Monday, November 23, 2009


I was talking with Wayne and Karen a couple of weeks back about my relationship with treadmills which basically is that I don't like them and they don't like me.

In my almost 20 years of running I have run on a treadmill somewhere between 40 and 50 times (tops) and I have been thrown off of the treadmill at least 4 or 5 times. I was telling my wife and daughter the same story and they basically said what? My daughter's comment was (said as only a 16 year can say) "How can you run trails and not handle a treadmill"? Good question but I tend to drift as I mindlessly meander on a treadmill until I drift to the edge of the belt where I step on the belt and the side of the treadmill which stops the belt and propels me backwards onto the floor or into the wall. This has happened to me at home, at work and on a treadmill at a hotel. I still remember the funny look I got at work when it happened, thankfully when it happened on the hotel treadmill no one was in the room nor has it been witnessed at home but believe me this is something you don't plan or make up. The good news is that I have never been hurt (other than my pride) but I think it's only a matter of time when something bad might happen to me, so give me the trails, the roads anything but the treadmill. Heck, I will gladly take cold, darkness, wind and snow over a treadmill.

Now that you know my relationship with the treadmill, I have a new plan for using it this winter.

I have thought about the current barefoot running craze that seems to have taken off thanks to "Born to Run" and I thought about running barefoot myself. Then I thought about where would I try it? It's getting colder here and I figure I would look pretty goofy running barefoot plus I really like to run in anonymity and I think running barefoot would pretty much end that. Then it occurred to me, why not run barefoot on the treadmill. I would only run 2, 3 or 4 miles which means the odds of me falling off would be reduced. The other thing which my wife has reminded me of that a treadmill is good for would be to run speed workouts on it, basically some fast, hard controlled workouts, again this time of year it gets harder to do this outside, so between barefoot running and the desire to work on my speed, it might just work out.

So this week, I will give it a go and see if it helps change anything about my relationship with the treadmill.


Londell said...

As you know, I have been walking at the 15% grade @ 3 MPH. At first it was pure hell, I had to hang onto the side, it was hard. I just finished 30 minutes, no holding on, 2 pound weights. I am beginning to know why Diane Farmer finished the 100 with only treadmill walking training. I know in three weeks, I improved so much... May want to try it. Walk barefott at 15% and carry weights. Hard to fall off at 3 MPH.

Wayne said...

Thanks for sharing, Mike... I think I enjoyed your story as much the 2nd time around. Are you going to turn the treadmill so the back is pointed toward the open part of the room, with some strategically placed pillows on the floor?? :)


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