I’ve never been a fan of the treadmill. But as much as I hate the confounded torture device, I hate not running more. So I finally forced myself to adjust. Since then, I’ve come to see a few advantages a treadmill offers.
Weather excuses disappear. I don’t like to run when it’s too hot, too cold, too windy, not windy enough, or raining. That rules out most days, especially in January, February and March. I can run on the treadmill year round.
Fewer scheduling conflicts. Starting in May and continuing well into September, if I haven’t run by ten in the morning, because of the heat, it ain’t happening. By the time it cools off enough in the evening, it’s too late for me to exercise. The treadmill enables me to run whenever I want.
Where to run? Running outside means finding an appropriate place. If there’s much traffic, sidewalks are a requirement. I avoid really steep hills too. None of this matters with a treadmill.
Avoiding danger. I’ve been lucky. I haven’t been chased by dogs or had close calls with cars or bicycles. I read somewhere that treadmills are responsible for a lot of trips to the emergency room. Even so, I feel like running on a treadmill is safer than being out on the road.
Setting the pace. Outside, I settle into a comfortable pace of about eleven and a half minutes per mile. On the treadmill, I have to set a pace, and have no trouble running ten minute miles, and have even done a mile or two in nine minutes. I can’t run all three miles at that pace, but that gives me something to work toward.
Going the distance. Pushing myself beyond three miles when I run outside has been a challenge. Lack of water is an issue. And I never know until I’ve hit three miles whether I feel like going farther, and by then, I’m already home. With the treadmill, if I feel great after mile three, I can keep going.
Time management. When I run outside, I don’t really think about my pace impacting how long it will take to run three miles. On the treadmill, I’m acutely aware, and constantly push the upper limit of my ability to finish faster.
I still prefer running outside. But I can see how a month or two on the treadmill would be good for me. Come late winter when the weather improves enough to run outside again, I should have no trouble running faster and farther. Now if I could just talk myself into going to the gym to run….