I’m owning an unpopular opinion today: I’m not ashamed to admit that I love running on a treadmill!
I know how unpopular this opinion is, so today I’m going to tell you all the reasons why I choose treadmills over outdoor running 95% of the time!
1) I can control the settings. Speed, incline, time. If I want to ensure that I hit certain speeds/distances, or really vary my incline, I know exactly how to meet those goals. If I want to walk uphill the whole time, no problem (this would be a problem outdoors, because I live in Kansas). I also like doing HIIT on the treadmill because I can easily hop on and off the belt when I’m sprinting (let’s be real here, HIIT doesn’t happen often because I’m not so much a fan of feeling like I’m going to barf but I absolutely believe in the benefits of it).
2) Fans that are mine, all mine! Oh, sweet glorious air. I know I’m not the only fan lover, because when I used to go to the gym I always found people on my favorite treadmills – the ones perfectly positioned under the fans. If I was really lucky, I could snag a fancy TM that had a built-in fan AND a ceiling fan. At home, I have one blowing from the side and if I run long, I’ll put one behind my back too.
3) The bathroom is easily accessible and always available. I shouldn’t even have to explain why this is a benefit. But I will say that I typically run in the mornings, and mornings are a busy time for me as far as the bathroom is concerned, sooo I really like having my own personal bathroom just a few steps away.
4) Water is within arm’s reach. I can grab my bottle while running, take a drink, and then set it down. It’s always there. No need to carry it, stash it ahead of time on the trail, search for a place that has water, stop running to get a drink, etc. *However, I will mention that I have a Nathan water bottle that I’ve used during my half marathons, and I really like it. I hate carrying things when I run, but my Nathan bottle fits comfortably in my hand and I barely notice it. This isn’t an identical one (mine is 5 years old), but I’d like to get the newer version: Nathan Water Bottle.*
5) I can use my own towel, and I don’t have to carry it. Or forget it at the gym. Or use the reused gym towels. Or not have one at all. Once I start running, I sweat A LOT. I just hang it over the treadmill and use as needed. (And when I say “towel,” I actually mean “the baby’s old burp cloths.”)
6) I can blast music without having to wear headphones! I used to get tangled up in my headphone cord (note: it helps to weave it through your shirt). I can also watch a movie or catch up on TV, which is a real treat. Usually I turn the TV on with closed captioning, and crank up some high tempo music on Pandora.
7) My kids can play freely around me. Since my treadmill is in the main basement space, my 2 year old has a bunch of toys to play with. He can eat snacks and drink while I supervise, and if he needs me I’m right there. The older kids play soccer or ping pong or get on their iPads and hang out with us, too.
8) I can wear whatever I want. Mismatched workout gear, crazy headbands, pink running socks, smeared mascara – you name it. Granted, I could do this for an outdoor run. But I know me, and I wouldn’t.
9) I’m not subjected to the elements. Wind, rain, freezing cold, blistering heat, humidity (my least favorite of them all) – none of those things can affect me on my treadmill. This is a bonus. I’ll never claim to be a tough runner.
10) I can stop at any time, and I’m already home. When I commit to an outdoor run, I know I’m going for the distance intended. If I start feeling bad, or I need to get home quickly for any reason, it’s going to take time to get back to my car/house.
There are a million reasons to love outdoor running, and I’m not going to dispute them – I agree with many of those reasons. But, because I do so much of my running inside, I wanted to share my TM love. I’m willing to bet there is someone out there like me: who wanted to be a runner but didn’t think she could, did it anyway, and maybe thinks she should hate the treadmill but should THINK AGAIN!!
Happy running, friends!