Thursday, January 8, 2009

Treadmill Training

I’m finally getting adjusted to the idea that most of my training for the Boston Marathon will likely occur indoors rather than out, on the treadmill at the gym rather than out in the park where I can find other likeminded runners waging war against the elements and the road. It’s not a concept that I’m familiar with, mind you. Prior to two weeks ago, I hadn’t taken a single step on a treadmill for three and a half years! Back then, I wasn’t even a runner per se, but was just using the machine as a form of aerobic exercise. Now though, I must depend on it to get all my shorter runs in while reserving only the weekend long runs to be done outside on the city parks and trails. You can call me a wimp, but the alternative of running loops in the park weekdays after work, when it’s dark, cold and dreary, just isn’t my idea of fun. So I’m hoping this combination of indoor/outdoor running will be sufficient for marathon training. I know there have been many who’ve done the same thing and have done well in their marathons. I’m just not sure if it’ll be same for me. After all, I am a treadmill running newbie. (Case in point: Everytime I go, I still have to spend ten minutes figuring out which buttons to press in what order to get the treadmill at the right speed and incline…by the time I’m done setting the whole thing up, the guy next to me is invariably done with his workout!)

Although it’s only been two weeks, I’m already convinced that treadmill running is entirely different than running on the open road. Not only are the movements much more rigid and passive, but different muscle groups are involved in the two forms of running as well. I know this because after my first speed session on the treadmill, I was sore in areas of my lower leg that had never felt sore before – it was all very strange to me.

My first test of how treadmill running will translate to more effective roadracing will occur this weekend when I’ll be running in my first race of 2009. On paper, it’s just a 5 mile run around Central Park, but for me, it’s an opportunity to test out my legs once again after a long layoff. I’m not hoping for a PR or anything as I’m sure that’s virtually impossible given the weather, the time, and my lack of preparedness, but I just want to have fun, run a respectable time and not feel like passing out at the end of it. We’ll see how it goes.

Hoping you all are running well and staying warm!

17 comments:

Count of Monte Christo said...

Indeed, running on the Treadmill is a completely different sport. It is not my personal favorite.
Good luck on the 5 Miles!

D10 said...

Treadmill runnign is much different than running outside, but I think with your combination of outside and inside running you'll be fine.

J said...

Good luck in the race this weekend! I find treadmill running harder than outside running! I also think that once you get used to it, it can be good!

The Happy Runner said...

I get that lower leg pain after speeedwork on the treadmill, too. Weird. I'm glad I'm not the only one!

aron said...

i completely agree that treadmill running is sooo different. i always "feel" different muscles afterwards too.

good luck with the race this weekend!

Jamie said...

The treadmill is a necessary evil this time of year. With your combination of indoor/outdoor you'll be good to go. Good luck with the 5 miler!

Chic Runner said...

Treadmill is so much different, and I have so much respect for you getting on it and getting after it! :) Keep up the great work I couldn't do what ur doing!

Jess said...

I'm really curious to hear how your race goes. I'm forced inside due to hours of dark/work schedule during the week as well. I'm a fairly new serious runner, and this is my first season of speedwork. I'm definitely experiencing that soreness you mentioned that I've never felt outside, but I hope that it still helps. I don't really have much of a choice right now if I want to run any time other than the weekend.

Shilingi-Moja said...

I dislike treadmill running (just posted on the topic, again, on my blog). But, speedwork is one area where a treadmill can be really helpful (though I would much rather be outside, even on a track). Figure out your speeds and distances (or times) ahead of time -- something like a pace band might be helpful. But use the treadmill to force you to maintain your desired speed for the intervals.

Fer instance, I did 5 x 800 m (approx. 1/2 mile) at 3:30 each with a 400 m (@ 1/4 mile) jogs in between. As long as I didn't touch the MPH button, I had to either keep up on the fast intervals or injure vital parts when the t'mill spit me out. I preferred to keep up. Then I could set the speed at whatever I wanted for the 400 m jogs -- even walking speed is fine since the idea is to recover a bit.

Set the incline at 1% to compensate for the lack of air resistance and other outdoor factors.

Cowboy Hazel said...

Good luck racing in the snow tomorrow! It should be a fun race.

I have no idea how you could do marathon-training quantity miles on a treadmill. You definitely have more patience than me... I get bored and want to quit after about 0.3 miles. :-) I'll take the snow and dark and all that over the monotony of the treadmill any day.

Marie said...

I thought about running the race tomorrow. But then I saw it was going to snow and thought staying in my warm apartment would be much nicer.

Running and living said...

I agree that treadmill running is very different than road running. I feel lucky to have a schedule that permits running in the afternoon before the night sets in. Good luck with the 5 milers. I am not going to be surprise if I hear that you PRed:)
Ana-Maria

D10 said...

Hey Lam! I am evaluating the effectiveness of support services in the reduction of NICU parental stress. Of course I will be also looking at a few other factors. I have received some really great information, I can't wait to see all the results. The NICU director has been really supportive and she is also really excited to see what the results show. She is really into family centered care and she really takes pride in the services they offer parents.

Have a great weekend.

Run For Life said...

Good luck tomorrow!

Julianne said...

Egads, training for a marathon on treadmill!?!?! If anyone can do it, I know you can! It really *is* different from running outdoors... But, it does give you good pace training. You're gonna do GREAT regardless!!

You think my ankle thing is Achilles tendonitis? Greeeaatt. :-(

X-Country2 said...

If anyone can combine inside and outside training to make Boston work, it's you. Good luck!

sRod said...

The second I started trianing in the winter I was on the treadmill. Going out yesterday in sub-10 degree weather was rare for me.

 
Clicky Web Analytics