No matter where you are, if you have made the
unfortunate decision to train for a spring marathon, then the jokes on you you are already aware that to actually GET to spring—you must survive the winter. YUP. I’ve written a LOT lately about running outside throughout the winter running because i’m trying to psych myself up… but really, i DO have to do a couple days of week on the dreadmill. Whether i like it or not, sometimes the weather is NOT my friend. Tuesday it was dangerously snowing/raining/sleeting and i decided i like my odds of survival much better on the ‘mill than on the roads…Wednesday, i had limited time AND it was pouring out…treadmill=2, Running Outside=0. BUT THURSDAY! This was going to be MY DAY to run outside! When i got out of work, it was lightly snowing. And by the time i got home, it was heavily snowing. So….Treadmill=3, Nicole/Running Outside=0. (((SIGH))) The life of the winter runner is a struggle. Three for Three…. UGH. Its going to be a long winter…
Now that my tale of woe is complete, I must tell you that the purpose of this post it to add my 2 cents in about how to train for a marathon while also running on a treadmill…
Buy a treadmill.
Or, ….join a gym, use your complex’s treadmill, work out in your office gym that has a treadmill…or, worst case scenario? Break into your next door neighbor’s house that has a treadmill. Just kidding…
Turn Treadmill on.
It’s pretty hard to run on a treadmill that’s off. #justsaying!
You have a phone, or some sort of electronic device, right?
Good. Because Kindle/Nook Books, Music, podcats, Netflix, XFinity Go, NETFLIX…They are your new friends and will help entertain you, like… A LOT. I love all of these things… figure out how to use them, and use them well. Now is the time to ask your friends which shows/books/movies you have been missing from your life. You + Treadmill+ Electronics? You might as well tattoo “NETFLIX” on your arm, my treadmill running friend because you just fell in loooove!
Have a plan.
What type of run are you doing today? Sprints? Easy? Tempo? Yassos? Progression? Knowing ahead of time what you are going to be doing helps alleviate the helplessness! As much as i hate being forced inside on my treadmill, knowing what my planned outdoors run was going to be for that day helps me figure out my treadmill running plan.
Set a goal finishing time.
This has helped me A LOT. If i don’t limit myself on the time i can spend on the treadmill, i am likely to take 84,000 breaks, check my cell phone, answer phone calls, respond to texts, comment on blogs… Are you getting the picture? Don’t let distractions get in the way, or before you know it, your spouse will be telling you its 2 hours from bedtime and you haven’t started dinner yet. (thats only partially a true story…ok, LIES, its 100%true)
Use your treadmill for harder workouts that are difficult for you to accomplish outdoors.
Use nature’s obstacles as your easy runs and if you have to, use your treadmill for your more difficult runs. I had wanted to hit the track this week, but that trick b*tch M Nature sure had other plans. I had to adjust…that’s life though! I have learned that Adjustment is just one part of being a runner. If the outside terrain is too unsafe to run on, I will use my treadmill all winter long for all of my tough workouts.
I’m already sorry that i have to include this part because you all are my friends…
Set your treadmill to a 1% incline. (If you’re feeling frisky…put it higher.)
Are you training for Boston or another hilly marathon? Well then, you need to get a good hill workout on there too!!
Running outside presents you with uneven pavement, uphills, wind resistance, downhills, and other crazy situations. Setting your treadmill on an incline will help you prepare for these real life situations that you WILL encounter as soon as it is safe to do so without falling down stairs or under your car. (both of these unfortunate things happened to my poor friend the other day)
Don’t be afraid to hop on the treadmill.
Sometimes, you’ve just GOT to do it. I’ve met VERY few runners who love the treadmill…most runners will openly tell you it just ain’t their bag. I am one of those runners. Give me rain, cold, and even my least favorite element-WIND, and i will STILL choose roads over mill every time. But, this week? That choice was out of my control so i sucked it up and just DID what i had to do, and i didn’t complain even once!! I know you don’t love it. But i promise you, you will survive. And if you want, you can email me after and tell me how much you hated it. With the advancement of today’s treadmills, they mimic the outdoors SO well, it’s crazy. You can simulate your exact courses, and even put lifts under your treadmill for simulation purposes! (I have never done this… I have lots of hills in my ‘hood that beg me to run up them!)
Remember that ALL of your runs shouldn’t be done on a treadmill.
We winter runners training for that beautiful, seemingly intangible, spring marathon know this:
At some point (or two) during the week-we absolutely MUST venture outside for some running. You still need to keep your body used to running outside. By running on pavement, you are naturally setting your paces and your body is instinctively learning what certain paces feel like. This is imperative to marathon training! I plan to do Saturday and Sunday’s runs outside because its going to be lovely out! And by lovely…I mean NO precipitation!
How often do you hit the treadmill?
How many days a week? Give me the ratio!