Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More and more it seems, I will be forced inside to the treadmill this winter. Being injured for so long last year has made me a lot more cautious, and I can't bring myself to run in the dark when it is icy. Its not even so much the possibility of injury as being unable to run again. So I have to play it smart, even if it will be boring.

I knew I would have to get creative then when it came to treadmill workouts or I would go crazy. I have two or three short workouts (2-3 miles) that I like doing and I usually do after a weight routine, so its a good combination.

But to go a little longer, maybe 4-6 miles for a midweek distance, I had to come up with something. Pounding out each increment of a mile was going to take some major mental toughness. Its like watching a clock tick away time.

Yesterday, while trying to figure something out to do today, I remembered a workout I used to do on the road, when I lived out in the country, and I mean, out in the country, with dirt roads, corn fields, cows, cattle, acre after acre of farmland, and many times herds of deer or flocks of wild turkeys running through my backyard, as well as the occasional fox scurrying across the road. It was totally rural when I first started running. And yet, there was this older guy who had started running in his 60s, and was an age group winner for years, who had marked out quarter miles on the roads around the area for probably a good 10 mile radius. Everywhere I ran, there were markings indicating a quarter mile or full mile or whatever.

It was very convenient then to incorporate these into an interval workout. It was almost perfectly laid out for me to run the first mile as a warmup and then for the next 1 1/2 miles I had quarter miles marked off, turn and go back another 1 1/2 miles, and then the final 1 mile home for a total of 5 miles. I could go farther if I passed my street by 1/2 mile, because the markings continued on the other way as well. So convenient! I didn't worry about timing the intervals, just kept track of the total time, so it took all the pressure off of looking at your watch.

So why couldn't I do the same thing on the treadmill? Well today, that's what I did. I did 4 miles and then another 1/2 mile cooldown. I ran out of time to get in the last half mile, but I felt okay to stop and wanted to stretch. I ran 1 mile and then did .25 as a faster interval and then backed down to my base pace, and continued to 4 miles. I feel pretty good. I hope to increase to 6 miles eventually, but I think this will be my treadmill workout when forced to stay inside.


bill carter said...

I'll admit that I spend a lot of time on treadmills. There are a lot of factors including logistics, better for my joints, etc. but it all just works. I like to challenge myself with all different types of speeds, hills etc. It is not all that bad.

See Zanne Run said...

i have yet to sucuumb to the mind-numbing workout that is the treadmill. its' still early in the winter, but i am going to see how long i can hold out.

sounds like you've figured out a way to get through it ... when, no - IF , i ever get on it, i'll be coming to you for mind games/workout ideas!

Flo said...

That's the only way I can do a treadmill, intervals. If I run steady for more than 2 miles I'm ready to shoot myself. Right now I don't have a treadmill or access to one so it's run outside or not at all :)

Marcy said...

Yeaahhhh about that treadmill. Got mine, what? A couple weeks ago. Tried it once, and me no likey. I have no idea why but I just HATE getting on it. All the other boring equipment doesn't bother me, but the treadmill. I've been having a hard time with *sigh* If you figure something out let me know!

Sunshine said...

Thanks for your inspiration (inspiration to do... dreadmill??) Really, we 2 do need to be cautious about ice so we are pretty much limited to indoors for the winter.
Your being over there in Michigan on treadmill is a reasurance that we are not alone! I like that.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

I very well could be doing 8 on that thing if they snow comes like they say it is going to!

Nat said...

Ran across a link to your blog from Sunshine (Best Day of the Year). Good idea on the treadmill workout. They are soooooo boring. I usually have to get off them after two miles. It sometimes feels like watching paint dry.

SWTrigal said...

AHhh..the dreadmill. It does take some creativity to hang in there. Personally, unless I have a TV in front of me, I get very bored.

jeanne said...

very smart! even though i loathe the treadmill, now that ours at work is kaput, i'm longing for one. i'm with you on the ice and snow. not so keen to go out there, take a tumble and probably break a hip!

can i do my 8 on sunday?