Do you train on a treadmill?

So I’ve made my hate for the treadmill pretty obvious here, even though most of my runs lately have been on the treadmill (yay for convenience/not smelling car fumes/not having to cross streets every 2 minutes/not dealing with crowded sidewalks/having the AC on/not having to carry water/not having to deal with hot and humid weather outside).

Anyway, despite all of that, I still hate the treadmill.  4 miles or so has been my limit, I can never seem to get past that.

But Denise just posted how she ran a 20 miler on a treadmill.  No news there:  I know a lot of bloggers who train on treadmills, including for long runs, and have a friend who trained for a marathon exclusively on the treadmill (thanks to the Snowmageddon of 2010).  And I think they’re all nuts.

But Denise made a good point:  “Everyone thinks I’m nuts but I’m telling you, nothing builds mental toughness like a 20 miler on the treadmill!!”


When she puts it like that it makes total sense.  Of course, I’d pick the beautiful C&O Canal any day for my long runs, but it does a lot more for mental distraction than mental toughness.

For those of you who train on the treadmill do you also find that it helps with mental toughness more than training on roads/trails do?


Filed under Runs, Treadmill Run

8 responses to “Do you train on a treadmill?

  1. That is a really interesting point that I’d never considered. I hate treadmills, all but maybe five of my runs have been outdoors. Does that mental toughness translate to outside? Sounds like a fun challenge for you to find out!! 🙂

  2. I trained for my first half marathon exclusively on the treadmill and so I think my longest run on one was maybe 12 miles? If I have something good to watch, I really don’t mind it. Especially watching a movie or a sporting event (preferably football)…for me, the time will FLY. But in my gym the cardio room has 4 TVs and we generally can’t control the channels (without asking staff, which I don’t like to do) so it’s a little more hit or miss. I’ve done a few ‘mill runs with no music or no TV (the TVs were out/being worked on) and THOSE were hell. I would like to have a treadmill at home but don’t want to worry about the maintenance.

    • At least my old gym had individual TV’s in each treadmill, with cable. Honestly, I hated that, because it blocked my view of the basketball court, which was my distraction before then. With the TV, I’d be fumbling with the channels too long, finally give up and settle on something I didn’t really want to watch, and stare at the time until it was over.

      At home I’ve been using that treadmill DVD and music, but I’m going to try watching movies next to see if I can get into it. I haven’t tried it yet!

  3. vadoporroesq

    We have a treadmill (a friend gave it to us) and I can’t run on it for more than a mile. I’m sure it would build unbelievable mental toughness, and I’m planning to use it for marathon training, but I’m not there yet.

  4. Jessica

    I’ve been thinking about training on a treadmill, in part because my half marathon is going to be in FL, where it will be WAY warmer than DC (especially in December/January, when I’ll be doing the longer runs). But… the trail… is RIGHT THERE.

    Ugh. Long runs… on… the… treadmill…..

    • Ugh yeah, going from cold running weather to warm will be tough (I might hate the cold, but I take running in the cold any day over heat!). I have heard that sometimes it’s cold at the Disney marathon though (I think a couple of years ago they even had problems with water freezing?), so fingers crossed it’ll be freezing? Or maybe wear too many layers so you’ll overheat in the winter? (Or is that just dumb?)

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