Tuesday, January 18, 2011

i am a treadmill slacker ...

When I first started running, I did almost all of my runs while pushing a stroller. There were even runs where I pushed a triple. The stupid thing weighed as much as me. It was horrible, but I did what I needed to do to complete my training plan.

But in the last year, that has changed. I do my best to avoid stroller running. Sure, every once in a while I have no other choice (no more than once a week), but usually I can squeeze in 40+ miles sans stroller. That means, I wake up early to get my miles in. I run on both Saturday and Sunday, so J can watch the kids. And I log a heck of a lot of miles on the treadmill.

And if we are being honest, I don't really mind it. Treadmill running is actually quite enjoyable for me. For several of reasons, including ...
  • I can wear whatever I want.
  • The room is temperature controlled.
  • I can catch up on my favorite TV shows.
  • The machine sets the pace.
  • I never need a babysitter.
  • I don't have to leave my house.
  • It can't rain/snow/sleet inside.
  • The bathroom is 12 feet away.
But even though I have a love for my treadmill, I have always found it harder to run on than the road. To me it just seems more taxing. I can't quite seem to hold the same pace I do when I run outdoors. And I almost always fall at the slow end of my pace zones.

Take Saturday for example. I was at the hotel gym running a quick five miles before the wedding festivities began. I set the treadmill at 6.2 (9:40 pace), just outside of my easy run zone, but still within my long run range. And pretty much instantly, I was sucking wind. It happens every time I step on the treadmill. I go from a runner who easily holds a sub-9 minute average to one who is about to fall off the treadmill running almost a minute per mile slower.

But then, at mile two, something changed - my father-in-law and two of the groomsmen walked into the gym. Suddenly, I felt like the belt was moving WAY.TOO.SLOW. I couldn't get my cadence right. I had to speed the treadmill up. Instantly, running became easy. And then, it clicked ...

I AM A TREADMILL SLACKER.

I don't push myself on the treadmill. And I don't think about my form. I get lazy. I've got it in my head that treadmill running is harder than outdoor running and I make myself suck at it. And since there is no one there to hold me accountable (or to analyze my running posture), I don't take it seriously.

I can't be alone in this, right? Please tell me I'm not the only one who slacks off when no one else is looking ...

37 comments:

Rene' said...

i am definitely a treadmill slacker. i think that i get off track by what is going on around me. when i am outside i am totally absorbed with my run, my running partners etc...by myself on the mill it is all over with. but I will be joining you with 9 on mine today since Trav is home because of snow! wish me luck.

wannaberunnergrl said...

I love the treadmill and it's where I log most of my miles in the winter (Maine winters are WAY too cold for me!). But, I agree that treadmill pace doesn't feel the same as road peace. I feel like finding my "groove" takes a lot longer on a treadmill than it does outside.

Jamoosh said...

I guess I am a treadmill slacker. Because I refuse to get on one!

MCM Mama said...

I'm the opposite. I'll take it super easy on the roads, but I find the treadmill tedious (I'm not much of a tv watcher). I find myself turning every treadmill run into some kind of speedwork so that I can finish faster LOL.

Of course, I have 4-6 miles on it today thanks to the ice, so now I'll probably go be a slacker. ;o)

Carly said...

I pretty sure I do this even when I'm not on a treadmill. Hahaha... I run faster and 'prettier' any time cars are around, as if they care!

Danielle said...

After reading this..I'm pretty sure I'm a treadmill slacker. I can hold a 8:50 pace outside but I get on the treadmill and trying keep a 10:00 pace kills me. I guess I should work on this?

Kovas Palubinskas said...

With the amount you run, a bit of treadmill slacking won't hurt.

Katye said...

i hear ya! but i have also found that all treadmill speeds are different. because my garmin goes thru the footpod i can track treadmill miles on it and it usually says I am going about 15-30 seconds per mile faster than the treadmill says

S Club Mama said...

I don't know if I'm a treadmill slacker but I have the same problem. I can't seem to run at a 6.0 for longer than a mile (and sometimes that is too much). :S

Rae said...

I am the same way with the treadmill. I think it's a lot harder than running outside. But I also think I'm a treadmill slacker too! I really pushed myself this morning for a short run on the treadmill and it felt a lot better. I gotta up that speed!

Silly Girl Running said...

You're definitely not alone on this one. I have the same problemo with the TM. I tend to run slower on that thing at the same effort. Weird. Just plain weird. I might just be a slacker too. Or the TM is just not accurate... ;)

Jen said...

I'm blogging about this today too. I finally crossed the line.... have a treadmill in the basement now.

abbi said...

I just wrot a post on this the other week. I've been trying to fall in love with my new treadmill but it's been torture. I'm pretty sure my form is all wonky and that's what is making it 100 times more difficult though.

Amy M said...

OMG, ding ding ding...me too! I have never really thought about it until reading your post but I too am a TM slacker. I can run way faster and longer outside than on the TM. I don't mind running indoors at all, it feels better on my body. Thanks for the kick in the pants for me take those indoor runs more seriously.

Colleen said...

I don't run on the treadmill that often, but I came to the same realization as you a while back. I now force myself to not just zone out when I run on it - I work. It's the one time where I can control how fast I'm going so I use that to my advantage... speed work, tempo runs, etc.

Emily said...

I don't know if I'm a treadmill slacker but I hate how much less natural the run is. I used to think treadmill running was a lot harder. Now I just kind of detest it because its not running outside.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I slack on my form and push my paces to get done! I know that I am not getting in the proper training when I do this. So I am a treadmill slacker for sure.

(But it is so nice to able to run and not leave the kids I can not push a 9 year! I will have to work on getting that 9 year old on her bike for the summer runs)

Runners Fuel said...

I'm usually the opposite. When I'm on the treadmill, it's when I practice my forma dn lock in my speed. Whe I get on the road, I try to rememeber everything I do on the TM.

Deb said...

I don't run on a treadmill, but I can definitely relate to the comment about running better when being watched. I've noticed that whenever I pass people on the path, my pace picks up.

Heather -Momma Running Amok said...

I always admired your treadmill running so I have begun to do more as I love to control the pace. I actually now run faster on a treadmill than I do outdoors, so I may be the opposite of you...I slack outdoors but on the treadmill I can punch in 7.2 and force myself to run at that speed and then when I have a mile left I am constantly upping the speed to the point just before that pace where I would fly backwards off the machine! I do like when someone is next to me also...It tends to keep me going.

Cynthia said...

I never thought of it like that and I totally think I am a treadmill slacker too! I don't like running on the mill cause I feel the same way... sucking wind when I get onto the treadmill when the same run outside would be faster. Last night I ran on the treadmill and ran each mile faster the last and honestly it felt better to run faster. Plus my knee was starting to hurt and I realized my running form was weird so focused more on correcting my form and knee pain went away!

funderson said...

SO good to know I'm not the only one. I can't for the life of me run remotely close to road pace on the treadmill. It's the worst. I try to ignore the numbers and run like I feel I should rather than the machine tell me. What the heck does it know?

Ammie @ domesticallyobsessed.com said...

I am also one of those opposites--I tend to slack a little more on the open outdoor ground than I do on a machine that forces me to keep pace. Mind you, I do not OWN a treadmill JUST YET, but I will on Friday and I'm planning on beating the everlasting crap out of that puppy 5x/week!

I can also relate to how much I HATE PUSHING 80 POUNDS OF KIDS AND STROLLER while training! I feel literally a hundred pounds lighter and run so much better and stronger and faster when I am kidless.

Dear God--I {heart} my dear blessed husband of which purchased my dear blessed new treadmill that cometh on Friday like no other.

I also {heart} my dear blessed Tonia for making me smile and itch to run my dear blessed fat pregnant ass off.

Thank you. Amen.

Veronica said...

I run slower on a treadmill because I'm trying not to fall off the darn thing! Its such an unnatural thing and it messes up my stride.
But, for all the reasons you listed, they're necessary sometimes.

9:00/mile has me sucking wind on a treadmill too, but outside its an easy pace. Just one of those things I guess.

Mad props to you for running with a triple stroller! I think I'd be like Wyle E. Coyote with my legs spinning but not getting anywhere!

Kerrie T. said...

I was thinking the same things recently! I wonder if I, too, am a treadmill slacker!

Rose said...

I, too, am a treadmill slacker. I do much better at the gym than at home when it comes to the treadmill. I'm also much better as pushing myself higher during speed workouts when someone is next to me. In case they're paying attention.

Holly said...

I am not sure if I am a treadmill slacker or if I just don't think I can do more. I just discovered yesterday that it is harder to run on a mill slower than it is to run faster. I thought it would be easier, but for me it's not. I have an easier time running outside, but don't get to very often. Hopefully all my "Hard" runs on the TM will make my outside runs easier!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

I don't think I'm a slacker but if it makes you feel any better my marathon pace last spring was 7:40 and on all the long runs leading up to the race I had a hard time holding a 9 min pace on the treadmill. I'm a surge runner - so I go faster then slower repeatedly during each mile. The treadmill is too consistent of a pace for me so it's SUPER hard :)

a runners' life said...

I slack off a bit on the treadmill which is terrible and it's something I've only noticed recently after looking through my past workouts. Running outside is certainly more enjoyable though especially when it's a longer session.

Running with a triple stroller sounds like a challenge.

gmontalvo13 said...

i always slack off when noone is looking...especially during marathons, that is when i walk :) when i know a photog is coming, i run my little heart out! :)

i love the treadmill too, for those same reasons!

Becka said...

No way can I run as fast on a treadmill as I can outside. It's just not possible ;-)

Jogging with Fiction said...

Running on the treadmill is WAY harder than outside, I completely agree. Also, I love being able to wear whatever I want on the treadmill. lately, because it's warm in the house in the winter, I've been basically running in running underwear and a sports bra, if only the neighbors knew what was going on in my house lol

Wifey said...

I rarely do the treadmill, but when I do it always feels different than outside. Something tells me you're not alone.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

Tiffany said...

I hate running on the treadmill and will take the road any day of the week - even if that means running in snow, ice and cold! There is something about a treadmill that makes a three mile run the longest 3 miles of my life!

Melissa said...

I am with you. I cannot hold the same pace on a treadmill that I can outside. It's impossible!!

John and Becca said...

Oh man completely agree that tm pace is slower! I never considered that i may be a tm slacker. Food for thought for sure! My big thing is I can not relax on the dam thing, especially at the gym. I hold on with one hand 90% of the time. Ugh! Does anyone else under the age of 65 have this annoying habit? Good post!

Marlene said...

I always feel AWFUL for the first 1-2 miles of a treadmill run. I'm stiff, sore, tired, awkward and then the "click" seems to happen and I can usually crank it up. THat being said, I also usually find the treadmill more difficult in general - especially mentally.