Showing posts with label Indoor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indoor. Show all posts

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A great treadmill experience (finally!)

ER and SIOR take the indoor option
Today's run (Lifetime Fitness treadmill run): 4.5 miles
Yesterday's run (treadmill): 3.25 miles
Friday's run (treadmill): 3.2 miles

I continue to battle a tough work schedule that makes it hard for me to fit in a fourth weekly workout. This week was no exception. There's a lot happening at the office and it's causing more meetings to push me past my usual departure time. I don't get home as late as I did when I worked in the city, but post-dinner running doesn't generally work for me. So it was three runs this week. All three on the treadmill.

I planned to run outside on Friday and put on my new running raincoat due to the misty conditions. As I prepared to go out, the skies opened up and my options switched to the treadmill or the elliptical. Since I didn't do a mid-week workout, I opted for running.

I hadn't run since last Sunday and I expected to have a tough time getting going. I was surprised to quickly find my stride and the minutes rolled by faster than my usual treadmill experience. I had limited time and cut it short after 3.2 miles. I played with tempo over the last mile and was able to get down to a decent pace.

Saturday's weather was equally miserable, so it was back again on the treadmill. I didn't have the same energy level as I did on Friday, but I pressed on. The minutes ticked by more slowly than on Friday and I didn't start my progressive paces until I had 3/4 mile left to go. Still, it wasn't as bad as some recent indoor runs.

This morning's plan was to meet SIOR at Bethpage where she would lead the Lifetime Fitness group run. Unfortunately, the weather had gone from wet to worse overnight and plans were changed to running on the treadmills at Lifetime. As much as I dislike treadmills, there's something I like about fitness center models and something I really dislike about running outside in 50 MPH winds.

When I met SIOR at the gym, she'd already completed a few miles. While she alerted the front desk that the workout was happening upstairs, I went to the locker room to take off my non-running layers. SIOR and I headed upstairs and I saw the huge gymnasium that had basketball courts and a rock climbing wall.

We found side-by-side Life Fitness treadmills and started them up. SIOR resumed watching a Netflix documentary about the Barkley marathons while I tried like heck to navigate to a watchable cable station on the monitor. I really didn't need my screen because there was so much else to look at. The gym is enormous with lots of opportunities for people watching and lots of video screens that provided good distraction.

Treadmills as far as the eye can see
If Friday's running felt easy, then today's run felt effortless. Some of that was due to starting slowly. But even as I blipped up my speed every tenth of a mile, the run never felt difficult. I stopped when SIOR finished her planned ten miles and I ended up covering 4.5. SIOR had more training to do and I had to head out for a brunch. Before we said our goodbyes. SIOR showed me more of the gym, including the area with all the weight machines.

I wouldn't have expected a treadmill workout to be so enjoyable but it was nice to be able to run along with SIOR. I really hope Lifetime gives her more resources to publicize these weekend events because it's a great way to showcase the gym and attract new members. If our schedules work out next time, it will be fun to have the other Runsketeers on the run.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Treadmill running is almost like real running

Same same
Today's run (treadmill): 3.6 miles

I downloaded my Garmin for the first time since January and saw that my last run before Friday happened on January 31 (not January 25th as I'd thought). Still, it was three full weeks between those runs. Over four weeks since I ran outside. So far the transition from elliptical to treadmill has been seamless, but it will likely be a few weeks before I can run outdoors again.

I was wondering about the difference between treadmill and road running when I came upon an article on the ABC News website called Myth or Reality: Treadmill Just as Good as Road Running. The point of the story was that most of the differences between indoor and outdoor running are small:

- Treadmill running requires less force from the knees and hips but not to a significant degree.

- Calorie burn is about the same until you get down to a 7 minute pace.

The article goes on to say that transitioning from the treadmill to the road puts you at risk for calf strains, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. I'll need to keep that in mind when I return to outdoor workouts. I'm sure that, once I'm back to the street, I'll want to stay outside for my runs.

Today's run was a little longer and a little faster than yesterday's. I am trying to limit the time I spend on the treadmill while I transition back from the zero-impact elliptical. Again, the time went by quickly and I was pleased with the airflow from the two large fans that sit below the console. I suspect that the challenge will increase as I add more time and speed to my running.

Unlike warm weather days, I don't need to think through my venue options for a Sunday run. Like yesterday and today, tomorrow will once again be a treadmill day. And that's just fine.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Housebound, but still pushing race pace

Today's run (treadmill): 3.25 miles

Warming trend
 The roads have been cleared but they're still too narrow to run. The sidewalks are completely inaccessible. So, once again, I hit the treadmill this morning. I wasn't very excited to do another indoor run but I had little choice. Yesterday I went for 5 easy miles, but today I needed to step it up.

We had late morning plans so I had a limited time to run. I figured that I'd go about 30 minutes, a pretty short workout for a Sunday. To get over 3 miles I knew I needed to push my speed. That meant starting at a pace close to where I normally finish and building speed further through the last mile.

Despite yesterday's restful workout, my return to speed went seamlessly. I had no trouble maintaining a brisk pace throughout the 30 or so minutes that I was on the treadmill. I ran hard, covered my distance and finished feeling like I'd been racing. The difference between today's effort and a race effort was about 20 seconds per mile. I didn't want to go all out, but I did want to get my heart rate up into zone 4. I ended up just about there by the end.

With this snow, I'm not sure when I'll feel comfortable going back to the streets to run. I'm hoping for warmer temperatures and sunny skies over the next few days. According to the weather reports, I may get my wish.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Finding my ultimate direction

Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Extreme
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

It rained overnight so I finished my work week training this morning with a treadmill run. I no longer despise the treadmill, but I don't particularly like it either. What's good about the treadmill is the control that it provides. I can better manage my schedule, because it takes half the time to prepare for a treadmill run compared to an outdoor run. Running outside often requires more layers, along with the extra gear like a reflective vest and headlamp.

The treadmill also allows me to lock into a fixed pace or set an incline at will, and I never have to worry about running out of time when I'm half a mile from my house. On the other hand, running indoors provides little visual or atmospheric stimulation. Inside and outside running both have their pros and cons, but I still prefer to run outdoors when I have that option.

I'll be going out for my last long base run tomorrow and I'm hoping that I have a better experience than last week, when I only covered 9 miles. I ordered an Ultimate Direction water bottle after researching opinions on the web. This model has an insulated wrap and, supposedly, a better designed valve on the top. I won't be able to test it until it's delivered next Tuesday. I'll need to decide whether to go with it, or whether to run without a bottle.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Night or day, inside or out?

Worth a read
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

In her new book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?", Mindy Kaling writes, "There is no sunrise so beautiful that it is worth waking me up to see it.” I thought that was a very funny line (it's a great book) but I have to disagree a little. As I stood at the train this morning I saw the sun coming up and the first thought I had was, "Finally, I can now go out on my long weekend runs before 6:30 AM without needing a headlamp."

There's a big difference, psychologically, when I run in the dark versus running in daylight. My 4:00 AM runs serve a purpose, but that purpose is primarily fitness maintenance. My weekend runs provide a far wider benefit to both mind and body. A run on the trails is visually fascinating, the terrain is challenging and the lack of concern for traffic (except for mountain bikers) allows for deep thinking.

This morning I was at the complete other end of the spectrum, running my 25 tedious minutes on the treadmill. A friend of mine just bought a True treadmill that is very feature-rich. One capability is heart rate cruise control -- the machine will automatically speed up, slow down or change elevation to keep the runner at a specific heart rate. It also has a 14" LCD screen that takes input from a smartphone, PC, iPad, etc. That would be amazing compared to my humble Sole. But in the end, I'd far prefer to be running outside, just after sunrise.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

In defense of the treadmill

The temperature this morning was in the low teens with winds making it far colder. It was also snowing which surprised me a little since I've always thought it couldn't snow when the temperature dropped much below freezing. Adding to this was the 4:00 AM darkness creating the most inhospitable running environment that can be found in suburban NY. There was no question that I would run on the treadmill as the darkness alone is enough to keep me inside on weekday mornings. Also, I like the treadmill for reasons I'll address further into this post.

As a re-engaged runner I am interested in what more experienced runners think and what they do. I'm always curious to hear real runner's opinions about treadmills because I've found them to be a divisive subject. There are those who just hate them and won't use them unless every alternative is exhausted. I know a person who runs in every kind of weather and who won't even wear a hat or long pants unless the temperature drops below 10 degrees. A couple of friends that are well established runners avoid the treadmill because they think the motion of the tread throws off their technique. I respect them very much and I've learned greatly from them both but I don't agree with that perspective.

The treadmill makes great sense to me because it's a practical and enabling technology. It lets me run when nature doesn't cooperate. Perhaps more importantly, the treadmill gives me full control of my environment in terms of conditions, speed and effort. I often think about the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" where Keir Dullea runs within a space station as it revolves. This morning I realized that I would run out of time before hitting my minimum distance for my weekday run. I had about five minutes left and saw that I was about 3/10ths of a mile short of my goal. With reckless abandon I pushed the speed control to 7.8 mph which is close to a 7:30/mi pace. I ended up covering much more distance than originally planned. I know it's not the same as the street or track but that doesn't mean it's worse. One established runner I know tells me she finds the treadmill workout harder than the street. I know it's not ideal and will always prefer the view of the neighborhood, the athletic field or (I'm guessing) the trail to the static view of my backyard viewed through the guestroom window. But at 4:00 AM with snow and a freezing wind-chill I'm still running.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Comparing indoor versus outdoor running

I was out of the office most of last week for the Thanksgiving break. Days off give me more time to run outside and I think that it's important to balance indoor treadmill running with pavement running. The experiences are very different, the view on the treadmill (Pro-Form L18) doesn't change (unless TV counts) while my outdoor runs are almost always unique in terms of route. The treadmill is a more forgiving and enabling process since the tread itself is more padded than pavement and the motion of the tread provides momentum for the runner. On the other hand outdoor running provides a variety of conditions (elevations, weather, terrain) that can be positive (or negative) distractions.

blogger templates | Webtalks