Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I've already forgotten this morning's treadmill experience

I had a decent run on the treadmill this morning, 2.6 miles at a moderate pace. After the hard trail run on Sunday I planned to take it easy today. I did the first half of my run at around 9:50 and the second half at 9:10. There was nothing particularly interesting about this workout and I realized when I finished that, besides checking my Garmin a couple of times for pace info, I had almost zero recollection of the experience. I came off the machine hot, sweaty and energized but I couldn't think of anything notable about the run.

Although it's an important aspect of my workout routine, the treadmill only provides me with a one dimensional experience. Compared to road running or trail running (that are multidimensional in terms of visual and sensory experience) the treadmill provides little in the way of intellectual stimulation. True, you can make up for that gap by putting a television in front of the machine or by listening to music, podcasts or audio books, but those things aren't really about the running experience. I'm not against treadmills by any means. I just got the good news that our new unit is in transit to the delivery company and I'm eagerly anticipating its arrival. Our new treadmill has built in programs and lots of metrics to help distract from the tedium of running in place.

While looking at speed, incline, time, distance traveled, calories, pulse and pace falls way short of looking at trees, birds and other interesting things along the trail, at least these displayed metrics have something to do with running. No matter what (like anything new and technical) the new treadmill will provide me a new dimension, at least for a while.


  1. I do not down the treadmill experience, but you are right in the fact that it can be one dimensional. Running outside constantly feeds your mind with an array of thoughts. Thoughts continuously filtering through that mind of yours. The treadmill can be somewhat boring, but you just have to get in to it to make it a great experience. Goodluck in getting your treadmill soon.

  2. Thanks, it's not always boring but it's always less interesting than the outside options.


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