Inside Job

I’m not pleased about it, but I completed yesterday’s workout on my treadmill.

It’s kind of wimping out and kind of not, because the treadmill makes me miserable. My plan for yesterday was: meet up with my friends at Chester Bowl, take radiation measurements with a Geiger counter for our nuclear engineering class, then do my planned 4 mile workout from there. The measurements didn’t go as planned (we couldn’t get the Geiger counter to work), I thought I lost my phone (it was just in a weird spot in my backpack), and it was horribly windy out. That was enough to drive me indoors.

While I was running on the treadmill, I tried to justify its benefits to myself. I came up with some good ideas.

1. I was able to run at a steady pace. I am always varying my pace while I’m running on the road or on trails, sometimes intentionally because I’m running up or down a hill or through difficult terrain, sometimes semi-intentionally because I’m tired or because I’m trying to get done quickly, and sometimes unintentionally because I am a robot. Running on the treadmill occasionally will help me with consistency.

2. I could use it as a way to gauge how I’ve improved since I started training for the marathon, and since I started heart rate training. I ran 0.5 miles at 3.8 mph and 3.5 miles at 3.7 mph, without stopping to walk. 2 miles were at level 1 incline, and 2 miles at 0 incline. My average heart rate was 139 bpm. Contrast that with the last time I ran 4 miles on the treadmill (Feb 22), when I ran at about the same speed, but my average heart rate was 147 bpm, at 0 incline. So, that’s not that impressive, but it is still an improvement.

3. It was good mental training. One hour on the treadmill with a hockey game on and a fan blowing on me is more mind-numbing than any outdoor run I’ve had. But I powered through, as I’ll probably have to do on some long runs coming up. Maybe not for the same reason (I doubt I’ll be bored, more like tired or aching), but any exercise in mental toughness is going to help.

I think those are some valid, creative justifications for running on the treadmill. Too bad I only did it because I was lazy and crabby.

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