Friday, June 18, 2010

Am I a Cheater?

155 Days To Go

This week I have continued strong, and it hurts, oh so good. I have ran every day since Monday, except Wednesday which I cross-trained and put in some elliptical time. I had my best run yet on Thursday knocking out 5+ miles and feeling good about it. Here's the catch - it was at the gym on the treadmill.
In my mind, there is no doubt that running a treadmill is easier than an outdoor run. You've got the cushy treadmill mat, the rally of other fit gurus working out around you, and most notably, the icy air conditioning that minimizes the sting of "sweaty eyes," as I like to call that uncontrollable trickle of forehead sweat that maps out a little river right to my eyelids before burning my eyeballs. (However, just like my thighs rubbing together, I like to think of this as another means of producing energy and a sign of hard work). Oh, and also throw in the relief of pushing a 20 lb. monkey around in a jogging stroller. (Thank you, gym child care. I have come to truly love and appreciate your beauty. I am sorry I ever took you for granted.)
My reasoning for succumbing to incorporating these gym days into my training is because this Gulf Coast heat seems more relentless each day. Even with a cold sippy cup of water and a stroller fan, little monkey still comes out of the stroller post-run just as sweat-drenched as mommy. Hello guilt.
So, here's my question to all of you seasoned runners: How much is relying on treadmill runs going to sabotage my half-marathon training? I know it's okay every once in a while - but how much is too much? Anyone out there who trained primarily on a treadmill? I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks in advance for the advice!


Amy said...

My sister in Tampa gets up really early for her runs to beat the heat during the hot Florida summer. I think relying on a treadmill throughout the summer is okay, because once fall rolls around you will have ideal temperatures for running in the weeks leading up to the race, which is a real plus! Maybe you could try to get just one run per week in outside?

Anonymous said...

I think you can use the treadmill occasionally. There is a big difference between running outside vs inside. I tend to get up extra early to beat the heat in Tampa. This way my feet and legs are getting use to the thud of the concrete and my lungs are training against the humidity. On a treadmill I could eaily run 5-6 miles, but translate that to outside running and I may only be able to push out 2-3 miles secondary to not be acclimated.

jennifer said...

Hello, I'm so very glad I found your blog. I've caught up on your posts and have found them to be humorous and very inspirational, especially that quote from Julia Roberts! I actually started my own running blog around the same time that you started yours, although my fitness level is nowhere close to yours yet and the farthest distance I can run to date is 1.4 miles. I would love it if you checked it Thanks, good luck, and I look forward to reading about the rest of your journey!

Beth said...

I don't see anything wrong with an occasional run on the treadmill when the weather does not cooperate. Here's my question though....when will things begin to cool down a bit and will that give you time before November to get in lots of road miles?

Andrea Leigh said...

Thanks for the comments!! Sorry about my delayed response as I have been out of the country and a bit out of the loop. Most days I wake up very early to run (thanks to my 20 lb. alarm clock that calls for me nearly everyday around 6-6:30am). However, there are a few days he chooses to sleep in that extra hour which makes the heat significantly stronger. It is only on these days that I will utilize the treadmill - so no more than a couple of days each week. I think I am more comfortable with it knowing I will only do this treadmill running in moderation, as many of you suggest.

Jennifer, I am so glad you found my blog. I am getting ready to catch up on your journey too! Thanks for sharing your blog. And hey, it wasn't very long ago at all that 1.4 miles was a HUGE challenge for me. : )