It’s the first (now second) day of winter. As a runner in the northern hemisphere, I am happy for the first day of winter because it means it might actually snow soon. Plus, it means early morning daylight is on the horizon. Until either one if these magical events happen, I will carry on, plodding my way through winter on a treadmill.
Almost every runner hates their treadmill. I think hate is a strong word but wouldn’t bestow a BFF title on my treadmill either. I don’t hate the treadmill because I have learned there are ways to make a treadmill run smiley.
Treadmill Method #421
(I like choosing random three digit numbers to number my methods because it insinuates that I have more than a thousand different ideas, and I just pulled a random idea out of a hat for today’s post.) First off, when I want to run four or five miles, I am not obliged to run them consecutively. Second, being able to listen to music while running on the treadmill eases the agony of running into the oblivion. Although I list music as a runner-up, listening to music is really treadmill method #1. However, method #421 is a modification of method #1 so music gets secondary billing under this particular method.
How Method #421 Was Developed
The hotel had a “cardio” room instead of a fitness room. I asked where the fitness room was and was corrected with “cardio” room making me wonder who sued them over that terminology. Tomato tomahto as long as the room included a treadmill.
The hotel employee led me to the ‘restricted’ area of the hotel. The sign on the door stated “Employees Only”. My first glance was of a dimly lit room. It was narrower than a regular guest room but wider than a standard closet. There were no windows, clocks, or pictures. A treadmill, a stationary bicycle, a stair master, and an armchair were lined up one in front of the other. I suppose armchair quarterbacks come here for their super bowl preparations? The “cardio” room was a pinch creepy but functional.
As a rule, I spend the warm-up period gleaning a method to keep the treadmill from extracting my spirit. Acknowledging my dour surroundings, I opted for a less routine method, #287, referred to as non consecutive miles. It’s perfect for when I need mental breaks through that hour’s length of time. I would fill the gaps with push-ups.
Love Shack by B-52s was pounding in my earbuds at the leading break. I was into the tune enough that instead of pressing my nose into a sketchy carpet, I descended from the treadmill and started grooving. Sure, there wasn’t much room and my only partner was a armchair waiting for someone to turn on a TV, but the music was in my soul. If there were any security monitoring cameras in the”cardio” room, they would have witness Elaine inspired dance moves.
The following break time came before a good dance song had started playing. Hence, I continued running for another 1/4 mile as I skipped through songs until I located the right beat. Once more, I dismounted the treadmill and grooved like a funky cat.
I spent an hour in a run/dance combo. I fulfilled four miles with an impression of having executed only one mile. I ran and grinned. I had fun and was joyful that I’d found the dingy “cardio” room.
Official Method Descripition
Method #421 – Dance Interludes
Purpose: To Treadmill Smiley
Scope: To complete an enjoyable treadmill run while maintaining an elevated cardio rate for the duration of the time allotted.
Safety: Safe treadmill procedures are to be followed at all times using this method. This includes wearing the appropriate clothing. Shoes may not be necessary when running on a treadmill.
Terminology: Stint is the length of time spent running. Interlude is the time between stints when you dance.
1. Separate the target run length into short mentally manageable stints.
2. Run the stints at a speed to elevate your heart rate but reserves booty shaking energy.
4. Select a booty shaking or foot stomping song from your ipod in the interlude.
5. Select random play on your ipod.
6. Continue the interlude for as long as random play selects booty shaking or foot stomping songs.
7. Repeat steps 2 – 6 until run length or time allotted is culminated.
Have a Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Go Run Smiley!