TotR | Treadmill tell-all. Love? Hate? Tolerate?

This week, I am linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia  for Tuesdays on the Run again and we’re sharing our thoughts on treadmills.

I used to be an ‘exlusive’ treadmill runner before I really picked up running as a sport. I used to go to the gym for classes or use the cross trainer and sometimes used the treadmill. When I finally got serious with running and tried to transition to outdoor running, it felt so hard. Now, I do a mix of both and I love both for different reasons.

I know many, many runners loathe the treadmill, but I feel like it really has its benefits. Unfortunately, I don’t have a treadmill at home (that would make things even easier!), but I do run on the treadmill at the gym 2-3 times per week. My gym doesn’t have an indoor track, but I doubt that I would choose it over the treadmill anyway.

Love is a strong word, but I feel like I do a little bit more than just tolerate the treadmill, so here are 5 things that I appreciate about treadmill running:

It forces me to hold my pace.

When I run outdoors, my pace can be all over the place. If I hop on the treadmill, it forces me to run steady (which is good when I should stick to an easy pace and also good when I should stick to a tempo pace). Win-win.

I can zone out.

I can watch TV (I get a fair amount of my news when I am on the treadmill) or listen to a podcast and just let my legs do the work. I can have a sip to drink and don’t even have to carry the bottle.

It makes hill repeats easy. 

We don’t have a lot of hills where I run (except for the occasional overpass), so hill repeats only happen on the treadmill (if at all).

It makes progression runs easy. 

I tend to run a lot by ‘effort’ when I run outside, rather than a specific pace, mainly because my level of comfort varies from day to day and it’s hard for me to ‘hold myself’ back for an easy run or push myself for a tempo run and hit goal paces without constantly checking my watch. The treadmill makes it really easy to increase pace without having to try and increase incrementally by constantly checking your watch. It automizes the training quite a bit.

I am not relying on the weather or time of day.

I currently run on the treadmill at the gym twice a week before work, because I refuse to run in the dark outside by myself. It’s just the perfect solution, especially during the winter month when it’s hard to work around the daylight hours (I usually leave before sunrise and come home after dark during the winter month). The treadmill prevents me from making up excuses.

What’s your relationship with the treadmill?

  1. I agree with all of your points. I love the mill for speedwork in winter. when holding any kind of pace outside would not happen. I too started on the mill and gradually built up from there. Thanks for linking!

  2. I am more of a “hater,” but am merging towards “tolerator.” I have come to accept that I cannot do long runs on the ‘mill, but I can do 2-3 miles at a time (MOST days). That said, I think I may have run 6 miles once…but 5 is pretty much my max. Ugh. It’s just not my gig LOL

  3. Definitely safer than running alone in the dark! I don’t run, but I do like the treadmill in general. That’s great you can run on the treadmill and outside!


  4. You pointed out all the great perks of the treadmill! Normally I opt outside but I love having the option of going to the gym and hopping on the ‘mill if I want to.

  5. I’m not a runner, but if I was, I would prefer to be outside with fresh air and the elements. I have used a treadmill a lot, but I am a clutz and have fallen off more times than I care to admit. LOL!

  6. I definitely agree with all of these! I had found the ability to create hills so beneficial since Ive had a treadmill.

  7. I mainly power walk on the treadmill at the gym and I especially love it for the zoning out aspect. I lose myself in a podcast or audiobook.

  8. I don’t mind the treadmill. I don’t hate it. I enjoy running outside when the weather is decent. But I do know that sometimes the treadmill is a last resort and it may be the only way to do a run.

  9. I use the treadmill sometimes at the gym. I also use the elliptical, which I tend to prefer because then I’m also working out my arms, but I feel as though the treadmill is a great workout. I wish I had one in my apartment (only during the winter months, because getting to the gym has been challenging lately with all the snow) but it’s a great excuse to hoof it to the gym :)

  10. I refer to it as the dreadmill – so that tells you how much I like it. I just feel like time stands still when I am on the treadmill. And I tend to get more aches and pains when running on it because it impacts my stride. If I was better about doing things like intervals or hills I might like it better but I when I ran on the treadmill, I tended to just crank out 4-6 miles and be done. But it is great to have access to one. Especially in Minnesota as there are several months where it’s not fun – and even dangerous (due to cold weather and ice) to run!

  11. I only ever run on the treadmill. The last time I did outdoor running was during the Christmas holidays. I feel safer on a treadmill (I worry about falling and twisting an ankle doing outdoor running even though I know it can happen anywhere) and I haven’t even signed up for a parkrun yet. It is on my to-do list but I keep using the excuse that I’m a beginner runner.

  12. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship. I do like that I can control my pace easily on a treadmill and I do a lot of my speed workouts on the treadmill, but if I’m just straight running it is the most boring and awful way to get my miles in.

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