>I mentioned in September that I had joined our local gym (again – I have joined and left three times now) and to my great surprise I have found that this time, I am using it enough to justify my membership fees (3+ times a week). I am doing my weekly swimming lessons (though not every week, necessarily) and have worked out a weights / strength routine which I can fit in around my running and which is not too complicated (a guaranteed turn-off for me). And I use the treadmill. I started using it on and off this autumn and it has steadily become a firm element of my training routine. Bizarrely enough, I feel a bit embarrassed blogging about this. I have always believed that to train to race outside, you have to run outside. And I still believe that.
But, there are some moments where a treadmill really is rather handy. I have come to love it for speed workouts – without access to a track, this is the most accurate way for me to control my distance and speed, far superior to working out with my Garmin. (I still tend to run my pace workouts outside). And then, sometimes the outside can be inhospitable (2 feet of snow, anyone?) that while going for a run might prove your bad-assedness, you achieve little in terms of a quality workout. On balance, I have tended to do about 1 or 2 of my weekly workouts on the treadmill, choosing to do most of my recovery, tempo and long runs outside. However, this weekend we have had treacherously high winds. Not of an Australian speed, but still about 50km/h. Going out for an easy 5 yesterday I had to dodge a few large branches crashing onto the country road around me, and within half a mile I packed my run in and headed to the treadmill. Overnight the wind did not die down, and I was facing running an 18 miler in it. So, for the first time, I contemplated running 18 miles on the treadmill. People do it – I know. People I like and respect – Jill, Matt, Emz – do it. But I really wasn’t sure how I was going to do this without falling off the back of the treadmill with boredom. So I emailed Emz and asked her to do it. And she told me. And I printed out the email and brought sellotape to the gym and taped her email to the treadmill. And I did it. I ran 18 miles on the treadmill. I did not die of boredom, I did not give up, I did it. With a smile on my face, most of the time actually – I felt like a million dollars. And I then realised that, given that even people in Texas are facing snowdays, I have to pay this forward. So without further ado, I present to you the content of Emz email that got me through this – just cut along the dotted line and don’t forget to bring your sellotape.
You. Will. Freaking. Rock. It.
Break it up into pieces. 6 miles x 3.
You may call this nuts but……..
I run the first third [6 miles] w/o distractions [tv, music, etc].
Keep. Your. Thoughts. Positive.
You staying positive it what will get you through this & dare I say….may make this your best long run yet. 😉
Focus on your form. Your breathing.
Second 6…..turn on the tunes. You will be amazed how fast these 6 fly by.
Next 5….do whatever works. Tv. Podcast. Etc. I have seen people at my gym tie on their iPads w/rope like stuff…you may want to try that?!
Last mile….kick it up one notch faster. For. Me.
Now…. Petra. You know I’m a little nuts.
Treadmill running. Is. Mental. Meaning your attitude when you hop on that mill needs to be “I’ve got this”, “this is going to be a great run”. If you hop on thinking you are going to be bored & turn “mental” in two miles…..you will. For sure.
Just don’t tell yourself anything even close to negative.
Keep the incline at at least 1% incline but keep it between 1-2.5% if you need a change.
Stay. Positive. The. Whole. Run.
Take a photo of the mill when you are done. 🙂
I did just that. I got on the treadmill and told myself “I’ve got this”. I pushed every doubt out of my mind as soon as it appeared. None of that for me today. I ran the first 6 miles without any music. There were people in the gym to gawk at, there were tv screens to look at (without headphones, does that count?), I made a point of focusing on my form and breathing whenever I could remember (at every km, in this imperial country we have metric treadmills for some reason). Done. Anyone can do 6 miles. For the second 6 I had loaded my 10 year old’s Now That’s What I Call Music 77 onto my iPod. Call me grannie (come on! I dare you!) but I have missed some great tunes in this past year or so. Top powersongs I discovered on these 6 miles were Milkshake (Kelis), Shut Up (Black Eyed Peas), Cha Cha Slide (DJ Casper), Jump (Girls Aloud). I was rocking along and again, the miles went past quickly. I was varying the incline, keeping the base at 1.5 % but varying it up to 2 for 1K, up to 2.5 for 1K, down to 1 for .5K and back to 1.5% – there was no system to it but I was just trying to make sure my legs did not do exactly the same thing for too long. For the last 6 I started off with a podcast, but I could suddenly feel my mojo slipping. Only one thing for it – before I had a moment’s further doubt, I found myself some Britney. Three plays of Toxic and I was back on it. I had promised Emz that I would run my last mile faster and while I had run the whole workout at the 9:30 min/mile I dropped to an 8:45 for the last mile. Yeah, yeah – not setting the world on fire here I know but that wasn’t the point. I did it. And I loved it!
|So not a good look. This is why the over 35s do not do FaceTime.|
|See the taped-up piece of paper on the treadmill just behind my elbow?|
Don’t worry – I will still be doing the vast majority of my running outside. But I am more amazed than anything that I was able to change my attitude towards something so quickly and so effectively. I should try this on pizza, red wine and Ben and Jerry’s next. After I have some…