Treadmills are Not Always Dreadmills for Running

Yesterday was a planned day off and that is what I did. I took the day off from running.

Today was different.

Have you ever one of “those” mornings where everything just takes a lot longer than you expected and the stuff you planned to do gets delayed to the point where you don’t do it? Well that was the story to the start of my day!

I had all these big plans to do this and that and get my 6.0 mile run done early…nope it didn’t work out that way at all! Oh I got everything done that I wanted to, but I didn’t get to run this morning – that had to wait until this afternoon.

We have been looking around for a gym to join and last night we decided, which one. This way I can keep working on my speed work and start doing some strength training. I am Sir Chicken Wing, when it comes to arms and I have a feeling that weight training will help a little with the leg issues I have been battling with for a few months.

So instead of doing what I had originally planned for this afternoon, I decided to go down and join the local Planet Fitness facility in Augusta. The price was right $10.00 per month – no other fees, so even though it didn’t have a few things that I wanted, it will meet my needs.

Once I got signed up, I planned on doing a tempo workout on the treadmill, so I brought my Mizuno Ronin 4’s to see how they would do at a faster than normal pace. The Ronin’s did fantastic, no hot spots and they just let me run “fast”! While it doesn’t bother me when I am running, I do wish that the Ronin 4’s were just a little wider in the forefoot. This was definitely another example of a Mizuno Brilliant Run.

What did my tempo treadmill workout consist of:

  •  1.0 mile warm-up at a 8:38 pace
  • Then I tried to use the damn pre-set 5K program, but it kept slowing down every 30 seconds, so after a quarter-mile of that crap, I stopped and started over again on manual.
  • This is where things got a little freaky.  I got to thinking, my goal is to run a sub 20:00 minute 5K, which means that I have to run sub 6:20 pace. I know that I have to get used to the faster pace, so I set the treadmill to a 6:18 pace and planned to run a quarter or so at that pace.

I did a mile at a 6:18 and didn’t feel horrible or anything!!!

The best thing was NOTHING hurt or was uncomfortable.

Needless to say, I was shocked and ecstatic about that mile, but it gets better!

  • I slowed down not because I was dying, but more out of shock and not wanting to hurt anything.
  • I slowed it down to 8.5 MPH (about 7:05 pace) for the next mile and still felt great.
  • Over the last mile I decided to go up the ladder and every tenth of a mile, I increase the MPH by a .10 and then kicked the last .25 at 10 MPH (6:00 pace) and while I struggled to keep my form compact, running that fast – felt good, even though I wasn’t used to it.

I finished the 5K in 20:33, which would be a this year PR. However, I will only call it a Treadmill PR, because for me running on the treadmill is so much easier than running on the road, even though I had the elevation up to 1.0 and definitely ran fast. I have always run better on the treadmill, because I don’t have to focus on running fast, I just have to keep up and for me the difference is huge.

After I finished the 5K – I slowed down to a walk, to get my breath and once my heart rate was back down in the 130’s, I picked the pace back up to finish 5.0 miles in 37:03.

To say I was surprised by how well I ran, would be an understatement! This run did give me the confidence, that I have the ability to go under 20:00 for a 5K. Something, I really didn’t know if I was capable of attaining or not.

Now to just go get it done.

The reality is after Tuesday’s bad run and yesterday’s planned day off, today’s run was FANTASTIC!!!

Hell I even did weights for an 1/2 hour after my run – I found a couple of machines that I believe will really help me and then I ended by playing around on a Bosu Ball for about 5 minutes.

Did you notice that I never used the term dreadmill while talking about running on the treadmill today. Today really showed me that treadmills definitely have a place in my training regimen and now that I have access to them once again. I have a feeling that my running this winter will be better than ever.

5 thoughts on “Treadmills are Not Always Dreadmills for Running

  1. Congrats on the treadmill PR! I’ve learned to love the treadmill, especially in winter. I find that treadmill training is great for intervals when I can’t get to a track. And hey, I hate running in the rain, so I’ve gotta love the treadmill. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks – I have run a lot on treadmills in the past, but last year was a running base building year and I was just trying to run, this year my fitness level and goals have changed and the treadmill is a tool that will help me reach those goals, plus it is a lot safer than dodging traffic on roads with no sidewalks or shoulders during the winter time.

    1. Thanks Amy – For me the treadmill works to train me to run faster, I don’t have to think about how fast I am running, I just have to keep up which is a lot easier in my opinion. I just put it on manual, I never get the pre-built programs to do what I want during a workout, then I vary the pace and incline based on what I want to accomplish. I know that I will be do a fast hill work this winter on the treadmill to force myself to run faster uphills instead of coasting up them like I usually do :-).

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