In Praise of the Treadmill (Especially for the Very Out of Shape Like Me)

Ahh the dreadmill, the subject of ridicule and scorn across the running community, how I love you. Let me count the ways.

You’re no excuses easy.

I am the very busy father of two young kids and anything that creates friction between me and a workout is a potential barrier. In my circumstances, with a treadmill available in the basement gym of my apartment building, it is by far the easiest way to get in a run. I know somewhere David Goggins is shaking his head, but for me, right now, easy is important. No need to check the weather, no need to worry if I’m over dressing or underdressing, gloves or no gloves. Just put on a pair of shorts and my running shoes and I’m there.

Yes, as my marathon training deepens and I get into longer runs, I’ll be headed outside (training for a marathon exclusively on a treadmill is a dumb dumb move) but for now, when it’s cold, and it’s dark and I am slow, slow slow, I’m loving it.

You allow for dialed-in consistency

As I mentioned before, above everything else in my running I’m interested in increasing my aerobic capacity. I’ll be doing that by “running” almost exclusively in Zone 2. When you’re as out of shape as I am, that isn’t an easy thing, especially on the uneven ground of a Prospect Park loop. You’re consistently getting out of Z2 and then having to slow way down to a walk to get back in the zone, and then spiraling out again as soon as you get moving. It’s much easier to spend a consistent period of time in Z2 when you’re on the mill. Just watch the monitor and adjust the speed minimally to keep the desired heart rate. 

Again, as I get fitter, it’ll be easier to stay in Z2. When will that be? I’m not sure, certainly at least a couple of months away, possibly far longer. 

You’re not nearly as boring as they say

You want boring? Try reading IRS regulations sometime. If you’re a busy dad like me, the treadmill is a respite, an oasis, where you can watch House of the Dragon with the perfectly reasonable justification that you’re getting in shape. 

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  1. arilevine

    Great place to watch Seinfeld!

    1. seanv2


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