Long runs are the mainstay of many marathon training plans. They build up each week from 5 to 6 miles all the way to 20 to 22.
That’s a big chunk of time.
It’s wonderful when you can easily carve out those three to four hours on a Saturday or Sunday for that deliciously exhausting long run.
But what to do when you can’t? When your spouse is working and you can’t get a sitter for the kids? When your stomach is acting up and you don’t want to be ten miles from a bathroom when the urge strikes? When the snow is set on sandblast and the wind is coming from all directions at once? When the outdoor temperature is less than your intended mileage?
Well, there’s the treadmill.
I bet that sounds boring. You’d rather be waterboarded.
But if you’re like me, you get twitchy if you can’t cross off your workout on your schedule. So you figure out a way to make it work.
Here’s some things that work for me:
Running when it’s dark: For some reason, miles on the hamster wheel don’t seem as long when the sun isn’t supposed to be shining.
Intervals: I set a timer alternating between 2 minutes and 3 minutes. When it changes, I bump the speed up or down. It’s not like the effort changes much, but it’s mental. 3 minutes is easier to count down than 200.
Favorite show: I have favorite shows that I only allow myself to watch on the treadmill. Arrow, The Flash, Sharknado. I can watch more episodes the longer I run. I’ve found watching a show also helps with the motion sickness I feel on my next non-treadmill run. If I stare at something that doesn’t move, I’m dizzy for the first few blocks of my next outdoor run.
Potty breaks: Make a pit stop, wash some of the sweat off, walk around the house.
A fan: Especially if you poorly place your treadmill (like I have), this is absolutely necessary. I’ve had the hamster wheel directly over the heating vent so the warm air was funneled right in my face. Oops.
These are some of the tricks I used to get through long (and really any run) on the treadmill.
What helps you keep going on the treadmill?