Remember when I said that I wanted to make friends with my nemesis, the treadmill? While we aren’t besties by any means, I think we’ve reached a truce of sorts. I lasted 45 stinkin’ (no really, I was gross) minutes on that thing (first time ever making it that long) and didn’t once slow to a walk, which was my goal. I came up with some changes to my thinking that, I think, got me through it.
1. It’s all in my head. For me, the treadmill is all mental. Win the battle in your head, win the battle on the treadmill. I convinced myself that my brain was telling me that I was too hot and too tired but that my body was, in reality, doing just fine. Studies show that despite what your brain tells you, it’s physically easier to run on a treadmill rather than outside. Since I have no problem running outside, the treadmill shouldn’t feel so hard. I’m not saying you shouldn’t listen to your body though – I’ll touch on that later.
2. Do what it takes to make it happen. I used to think that if I couldn’t sustain my goal pace then I might as well just take a break and walk. This runs counter to my jogs outside, where my motto is NEVER WALK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, from which I rarely deviate. If I can do it outside (and for much longer), which the experts say is technically harder, why can’t I do it on the machine? For me, the solution was swallowing my pride and slowing to a more relaxed pace (10:20 min/mile) in order to keep myself from walking. It drives me a little nuts to intentionally slow but I have to ask myself the question, what is my goal here? If my goal here is to just keep running for 45 minutes, then there’s no shame in taking steps to meet that goal, even if it means my pace is slower.
3. Chunk it. I started out for 15 minutes at a 10:00/mile pace and spent 10 minutes in the middle at a 9:30 pace, intending to spend the remaining 20 minutes back at 10:00/mile. But with 10 minutes to go, I decided I could no longer sustain a 10:00/mile pace and slowed to 10:20/mile. And then I took it minute by minute. A minute would go by and I’d reassess. Do I need to slow down? How can I focus better to get through this next minute? One minute is easier to tackle than 10!
And before I knew it (not really… I was very aware) I was done. And I felt a kinship with the treadmill, like we’d found a mutual respect for each other. Plus I always love being the one who’s been on the treadmill the longest. Or is that just me being competitive? Whatever works!