Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Treadmill Running: A Review and Tips

I love running outside. My favorite time of the year to run is in the spring and fall as it is the perfect temperature. I can run at normal hours and enjoy the brisk air. I have a rail trail a short drive away that I call my own. Everyone else on the trail is running with me that day as I know that trail like the back of my hand. It is my trail and I am always sad when December hits and the trail is no longer clear of snow.

Unfortunately, the Boston Marathon is in April which means, I am going to have an entire marathon training season during the winter. I don't hurry to run inside as soon as the temperature drops below 30, but I am also not afraid to put in a long run on the treadmill. Due to the downed trees and power lines in my town, I do not feel safe running around my town yet, so training this week has been on my treadmill.

Yesterday I had a 9 mile General Aerobic run and today was a 14 mile Medium Long run. After driving my normal 9 mile route yesterday and realizing the roads were blocked, I headed to the treadmill.

We didn't purchase a treadmill until this past spring. We had gym memberships so you could find me at the gym early every morning. After our schedules got crazy this past year, we knew a gym membership was no longer worth our money. We hesitated from buying a treadmill in the past as my husband is a big researcher and had in mind that he wanted to buy the best consumer treadmill. My husband is 6'7", so not only did we need a treadmill that could keep up with our intense training, but we also needed one that his stride wasn't longer than. He knew he wanted to buy a Landice treadmill, but we knew we couldn't afford one right away so we waited and saved. We finally purchased a Landice L7 Pro Sport and are so glad we waited.
Compared to treadmills you can buy at Sears such as the Nordic Track, the Landice doesn't have all the bells and whistles such as internet and built in music. The Landice treadmill on the other hand makes up for this in its functionality. You can transition your speed and incline very easily. Other treadmills we tested seemed to take significantly more time to bump up the pace. Also, when going faster than an 8:00 pace, the treadmill does not shake. This was one of the selling factors for us. We knew that we wanted a treadmill that could make it through speed workouts and not annoy us. It doesn't have as many programming options as the treadmills at the gym, but it has basic programming and I have no problem manually adjusting pace as long as my treadmill is continuously working and not constantly needing to have the belt adjusted.

Since purchasing our treadmill, I have run several hundred miles on it. I have done speed work outs and long runs up to 17 miles. This treadmill is a beast and I am so glad that we finally jumped in and purchased it. I am also thankful we waited and purchased a quality treadmill.

So now that you know about my treadmill, here are a few tips for treadmill running:

1) I set up a motivation wall in front of my treadmill. I hate staring at a wall, but I love looking at old race bibs and just thinking. I also have a Boston Marathon poster up there that is a constant reminder of my end goal.
2) Bring entertainment and back up entertainment. I am not the type of runner who can just zone out during a run. I need music or something to watch on TV. My iPad has been an amazing investment for that reason. I love renting movies on iTunes or watching shows from Netflix. (I watched Crazy Stupid Love this morning--Loved it!)
3) Bring lots of water and gels if needed. I have been known to bring an entire bag of fuel with me to the gym for my 18-20 mile runs. People look at me like I am crazy, but it saves you from running to refill.
4) For longer runs, go at odd hours at the gym so that you aren't hogging a treadmill. 60 minutes is usually the time limit, so go at off-peak times to get your entire run in.
5) Bring a towel! I can leave an entire puddle of sweat around me. It is easier to dry off before the sweat hits the ground. Turning on a fan helps with this problem.
6) Don't think about how far you have to go. This is a mental trick I use both on the treadmill and outside. I run each mile as if it is the only mile I am running. I don't think of how much I have left to go. When I think I have 10 miles left, I convince myself to stop, but if you are thinking mile by mile, you won't necessarily be as quick to give up.

Do you have any tips for treadmill running that I can take from you?


Stephanie said...

OMG I LOVE YOUR WALLL!! Wow soooo much cooler than my small little bullentin board. That is by far the coolest thing. I have only gone 12 miles on a treadmill wow 17. i always feel it is harder to run faster on a treadmill mabye because it has to be consistent pace? anyway, good thing about our trail it is semi shoveled. this winter they did a great job from the lexington to alrington end. not so much on bedford. it was not perfect but it was pretty decent. also we can do the loop up at the lake where you did your night run and there is a 2 mile loop in woburn. i know these are not great but they are usable. Boston here we come, well here you come. i just planning on bein ur bitch

eatdrinkbreathesweat said...

I LOVE running in the fall too, it's my favorite time of year to run! I have to say -- owning my own treadmill has been the best investment I ever made. I've finally befriended it this year (last winter notsomuch) and am determined to keep my miles up this winter even if it means logging them on the treadmill!

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Gehl said...

I'd love to have Landice L7 but I don't have enough money at the moment. Is there any other treadmill you think it's a good one. I was thinking about sole f80 but I'm not sure yet because I'm afraid that's only a sales pitch. Is there any treadmill worth buying within 1000-2000 USD. Thanks for any help.

KA said...

Just found your blog while researching the Disney World Marathon for 2015. I am in a similar position that I have to use the treadmill for runs because I have two daughters who don't always (ever) want to wake up at 7am to ride their bikes with me on a run. Here's my problem/question: outside I can easily run say 8 miles at 7:50 average, on the treadmill I can barely hit an 8:00 pace without feeling like I am dying. Any insight would be greatly appreciated since I have signed up for my first two races ever.