The TREADMILL. Just mentioning the dreaded treadmill makes most runners cringe, groan, and roll their eyes. (The TREADMILL!? Anything but the treadmill! Nooooooo!) There is a reason we refer to it as the DREADMILL. That black rotating belt makes us feel like a hamster that is stuck on a never ending wheel…going, going, going…nowhere.
When I am on a treadmill, I feel like I miss so much. I miss the wind in my face and seeing people walking their dogs or pushing their babies in strollers. I miss waving at my neighbors or feeling the breeze coming off the LSU lakes. Depending on the weather, I miss the warmth of the sun on my skin or the light sting of rain drops (which we get a lot of here inSouth Louisiana). Outdoor runs also mean I can go run with my friends, something I feel like I need so much lately.
However, I think my days of outdoor runs are over until after Baby Key arrives. I have tried hard, but at almost 32 weeks, I feel like my outdoor running days are over. The pressure from the baby belly is just too hard on my body (even with the help of compression shorts and the FITsplint) and on my last couple of runs, things started to hurt. All along, I have promised my husband that when things started to hurt, I would stop. The pounding of my feet on the pavement is just too much for me.
So, I’m…embracing the treadmill. Mark it down! I said it! Whether I am running/jogging at 0% incline or walking at a steep incline percentage, at least I will still be moving. At the end of the day, that’s the point…keep me and Baby Key moving as long as possible.
Since I am trying to change my perspective and attitude toward the
dreadmill treadmill, I thought it might be more motivating if I knew some specific ways that the treadmill can be beneficial. That way, every time I go to step up on it, I can think of one of these reasons and (hopefully!) have a better good attitude about my daily cardio.
ADVANTAGES/BENEFITS TO USING A TREADMILL
Easy to use.
Most treadmills are pretty self-explanatory with directions popping right up on the screen.
Predictable surface provides reassurance for those with balance issues or leg injuries.
On a treadmill, you will not have to worry about running from stray dogs, tripping over cracks in the road, or stepping up onto or down from sidewalks.
All aspects of the workout (speed/pace, incline, etc.) can be controlled; Precise and highly controlled speed work and interval training; Consistent pacing.
YOU are the one who controls the workout. You can make the workout as easy/hard as you want to.
Temperature controlled exercise.
I almost hate to bring this one up since we are currently having near PERFECT running weather here in Louisiana this week, but the treadmill does offer some reprieve when we are experiencing those days with temperatures in the 100′s.
No excuses about not exercising in bad weather.
Even a fair weather runner can get his sweat on with a treadmill.
Treadmill belts offer better shock absorption.
For those with chronic knee problems or weight issues, the softer surface of the treadmill offers more shock absorption than the asphalt on the road. This will result in less injuries in the long run.
Some treadmills can be programmed to simulate famous race courses. (Pretty neat!)
Always a bathroom close by for…ahem, stomach issues.
All I have to say is “runners trots.” I am lucky enough to never have been faced with this issue, but I hear it affects a lot of runners. We’ll just leave it at that.
Builds mental toughness.
This one may be the biggest benefit of all. Getting on the treadmill will require me to be more self-disciplined, committed, and motivated to get through my workouts. I know that using the treadmill routinely will be difficult for me and it will take a great amount of mental toughness to muscle through these exercises. If I can master the treadmill for a few weeks, I will be more than ready to return to being a dedicated road warrior post-baby.
How do YOU feel about the treadmill? Have you ever been in a situation where you were forced to use it even though you did not want to?