Sunday, February 15, 2015

Long Run on the Dreadmill: It IS Possible!

This week I am learning to tolerate embrace the treadmill.  The temperature has been at or below zero  the whole week, so I have had to run inside.  First of all, let me say that I am grateful that I have a treadmill.  I just bought it for my husband for Christmas, but I have had to start using it.  For those of you who don't have a treadmill or a gym membership, I suggest you run in place in your living room while watching Dr. Who.  That's what I used to do.  Now I run on the treadmill and watch Dr. Who.  I'm on the eleventh Doctor-- how about you?  Really, though, MY Doctor is and always will be Christopher Eccleston.

Who's your Doctor?

This is my Doctor.

I don't care who your Doctor is; this is just funny.
Anyway, even the Doctor can only get me so far on a dreadmill.  I've talked to regular treadmill users, and they've given me some great advice, which I sometimes implement.

Advice #1 (from Elizabeth):  Make every run count.  Don't just decide to "go on the treadmill." Have a reason.  Is it a speed workout?  What about inclines?  Tempo run or intervals?

What I've Done with Advice #1:  Mostly I decide my purpose is to "burn a ton of calories" so I can "eat a ton of food and drink a ton of wine."  Somehow I feel that I've failed at following Elizabeth's advice.

Advice #2 (from Mandy):  Use the treadmill for your speed workouts.  You HAVE to hit your pace or you will fall and hurt yourself.  Did I mention that Mandy is a LOT younger than I am?

What I've Done with Advice #2:  Considering I almost fell off the treadmill today because I simply turned my head to the left a little bit, I'm not so confident that I will always "hit my marks."  Nevertheless, I did experiment this week with different speeds.  I started at 5 for a mile; then, I gradually upped the speed every half or full mile until I got to over 7, and then I moved it back down to 5.5, which felt much easier after running fast for a few miles.

Today, with subzero temps, I couldn't possibly do my long run outside, so I glommed onto Mandy's membership at LA Fitness, where we did a ten mile treadmill run together.  I prepped myself physically by bringing a banana, water bottle, and headphones.  I prepped myself mentally by coming up with strategies to survive every three or four miles: 1) Talk to Mandy whenever possible  2) Listen to Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me! or Car Talk on my list of subscribed podcasts 3) Listen to my running playlist, of course.

The really pleasant surprise was that I didn't need to do any of that (well, beyond the talking).  Mandy and I set a goal to run six miles, stop and fuel, and then run four more, and it worked really well.  Kevin showed up to run 5k next to us, and that was a nice change for a while, but really Mandy and I did a great job putting in ten miles.  I can't believe I never even touched my earbuds!
This is EXACTLY how Mandy and I look running on a treadmill for ten miles.  The legs are blurry because we are so darned fast.
Knowing that I CAN do a long run on the treadmill makes a huge difference in the way I see my training for the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon.  I'm still not happy about subzero temperatures, but I will deal with them.  For now.

Speaking of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, Peeps, did you know that the CLEmarathon Ambassadors are having race entry giveaways?  Check out the list here; the giveaways have already started.  Get busy!

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