Running up that hill
I do all my running inside. I don’t think I have run outside in over 8 years. It’s convenient for me, not having to battle traffic, weather, concrete. It’s easy for me to walk down into the gym at work and do my running there.
But running on a treadmill is not the same as running outside. No wind, steady grade, and a motor helping you out. There isn’t anything increasing the difficulty during your run, no running into a strong head wind, no running up hills. There isn’t any outside force throwing these things at you. You are in control.
You’ve been training on the treadmill for a while now, and you just signed up for your first race. You know you are ready, you’ve been training for a while, working hard. You start the race and a bit into it, it seems harder than it should be. You are running slower than the pace you normally keep on your treadmill. This sucks! You had plans of hitting a personal best but now you aren’t too sure you will be able to do it. All these outside forces have conspired against you, is how you feel.
Running on a treadmill is not the same as running outside. But it can be.
You are in control. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. You are in control on how difficult the run can be. Interval training, hill training, sprints, etc.
Being in control has its downside in that it is up to you on the type of run you do. It’s easy to tone down the difficulty and take the easy route. Your running up that hill and it’s getting harder and harder. You lower the incline to make it a little easier and you tell yourself that’s ok.
When running on a treadmill you don’t have to get back home. When running outside, wherever you go, you have to come back. If you run 5k out, you have to run 5k back. It’s easy to hit that stop button on the treadmill when you get tired.
So what can you do. A number of things.
- Get to know the treadmill you run on. Modern treadmills have so many programs it shouldn’t be difficult to choose one that replicates what you need to do be it hills, intervals, etc. Having all these programs available to you can make it feel like a new run every time, and take the boredom out of treadmill running.
- Set the incline to at least 1 percent. This should replicate the natural grade of the road. No road is absolutely flat.
- Create your own program and use the speed and incline options to challenge yourself.
You are in control. Be your own coach and run the type of run that challenges you and helps you get to your goals quicker. You can make a treadmill run just as difficult as an outdoor run, but it’s up to you to do that.
You have the power. All this is in your control. Take charge of your run and reap the benefits. Don’t take the easy way out.
The next 5k race you participate in will be much more rewarding. Running on a treadmill does not have to be a bad thing.
Yours in health,