Monday, October 18, 2010

She's getting defensive...

Before I enter my results from last night's run, I just want to record my thoughts on my use of the treadmill.

I've been told by several people that running on a treadmill is easier than running outdoors and is very different. I didn't consider this an attack on me or an attempt at belittling my efforts so far (though if it was then I'm sad because that's mean). However, I felt defensive nonetheless.

I have a treadmill for a number of reasons:

  • It's easier on my legs than running on cement or bitumen and I have a history of knee issues (Baker's cysts);
  • It's in my garage where I don't have to line up to use it;
  • I can use a fan and be in the shade instead of running in the sun, because I won't run in the dark outside;
  • It measures my time, distance and (hopefully accurately) my calories burned;
  • I can watch my stories (The City is my latest guilty pleasure) - multitasking is fun;
  • I can wear what I want and not shave my legs because nobody will see me; and
  • I can control the inclines, which is hard to do around my suburb. Which is Ferny Hills. Which is hilly.
I won't argue that running on a treadmill isn't easier than running outside - I know that it's the case and I know I wouldn't be running the times that I'm running in the great outdoors. However I'm OK with that. Because at this point a run is a run is a run. I'm burning calories, losing weight and getting quite fit while I'm at it. 

In my Runner's World magazine they say that to simulate wind resistance then you should put your treadmill on an incline of 1%. So I do - once per week. I'll start taking the runs outside and into the city in the next few weeks - very early in the morning so that I don't get burnt, and I'll run the circuit that I'll be running in January. Not sure how I will keep track of my distance and time though - any suggestions there?

So while I sometimes wonder if I'm copping out by sticking to the treadmill to this point, I soon reassure myself that it doesn't matter where I'm running, it's the results I'm getting and the enjoyment I'm taking from it that matters. And given my result last night and the ease with which I'm completing these 5km runs, I think that I could run 5km outside with hills in under 30 minutes with not too many problems at all.

On that note, last night I completed 5km with an average speed of 11.56km/hr. I started at 11km/hr but I finish with a 1km sprint at the end where last night I worked my way up to 15km/hr. No leg pain afterwards, and my legs are fine today, as though I didn't exercise at all. Does this mean I'm ready to move to longer distances? Probably, but I'll get to it when I want to.

P.S. I should note that the heart rate is not accurate - apparently my towel - which sits over the hand sensors - has a heartbeat of 94bpm. I don't actually put my hands there.


Oh, Natalie.. said...

Maybe your towel is alive! Feed it something immediately!

Running on a treadmill is easier on the budy but if your heart rate is getting up to the same level then it's technically exactly the same fitness wise, right? It's probably better for your body because it's gentler & as you pointed out, controllable. I find running in general un-enjoyable because it's too harsh on the body. Maybe I need a treadmill..

missea said...

My heart rate is certainly up there - a lot more than the 94bpm of my towel!

The Fit Girl said...

I find it interesting that people say running on a treadmill is easier! Personally I find running outside easier - not sure why :)

P.S. My in-laws live in Ferny Hills :)


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