Well. not the first time, the first time was last spring as I was getting a gait assessment done, but this past week was the first time I'd actually used a treadmill for a full-length training run.
I am at risk of losing the "Canuck" portion of my Canuck Running Blogger status--I did an indoors training run when, to date, I have been happy (somewhat) to brave one of the fiercest Arctic Canadian winters we've had in a long time. My reason for switching my run indoors was that there had been a combination of weather conditions here in London lately which had created what I consider to be not only uncomfortable but unsafe running conditions.
For a day or two last week, we had kind of a mini-thaw and then a re-freeze which left the sidewalks around here a sheet of ice. Couple that with a frosting of snow which then hid the ice and you were left with conditions that were, in my eyes, unsafe for running. I'm Canadian, I'm not stupid!
I also have been reading a lot about peoples' adventures with the treadmill and I wanted to be able to experience a little of that myself. So I headed off to Goodlife last week!
Most of my time spent at Goodlife is on the weight machines but I do spend five minutes walking on the treadmill, getting the heart rate up a little. This time I stayed on the treadmill and ratcheted up the speed until I got to what I thought was comfortable running speed and then just left it there, I think it 3.5, or something ridiculously slow like that.
I don't usually wear headphones when I run so I had to content myself with just watching the little t.v. screen my machine had, think it was on CNN or some kind of newsy station. This was fine and I got onto a little routine there, feeling comfortable. At some point, though, I started paying too much attention to the screen and didn't realize I was slowing down.
|My close call at Goodlife!|
So I ran and I ran and I ran and finally the distance meter clicked to "1.00". I thought, crap, what the hell is going on here, it has never taken me this long to run one kilometer before! Then it dawned on me, the treadmill was calibrated in miles. Hooray, I wasn't doing as badly as I thought, I was just going to have to start thinking like an American, that's all! This will also give me the opportunity to work on my math skills too!
What I also found was that I couldn't multi-task efficiently. I don't know whether it's because I'm just so freakin' old or not but I was so disoriented by the machine that I had a hard time doing anything other than run. It was hard to switch settings, it was hard to wipe sweat, it was hard to turn my head just to look at something! I can only imagine and hope that it will all become second nature sometime soon!
My plan this past week was to run 5K's on the treadmill. This was fine but the first time I tried doing this, the 'mill stopped at 30 minutes. Well, it takes me longer than 30 minutes to run 5K. This meant I had to stop and the start all over again. Which meant I had to remember how far I'd run in the first session and then do the addition and subtraction so that I knew how far I had to run in the second session. And then I'd have to subtract the time I spent doing all that. Do I sound like a treadmill neophyte...??
The stupid part is that I did all this twice last week! It wasn't until I finished my second run of the week that I took the time to figure out how to program the treadmill so that it wouldn't turn off at 30 minutes. The next time, there won't be the same issues!
I was also left wondering if the 'mill was working properly in the first place. For the most part I was running pretty damn hard and, if my calculations were correct, I was about ten minutes slower on the treadmill! For five measly kilometers! My plan is to run outside tomorrow (weather be damned) and double-check that time...
So those were my first true treadmill experiences. What I did enjoy was not having to worry about slipping on ice or having to vault drifts. Now all I have to do is not fall off...