Runners shunning treadmills

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  USC FAN 10 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #10803
  • #26923

    I've given up on the “real runners do this or that thing”.  Last winter I did a ton of mile on the treadmill, it's just easier to know your effort level.  I'm not a real runner :'(.

    my feelings are hurt  (not really, I've been teased for years)

  • #26924

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    Kind of funny. I was just thinking of today's run, probably with a temp just above zero and a wind chill well into the double digits below zero, when I saw someone elsewhere complaining that they were “forced” to the treadmill by wind chills around zero. Tomorrow, I'll be out there again with wind chills in the -30 to -40 range and I know I won't be the only runner in Wisconsin (or the upper Midwest as a whole) finding a way. The difference in perspectives can sometimes be a fascinating thing.

    Note to Sue, not saying one way or other makes you a “real runner”. Just an interesting observation on what some consider impossible and others don't even give serious consideration to, though I have a feeling you don't spend much time thinking that it's impossible to run in certain conditions or saying the weather “forced” you to the 'mill.

  • #26925

    I think the most important thing is to run, no matter where, I personally prefer to run outdoor , not in the treadmill because its a lot easier to run on the treadmill, but, for some people who dont tolerate low temperatures or simply dont like to run at cold temp it would be fine to do the workout on the treadmill, the most important thing is to do something and dont staying at home complaining about the conditions. I have only run 2 or three times on treadmill in my life (20 years old), you know, enjoying the nature is priceless.

  • #26926

    I think the most important thing is to run…

    +1

  • #26927

    😀 My girls push me onto the treadmill not the weather.  I never ran on a treadmill until after I had my second, I even took my first out with me in the winter (I had this huge cover for my jogger and seat heaters inside).  All I can say is that my running took off after I started running on the treadmill.

    I think the real runners are the ones that get it in no matter what the day throws at them, either on the road or on a treadmill.

  • #26928

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    I think the most important thing is to run, no matter where…

    Precisely. If you're going to race outdoors, you have to do some running outdoors but it probably doesn't need to be every single run. If the choice is treadmill or nothing, then of course the treadmill is the superior option.

    I think the real runners are the ones that get it in no matter what the day throws at them, either on the road or on a treadmill.

    Precisely (do I sound like a broken record?). Better to run anywhere and in any way than to not run at all. If that means the treadmill, whether due to family commitments or other reasons, then so be it.

    That said, today's run was kind of fun…once I piled on enough layers to keep myself nice and toasty.

  • #26929

    Real  runners do what they think is best for themselves to get in the best possible workout for what they are doing that day. Just because you run outside or inside does not make you run faster in a race. I love doing indoor workouts on indoor tracks, no complaining about wind or temperature, very easy to check splits and always a “bubbler” (water fountain for non WI people) near by. To each his own, but if you want to think you are tougher than everyone else by running outside, have fun. I am willing to do  both but feel as I have aged I have gotten a little softer or a little smarter by running inside on “bad” weather days. It all goes in the log book the same way.

  • #26930

    it's just easier to know your effort level.

    Please explain, help me to understand what you mean as I have found that it is not true at all. 

    It is interesting how the article is perceived by what parts of the article are focused on for response.  To me, it was empowering to see that people in New England run outdoors through the winter essentially without skipping a beat.  I had imagined that others might read it and think, “Yeah, kick butt!  If they can do it then I sure as hell can, too!”  Where I currently live, I consider the winters to be much easier to train in than those where I used to live, in the midwest Great Lakes region.  (No, I am not in a hurry to move back there, either, so hats off to those of you who do get after it there.)  I have yet to face weather here that would keep me from training outdoors.  Of course, my outlook is neatly expressed by this line from Amelia Barr: “It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it.”  Yet I often see first-hand accounts from people who consider it utterly impossible to train outdoors through the winters here.  Nobody is wrong to feel that way, and there is likely a clear basis for it, yet as George Bernard Shaw puts it: “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

    I recall a conversation I had last winter with Scott Simmons regarding his prior coaching position at Minot State in northern North Dakota.  His athletes were out there in the toughest conditions – I am not sure that there is any other state in the lower 48 that has tougher winters (cold, snow, wind, wind chill) than North Dakota does – through the winter to get their training in.  Simmons's attitude is that it can be done anywhere, a sentiment he reiterated in his clinic presentation.  In fact, Simmons was able to actually find positives in training in such an environment, which made perfect sense to me.  He and his athletes (among many others) have proven that it can certainly be done, if one truly wants to.  I am always struck by how well Bill Rodgers was able to perform after training through New England winters throughout the height of his career in the pre-treadmill era.  This also reminds me of a Bill Bowerman sentiment that many runners know well.  For that reason as well as the physiological principle of specificity of training (the log book is neither an end nor an arbiter) I say it does indeed pay dividends in terms of performance to face up to small challenges from mother nature.  If one is at all reluctant to routinely face and embrace minor discomfort any other time then that mindset and tolerance level is not likely to magically alter significantly in the middle of a race.  This is simply an honest general assessment with no value judgment implied.

    People who proclaim themselves “smarter” are no more right than those who feel they are more “real” for doing one or the other.  It is how the choice makes those individuals feel and should not rankle anyone who is sufficiently secure.  That people in my area would scurry inside at the prospect of even a little snow and cold is nothing to worry me.  Do what makes one happiest, that is all that really matters in the end.  On the level that almost anyone reading this is at in this sport, each is really only accountable to the self. 

  • #26931

    I don't know why, but my winter log books are always fuller than the summer ones.

    I do not run on a treadmill, but was very thankful for them when I traveled a lot a few years back.  I didn't like running in the dark in some city I had no idea where I was going.  The treadmill was a haven, but had a real difficult time running more than an hour. 

    I however was uncapable of controlling myself.  I generally made a game out of it and continually drove the pace up to max.  I also disliked training with other people near me.  It bugs me.  I sweat like a pig and literally have sweat all over the machine.  I tried not to wear shirts because I would blow a nipple out and blood is running down my shirt, etc.  I looked like an eccentric flailing away, sweat flying, belt zipping and clad with barely anything on. 

    When we had meetings as soon as they were over I beat it to the workout room because I knew everyone would saunter down there.  Courtesy is 30 minutes.  I had my stuff with me, so I could cram in an extra 5 minutes before people arrived and I crank it to max and let fly so I had could get a hard effort in.  People thought I was a bozo.  Looking back, I probably was.

  • #26932

    it's just easier to know your effort level.

    Please explain, help me to understand what you mean as I have found that it is not true at all. 

    I use a treadmill to determine my threshold.  I'm tested on a treadmill,  not a track, so it makes sense to match the environment.  Once I have command of the pace, I definitely “do” take it outside to match race conditions….I don't ever race on a track, so the environment for testing is irrelevant.

    That said, my only goal races this year are in June and September, so I probably don't need to worry about cold weather….maybe September, but I think the running in the cold will be a blessing in comparison to being on a bike that day.

  • #26933

    Oh, was I thrown by the phrasing?  “Your” vs. “my”?

  • #26934

    Oh, was I thrown by the phrasing?  “Your” vs. “my”?

    or “effort level” not to be confused with “perceived effort level”.

    At some level it's always going to be “my” over “your”, don't you think?

    I mean, you can tell someone what NOT to do.  I can tell someone what isnt' going to work.  But can I know, what I do now is going to work and would it work for you????

  • #26935

    Well, it looked more like a declaration of a general truth as opposed to an anecdotal finding.  I know that Meb, Kastor, and Hall (among others) do lock into quite specific effort levels and Mahon does not put them on a treadmill for that.  I know my effort level – and perceived is well enough for my purposes – for every single run I do without ever setting foot on a treadmill.  It can happen.  😉

  • #26936

    Well, it looked more like a declaration of a general truth as opposed to an anecdotal finding.  I know that Meb, Kastor, and Hall (among others) do lock into quite specific effort levels and Mahon does not put them on a treadmill for that.  I know my effort level – and perceived is well enough for my purposes – for every single run I do without ever setting foot on a treadmill.  It can happen.  😉

    I do believe with experience, perceived can be spot on.  Personally, with my long layoff, my perception is a little off.  The younger or less experienced runners are way off, believe me.  I've seen too many 16 y/o get on a treadmill at the pace they say they always run outside and the HRM is flashing just under 190 bpms.  But they'll say they feel “fine”.  Their lactic level will then show above 4 for paces they said were “painfully slow”

  • #26937

    The younger or less experienced runners are way off, believe me.  I've seen too many 16 y/o get on a treadmill at the pace they say they always run outside and the HRM is flashing just under 190 bpms.

    I do believe you, though I am unsure that teenagers really use treadmills in high numbers nor that they necessarily should.  As indicated, even college runners in Minot, ND, trained outdoors through the winter.  The only time I did not run outdoors in college was during the rare wind/dust storm that carried a realistic threat of eye damage.  High wind is likely my least favorite weather condition in which to run, snow and cold seems like nothing by comparison.

  • #26938

    The younger or less experienced runners are way off, believe me.  I've seen too many 16 y/o get on a treadmill at the pace they say they always run outside and the HRM is flashing just under 190 bpms.

    I do believe you, though I am unsure that teenagers really use treadmills in high numbers nor that they necessarily should.  As indicated, even college runners in Minot, ND, trained outdoors through the winter.  The only time I did not run outdoors in college was during the rare wind/dust storm that carried a realistic threat of eye damage.  High wind is likely my least favorite weather condition in which to run, snow and cold seems like nothing by comparison.

    true. I saw one of the boys a few days ago, running down the middle of the road….in shorts :o.  But school was cancelled for frigid conditions

  • #26939

    I'm definitely old school and stopped pondering the “am I a real runner” question decades ago. I do not own a HRM [ok, I lie but I do use it much] a GPS or Ipod. And while I much prefer running on a soft trail I have to admit treadmill running has been very beneficial. It began out of circumstance. I have three young boys that limit my run time after work so instead I'll run during a extended lunch break. Sometimes I'll just use the locker room – change – and run outdoors and other times it's more convenient to just run on the 'mill.

    I found there are benefits, like dialing in hills on demand or observing / cleaning up your form. I've always had problems slowing down on my recovery days but with the TM it was easier to just set it and go rather than rely on my internal pace clock which always wants to go! I then found it easier to apply that when I do run outdoors, as the benefits of having a greater range of training paces became more obvious.

    Since I don't own a GPS or like running on a track I find the precision of the treadmill to also be helpful in nailing my workouts at the proper pace. Which again is helpful when I do run outdoors, I have a better idea where my current tempo effort should be. I've only run with the TM for 3-4 years and while it's not essential to my success it's been a very helpful tool. It's aslo allowed me to regsiter 2000+ miles last year despite suffering from plantar fasciitis. Not sure I could have run that much if all my miles were registered on the roads.

    During the winter I'll run 4-5 times indoors during the week and outdoors on the weekends. With this schedule I'm enjoying some of my best running in years. And the TM is partly responsible for it.     

  • #26940

    I say treadmill if necessary , but not necessarily treadmills…

    I confess to occasionally signing up for one at our gym on days when I just need to get an easy run in and I want a break from multilayer attire and the vagaries of weather.

    Personally it's akin to eating a Big Mac: fills the gap, but not nutritious or satisfying…

    It's better to experience the outside just for the change in environment and the mental challenge of adapting to the route.

    All my long runs during the winter are outdoors, there's just no mental way for me to do 2 – 3 hours on a mill. Hard training and TV talk shows just don't mix.

    Scott

  • #26942

    An old school friend and runner now living in Michigan is on the treadmill most of the winter and does various workouts and gets great race results in the Spring. For me living in Southern California I'll use the treadmill on days that are extremely humid or bad air days. I endorse the treadmill

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