“Dreadmill”? Not in my house!

If you know me, you know I do a lot of training on my treadmill.  A lot of people ask me, “how do you not get bored on the treadmill??”  Just for fun, I ran a report from my running log on how many miles I have run on my treadmill over the years.  These are the results:

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That’s right – in 2014 I ran almost 1,000 miles on my treadmill!  In 2014 and 2015 I actually qualified for Boston, and a lot of my training was on my trusty treadmill.  When it’s winter I pretty much run all of my weekdays on the treadmill and do one weekend run outside.  In a lot of cases I’m only running outside because I’m meeting up with friends!!  Yep, I’m soft like that.  Truth be told, it’s hard for me to convince myself to get outside and run in cold/dark/rainy/windy weather!  Why should I?  I’ve got a pretty plush treadmill set up in my workout room!

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If I had to go to the gym to run, that would be a different story.  I would probably take on the elements instead of taking the time to drive to the gym.  Oh, and I don’t have a gym membership anymore, so there’s that!

Here’s my tips for a successful treadmill experience at home:

Buy a quality treadmill!  I cannot stress this enough.  “Don’t buy cheap shit” is a quote we use at our house, and it totally applies here.  When Alan first told me we were getting a treadmill, I scoffed at the price.  Eek!  In fact, the first treadmill we had broke!  Alan broke the deck because he runs on it so hard!  Luckily our local dealer returned the unit and we got a until that was a better fit for us – a Precor.  Precor makes very solid and dependable treadmills.  With a 10 year parts warranty!! In fact, we’ve put around 16,200 miles on ours!  It has been serviced a few times for parts that eventually wear out (belt, deck) but nothing else has gone wrong with it.  (knock on wood!!)

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Take the time to do some research before you go buy the first bargin that you see.  Sure, there is a budget involved and prices vary a lot, but take a look at reviews of several manufacturers/units before you make a decision.

Here’s a great website to check out if you are shopping -> Reviews.com.  Their review doesn’t include the Precor units, but it will give you some great options at other price points.  Think about what features you would need – do you want pre-programmed workouts?  How much of an incline do you need?  What is the top speed you might run?  That website will clue you into what features you might want to consider.

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Entertainment – Get a big TV!  At a minimum, get cable or dish on it so you can have some choices.  But if the budget allows, hook up a DVR or DVD player too.  Endless entertainment is key!  If a TV isn’t an option, make sure you have something to watch on your phone or iPad.  I used to run with headphones on so I could hear the show on my iPhone.  It worked out well!  Even before we had a finished basement space, the TV was there.  Wasn’t pretty, but it worked great :)

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Here’s some benefits to treadmill running:

Availability – weather and time doesn’t matter!  Want to run at 3am or 11:30 pm?  Do it!

Safety – ditto on the time factor mentioned above… it’s far safer being on a treadmill than running in the dark with traffic.

Injury – I have never tripped on my treadmill, but I have tripped on a sidewall and ice.  It also is a softer surface than the street!

The sidewalk did this to me!! (and my klutziness)

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Solid paces – I think the treadmill is a great tool for running paces at specific speeds.  Need to keep your pace slower for an easy run?  Easily done!  Need to hit interval paces?  Easy to set!

Scheduling – When I run in the morning I have to stop at 6:15am to wake my kids up for school.  I’m there for them, and then I can hop back on the treadmill and continue my run if I need to.  It works for me!

Ammenities – I stock my workout space with all the things I might need – water, GU, towels, Body Glide, and a big FAN.  Fans are the best!!

Convenience – My bathroom is just  a room way.  No more stops behind the bushes! (I’m talking to you Alan!!)  :)

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Alan is working on our treadmill this week and replacing the belt.  This is the first time he’s done a repair himself, but thankfully YouTube is chock full of knowledge.  Otherwise, you’ll be finding us shopping for another treadmill.  No way I’m going without one!

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Q:  Do you own a treadmill?  If so, how long have you had it?

Q:  What shows or movies do you watch on the treadmill?

Q:  How in the world did we survive without YouTube?? 

Honestly, what a great resource for just about anything!

14 Comments

  1. That IS a lot of treadmill miles! You do have a sweet set up there in your basement with a big TV. I don’t blame you. I would not run outside as much if I had one right down in the basement. I would much prefer outside BUT I am so thankful for Planet Fitness only being 2 miles away so I can opt inside if I want to! This winter I have been opting inside ABOUT once a week. Buying good shit is important.
    Megan @ Meg Go Run recently posted…Thrusdays be CRAY CRAY!My Profile

  2. Treadmills get a lot of hate but I like them. I run on them at Planet Fitness but don’t own one. I think if I lived in a cold climate I probably would, but even on the hottest days in CHS, I will still run outside (just easier). I use the treadmill a lot in the summer for speed workouts because it’s just not safe to try to run that fast in the heat and humidity. Plus it takes away all my excuses for missing runs (sans missing due to injury) because I can run in any weather.

    And yes to TV! But I usually watch stuff like The Price is Right, The Goldburgs, etc.
    Amy Lauren Scott recently posted…Volunteering 101: How to be a Rockstar Race VolunteerMy Profile

  3. Dang that’s a lot of treadmill miles! I don’t really mind running on the treadmill either if I have some good shows to watch. I did a 20-miler on the treadmill once and just watched a movie and some youtube videos to make the time pass. Like you mentioned, I like that there is always a bathroom close by and that you can also easily refill your water bottle with cold water. Also a/c is nice especially during the summer down here. Now that we don’t have a gym membership anymore though this coming summer all my miles will be outdoors. I would be worried about it but right now I’m just so anxious to run I’m not really thinking about the downsides to running in the middle of summer in south florida!
    Kristina recently posted…Back Workout and Cecil UpdateMy Profile

    • I know the feeling – I hardly remember at all what I was complaining about during the summer heat now that it’s so cold outside here!! Kudos to you on getting 20 miles on a treadmill!

  4. Drew Pearce

    I only run on the treadmill when the weather turns cold and the roads and trails are snow covered which, in Chicago, is most of the time between Thanksgiving and Easter! I draw the line at running outside in single digits and I hate slipping and sliding around just to get the miles done. Unfortunately, I don’t have the room for a treadmill, so I have to go to the gym, but it is owned by the park district so rarely crowded and is within a mile of my house. Their treadmills are Precor and have a TV built into the display. I use the treadmill to do speedwork which makes the time go by faster — literally and figuratively.

    • Your gym sounds very handy! My gym was 15 mins away, which really wasn’t too bad, but really close to my office. Still, I was too lazy to drive there other than on my lunch hours!

  5. Alan Willford

    If I can rebuild a car engine, I can hopefully replace the treadmill belt! Plan on working on it next Tuesday, so should be good to go by that afternoon. If you come home and see me shopping on the Precor website you will know it did NOT go well.

    • For sure! The TV has worked out great because it swivels 180 degrees – so we can turn it to the other side of the room when doing weights or riding the spin bike, etc. Kudos to my husband to doing a great job on finishing our basement!

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