Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Tips For Treadmill Survival

Man, oh man, it's already Wednesday!

A shorty, snowy run yesterday morning.  I will/will not miss the snow.  I'm excited to see Spring and all of its glory as it graces Chicago, but there's something about the cold and snow on a run -- it's mystifying, it's so quiet, it's comforting.

Until you slip on some ice.  Then you get over it.:P

I'm currently teaching a fitness unit, and my second graders rocked out some Yoga.

They loved the music and sounds I provided.

Another long day for both of us, but Harry manged to make dinner -- TACO TUESDAY, ftw!

Taco Tuesday, ftw!

Treadmill Survival 101

That's a little dramatic, huh?  But I'm convinced that you can become "out of treadmill shape", especially if you're going to a gym that doesn't calibrate their treadmills all that often.  Getting to know your running on the treadmill is just as imperative (and sometimes completely different) than your road or trail running.  So take it from me:

1.  Warm up.  Don't make the mistake of hopping onto the treadmill and completing a workout without giving your muscles a chance to warm up.  I know, it's boring to run at X pace, but consider that you don't just go all-out when on the road, and add to the fact that you could get injured, all because you wanted to get it all over with (which I totally get).  Take it easy for 1/2-1 mile, depending on your workout.  For longer workouts that may include some speedwork or tempo, give yourself more of a warm-up, say 1 1/2-2 miles.

2.  Increase the incline ---- SLOWLY.  We can talk all day about where you should put the incline (I put it between 1.0-1.5% just as a base), but the fact remains that cranking it up is kinda tough.  At least at first, and it probably has more to do with the numbers rather than the actual "incline", anyway.  If you aren't used to it, you might try to tweak your gait, which will make you tired, which will irk you.  So take it easy at first:  Start at .5%, and interval in 1%, however far you feel may be necessary (I.e. 1/4 mile), and work up those intervals (to say 1/2 mile-full mile).  The effort shouldn't outweigh what you would feel on the road, so take it easy.

3.  Mix up your speeds whenever you want.  It's more than likely that you don't run the same speed per mile, every mile, while on the road or trail.  Play with the speed buttons often, or every once in a while.  Your legs and lungs can get taxed easily if they aren't used to a speed for too long, which ends up making you feel discouraged.  I do intervals in time or distance, ranging from 10 seconds to 5-10 minutes, or 200m-1600m.  It just depends on what kind of workout you're doing, but you don't want to feel like your next interval should be your last (for the workout, anyway).

4.  Stay hydrated!  Just because you're indoors/static doesn't mean that you won't get thirsty, or need hydration.  Keep a bottle of water with you, or you'll just have to jump off and find it.  PLUS, you can work on your "race sipping" technique.:P

5.  Above all else, have fun with it.  You're going to be there for a while, mostly because you've dedicated your time, emotions, and energy into this.  You know you need to, so you might as well be entertained while doing it.  Take a book or your tablet, a magazine, and/or definitely music.  Position yourself in front of a TV that will keep you from staring at the numbers.  Watch a movie (people do that!).  Just stay on there, and always smile at the end of your run.:)

BONUS:  This is a great opportunity to pay attention to your stride and running form.  With no red lights, traffic, or other dangers to consider, you can take this time to really work on your running efficiency.  Don't lean forward, relax your shoulders (do this by pretending to be pinching a blade of grass between your thumb and index finger [believe me -- this works]), keep your head up, and breathe.

*BRAIN HUG*, comin' at'cha!

Got any good treadmill tips for everyone?  Please share in the comments!

What's your workout today? 

Any new or current goals you're rocking?  TELL TELL TELL!:)


  1. So glad I'm in Florida this week! Mother Nature needs to lighten up a bit. Good tips!

  2. Watching Netflix on the treadmill has been the best. It really helps take my mind off the run.

  3. bahahahaha plot twist. Brilliant. I think that Chicago threw us a plot twist this week with the weather. for reals.

  4. Love it! Seriously fantastic post, Tiffany. I am all about doing speed intervals on the treadmill--keeps things from getting boring. And I love that 90 degree treadmill photo. ;)


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