Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Never Thought I'd Say This...

.....but I'm starting to not mind the treadmill. Still can't believe I put that into words. I've never liked running on the treadmill. A 4-miler on the treadmills seems like an 8-miler to me. But North Carolina's unpredictable winter weather and it getting dark so early has made treadmill running a must in order for me to keep my running schedule going.

One afternoon bored silly and on my 3rd treadmill mile, I thought, hmm, if I speed it up I'll get this over with quicker. I increased the speed and ran at that level for a quarter mile. Then I decreased it for a quarter mile. I felt great! So, I ramped it up even more for a half mile. I continuded this speed-up, slow-down process and what was supposed to be a 4-miler ended up being an awesome 5-miler. I was so surprised how spicing it up some with some repeats, actually made the treadmill workout enjoyable.

Evidently lots of other runners already know about this technique, but in case you're like me and haven't been in the loop, I thought I'd share. So next time you find yourself watching the clock counting the seconds till your treadmill run is over, try running some fartleks or repeats and I guarantee you'll be just as surprised as I was.

Check out this clip from 4-time Olympic Trials qualifier and Runner's World contributor, Budd Coates. He shares a challenging half-mile repeat workout for the treadmill. (Click here to view video clip.)

Another thing that's helped is finding a good workout download for my Ipod. In the February 18th post, "Get Movin' With a Workout Mix" I shared how pleased I was with the workout mix I downloaded from The Biggest Loser Website. It really does help break the monotony as well as provide a good beat to keep your pace up.

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