The last time I used a treadmill was around 6 years ago. We were on vacation and I was looking for a little exercise at the hotel. I'd planned on just walking on it, but I kept pushing the speed up and ended up running for over 1/2 hour each day we were there. It was so easy on my knees, and I remember thinking "Wow, I can actually run!" Well, when I got home and tried running in our flat neighborhood I realized that I was duped. Running in real life was way harder than on a treadmill, and I never ran again (until our 5K challenge, that is).
So when we headed to Connecticut over Memorial Day weekend to visit some of our relatives, I was REALLY looking forward to working out on the hotel's treadmill. After a few weeks of running outside, the treadmill was going to be an easy break!
I don't even know where to begin – the treadmill is to running as the rowing machine is to actually rowing a boat. At least that's what I'm guessing. I've never actually rowed a boat, unless you count paddling a canoe. And I can tell you that the rowing machine is NOTHING like that.
Anyway, the biggest problem was getting a good stride length. In real life that's easy…I just adjust my stride and the speed follows. But I had to keep fiddling with the treadmill, both speed and incline. I finally found something that was pretty good for my knees, but it was slower (5.9 mph, 3% incline) than I run in real life. Yet at the same time, it felt much more difficult than "real" running did.
Then, like with running, I couldn't keep that pace for 30 minutes. Unfortunately there was no interval circuit that had just a short walk break, so to prevent it from being too easy I made the long walk breaks 4.4 mph at 5% incline. In the end it said I went about 2.75 miles in 35 minutes and I felt like I got a good workout, but it didn't feel anything like really running. And it was way more boring, even though I got to watch some WSOP on the built-in TV. You've got to love ESPN Classic at 5:30am.
So what the heck is my point? I missed running outside, so today I ran. And you know what? Despite the rain (downpour doesn't begin to describe it…I was drenched in less than 10 seconds), despite being really tired because I'm short on sleep, I really hated it less than I hated the treadmill loved it. I did 5K in 30:01, so close, so close to 30! Maybe there's something to changing things up after all!