I must admit, as boring as the treadmill can be, it definitely does have some pluses over running outdoors. Of course, the most obvious advantages include being shielded from extreme weather, unsafe terrain, or personal safety concerns. Additionally, here are other things I like about the mill:
Not having to carry anything
I can be quite the pack mule when I'm doing long runs outdoors. At any given point, I might be carrying GU, Kleenex, lip balm, phone, headphones, keys, water, and salt capsules, plus wearing sunglasses, running belt, Road ID and Garmin. In the wintertime, add gloves and hat and all the cold weather gear, etc.
Comparatively, on the treadmill, I can just put everything in the console or on the floor next to me. It's very freeing!!!
Facilities in close range
It's always nice to have the bathroom and water coolers/fountains right at hand near the treadmill. Some of my most miserable outdoor runs have been due to needing either a restroom or hydration refill, but not knowing where to find them!
On your mark, get set, GO!
One of my biggest frustrations with my Garmin is how long it takes to load up. When you're pressed for time and rearing to get moving, there is nothing more annoying than watching the progress bar get to 99%, only to drop back down again.
I like how with the treadmill, you just hop on, make a few selections, and hit the Start button. BAM! No muss, no fuss!
Reliable pace/distance measurements
My Garmin's distance measurements have been WAY off in the past.
Plus, my Garmin only shows average current-mile pace, instead of the actual current pace that most treadmills can display. This makes it more difficult to nail tempo workouts or mile splits.
In general, I consider the treadmill's analytics to be much more accurate than my Garmin. I find it a lot easier to measure speedwork on a treadmill than outdoors.
Customizing the course
Chicago is very flat, so it's hard to do any kind of hill work here. This is about as good as it gets:
I consider the treadmill's incline function to be the only way to do any real hill training here. It's convenient to be able to set exactly when and how much of an incline you want to attempt. The possibilities are endless.
Now, how often I actually choose to practice inclines on the treadmill is another story. "Possibilities" is the operative word here. =D
Yes to not having to carry all your stuff and close facilities! That is one of the things I like about the indoor track we've been using! (dislikes: hard surface and it's SO darn dry in there! oh well, it's great to have)ReplyDelete
What garmin do you have? It sounds like you have a lot of issues with it! I actually trust mine WAY more than my treadmill. I think ours is actually calibrated too fast. Steven and I trained at 6.0 mph (10:00mm) pace on it in 2009 for our first half then ran the half at 9:00 mm pace like it was nothing. I think that was more than race day excitement. LOL!
Ooooh, an indoor track. Now that is something I would love to have access to these days. I think I mentioned to you before that when I was in college, the gym across the street from my res hall had an indoor track. But, it was a very small one - you had to do 12 laps around it for 1 mile. You would literally get dizzy from running around in circles after awhile!Delete
I have the Garmin 105. This is my second Garmin (I used to use a 305). The 105 is much smaller and more streamlined than the 305, which is nice (the 305 is a monster!). But the 305 had some features that I miss on the 105, the biggest one being able to scroll through all of your splits right on the device. With the 105, you can only see your current split and you have to plug into a computer to see your historic splits. Yes, I've had a lot of issues with accuracy on the 105. One time it clocked me running a mile in 6:37! Considering that I'm happy just to break 8:00 in a mile, that was obviously wrong.
That's so interesting that you think your Garmin is more accurate than your treadmill! What Garmin do you have? I agree that your treadmill seems a little fast. A 1-minute increase in pace is a LOT!!!
12 is too many laps! The place I run is just under 4 laps to a mile - it's the big gym floor at the Libertyville Sports Complex.Delete
I think that is super disappointing that the 100 series Garmins are so horrible. I am surprised they would put out a product like that! I have the 410 now, but used the 405 for that race .
4 laps to a mile would be perfect - that's pretty much a regulation track! Actually, I don't think I've ever even heard of the Libertyville Sports Complex. I'll have to look it up!Delete
I have definitely had my frustrations with my 105. I wonder if the model numbers coincide with the release date, meaning that mine is one of the oldest versions?!?!?
I'll leave enjoying treadmill runs to you. I had my fill of that last winter when it was -50 and snowing here, and I had to train for the Little Rock Marathon. Blech!! Hahaha.ReplyDelete
The funny thing is that most people would think that you are joking when you say -50 degrees... but I know that you are not exaggerating one bit!!!Delete
Yeah, because you lived through it too!! Boo!! Is it spring yet?!Delete
HOORAY for 40s this weekend!!! LET SPRING BEGIN!!!Delete
"You know you are a Midwesterner when you get excited about temps in the 40s..."
=D =D =D
I realized this treadmill benefit just this past weekend. Treadmill runs in the winter = only one shirt and no extra million layers = less laundry.ReplyDelete
Ah yes!!! I completely overlooked the benefits of doing less laundry when running on the treadmill versus donning four layers for outdoors! So that's another huge time saver as well. Excellent call!!!Delete
I've been on the treadmill for most of my short runs lately. It's just so convenient! I felt bad on Tuesday because I ran 3 miles and totally could have done it with Live Grit but instead I put on shorts and a tank top and ran in my apartment's gym and was done by 6:15 :-)ReplyDelete
I think I can count on two hands the number of runs I've done outdoors during this entire winter. Maybe even one hand!Delete
Cheers to being able to throw on warm-weather clothing and being done with your run in a jiffy - especially since I know your schedule has been crazy busy on a daily basis! Not to mention the reduced laundry build-up, too! Ah, the Live Grit runs! Once the weather warms back up, I'll rejoin the group. =D
Considering my current locale, I'm more a fan of the treadmill in the summer. Our weather right now is just about perfect for outdoor running. Two months from now, however, I'll probably be singing a different tune!ReplyDelete
Oh gosh - I've been stuck in subzero temps for so long that I've pretty much forgotten about the other extreme, hahaha. Truth be told, if I had to pick between running outdoors in extreme cold versus extreme heat, I would also prefer the cold. At least in the winter you are able to put on layers and your body warms up with activity - but in the summertime, there's only so much you can do to cool off!Delete
Love that photo of the two guys with the backpack. Made me laugh. But that is how I feel when I run outside. Then again I feel so much better running outside.ReplyDelete
Thanks Zenaida! I thought the picture was really funny, too, especially the guy on the left. I feel so much better running outside, too! Hopefully we are DONE with this year's winter and don't have to worry about treadmill running until NEXT winter!!!Delete