Just say NO to treadmills (for now)

Gotta run. Gotta run. Gotta run.

The thought just kept echoing in my head all day at the shop. Every time, it seemed, that I planned to head out the door, there was something else that needed my attention. On top of it all, I knew that I had to be out of the shop today at 2pm to go and do a fitting session for two local high school swim teams.

I’ll have plenty of time….. at least until I looked at the clock and saw that it was 12:45. What to do… what to do?

I have this super-awesome NordicTrac treadmill in our performance training room. I can map out runs with Google Earth and the computer will actually map the rise and fall of the road. Just to make sure it is realistic, the treadmill will match a 15 degree incline AND a 3 degree DECLINE! How cool is that? Plus it shows Google Earth Street views as you are running. Cool! I browse through some of the programs already on the machine, find a nice 5 miler, and away I go. At least that’s what I thought.

Treadmills are a unique beast. I know people who can train for an entire marathon just using one of them and do fine. I, unfortunately, am not one of those people.

The idea behind a treadmill is that the ground is moving underneath of you and you are just trying to “keep up”. Absolutely fantastic concept for when you want to do speed work or intervals. You literally move your feet as fast as you can and when you can’t do it anymore you either shoot off the back or you jump up on the side rails. Come on! Admit it! You’ve all seen the people on The Biggest Loser when they shoot off the back. You’re secretly watching for that every time you see someone doing intervals at the gym. It’s ok. We all do it.

ANYWAY, I can do these intervals (and stay on the treadmill thank you very much) but I don’t like to run long distances on them. I think that the purpose of running is belittled when you are simply keeping up with the ground beneath you. I want to be the one moving. I want to visualize myself as an animal whose paws hit the ground, grab it, and RIP myself forward. That’s power! That’s locomotion! THAT’S RUNNING!!!

So my trip on the treadmill lasted about 3 minutes.

I’ve got on shorts and a T-shirt, so I head out the door, with Laura looking at me with a confused look. Wasn’t I staying in the shop to run, in case she needed something? Sorry sweetie, the road is calling.

A nice little jaunt down the St Michaels Rails-To-Trails and I’m feeling good.

I know these roads. I grew up on them. So I know if I make a left at the end of the trail on Railroad Avenue, there is a development all the way at the end with a big circle. Down I go, all the way down to Mount Pleasant and around the development. The run feels great! The music is bumping!!

But in my mind, I know that I need to head back. I know this run is just over 5 miles and if I am holding around a 9 min/mile pace like I THINK I am, that means it’s a 45 minute run, which puts me VERY close to 2pm.

I follow the exact same path back and make it back to the shop just in time. Time, that is, to now drive home and take a shower before going to meet the swim teams. I’m debating whether it is necessary to shower when I’m told by my loving wife, “You stink.”.

‘Nuff said.

Jason Chance

Laura and Jason Chance both grew up in Talbot County, Maryland and are the owners of TriCycle and Run, a multisport shop focusing in running, bicycling and swimming in the area.

jason-chance has 8 posts and counting.See all posts by jason-chance

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