Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pacing discovery on the treadmill

Today's run (treadmill): 2.4 miles at 9:08/mile

Although I was fully prepared to run on the treadmill when I set up my gear last night I felt a little differently this morning. The alarm woke me up from a sound sleep and made me question whether a workout or thirty extra minutes of sleep would do me the most good. I would have liked the extra sleep but I knew if I didn't run I'd feel guilty for the rest of the day. Despite its negative connotations, I truly believe that guilt has its good side. I had a little coffee and got on the machine, resigned to running a couple of miles.

As I started my run I compared the pace on the display to the pace on my Garmin that I knew was accurately calibrated. The two readings were closer than I'd expected them to be. I increased the tread speed and saw that the paces changed in sync with each other but once I got to target speed I found that I could achieve a faster pace on the Garmin, compared to the treadmill's, just by quickening my cadence. When I resumed my default running rhythm the Garmin's readout resumed duplicating the treadmill's. It was an interesting discovery because now I know I can naturally speed up or slow down a little without needing to mess with the treadmill's controls. That makes a big difference to me because much of my frustration with the treadmill is from the tedium that comes with being forced to maintain a hardwired pace.

Although I started off tired I did rebound and got through 2.4 miles at a decent pace. I don't know why I find treadmill running so much harder than road or trail running but I do. Still, I rather it be that way than the other way around.


  1. For some reason I love the treadmill (don't have a gym, but when at hotels). Maybe because it's so simple; I just crank my tunes, run, and relax into it. I find it very zen. But, I know many people loathe it, and a good friend who is an amazing runner I've NEVER seen inside the walls of a gym. He just won't. But he can run up mountains. =)

    Among other things, running outside gives you good stories. The treadmill, not so much.

  2. My biggest issue with the treadmill is that if I stop concentrating on what I'm doing I could trip and get eaten alive by the machine. Even with the safety tether I'm always on guard.

    Like your friend, I'd rather run outdoors than indoors any day.


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