Thursday, March 17, 2022

Treadmills: A Love/Hate/Hate Relationship

Timer selfie on the treadmill.
I said it. I hate treadmills and try to avoid them at all costs. Last week, I was at a hotel during a snow storm. The snow itself didn't prevent me from wanting to run outside (I did pack my thermal running gear) but not being familiar with the area did give me pause. So I decided to try the treadmill in the hotel's fitness center.

I currently have access to the Peleton app and have actually been enjoying their outdoor runs. If you haven't tried them, the outdoor runs are audio-only workouts where they have a themed playlist of songs and an instructor guiding you through intervals while providing tips and motivation. This time, I tried one of the actual treadmill workouts because even though the hotel treadmill was obviously not a Peleton treadmill, the workouts are designed to work with any generic equipment. I put my phone on the little platform and realized immediately why I always hate treadmills. Looking down at the screen hurt my neck immediately and made me a little dizzy within the first few minutes. 

How I reconnected the TV.

That's when I realized that there was no one else in the fitness center and I was there for a technology meeting. Being the resourceful technology specialist that I am, I'm always prepared... to break things. Just kidding, but I did start messing around with the hotel's television on the wall. I disconnected the HDMI cable from their cable box and plugged in my computer. Presto. Now my computer's display was showing on the television which was at the perfect location and height for the treadmill.

The first day when I arrived at the hotel, I tried one of the walk workouts. It was actually kind of interesting to follow along because it wasn't just walking. They had you turn the treadmill slower and then walk sideways with a hop step at one point. The next morning I went back down to run before my meetings started. I again was alone so I disconnected the television again to use it for myself.

Now for the interesting part. As you've seen in previous posts, I now have a Garmin watch. One of the options on the fitness tracking app is treadmill. I assume this is because running on a treadmill won't track with a GPS since your location is not changing. I would think it's tracking the heartrate and steps. However, if it is tracking the steps I need to figure out how to calibrate it correctly. When I finished the one-hour running workout, my Garmin said that I ran almost six miles in an hour. If you know me, you would know that this is impossible. Maybe on a good day I can get to five miles in an hour, but there has never been a run longer than one mile where I averaged under twelve minutes. So to see a ten-minute average is impossible. More so when you see my "fastest" mile was a 7:41 split. I look forward to the day when all my hard training gets me close to a ten-minute mile, but I know I'm not there yet.

So what's the love/hate/hate relationship mentioned in this post's title? Well, I still hate treadmills but perhaps having something ahead of me at eye level reduces that dizziness that I normally feel because I wasn't just staring at a blank spot on the wall. I still hate running without going anywhere because I like looking around as I run and taking in the scenery along with the smells of nature as I move. However, I do love that it thinks I went faster because seeing those numbers definitely motivated me to keep trying to reach those speeds legitimetly.