Sunday, February 15, 2009
Treadmill Tips and Alpacas
That's something you don't see from a treadmill - alpacas! I actually had no idea there were any in the neighbourhood until I passed this field on my run yesterday. There they were, three of them. I then did what I always is always possible on a long slow run: stop, look more closely and take a picture.
It is one of the thing that makes running outside more satisfying than the treadmill: you are in charge of the rhythm and can slow or stop at a whim and pay attention to your surroundings. There really is a sense of freedom. On the treadmill, although you can set the tempo and duration, there is a sense of being controlled by a machine. It is a relentless.
Having said that, and in a slightly perverse way I quite enjoy them as a part of my training, even if it is mainly when the weather is crap (pace JogBlog). However I have had to find ways to break up the time as an hour on the treadmill at constant pace can seem like an eternity.
The answer is to not run at the same pace but to make regular changes. I run in sections of 5 or 10 minutes and then change something, which means I only look ahead for those 5 or so minutes. My routine is usually one of three basic shapes. The first is the step, where I gradually increase the pace until I stop. The second is the pyramid where I symmetrically increase then reduce the pace. The third is the wave, where the pace goes up and down ( but not as dramatically as it would for intervals).
The important thing, simple games, have mini challenges and always do things slightly differently. I suppose that applies to all running but it is more important for the treadmill because you just don't have the chance to see the unexpected - like an alpaca.