Some of us like to complain about colder temperatures, less light and poor weather, though you must know Mother Nature’s answer to that is, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Indeed, with safety a prime consideration, fall and winter weather can put a damper on your running goals.
This can effectively cause lack of motivation and lead some to hang up their shoes until the cows come home or the weather improves, c’est la vie.
Options to help stay with the program, including the gym are available, however, some prefer the privacy of their own homes, especially with the pandemic still around.
Having a treadmill or access to one on a regular basis can be the ultimate solution to staying committed to your fitness goal.
I prefer running outdoors but only venture out when it is safe to do so. I do enjoy running on the treadmill for a change of pace and can do interval training while listening to tunes.
Allison Tai is a certified running coach and champion competitive athlete, having won ‘Tough Mudder’ races many consider to be prolonged acts of torture; she’s a reliable source of excellent ideas for fitness, back in this space to list the benefits of treadmill running and how to use it properly.
Always make sure to keep the space behind your treadmill free of anything that might hurt to land on in case you accidentally trip and get shot out the back. No one thinks it’ll happen to them… until it does.
On that note, make sure to attach the emergency stop leash, it only takes a second. And if you have young ones in the house, you can remove it after use and store it away so they can’t start the belt.
Turn your Incline Up
Treadmills get a ton of flack for not being “as hard” as running outside since you don’t get the same air resistance.
You can balance that out a bit by running at 1% incline. In fact, although the treadmill is a much softer surface, many runners who move onto their treadmills come winter find that the linear movement combined with always running at 0% can be hard on their body.
Turning your treadmill up to 1% on all runs can proactively help prevent the impact injuries from plaguing your treadmill training plan.
Do your Hill Work
Speaking of incline, treadmills are a fantastic place to get some incline work in. Many areas don’t have immediate access to hills, especially the long, grinding ascents.
The treadmill can work wonders for your strength endurance… and you can even get an effective workout power walking at incline without the impact of a run.
Use it for Intervals
The “dreadmill” season is one many runners do not look forward to. Sure, it’s boring just slogging along in a corner of your garage for minutes on end. If weather permits, I like to do my long, easy and recovery runs outside.
That way I leave my treadmill for interval work… at best unproductive – and at worst, dangerous – outside in the winter months.
Plus it’s fun to run intervals on a treadmill and you are free to focus on your form and effort. Just remember to keep that incline at 1% to better replicate the demands of running outside.
Make it your Happy Place
Speaking of the corner of your garage… is this a place you want to be? If not, you’ve gotta make some changes.
Put the treadmill somewhere you want to be, maybe even pointing out a window for some natural light. At the very least, hang some posters or race memorabilia.
Save a movie or TV series for the easy runs you can’t get outside for. Pump the music and/or watch inspirational running movies or race footage while you’re doing hard efforts.
My husband thinks it’s hilarious but I like to blast music AND watch races at the same time!
Go High Tech
If you’re struggling with motivation to get on the treadmill this year, don’t be afraid to go high tech.
There are so many options these days… be it Peloton or Zwift or a variety of other apps and programs.
Most even have some sort of trial you can take advantage of so you can play around to see what suits you best without committing.
This one goes back to making the Treadmill your Happy Place. Whatever makes you excited to get on the treadmill, will get you logging more miles – and that will make you a better runner.
Christine Blanchette is a freelance writer for various publications such as Optimyz magazine as well as Fitness Fridays for Sportswave.