Friday, January 13, 2017

5 Ways to LOVE the Treadmill

In Minnesota, winters are just plain hard.  
ICE, SNOW, WIND, SUB-ZERO TEMPS....

But, how do I get my runs in when it's freezing outside? 
You guessed it!  I turn to the treadmill!  Or, shall I say.... DREADMILL.


This year, it's not only the cold that's getting me down, it's the snowy and treacherous road conditions!  I would MUCH rather run outside but there are times when it's just not worth injury to brave the roads.  We have had a number of days with below zero temperatures and extremely icy roads.  I'll admit, I've skipped more than my share of runs because I just dread the treadmill.  



But, in order to help me with my winter running blues, I've come up with 5 ways to help you LOVE the treadmill and get those much needed work-outs in!  

First off, let  me start by making it clear that I think treadmill work-outs are HAAAARD!  Very hard.  Anybody else feel like one minute on the treadmill is like 20 on the road?  Or, your 9 minute pace feels like your fast sprint during training?  Ugh!  We've all been there... now lets talk about ways to help us get over the dread of the treadmill!  

 

WATCH YOUR FAVORITE GUILTY PLEASURE

You know what I'm talking about.  The show your husband yells at you for watching?!  For me, it's The Bachelor. There's nothing better than watching a good cat-fight during a run.  I call it mindless TV - or is it mindless girls on TV?  I don't know, but for whatever reason, when I'm watching something that doesn't require a lot of concentration, I can just run. 

DRESS IN GREAT WARM WEATHER GEAR

One reason I do love the treadmill is because I can wear my shorts and tank tops IN.THE.WINTER and I sweat like crazy! There really is something about a good sweat that puts me in a great mood.  Oh.. how I miss the days of teensy clothing in the winter.  It's a great pick-me-up to don my sports bra and shorts during a run on the treadmill.  If only for a second, I can forget what weather is lurking outside - unless of course I listen close to the 100 mph winds that are Minnesota Winters.  Okay - I may be exaggerating a bit. 

TURN OFF YOUR GARMIN

Yes, I said it.  Turn.It.OFF!  You don't need to worry about pace all the time on the treadmill.  Get your heart rate up to an aerobic rate and JUST.RUN.  No clocks,  no pace.  JUST.RUN.  Enjoy the cadence and don't feel like you have to be breaking records on the treadmill.   I often cover the digital read outs on my mill with a towel so I don't focus on the numbers so much.  You're getting a good work-out.  Your body is moving.  Calories are being burned.  Just run.  You'll thank me later. 

VARY YOUR WORKOUT

Ok, so I know that this goes against the tip I just talked about, but the treadmill is also a great place to work on your negative-splits.  Recently, I completed a 5 mile progression run on the treadmill where every mile I increased my speed by 20 seconds.  It was fantastic!  I got a challenging workout and my brain focused on 1 mile increments rather than the length of time I would be running.  This workout went so fast and the treadmill held me accountable for my splits which was great! 
  
FIND A NEED FOR SPEED

Speed training can be very effective on the treadmill because the treadmill forces you to keep a steady pace.   Start out with an easy-effort one mile warm-up.  Then sprint for 2 minutes.  Recover for 4 minutes at an easy conversational pace and repeat this 8 times.  I promise you won't be bored and you will feel like She-Ra when you're done!   


Do you struggle with the dreadmill?  Do you love winter running? 


For the first time I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday V 2.0.  I'm excited to meet you all!  Thanks for the link-up!



 

 




17 comments:

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  2. I have to love the treadmill, because it was fast-walking on a treadmill that led me to where I am today! These days, I do a lot of other things as well, but I'll always love my old treadmill. I never found it too boring because I always have the TV on (with captions) and music blaring the whole time. It works for me :D

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  3. I am missing my treadmill since we have moved to a smaller house. But we live in a much safer place to run AND by a lake! It rains a lot here so my treadmill would be much more convenient. Hope you have a good week Gina!

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    1. Congrats on the move! You're pictures always look so peaceful!

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  4. Girl, I LOVE the treadmill. Put me on with a podcast or Netflix and I can go for days!

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  5. I hate the treadmill with the fire of a thousand suns. It hurts, and it's boring and I just can't do it unless I absolutely have to. For me, winter running is probably the best running weather (we have a few weeks of 20s and 30s, no ice, and no snow), so it's not necessary. Things are a little swampy in the summer, but southern summer training leads to fall and winter PRs. Or at least, that's what I try to make myself believe.

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    1. Your weather sounds like a DREAM! We are in the 40's next week and that's a HEAT WAVE for january in MN so I.CAN'T. WAIT!!!!! WAHOO!!

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  6. I have to admit I am not a fan of treadmill running, but I think I can learn to like it a bit more with the help of this post!! Thank you so much for these great tips!

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    1. I'm really starting to love my speed work on it! Happy running!

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  7. I hate running in the cold, and though I'm trying to be better about pushing myself, there are some days that are just too cold, or icy, to be outside running. Running on the treadmill also offers a great chance to catch up on some TV!

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    1. Some days it's my friends that push me out of bed so I get it. But, I have really good gear too so that makes it so much easier!

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  8. I am not a fan of the treadmill but it sounds like you are making it fun! I do like the thought of exercising and catching a little Bravo TV at the same time tho :)

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    1. I like to catch up on shows I'd not watch otherwise - that's for sure!

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  9. Oh the treadmill. What a lifesaver and a necessity for Minnesotans! I love listening to music while running on the 'mill and doing speed or hill intervals. The workout just flies right by!

    It's also fun to wear just shorts and a sports bra and secretly pretend it's "summer" while running indoors. We only have, what, 3 or 4 months left until MN summer returns?! :) Keep up your awesome work, Gina!

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  10. I don't hate the treadmill, but I certainly don't prefer it! I don't think I've been on mine in over a year. I live in Chicago, so I deal with similar challenges as you do in the winter, but I have been taking advantage of these unseasonably mild days!

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