This was originally published in the January/February 2014 issue of Colorado Runner Magazine
Top Ten Reasons to Love the Treadmill
When I found out I was pregnant, the first piece of baby gear I purchased was a treadmill. I was counting on getting my miles in during those those long naps I had heard so much about. And while running with the baby monitor resting on my treadmill’s console was not always ideal, I learned to love the ‘mill. Seriously, the treadmill is underrated. Here are the top ten reasons to love treadmill running, whether you’re stuck inside with a baby, stymied by bad weather, or thwarted by limited daylight this winter.
1. You can watch TV. I know, I know, there’s nothing like breathing fresh air and feeling the wind in your hair. But there’s also nothing like knocking out a long run while catching up on episodes of Orange is The New Black. Don’t believe me? Find your favorite series and allow yourself to watch an episode only while you’re running. I promise you’ll never procrastinate another run.
2. The treadmill is a strict master. Think you need a coach with a whistle, calling out splits? Think again. All you need is a tready to keep you honest. You hold the pace or you fall off. There’s nothing quite so motivating as the fear of a collision between your face and the treadmill. Believe me, I’ve busted out enough race pace miles to know.
3. Your outfit doesn’t have to match. The neon green running shorts that looked super cute online and were 70% off but never looked so great on? They were made for the treadmill. Pair them with an ill-fitting white wicking shirt you got at a race, which is now covered in blue blotches, due to a mysterious laundry accident, and you’re good to go. As long as no one rings the doorbell.
4. You will never roll your ankle on a rogue pinecone, then shuffle/hobble/jog for 20 yards hoping you haven’t sprained it, praying there were no eye witnesses. Sure you could always fly off the treadmill, (see #2) but in that case, while you nurse your rugburned face, you will at least find solace in the fact that no one saw it.
5. Keeping your drink on the treadmill console means you can say goodbye to your Fuel Belt. Oddly, I’ve never missed prancing around in public while rocking a glorified fanny pack designed to flatter the figure of practically no one.
6. Need a bathroom break? No problem. Need a little privacy? Go right ahead. Toilet paper? Got it. Lots more in the closet in case there’s a shortage. Pre-moistened personal wipes? Yep, got them too. Treadmill running means never needing to know the location of the nearest clean public restroom.
7. You will not waste precious minutes while your GPS device finds a signal. Oh yeah, and you won’t have to worry about what your neighbors think when they catch a glimpse of you anxiously pacing around your front yard while holding your left arm skyward.
8. Don’t you love it when you’re three miles into what began as a frigid morning run, when you hit the three mile mark, the hot sun is beating down, and sweat is dripping into your eyeballs, so you strip a layer and tie it awkwardly around your waist? Yeah, me neither. Overheating on the treadmill means throwing your top on the floor, turning on the fan, and wiping your face with the towel you keep handy.
9. There’s no wind on the treadmill. I know there are some people who will say, “But if your idea of a good time is getting up before the sun to run 20 miles, why would a little wind ruin your party?” These people are not runners.
10. Running on the treadmill during your child’s nap means you will never have to explain to Child Protection Services that you were just out for a quick recovery run while the baby slumbered peacefully in her crib. (This is the part where I cross my fingers and hope that you, my dear reader, pick up on the sarcasm here). Seriously, running on a treadmill means never having to skip a workout, even if nap time is thirty minutes instead of three hours.