The Treadmill Ten

Heavy, cold run is not my ideal running weather. Photo by AlmazUK.

Heavy, cold rain is not my ideal running weather. Photo by AlmazUK.

I’m not a huge fan of running on treadmills. It’s also not something I’m good at which makes me like it even less. But when it’s 45 degrees outside and there is a steady, heavy, cold rain, I have to admit I’d rather run on the treadmill than in that weather. The trouble is that I’m on week 12 of training for the Richmond Marathon and I already lost one 7 mile day to the weather and my own schedule. The weekend called for 8 miles and 15 miles and I started agonizing over how I was going to make this happen as soon as I saw the forecast earlier in the week.

I had already planned to flop the 8 and 15 so that the 15 was on Saturday and the easy 8 would be on Sunday. I believe I’ve run 7 miles on a treadmill before but I literally couldn’t wrap my brain around doing 15. For the first Saturday in a very long time I did not have to set my alarm clock and I was able to just let my body sleep as long as it needed. And apparently I needed sleep; by the time I got to the gym it was 10:45 a.m.! I was headed to the gym thinking I’d shoot for 8 miles and if I could get to 15 that would be awesome; I decided to deal with the remaining miles as best I can on Sunday and if I don’t get to this week’s full 47 then I’ll just have to deal with that.

The only time I ever run with an iPod is at the gym so I had mine with the gym playlist my best friend made for me and was happy that my favorite treadmill was available. (It’s the little things!) The Precor Treadmill has an automatic max time of 60 minutes with a built-in 5 minute cool down. (Of course, not all treadmills are created equal and a great site called Run Reviews happens to review all different treadmills!) I assumed I’d run about 6 miles in that time at an easy pace and decided that when I had to start the machine over for the second round I’d try for another 60 minutes.

Treadmill Pace and Form

I did the first mile at a 10 minute pace to warm-up. Knowing I was going to be trying for 12 miles I didn’t want to go all out at my 9 minute pace and wanted to gradually increase speed. So with each mile I increased the speed one “up arrow” push at a time. By mile 4 I was at the 9:05 pace and stuck there until I got to 6 and then I went back down to a 10 minute pace to cool down before starting over. However, then I remembered I had another 5 minutes worth of built-in cool down time and when I looked at the machine thought I might be able to squeeze in a seventh mile so I increased the speed again. I ended at 6.85 miles on the first round, so close!

Throughout the first 6 miles I people watched, listened to my iPod, thought about what I needed at the grocery store, and thought about the dramatic difference between running indoor and outdoor. Pretty early on I decided I’d go to the bathroom in between run batches, just because I could. The gym’s bathroom was 50 feet from my treadmill, so why not? On an outdoor run I’d only hit the head if I absolutely had to.

The last time I wrote about treadmill running it was about proper treadmill form. I regret to say that I’ve made little improvement in my treadmill form. My iPod headphones were still in the way (should’ve worn my Gracie’s Gear top!) and at one point my arm hit them yanking the iPod off the machine so it dangled in between my legs. I guess I have strong earlobes because it didn’t disconnect from the earbuds! I definitely still run way to close to the front of the machine, so close that sometimes my stomach brushes the front where the emergency stop button is. I tried to notice how others around me positioned themselves and the girl next time was almost centered in her treadmill. I tried to let myself ease back and realized part of the reason I run so close to the front is because I’m afraid of flying off the back.

Despite the challenges of treadmill running, it was a decent opportunity to focus on other parts of running form. In the past, I recall looking at my footfalls often on the treadmill. This time I kept my head up and simply watched whatever was in front of me. I focused on keeping my shoulders down and back and the rest of my back straight as well. (As a side note, working on my posture overall is a new goal and it’s not easy.) I also tried to make sure I was keeping my hips in alignment with my body instead of letting my lower back round pushing my hips backward. I didn’t put any incline on the treadmill and I actually think that made it harder to maintain good posture while running. If I had a little bit of an incline it would have forced me to push my hips forward more.

Needless to say by the time I was starting the second round of running, I had plenty to think about. I let the Precor start at its automatic 60 minutes and set the pace to a 10 minute mile for the first mile. Toward the end of the first mile I started to feel uncomfortable and slowed it down to a crawling 11 minute pace. At that point I made the decision that I would get to 3.15 miles on this round to make the run an even 10 miles. More than the original intended 8 but not the full 15 on the schedule. After about 30 seconds at the 11 minute pace, I moved it up to 9:30, then 9:05, then back to 9:50–I was all over the place just trying to get comfortable. I also find that constantly adjusting speed helps time on the treadmill pass by faster. Finally I hit my self-imposed magic number and slowed the machine down to a cool down walk pace.

I wish I could have gone further but I think mentally I just psyched myself out. My iPod playlist was over, there were fewer people to watch, and all I could think about was getting off the treadmill. I know for a fact that I can run farther than 10 miles but when I’m doing a long run outside I can’t quit. If I quit, I won’t get home. On the treadmill, the motivation to just keep going is much harder for me to find. The good news is that now I know I can do 10 miles on the treadmill so maybe next time I’ll shoot for a couple more. Or, maybe the rain will stop and I can just head out the front door.

How far have you run on the treadmill? What keeps you going? I’m sure this won’t be the only rainy weekend in the history of marathon or triathlon training so any tips or advice you have on how to power through indoor work-outs is more than welcome!

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40 thoughts on “The Treadmill Ten

  1. Amber

    10 miles on the treadmill is great!! The farthest I’ve ever gone on the treadmill is 5. Ha, I would actually rather run in the pouring rain (which I did this morning) than run on the treadmill for any farther then 5 or 6 miles!! Good job getting 10 in, though. I’ve heard it helps some people to watch TV?

    Reply
  2. Natalie Post author

    Amber, thanks for checking out the blog. 5 is much more reasonable on a treadmill! What’s your trick for running in the pouring rain? I think I have the right pants, but not sure about the jacket and/or how to keep rain out of my eyes. Maybe it’s just one of those things you deal with?

    Reply
  3. jodie

    The most I have run on the treadmill is 5.5 miles. My goal is 6 miles. 10 miles is awesome. Not sure if this happens to anyone else but the first mile to mile and half is tough, but after that I can run and run. Any tips to help me improve?

    Love your blog by the way.

    Reply
  4. Julie

    The longest I have ever run on a DREADmill is 9 miles. it was not weather driven but schedule. I forgot my earphones but borrowed a set [cleaned in sanitary foam... ewwwwwwwww] I watched the sun come up and the old folks come to socialize. I HATE running indoors and have equipped myself with what seems to work via rain/cold. I have rain pants and a jacket. I layer tights and tech. stuff under the jacket so I can UNlayer if it stops and I get too warm. I slather my face w/ lots of moisture to help w/ the cold but NOT my forehead so it doesn’t sweat into my eyes if it does warm up. A baseball cap w/ brim seems to help; and I have used duct tape over the tp of my shoe mesh.. RUN LIKE THE WIND, not into it ;)

    Reply
  5. Natalie Post author

    @jodie, you can definitely do that last 1/2 mile to get to 6! :) I think the treadmill is all mental. I agree that the first mile or so can be brutal but I think if you try to not look at your time or distance, only the speed, that it might help take your mind off how far you’ve gone and how long you have left to go. I think a good playlist is also critical!

    @julie, DREADmill, love it! So true. I’m feeling motivated for this rain run. I’m supposed to do 22 miles this weekend and prefer to do it Saturday morning which has a 70% chance of rain. I will dig out the duct tape, go by a jacket and hat, and just DO IT!

    Reply
  6. Julie

    10 miles on the tm is great! Great job. I live in Michigan where ice and snow combined with it being dark out keeps me inside on the treadmill a lot over the winter months. I will run outside during the weekends when I can go when it’s light, but do most of my weekday runs inside. I can relate to what you are saying about it being easier to quit inside than outside. Since the longest I’ve ever done on the tm is 5 miles, I don’t have much advice for those long runs other than I find it helpful to add new songs to my playlist and keep it on shuffle so I don’t know what song is coming next. I will sometimes change my pace depending on the song, or change the incline and speed – like you said, that helps to keep it interesting. For my shorter runs I found doing quarter mile repeats helps.

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  7. Laura

    Julie, I really enjoy reading your posts. It’s nice to know others share the same issues. I moved from a sunny state to a very rainy one (Oregon) and had to adjust my running. The treadmill idea was not met with enthusiasm, but after a few miserable runs outside I began to really appreciate the gym. I have since done many, many training runs on the treadmill, even 22 miles. I love that I can just stop if I’m having a horrible run. That I’m not stuck far from home, cold, and hurting (been there.) I also like that I have access to water, sports drinks, a bathroom (even a shower if things get real messy) and help if I need it. It is much easier to pace myself, as the machine does it for me, and I can push myself knowing exactly how fast I’m running. The one aspect that is challenging is the mental part. Boredom is a factor. But there are T. V. s that distract me, my music, other people, and I play games with the speed at regular intervals to make the time pass faster. If all else fails, I imagine myself at a race, winning of course :), and that occupies me. The treadmill keeps weather from sabotaging my planned runs. The other plus I realized is, it is much easier on my knees and kinder on all my joints than the regular pounding of streets. It can be a great tool to add to your training regimen. If you can do 10 miles on one, you can do any distance. Good luck!

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  8. Mark

    Good writing on this topic! I felt your pain as you wrote about long treadmill runs. I’ve run up to 40 minutes or so as a new runner this year, and I can say for sure that motivating the mind… distracting it, is the key to sustaining runs in a controlled environment. I am a psychologist and mental health counselor, and I know that if you could somehow create and build a movie soundstage with a treadmill, to ensure yourself new sights, sounds, smells, feeling in your feet, wind shifts, etc., as you are running like we get from outside running, then you could create a more “real” experience and could go indefinitely inside without any trouble. But instead the body and mind adapts to consistent sensory information, the speed of the treadmill, the feel of the air inside the gym. The mind is a funny thing, and stops paying attention to this information and starts to focus elsewhere. This is where your people watching is very good, because the people are likley always different and have slme slight differences which attract your attention.

    My problem has sometimes been that about 15-20 minutes, the idea pops into my head “maybe if I stop this nonsense (who invented running, anyway?) I would feel some relief by slowing down or walking”. Then I have to literally start using the treadmill experience as a meditation, forcing focus on a particular leg muscle, and then letting that go… then force-focusing my attention on my breath, and then moving to another sensory experience, doing a prayer exercise such as mentally repeating words, etc. At some point then my motivation returns and I find that I’m approaching 30 minutes, and at that point I’m now rounding the corner in my mind towards finishing up at 40 or 45 minutes. The ipod works well, and probably some talking podcasts would be good to break up the mind’s focus (humor ones or perhaps running/fitness ones (know any good ones?)

    -Mark

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  9. Natalie Post author

    What a great thread we have going! @Laura, I’m super impressed with the distances you’ve done on the treadmill and also very motivated. You’re an inspiring runner and it just goes to show that what you put your mind to, you can do. Which leads me to @Mark–the psychological aspect of this must indeed be fascinating. I love the idea of recreating the outdoor senses on an indoor treadmill; that would be ideal! I also like your suggestion to pay attention to specific muscles and sensory experiences while running. I’ve not downloaded podcasts yet, but if I get there a couple on my list will be from NPR; the Diane Rehm show and Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me. Possibly also Car Talk for entertainment value. If the book “Once a Runner” was available for download, that might be a good one as well.

    Reply
  10. Erik

    Nice article! I did the EXACT same thing in regards to running on the Precor treadmill with the 60-minute time limit. Luckily, there is one treadmill that has no time limit at all. I run at an easy pace, like yourself, and it’s all about patience and form on the treadmill. You can learn to ‘relax’ and run easy, but fast with good form. It’s always nice to be the ‘smooth’ one on the treadmill.

    Fortunately, I live in Daytona Beach, Fla., and don’t face as many weather-related challenges. Good luck and keep on running.

    Erik

    Reply
  11. Natalie Post author

    @Erik, thanks for checking out the blog! This is a popular topic and it looks like everyone has a similar approach to treadmill running but it requires that focus (and good music) to really make the most of it. Happy running to you!

    Reply
  12. Taz

    I recently moved from LA to Philly & needless to say, the weather is a HUGE adjustment. I also decided to train for my 1st marathon(LA Marathon) in March. I hate the treadmill as everyone does, but it is a necessary evil if I want to avoid cold & snow. Any suggestions on how to best simulate the uneven terrain of running outdoors on the treadmill? I’ve been using a 1.0 grade incline, but wonder if this is sufficient. I foresee a good portion of my training being on the treadmill because I am not a cold-adverse weather runner(yet). Any advice would be great!

    Reply
  13. Natalie Post author

    Taz, congrats on your move despite the weather shock. There are tons of great races on the East Coast and many in the Philly area so hopefully you’ll enjoy running on this side of the country just as much as in LA soon enough. Though it’s tough, I’d suggest slowly building up your tolerance to running outside in the cold. Lots of people do it and the right layers can make it bearable. I don’t think you can mimic the outdoor terrain on a treadmill but I do know you have to compensate for not having any wind in your face or the uneven terrain. Adding incline and speed will help, but I’d increase your incline even more. Add .5-1 grade each mile (depending on how many miles you’re doing) or switch between a 1 and 2-3 grade incline every other mile, anything to build your endurance against different resistance. There’s a lot of great info in the comments here as well on how to deal with longer treadmill work-outs. It boils down to playing with incline and speed and having a good playlist! Good luck in your training and with your first marathon!

    Reply
  14. Jessica

    I recently found this website while trying to find an answer for what to do this weekend for our planned long run. My husband and I are training for a marathon in April, and we are scheduled for 15 miles however, it is suppose to snow 18-24 inches making outdoors impossible! We ran outdoors last weekend in 4-5 inches (only 8miles), and it was harder than the 13.1 we did the week before. We have been toying with the idea of breaking up the 15 between a few runs on Saturday and Sunday on a treadmill…does anyone have any other suggestions? I can’t even begin fathom 15 on a treadmill! Would breaking up the run into 2-3 smaller runs still be beneficial? I definitely do want to skip a long run if I can avoid it…

    Reply
  15. Natalie Post author

    Jessica,
    Thanks for checking out the blog! As you can see, there are lots of people that deal with the same challenge and all sorts of creative ways to power through treadmill running. I’ve read in Runner’s World before that you can indeed do a series of shorter runs in lieu of a long run. It’s not something you’d want to do all the time, but in a pinch it is better than nothing. Missing one long run this early in your training definitely won’t be the end of the world. I’m in the same boat as you with the snow; puts a cramp in the schedule for sure!

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  16. Ronald Joseph

    Running on the treadmill to me is ALL MENTAL because you can become bored very easily. Make sure u have music and a T.V. in front of you and whatever you do don’t watch the clock on the treadmill. A few months ago I did 22 miles on a treadmill in 3 hours and 40 minutes (10 minutes per mile) but I didn’t run the full 22 it was more like I ran 18 and walked 4 (3000 calories burned @ 180 lbs). Ppl in my gym think I’m a track star because I can run 8 miles in an hour easily. Only if they knew it’s not that hard once you get use to it. I haven’t run in 28 days because I’ve been using this machine called the arch trainer and I burn 3x the amount of cals as I do on the tradmill. 8 miles in an hour on the treadmill @ 180lbs I will burn 1080 cals. 1 hour on the arch trainer @ full speed I will burn 33 to 3500 cals. I once did 2 hours on it and burned 7,000 cals (half hour break in between to stretch).

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  17. Ronald Joseph

    Also u can cheat on the treadmill as well. Odwalla makes a drink called “Monster B Vitamins” it’s a complex B Vitamin drink. One serving is 8 oz. In that 1 serving some of the B Vitamins DV% is 360%!!! I drink a 8 oz. A half hour b4 I run and the other 8 oz. Halfway thru the run. B Vitamins give you massive amounts of energy!!

    Reply
  18. mizzougal1981

    The most I’ve ran is a long 8 miles!! I still can’t believe I was able to complete 8. I watched tv, people watched, made a grocery list up in my head, picked out clothes for the day in my head. I basically did anything possible to stop thinking about running 8 miles. I’m running the half in April so I think I’m way ahead of the game. Today its snowy and icy out so I probably will do my short run again on a treadmill to avoid slipping on ice and breaking a leg!

    Reply
  19. lauren

    My longest was 20 miles on a treadmill. NOT fun. My marathon is in April and this weather is terrible. I hate the cold, and would really really not like to run when theres snow on the ground! So, i guess its 20 miles on a treadmill for me!

    Reply
  20. Natalie Post author

    @lauren, you’re a maniac! Good for you on those 20 miles. Just goes to show how mental training is. If it’s on the schedule, it gets done. I’m in the same boat right now–there is no place safe to run outside between the snow and black ice so treadmill runs is the only way to go. Cannot wait for spring. Good luck in your marathon!

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Riding & Running in the Rain | Weather Or Not to Work-out in Inclement Weather | Health and Running

  22. Leonardo

    I ran 10.5 miles yesterday. That’s my record, but I’m dead nervous for my first 1/2 marathon in October :S

    Reply
    1. Anneli Lambeth

      good luck!! you’ll do great… i did my first ever half in april… so i remember how happy i was when i did my first 10 miler.. it was in march sometime. Since then ive done 3 more halfs. Running and racing is soo addicting. Don’t worry..i really feel like 10 miles is a big milestone.. your in the double digits!.. you can tack on the last few no problem!

      Reply
  23. Alejandro Becerra

    I’m a beginner runner. Started December of 2010. When I first started I was only able to run for about 10 min then I would become winded at a 10 min per mile pace. About an hour ago I ran 6 miles on the tread mill. Second time I do it. Each time I run I’ve been getting better. I ran 6 miles in the time of 57 min. That was freakin hard lol A technique I use to keep my mind busy and off the time is treating other runners around me on the treadmills as if I was racing them. Or I tell myself things like ” this is your life right here Alex! You must outrun that guy who just got on the treadmill! This shows wether your a winner or a loser! Hit your Mark! It’s life or death! etc” I manage to psyche myself out, It’s kind of extreme, but it works for me lol As I read all of these comments, it puts perspective on how much more distance i need to train and be able to run. I wanna run a marathon in March, anyone think it’s possible for me to be able to run the whole 26 miles with 3 months of self training??? Anyone have any tips??

    Reply
  24. Natalie Post author

    Alejandro, welcome to running! It sounds like you have figured out some of the fun of running early on. It’s an amazing personal challenge and psyching yourself up is all part of making each run ‘yours’ if that makes sense. I think it’s great you’ve gotten into running but I have to be brutally honest that doing a marathon this early on may not be your best move for a long and healthy running career. That is not to say it can’t be done. But it also can’t hurt to try a 5k, 10k, 10-miler, half marathon–any of those will give you a taste of a race environment which I think is important perspective to have before you set out to run a marathon. Again, having race experience is also not mission critical but I think it will help contribute to a more positive first marathon experience. Check out http://www.marathonrookie.com. They have half and full marathon training plans for beginner runners…but you’ll notice the 26.2 mile plan is 16 weeks. I hope this helps and good luck in whatever running endeavors you choose!

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  25. Anand

    I ran my longest yesterday – 7 miles in 58:55. I have always run on a treadmill. I like to set-up mini targets – as in –> I do my first mile at about 9:30, then I increase the pace gradually – 7.3 mph – run for 5 minutes, 7.4 mph – run for 6 minutes, 7.5 mph – run for 7 minutes – and then gradually reduce pace by 0.1 mph over 5 minute spans. Setting up mini targets helped an hour of running go by easily. I started running a few months ago. I couldn’t go 3 miles when I started.

    I used a similar technique when I did a swimmathon – swam for 12 straight hours for 20.55 kms. But that was when I used to be 20. I’m 30 today, but boy have I fallen in love with running.

    Reply
  26. Libby

    hey, so I saw this article, the best way to get a solid run in on the treadmill is to start of by doing Farklet training for 5mi, then see how much further you can take it. I’m an XC runner in high school, top 5 of my DI team, and this advice is coming from my coach. Honestly, I would have never listened to him before until I saw my race times improve by following his training methods. He told me that swimming techniques (such as water jogging) could improve form and stamina out on the course. But happy running to all of you :)

    Reply
  27. alex

    So Im a 36 yo guy. I have a pin in my left femur after a motorcycle crash when I was 21. The docs told me Id never walk again when it happened. I was in hospital for 1 year and 1 day.

    Fast forward – I run 40-50 miles on the treadmill most weeks. My furthest distance is 17 miles which was a little dull but I wear Saucony Hattori’s for my treadmill runs and they make it much easier for me than conventional Nike’s for example. The biggest problem I get is forgetting to put anything on my nips and they bleed. Half the time I only have to stop as they really chaff against my shirt!!

    I like to keep things nice and constant during the main part of the run. If my aim is 7.7 mph average over an hour (about my ave time) then I do the first 5 miles at 7mph, the 6th at 8mph, the 7th mile I increase by 0.1 mph each tenth of a mile and then the last half mile as fast as I can.

    Yes I know lots of people say I should run outside but for me, I need the consistency of a treadmill as with my femur still being fragile due to my intensive workouts (I also train with my PT 4 days a week plus row another 25 miles a week) and I also have IT band problems.

    My aim is to do 3 miles in sub 17 mins and for that Im doing intense interval training. Im also training for a sub 5 min treadmill mile. Im at 5.24 presently but Ill get there sometime in the next few months I hope. I can do a half mile in pro-rate 4.57 so just need to keep it up :)

    Reply
  28. Natalie Post author

    Anand–GREAT tips! Mini-goals add up for sure, help pass the time and ultimately help increase speed by adding as you go. Every little bit counts.

    Libby–thanks for adding your advice, sounds like you have some good first hand experience. Hope you’ve had a good season and keep on running!

    Alex–quite simply, ‘good on ya.’ You inspire!

    Reply
  29. Kara

    I’m glad I found this post … I’m training for my first marathon in October (Portland Marathon) and am scheduled for 14 mi. tomorrow, but the heat/humidity is unbearable this week (in Virginia Beach, VA), especially with asthma. I’ve done some of my short runs on the treadmill but never a long run and am … well … scared. I’m 30 and have only been running for a year. I have not been successful at increasing my min./mi. (average 13-14 min./mi.) … I’m a pretty slow runner. Reading these posts has given me some ideas for my run tomorrow. Thank you all.

    Reply
  30. Anneli Lambeth

    The longest ive ever run period is 13.2, halfmarathon and the first time i ever ran the distance was when i was training for my first halfmarathon, and i did it first on the treadmill. Then i ran it outside. I have discovered after doing many long runs on the treadmill (forced by harsh syracuse, ny winters) that there are defintely benefits to a treadmill!! Although I lovee to run outside, I am a wimp when i comes to bad weather i’m not gonna lie. What i found after last winter running for 3 months inside on the treadmill is that my stance and form improved tremendously! Running on the treadmill forces me to pay more attention to my form because i psychologically feel like when i adjust myself i can actually complete 12 or 13 on the treadmill. The other thing is that you appreciate an outside run like its GODSENT after 3 months indoors.

    Reply
  31. rpk

    Nice blog. I’ve done some long TM runs over the years, forced by various tough weather conditions: extremely hot and humid, freezing with icy sidewalks, darkness, etc. Even being on business travel and not really knowing where to run long. I’ve done up to 18 miles on the ‘mill. I don’t mind running long if there’s a tv and, preferably, some sports on. Then it can become a game … How many miles can I run before half-time, etc. Some times I’ve watched a basketball game and run at different paces while the game clock is running, when the clock is stopped, and during commercial breaks — just to break the monotony. Perhaps I’m a total geek.

    Reply
  32. jeremy

    I have a huge fan of the treadmill for one reason. I am stationed in Iraq and the summer heat was 125 midday. So I started running and running. I have never had any treadmill issues, in Dec210 I ran a half at 1.57, then 1.44, then 1.36. So I started increasing my runs and hit 18 when my wife said might as well got for it, so 3 weeks ago (8AUG) I ran my 26.2, AKA Hamster Marathon in 3 1/2 hours. I continue to run on the treadmill but now run outdoors twice a week in hopes of running the Honolulu Marathon in Dec when I return from Iraq. I watch the news, movies and music on my ipad, bring gel packs, and water. I like the fact that I can distance run and provide my own support. I use a life fitness treadmill.
    Cheers,
    Jeremy

    Reply
  33. Natalie Post author

    Jeremy, I am honored that you read this blog and all the comments and thank you for sharing your story! More importantly, thank you for serving our country. Your determination and focus to carry out 26.2 on a treadmill is beyond admirable and you achieved quite the PR! I will be running the Marine Corps Marathon in DC this fall and look forward to honoring all the men and women like yourself who serve the USA. I can only hope to run that race with as much focus as you have had training in Iraq. I am sure you will have the warmest welcome home and a rewarding marathon experience in Honolulu. Good luck!

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  34. troy

    The most I have run on a TM is 16 miles!!!! I was out of the country and in the middle of marathon training. Running outside was not an option at all given the situation. I HAD to do my LR on the TM. Every 6 miles ( i.e an hour), the TM would stop ( as it was programmed that way). Finished in a little less than than 2 hrs 40 min. The folks at the gym probably thought I was nuts!!! The hardest was the first hour when I still had so many miles to do. It got better after that. It made me stronger, mentally for sure.

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  35. Charlotte

    I just googled “7 mile treadmill run will i hate myself afterwards?” and your article was the first to pop up. And thank goodness it did! I generally hate running on treadmills, but the famous portland dreariness/annoying intermittent rain has finally hit, so I figured I better give it a try. I used to be only a short distance runner (2-4 miles) but recently I’ve been training for a half-marathon. Today I’m doing my longest run so far- 7 miles- and since the rain started I’ve been agonizing over just how frustrating the run will be on the treadmill. But your blog post gave me a little hope that it mostly is mental and I’m going to take this as a challenge!

    As far as treadmill distractions, nothing makes my runs more enjoyable than listening to NPR’s This American Life on my ipod. It occupies your mind in a really positive, intellectual way. (Although I love running with music too!)

    Reply
  36. Benn

    The farthest I’ve done on a treadmill is 24 miles in about 4 hours. I relied on a couple good books and some neat shows to watch on the computer. One thing I would stress about trying to complete long runs on the treadmill, is you usually have to slow your pace down a bit compared to outside. Run by effort and don’t be afraid to adopt a Galloway approach of running/walk ratio of 3:1 or 4:1

    Reply
  37. Joshua Reznik

    When I ran the Chicago Marathon for the 2nd time last year, I did almost all of my long runs (e.g two 20 milers and one 23 miler) on my treadmill. I had a very fast/specific goal pace in mind (e.g. 7:15 per mile / 3:15 marathon time) and the treadmill allows for tremendous focus and no break in pace except for the occasional change of socks, a new towel or switch in water bottles. My wife thinks/knows I am crazy, but the discipline gained was well worth the effort and a 3:20 finish.

    Reply

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