The Pros of Treadmill Training

I keep this cutout close by in case I need even more motivation to get on the treadmill!

Now that we are less than a month away from the big day, I thought it would be a great time to talk about treadmill training! First off I have to admit, I am a huge wimp when it comes to the outdoor elements. If it is sprinkling outside, I am in the gym on a treadmill. As you can imagine that makes it a little tough to get the miles in when you live in NYC with our always-fickle weather. Since I have done a lot of my training thus far on a treadmill, I wanted to share with you the details of the one I chose to have in my home.

From the day I left The Biggest Loser Ranch I’ve done a lot of research on treadmills. I spent so many hours running on a treadmill there that I knew it would become a very important piece of equipment in my maintenance journey at home. After looking at what felt like hundreds of treadmills and reading thousands of reviews, I went with the NordicTrack C900 Pro. I really felt like NordicTrack had such a good track record with at home equipment.  And let’s face it, as much as I would love to have a commercial treadmill, they are just plain huge and extremely expensive. So I was extremely fortunate when I found out NordicTrack and Sears wanted to gift the C900 Pro to help me prepare for my first half-marathon. It now sits in a proud spot in my living room! Yes, that’s right it’s in my living room, right smack in the middle. I love watching people’s reaction when they come over! I figure you can’t ignore a machine like that when you see it every day. I’m also proud to say not only have I used it every day, but there has never been a single pair of clothing hung on it! Seeing is believing, so if you have a treadmill, keep it in eye’s view. Odds are you’ll definitely use it more.

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Flying Through a Taper Week

My cross-training for the week was an intense spin class at FlyWheel Sports with some of the FITNESS editors. I almost sweated off the bike!

I’m feeling pretty great after last week because it was my taper week!  This is basically a week in your training plan where you decrease your mileage, giving your legs a chance to rest. I only had to run 6 miles on Saturday, and after clocking 9 the week before it was a nice change of pace.

Due to weather and perhaps some laziness, I choose to do my shorter runs on the treadmill. I’m sure I am not the first person to feel this way, but I have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill. I think they are great to fit in a run when you only have a certain amount of time, the weather outside is crappy or if the only way you will motivate yourself to run is if a machine is physically making you do it (been there!). But for training purposes it is better to run outside, even when the elements are not in your favor. What if it rains on race day, are you going to stay home? No, of course not. So I try to train outside as much as possible, with the exception of last week.

Since I use the gym in my apartment building and the people watching is at a minimum, I use treadmill time to do some speed work to make the time go by faster. Here’s how I broke my runs down for my 4-milers:

  • .50 mile warm up at 6.0, increasing to 6.5 slowly
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile sprint at 7.5
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile hill at a 6.0 incline
  • .50 mile sprint at 7.5
  • .50 mile run at 6.7
  • .50 mile cool down at 6.0

If I am lucky enough to snag a treadmill with a TV, I’ll alternate between this routine and watching a show, sprinting during the commercials. Coming up this week I’m heading back outside to do my first double digit run, 10 miles.  Wish me luck!

Tell me: How do you beat treadmill boredom?


Pushing Through Running Roadblocks

Marla's ready for some sunny, treadmill-free running.

So I hit a rut this week. I don’t know if I was stressed from work, tired and lazy, of maybe even a combo of both, but I did not have a great week of training.  Since it is dark when I wake up AND get home from work, I don’t feel super comfortable running outside (even in the crimeless residential area of New Jersey that I live in). So I have been training on the treadmill at my gym. However, I had a few late nights in the office which completely threw off my running schedule. It’s been too late to train when I get home (after 9 p.m. one night!), and I’ve been so tired that I hit snooze on my alarm clock when it’s time for me to hit the gym in the morning. Not good! I need to get myself back on track.

I realized that I was stuck in a runner’s rut during my training on Wednesday. I have been so tired of running on the treadmill and the idea of having to run for another 30 minutes was torture. I tried to push through as much as I could, but at 25 minutes, I got so frustrated with staying in one place, that I jumped off the machine and headed for home. Looking back, I should have just pushed myself for the last five minutes, but at the time, going home seemed to be the only option. It must have been my stubborn side kicking in!

The week ended on a semi-good note though. Even though it was chilly out on Saturday, I bundled up and headed for the streets of my neighborhood where the sun was shining—finally! I ran for 40 minutes and felt pretty good. It perked up my attitude about my progress a bit and it made me want to push myself a little more for this next week. With the warm weather settling in for a the next few days (as long as Mr. Weatherman is right), I don’t think that will be a problem!

For those of you training along with me, keep up the good work. We only have seven weeks to go!

Susan Tries to Beat Treadmill Boredom

Susan joined  with editor in chief Betty Wong for a Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

Susan joined Editor in Chief Betty Wong for the Fitness "Fast Track to a Better Body" workout this week.

It was another cold one here in NYC. Not only did we get hit with snow, this time we got ice too. Fun! The frozen rain and icy conditions turned the city into an ice skating rink and it was impossible and dangerous to walk outside during the work week–let alone run. Therefore, I did all of my weekday runs on the treadmill. It was warm and precipitation-free at the gym, but running on the treadmill is so boring for me. I covered up the the front of the treadmill with a towel so I couldn’t see  the remaining time  and listened to a great running mix on my iPod, but I was going out of my mind. Does anyone have any suggestions to make treadmill running more enjoyable?

Since the treadmill and I aren’t the greatest of pals, I woke up early on Saturday, even with the wintry mix of rain and snow, and did my long run outside. While I was running, I enjoyed it and even felt invigorated in the cool precipitation. But after I returned home, I realized I was soaking wet and chilled to the bone! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to do my long run on Sunday when it was 50 degrees and sunny. Let’s hope next week brings us some better weather!

I still felt rushed before and after my runs and didn’t feel like I did enough stretching. My goal this week: Figure out how to fit flexibility work in.

It was fun to squeeze in a strength training class this week. I joined FITNESS Editor in Chief Betty Wong for a 30-minute “Rear View Rescue” class made up of all the best butt firming exercises that are supposed to make me look better from the behind! The class was challenging and definitely helped to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings–which will be so helpful with my running. The moves we tried (and other tips) are featured in Betty’s new book “FITNESS Fast Track to a Better Body.”

I expect another really busy week ahead, so I’m trying to plot out when to do my workouts now. I feel a bit tired just thinking about it!

Do you prefer running indoors or outdoors? How do you beat training boredom?