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
Hoping you all are running well and staying warm!