"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Treadmills: A Good Change of Pace

The annual trade-off in cooler weather for less daylight has begun.  The early mornings of the past week have been extremely comfortable, (funny how 90º/ 90% humidity makes 80º/ 50% humidity seem pretty frosty), but extremely dark.  The headlamp has been activated and the steps are taken just a bit more cautiously. 

But never fear, the 'Y' opens early and a treadmill run can help to break up the training every now and then.  In fact, this morning seemed like a perfect opportunity to hit the gym and complete a speed workout that otherwise would have been missed.  While running, I was reminded of some great tips that can make the treadmill run more efficient and help to prevent injuries. 
  • To better simulate an outdoor run, and get the true mileage equivalent, use the incline.  A 1-2% incline is the generally accepted level to best represent rolling hills and wind resistance. It is best to move between this incline and 0 every mile or half mile. 
  • Don't go hill crazy! Running on inclines greater than 2% for extended periods of time can lead to potential injury.  This is not a natural gait and it should be treated like hill workouts. In other words, never go 5 miles at 4% for the entire session.  
  • Transition into and out of treadmill runs intentionally.  In the fall and spring seasons, mix up the training so as to not start hitting the opposite surface full throttle. 
Ultimately, nothing beats a trail or path in the great outdoors when it comes to running.  However, the reality is that sometimes the great outdoors can be unpredictable and there are times that it just doesn't work out. That's when I embrace the controlled environment, the soft landing and the ability to watch ESPN while I run, that comes along with the treadmill.  

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