There are people in this world who swear by treadmills, and while I mean no offense by this, I assume they’re the same kinds of people who swear by lima beans and child trafficking and cats.
I realize running on treadmills has its benefits – pacing, convenience, climate and built-in Property Brothers marathons if you time it right – but for me, with the exception of my Liz Lemoniest moments, I’ve never seen the appeal.
I could spout a list of Runner’s World-approved problems with treadmills, from the lack of wind resistance to the disintegration of proper running form, but my problem with treadmills doesn’t actually have a thing to do with biometrics: I’m just scared to death of them. I fell on one once as a child goofing off in a department store, and just the sight of them brings back memories of skinned knees and the faint smell of scorched rubber. Not my fondest memory. (This is.)
Fortunately, with my apartment situated just blocks from 843 acres of city-owned park and the vast majority of this winter’s snowfall arriving on my already-scheduled rest days, I haven’t had to step foot on the old belt-o-fear for twelve months and counting.
Flash forward to Monday night – or two days before the start of spring – when I arrived home at night to find this blanketing my neighborhood:
The next morning, I had three miles on the schedule, and with a solid inch of slush still lining the sidewalks of the Upper East Side, I vowed to do the unthinkable: I decided to run those miles on the treadmill instead.
As I bundled up, trudged to the gym, de-booted and made my way up to the cardio studio, my apprehension grew. You’re terrified of treadmills! I thought. What are you doing, woman?! I looked at my old elliptical friend longingly, then stepped onto the treadmill, cranked the speed up to 7.0 and prepared to get over my years-long fear of the running
The first 10 seconds were fine. The second 10 seconds were fine. Then the third 10 seconds saw the treadmill suddenly lurch forward and convulse, throwing me off the back and onto the lap of the startled rower directly behind me. “Hmm, must be broken. That usually doesn’t happen,” the personal trainer walking by me said. Really? That usually doesn’t happen? What other pearls of wisdom can you offer?
He kindly unplugged the machine and donned it with an “out of order” sign, and then suggested I grab one of the other free treadmills to continue my workout. I laughed.
Luckily, Sir Elliptical was still going stag, so I picked up my headphones, backed away from the treadmills and decided once and for all: when it comes to workout routines, perhaps you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.
Or maybe you can.
Are you a treadmill runner? What do you see as the benefits? Handsy dude on the rowing machine, I already know you’re a fan.