5 Tips for Running on a Treadmill: S.T.A.M.P.
Running on a treadmill - it can be a delight, a necessary evil, or completely dreaded. For me, it is a necessity but not necessarily an evil. It has allowed me to run every day since December 30, 2011 and for many more days to come. But that doesn't mean each run is easy and isn't that the case for all runs? But regardless, treadmill running seems to be dreaded more often than embraced...or at least misunderstood.
To shed some light on this, here are my 5 tips for running on a treadmill to S.T.A.M.P. out the negativity and dread and get a good run done!
STEP: Stay light on your feet. That phrase may go through my mind many times during my treadmill runs. Stay light on your feet. This is indeed important. You have the belt pulling your feet back on each landing so get up off of your landing foot as soon as possible. Don't get me wrong, I am not a galloping gazelle but I am getting my foot back up in the air as soon as possible. And watch your footing. I have a terrible habit of drifting to the left edge of the belt and positioning myself perhaps a bit too forward. I know my habitual drift and reposition myself here and there throughout the run.
TIME: It is hard to run in one place...mentally hard. There are little to no distractions and that overwhelming sense that you are getting nowhere. Okay, perhaps because you are not going anywhere in terms of space but you are going somewhere physically in how you are pushing your body and getting the blood flowing. I have distance goals each running day but on the treadmill I convert that to a time goal. It is easier to digest and seems less burdensome. I even go through phases in my training where I drop all distance goals (kind of) and set a time goal such as run for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 60 minutes. You can do anything for x minutes. Make that a mantra for yourself. I can do anything for x minutes. Pick the x that works for you.
ATTITUDE: Have a can do optimistic attitude. See the glass half full. Embrace the chance to get your blood flowing and the joy of running. Yes, you may prefer and dream of being outside. Go ahead and visualize that place. And if things get really bad, smile. Smile a huge smile from ear to ear. Then think of others seeing you smiling so ridiculously large and trust me, you will start to feel better. You are that smiling lady/gentleman on the treadmill having the time of your life. You are a star! And if all that smiling won't do the trick for some odd reason go to plan B, you are getting the best mental training ever. A run outside will be so much sweeter after those treadmill runs. Remind yourself of that. Treadmill running builds mental strength and sometimes that is the real difference between getting that race PR or not. Mental strength. Awesome attitude.
MUSIC: Turn on the tunes! Get a list of upbeat songs or songs that just make you feel happy. I have a few slow songs on my list but they are songs that touch my soul. Combining my love of running with my love of music is magical. And change up your tunes here and there. Reward yourself by buying a new tune here and there. Trust me...you deserve to spend those couple of dollars on yourself. And don't be afraid to let your hands dance to the tunes while you run along grinning ear to ear.
PACE: Pick the right pace for you and listen to your body and then change it up. Hardly ever do I do a treadmill run at the same pace from start to finish. I do not run naturally that way and adding in those switcheroo's here and there makes the treadmill less monotonous. Change is good. And yes, some paces will feel less pleasant. I tend to suffer through the slower lethargic ucky feeling paces to get to my happy pace and then go to my comfortably unpleasant pace at times too. Each pace has a different training benefit and it allows me to break the big time into smaller pieces. You can even envision each pace change as an aid station along your upcoming race course.
Still need more inspiration? Check out these further tips on conquering treadmill boredom, how to get 20 miles on a treadmill with a little one in the house, and treadmill running ideas.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for treadmills.
Daily Affirmation: I am a loving wife.