Treadmill Running

Let’s just get this out of the way first:


Treadmill Royalty Free Stock Photo(

There, feel better already.  But seriously, people actually run on these things all winter without losing their minds???  I have done three treadmill runs this winter and have not enjoyed a single moment.  This is definitely not one of those things that will get better as I get used to it.  Quite frankly it gets worse each time.  I managed 9 km the first time, the next two times only 7 km.  Each time I felt like I had been running for hours.  To top it off I run slower on a treadmill, so even short runs seem to last forever.  And it is hot in a gym, really, really hot. If you can bear with me, a couple more complaints.  The treadmills I use (I bought a 10 pack pass for the local rec centre) don’t have fans.  I need a fan, I probably need an industrial fan come to think of it but I would take a little one.  The t.v’s are very high on the wall and off to one side of the machine.  I feel like my head is tipping backwards and as I turn slightly to see it I am afraid I will leave the centre of the track and fall.  So instead I am stuck looking out the windows that overlook the gym space.  Last time I watched kids climb the rock wall.  This time I watched a Muslim prayer service.  Either way I feel like I am watching an event without an invitation.

Today when I was taking one of my many walk breaks (did I mention it was freakin’ hot???) a guy came up to me and asked if my calves tightened up.  I was wearing my compression socks so I thought he was wondering about them.  When I said I never have any issues his reply was, “Oh, because you really run on your toes, even when you aren’t running that quickly.”  Huh?  Not sure how to take that one.  And what did he mean when he said I wasn’t running very quickly? I replied that I have always been a forefoot runner and don’t have any problems.  I assume he wanted to be helpful and was ready to give me advice as to how to change my gait.  Personally I can’t really imagine asking a complete stranger that question but maybe that is just me.  Afterwards I did wish that I had replied by saying, “No, they only get a bit tight in the last few kms of a marathon,” just in case he thought I was a total beginner.

After that I was thrown off a little.  I wasn’t sure if he returned to a machine behind me (for all I know he works there?) and all I could think of is this stranger is analyzing my gait.  Then I started thinking about the fact that maybe I was up on my toes too much.  And wait, maybe my calves are tightening with each step!  Of course they weren’t, but I was so self aware that instead of just feeling my usual treadmill awkwardness (not a km goes by without me picturing myself flying off the machine), I was now feeling like I had become the picture of bad treadmill running form.

So why am I running on a treadmill?  Since the 10 pack was a fairly cheap option and the centre is only 5 minutes from work , I figured it might be worth it for those days that are just too cold or slippery.  My other thought was that maybe by running once in a while indoors I would find the transition to warmer weather easier come spring.  Today was -25 degrees with the windchill (a temperature I don’t really mind) but with significant wind gusts.  I am tired of fighting the wind or trying to find routes to hide from the it.  I thought indoors would be a good alternative.  Honestly, I wish I had stuck with the wind!

6 thoughts on “Treadmill Running

  1. Rebecca@RunningFoodBaby

    So weird that someone would comment on your running. Personally, I find that my running gait changes a bit on the treadmill. I definitely feel more wobbly! I would never even think about commenting on someones running style while they were using the treadmill – even the one guy that I saw who was literally running on the very edge of the treadmill.

    I’m really hating this cold today – and it looks like it is going to be cold all week 🙁 I can not stand more than 6K on the treadmill, and I really need to suck it up and get outside

    1. kristi Post author

      This has definitely been a cold month. But it is almost over and hopefully there will be some ideal running weather in February!

  2. Mike @ 3 Cheap Runners

    I can’t stand the treadmill either…I’ll take the cold any day. So long as you dress for it, it isn’t too bad…just need to avoid the wind like you said.
    I have seen guys running at the gym with some easily corrected bad habits (T-Rex arms for example), but I don’t think I would ever say anything to them unless they asked for my advice.

    1. kristi Post author

      Heading out this afternoon for a run, currently -25 with the wind chill but I figure it will be better than the treadmill (and no one analyzing my running gait!)

  3. Emma

    Brr, I’m thinking the dog will be getting a short walk today, the sunshine pouring in my patio door is deceptively lovely. I’m prettyused to the treadmill by now, but my worst experience was the day the gym decided to tune all the TV’s to news as the pope had resigned and was leaving office. “This is a historic moment, the Pope is getting into a helicopter, the Pope has never done this before! Now the Pope is flying over Rome!” And on and on and on…..

    1. kristi Post author

      One of the times I was at the gym the t.v was showing darts…because watching something incredibly boring will make your boring treadmill run more interesting maybe?
      Still trying to get myself out the door today…


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