutes at your resting pace (a slower pace that you can maintain for longer times).
- Add .5 mph to your speed incrementally at either 5 or 10-minute intervals.
- Leave the last 5 minutes for cool down by resuming to your resting pace.
You can also fiddle around with the incline to make things even more interesting, and to pass the time more quickly.
There is nothing official about this approach. But it has allowed me to gradually spend more and more of the 30 minutes at the faster paces. Within a month or two I’ve shaved almost 2 minutes to my average speed per mile.
After doing a few searches on treadmill workouts, I found that it’s actually quite similar to a few suggested on the Runner’s World Website.
So while I still can’t help but think about those furry little hamsters as I hop on the treadmill, I have made peace with it. And I have something the hamsters don’t have. Hundreds of possible training programs at my fingertips to defend off the monotony. And of course, we have music, and podcasts, to keep us entertained.