Today’s workout was 11 miles, with the first 8 at an easy pace and the last 3 at an up-tempo pace. My goal range for the tempo portion was 6:30 – 6:40 pace. I ran the first 8 with my training buddy and friend, Lizzie, and then immediately hopped on the treadmill for the final 3. My actual paces for the final 3 were 6:40, 6:36, 6:31, so I was very pleased.
I always find myself trying to figure out what speed I need to be running to hit certain paces on the treadmill, so I made myself a handy little chart to reference. Today I did the first mile at 9.0, the second mile at 9.1 and the third mile at 9.2.
I know that there are positives and negatives to treadmill running, and I try to vary it up and do more workouts outdoors than indoors, since we don’t race on the treadmill. A few of my personal “pros” for running on the treadmill instead of outdoors are as follows:
- The treadmill offers a smooth, cushioned surface that is easier on your joints. Since I am coming back from a minor foot “issue” (I wouldn’t classify it as an injury) and haven’t done any workouts in just over two weeks (only easy runs), I thought that easing back into it on the treadmill might be smarter.
- You can control your pace. When running outside it can be hard to establish and maintain a consistent pace. I know that if I take my workout inside, I will hit the paces I am supposed to because I don’t really have a choice. Once I figure out what speeds I have to run, I get going and that’s it (one instance where stubbornness can be beneficial).
- You build mental fortitude. While some people find the treadmill to be boring or mundane, I actually enjoy it and find that I am more “in the zone” when doing workouts on the treadmill. There are often fewer distractions, which allows me to stay focused.
- There are no weather or temperature issues. Heat and humidity are a huge factor here in LA, so the treadmill offers a little bit of reprieve from the elements.
- There are no concerns about personal safety. This is often the only deciding factor for me. If it is dark out or if I don’t have someone to do a workout with me, then the treadmill is my only option.
Research has proven that setting the treadmill to a 1% grade accurately reflects the energy costs and simulates outdoor running. By setting the treadmill to a 1% grade, you offset the lack of wind resistance and the belt moving under you to make treadmill running the same effort as running outdoors. Research has also shown that your VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen that you can utilize during intense exercise) is the same when running on a treadmill compared to outside, which also supports that running on a treadmill is as effective as running outside.
Not a whole lot of other news to report from today. My car battery died, but luckily there was a Starbucks right across from where I was stranded. I think it was a sign.
Thankfully, Daniel is Mr. Fix-It, so he came to rescue me, jumped my car off and replaced my battery. I don’t know what I’d do without that man.