Brrr!!! Has the last week been cold or what?!? I have to admit that we have been spoiled with above average temperatures the last few weeks, but unfortunately, I think that winter has finally arrived in Wisconsin. And even though I want to run outside more this winter, I know that some miles will still be logged indoors. It is treadmill season after all!
The invention of the treadmill dates back to the 1800’s, however, it’s original purpose was not for the health benefits. Some actually called it a “torture device” to put prisoners to work instead of wasting time being unproductive. The prisoners were instructed to step on spokes that turned wheels to produce useful things – grain, water, or to power mills. (Hence the name “treadmill”).
And although some people still see the treadmill as “torture”, you can’t deny the advantages that these machines bring.
Some of the benefits of the treadmill include being able to run at anytime, day or night. Once the days start getting shorter, it can be hard to fit in a run during daylight hours. And while the idea of running in the dark might be exciting, it can be unsafe.
Treadmills also are a great way to work on speed. They keep you at a constant pace until you tell it to slow down or you hop off (or fall off in some cases). The constant pace allows you to learn what pace you are comfortable with and allows you to challenge it.
Since the treadmill has increased in popularity, it is no longer just a machine in rows at the gym. They have become an affordable addition to home gyms as well – making them among the most popular workout equipment.
Although I want to get outside and run this winter, I will definitely be utilizing my treadmill for some training as well.
Treadmill Season And How I Plan To Use Mine This Winter
I plan to use my treadmill this winter for one specific workout — a workout that not only is incredibly effective but also beneficial to a runner’s performance.
Running intervals is a great way to burn calories, increase endurance, and pick up your pace. There is a reason that HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is becoming such a trend. Because it works! Interval training gets your heart rate up, allows for a few minutes of recovery, before increasing the intensity again.
Your heart rate will continue to stay high, burning more calories (and fat) in a shorter amount of time. Challenging your body to increase your speed constantly also increases your endurance. Working hard for a minute and then recovering before returning to high intensity is a great way to push yourself further than you thought possible. When things are difficult is when the most change occurs.
Intervals also help speed work because you are constantly pushing your pace faster. Even though your “comfortable pace” might be running at 5.5mph — running at 6.2mph for a minute will help your body become more accustomed to the faster pace, increasing your overall “comfort level” to run faster.
The treadmill is an incredibly effective way to make sure your interval workout is intense and beneficial. Being able to set the treadmill at a certain speed will keep you at a certain tempo (instead of letting your body settle into a “comfortable” pace.)
One more reason to enjoy (and benefit from) treadmill season.
Do you own a treadmill?
They sure are great to have! And to keep it from turning into a clothes rack, I use mine regularly (no matter the season).
Avoid The Treadmill Clothes Rack
It is possible to keep the treadmill from turning into a makeshift closet.
- Make it your “Me Time” – Even though you aren’t leaving the house, make it your time to “get away”. Take the time spend the time working on yourself.
- Schedule your workouts. If you schedule the time for your workout, your treadmill won’t get neglected. Make it important and a MUST do. If you plan out the time for the workout, it is much harder to skip it.
- Keep your workouts interesting. Running the same speed, for the same distance, on the same treadmill will eventually get boring. Change up your distance, play with your speed, or climb some hills to avoid treadmill boredom.
- Use your time on the treadmill to catch up on your shows. A great way to burn through a steady 30-45 minute run is to watch an episode of a sitcom or TV drama that you watch anyway. Usually the hum of the treadmill can be drowned out by the TV, plus it’s so much healthier for you than just sitting on the couch.
- Incorporate co-workouts. If you have two people but only one treadmill – don’t fret! Have one person start on the treadmill running for 2-3 minutes at a pretty quick pace. Meanwhile, the other person is doing strength training exercises like lunges, squats, push–ups, etc. At the 2 or 3 minute mark, switch! It’s a great motivator and a way to workout together using the equipment that you have!
- Have a Workout Room. Having an area designated solely for working out will encourage you to do so. It will also help prevent clothes from piling up on your equipment because it’s in it’s own space — not tucked in a corner ready to accumulate clothing.
- Set goals. I can’t say it enough. Setting goals and making them known to others helps you stick to them! Sharing your goals keeps you accountable and more likely to succeed (and more likely to use your treadmill).
- Go outside — the chilly weather may entice you to head back inside to the treadmill (mostly kidding!) But on seriously cold days, running inside is just all around better. Not only is it safer, but it may also increase the length of your run compared to heading outdoors. And unless you have an indoor track in your house or nearby, a treadmill is the best way to accomplish that!
Does all this treadmill talk make you want to invest in one this treadmill season? Check out this guide by Reviews.com detailing “The Best Treadmill of 2017”. In this review, they tested 9 treadmills to determine the best treadmills for walkers, runners, training, and entertainment.
Not only do they have suggestions for the best treadmills, they also offer some useful tips for caring for your treadmill, how treadmill running differs from outdoor running, and delivery benefits. Check out this and other useful information here!
- This time of year, do you head to the gym, tough it out outside, or take a “workout” vacay?
- What type of workouts do you like to do this time of year?
- Do you own a treadmill?