When the temperatures hit extremes in Winnipeg, I find myself hitting up the treadmills at my local gym. I also find I hit up the treadmills when my motivation is waning. The only times I truly enjoy being outside for runs is when I am with other people and the weather is more temperate (essentially spring and fall type weather).
I know…I think I’m the only one who actually likes running on the treadmill. But before you condemn me, perhaps tell me I am not a “real runner” (whatever that means…and yes, this has actually been said to me), hear me out as I have a few good reasons as to why I love them, so.
1. Treadmills are safe. I live in an area of my city without a lot of run paths. There is a park a few minutes away, but it is problematic too–between the aggressive drivers in the evenings, and the periodic attacks on single female runners in the early morning, I don’t feel very comfortable running there on my own. You also don’t have to worry about random cars hitting you as you cross the street. This happened to me once on a final, 1.5 mile taper run , two days before a race. An old lady pressed her gas pedal instead of the break.
2. Treadmills offer consistency. When I run on the treadmill, I essentially set my speed and then forget it. It is relentless and only gets easier if you get fitter or you manually slow down the belt. It takes a lot for me to slow down that darn belt.
3. Treadmills offer entertainment. I don’t live in a particularly scenic place so my run surroundings are not all that inspiring. Treadmills tend to have TVs now and my favourite long runs are always the ones where I can catch a TV Marathon (so many of my best runs lately have coincided with a Walking Dead Marathon) or a favourite movie. Those 10 milers go by in a flash!
4. Treadmills offer companionship. Over the last few weeks, a run club member has opted to run next to me during my long run. It is amazing to have that support right next to you, especially since we wouldn’t be able to do that outside of the treadmills as we run at different paces. I have even had my grandma meet me at the gym a few weeks ago and walk next to me as I ran. There would be no way I would be able to run the way I was with my grandma next to me the entire way if we were outside.
5. Treadmills offer discipline. By making a treadmill date with myself, I know I am getting a run in…even if it is only 15 minutes. If my motivation to run is wavering in the slightest, running outside won’t do. I will keep pushing it off until it is way too late to go for a run. By making the trip to the gym, to meet with my favourite corner treadmill, I stay disciplined and ensure I get my training runs in.
Do you happen to like running on treadmills? If so, why?