Every runner knows the joy of running outside. The air is fresh, the breeze cools your back, and the scenery is delightful. It is a time out of the house or the office and a time to think. It’s simultaneously energizing and relaxing.
But what happens when you can’t run outside? Perhaps the weather is way too cold and wet or too hot and humid. What if your schedule is too hectic for a long cleansing run that day? What if you are a stay-at-home mom who cannot get babysitting for a run outside alone?
Bring in the treadmill.
The treadmill can be a bit controversial. Some people love it and some people hate it. There is no doubt that it can be boring and mind numbing, if overused. But, used properly, a treadmill can totally enhance your workout routine.
Consider these reasons:
New Equipment Gets You Excited
Let’s face it: having new equipment gets you excited to work out. Consider a mother trying to get her daughter into gymnastics. What would get the girl more excited to practice gymnastics at home other than buying her a cool piece of equipment to use? Nothing in the world. For example, say the mom decides on getting her a bar. while it may be slightly stressful for the mom to have to scour the web for good home gymnastics bar reviews and then buying it, the daughter is going to be excited to use it and will be able to do so whenever (like the convenience of having a treadmill at home).
For the Run/Walk Method of Running
For people who use the Run/Walk method of running (a.k.a. Jeff Galloway) the treadmill can be a dream. It can be cumbersome to constantly check your watch to keep tabs on your intervals. If you are using a nicer model treadmill it should have an interval timer option. Just set that interval timer for your walk/run splits and how long or how far you want to go and you will not have to worry about keeping track of the time. Just set it and go. Be sure to stay alert, though, because you do not want to be caught off guard by a running interval and fall off the treadmill.
Some avid runners are not blessed to live in an area that has rolling hills perfect for hill training. Some runners live near sea level and the ground is flatter than a pancake. What should they do to train for hills that are bound to be present at some important race. Treadmill. Just about all treadmills have the option to increase incline. Give your legs a good workout by boosting up the incline a few times during your indoor run. Try a few of these hill workouts on Running Planet.
Speed training can be a challenge also if you do not live near a running track or just do not have access to one. The road could work if you have a good length of straight road but you still have to watch out for traffic. Having to dodge on coming cars can really mess up your concentration when running a fast drill. Consistent pace is also important in speed drills and that is hard to maintain on the road or track. The treadmill to the rescue. You can increase your speed throughout your workouts to simulate the drills you could do on the track. Push the speed button to the speed you want to run whenever you need a boost of speed or program the interval function with an entire workout of speed drills. The treadmill also offers the consistent pacing so important for speed training.
Watch a Movie or Favorite TV Show Series
Maximize the time you spend watching a movie or a favorite TV series by running on the treadmill at the same time. Think about it. Not only do you get to enjoy the entertainment but you also get the cardiovascular benefit of running at the same time. You just redeemed that time spent watching the TV. Running on the treadmill does not have to be a time of mind numbing wall staring. Next time the weather is too cold or hot for an outside run pop in your favorite movie or TV show, turn up the volume, and jump on the treadmill. The time will fly by.
Perfect for Stay-At-Home Mothers
The treadmill can be a life saver for stay-at-home mothers. It is hard to find someone to watch your children while you go running outside. Your husband is gone all day and when he gets home it may be too late to run or you might be too tired from watching little children all day. Once again, the treadmill to the rescue. It is ideal if you have a treadmill at home. Schedule your day so that there is time for your children to watch a favorite cartoon or movie and you can run on the treadmill. Your children will be entertained and happy and you can get a run in. Or you could run during your children’s nap time if you are not needing a nap yourself. If a home treadmill is not an option you can join a gym that offers childcare service. Drop the kids off in the childcare room and run on the treadmill for thirty minutes. You can listen to music or watch the TV’s. Whatever the case the treadmill at home or at a gym solves the childcare problem for Stay-At-Home Moms. When the husband has more free time go outside for a long run.
Bottom line: Treadmills aren’t perfect, and they should not be the only way you run. But when used properly and combined with other types of running workouts, they can be a very useful piece of equipment.