Treadmill Tuesday: Tips and Tricks.

Woah, so much alliteration in that title. I have officially started to migrate indoors with my running. There is really no replacement for outdoor running but when the temperature starts to drop and it’s super dark and icy out, the treadmill becomes my BFF. If you’re a long-time reader you know that unlike most runners I don’t hate the treadmill. I like wearing capris and tank tops all year round while I run and I enjoy watching the sports highlights every morning so treadmills are kind of awesome for that.

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I notice when I migrate indoors, and then eventually head back outdoors, there is always a bit of a transition period where I have to get used to the different running settings. I always find I can’t run equivalent paces on the treadmill as I can outside, and I never know if I’m suppose to add a 1% incline to all treadmill runs? A 0.5% incline? Zero? I found some decent articles to share regarding treadmill running that I found super useful!

  • 10 Treadmill Mistakes You’re Making” from Prevention. The TVs on the treadmills at my gym are probably in the most terrible position ever for your posture. If I stare at the TV too long I feel myself slouching forward and looking too far “down” than I should. It definitely affects my running form so it’s something to keep in mind!

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  • Treadmill Training for Winter Fitness” from Active.com. This article suggests an answer to my ever-burning question of incline for running on a treadmill. It suggests 1% minimum to mimic the resistance of road running and to correct form. My doctor told me that it really doesn’t make a difference and to reduce injury risk I should leave it at 0%… hm.

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  • 5 Burning Questions About Running on a Treadmill” by Mens Fitness. I think I read Mens Fitness more than Women’s Fitness magazine… is that weird? I just find it has so much more useful workout information. This article talks about using the benefits of a treadmill as an advantage in your training… YOU control the speed and incline so you can train for faster paces and push yourself out of that comfort zone.

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  • How to Run Long on the Treadmill Without Losing your Mind” by Runners World. If you are doing marathon training on the treadmill you might encounter a few long runs indoors. The longest I have run on a treadmill is 18 miles. It actually wasn’t THAT bad, but then again, I’m a fan of the dreadmill. My biggest tips -> Find some entertainment, whether that me podcasts or a movie… and break it up… don’t think of it as 12 miles, think of it as 2 x 10Ks.

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My criteria for an indoor run:

  • It is less than -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees F). 
  • It is windier than 50km/h (gusting >60km/h).
  • The streets are super duper icy. 
  • The sidewalks haven’t been plowed yet and are covered in snow.
  • It is too dark to see if there is black ice.

I swear these aren’t unreasonable and I can justify an indoor run, haha! My least favourite running conditions are wind and ice so when those happen I just think safety is more important and I stick to indoor running. I am also a pansy so don’t use these criteria for any exclusive guidelines, I have a friend who runs outdoors all year round, -20, snowing, whatever the case. He is the one I did THIS run with sooo. 😉

Do you have certain criteria to justify an indoor run?

Favourite way to pass time on a treadmill?

20 Comments

  1. I don’t mind the treadmill either! I find it to be easier than dealing with the ice, and logistically some long runs are just better done indoors than in the freezing cold (I live in Alaska so it happens sometimes!). My longest treadmill run was 11 I think, and I’m pretty sure I got through it with a mix of the Kardashians and HGTV. Reality TV is the best for treadmill time!

  2. I absolutely love outdoor running in the winter, but then again I am just a winter girl at heart to begin with. When I ran the Hypothermic Half in Winnipeg this year it was -33C without the windchill when I left the hotel to drive to the start. But I also appreciate a good treadmill session now and then. I’ve started to play around with the incline and speed more lately to break up the boredom. It makes the time go by so much faster. The longest I’ve run on one was an hour and 40 minutes while watching The Wolf of Wall Street.

  3. I’ve always considered myself a ‘fair weather’ runner so I generally haven’t been running at all in the cold/rain/snow, etc. However, since I’m wanting to improve my running a bit, I’m at the point where I don’t want to lose all the progress I make in the summer (I don’t have a treadmill). So I’m trying to learn what conditions I should just suck it up and go in and what conditions I should bow out of.

  4. If I have an intervals-type workout planned out, I love the treadmill. Running at a steady pace turns the treadmill into a dread-mill for me.

  5. I went back and forth for sooo long on inclines! I still found that it made no difference on pace or time so I have been comfortable at a 2% and just stuck with it!

    My favorite way to pass the time is plan my day. I usually run in the morning and have my game plan by the time I get off…. chances are the game plan will be shot by 7am but at least for 10 minutes I feel organized 🙂

  6. I dislike the treadmill but primarily because I run for fresh air and to be outside! I also feel the treadmill changes running gait. The belt brings you back and it’s bouncy so it’s not a natural motion…and it’s a thousand degrees in our little stuffy gym so my face turns ten shades of tomato 🙂

    BUT, I succumbed to my first TM run yesterday because we’ve had snow-ice-hail stuff and it’s super icy outdoors. Too much ice is my cut-off point. I will run outdoors up to -30C (you just have to dress right and get out)….with that said, IF the gym is empty and there’s a good movie on and some sitcoms, the treadmill can be lovely escape 🙂

    1. Awesome points Jenni! I think the treadmill totally changes my running gait and there is truly no replacement for the road (or trails)!

  7. My criteria is usually if it is dark and if it’s really, really raining. I don’t mind the treadmill either, with the right music and Netflix it’s not bad!

    1. Agreed!! I am a pansy in the dark. In my head every single murderer is waiting in the dark for me to run by. Hahahah, that sounds so ridiculous now that I write it out! 😛

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