Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
I really do adore my treadmill.
You might ask how any sane trail-running person (who professes to love every minute she spends outdoors) could enjoy a run on what some folks call the dreadmill. For the last 7 years, I’ve been privileged to own not one but TWO treadmills and I have never looked back.
I have to tell you that I’ve never dreaded a treadmill workout—ever. There are so many things you can do with it, not to mention so many movies on Netflix to watch while you’re on it.
If there’s ever a question of whether or not I can get in a run, and it’s icy or tornado-ing out, I have no excuse. I also have a pretty busy schedule being a mom, a teacher of many things, a writer, and I’m sure I’m forgetting something…so having a treadmill facilitates GETTING IT DONE.
I work in a boarding school and I have some pretty crazy hours. As most boarding school teachers do, I have about 30 different jobs rolled into four; I’m also the mom of a very tall growing-like-a-weed-and-needy 12-year-old, and a wife currently living the single-mom life while hubby works in West Africa. Sometimes I just gotta hop on the treadmill if I’m going to get any running done.
Spending vast amounts of time outdoors is extremely important to me, but sometimes it’s just not practical in the context of my day. Sometimes I need to just roll out of bed, inhale some black coffee and go—to the next room where my machine lies in wait, expectantly. Then I run, shower, cook breakfast, teach, teach some more, write, email, teach another class, lead seminars in diversity, and maybe coach if it’s the fall. So running in the morning in my house without coyote howls in the distance sometimes works better for me.
Also, as a parent, I’ve found it necessary to run at home because I haven’t been able to snag a babysitter. Other times, my son has been sick so what do I do? I make sure he’s comfortable, give him some tea and soup, put on a marathon of Family Guy and go for a run, while I binge-watch Orange is the New Black.
Other times, I want to do a workout that requires running intervals and then popping on the floor to do burpees. Have you ever even done a burpee? My burpees are so not glamorous and uncoordinated, that I prefer to stumble through them while no one is watching.
You can also do many types of workouts on the ‘mill. Repeats, tempo runs, hill repeats, even long distance runs, treadmills are quite flexible especially if you have a nice one. (I’m not talking about the nasty non-functioning no-good-for-nothing ones in airless hotel gyms, but I digress.) ProForm makes a good, basic machine. I used to have one that I bought from HSN. It lasted for about 5 years and had a ton of mileage on it. Other high-quality mills are made by NordicTrac (I have a C900 and I love it!), LifeFitness, Sole, and Landice.
Related: The 7 Best At-Home Treadmills
Treadmills can aid in maintaining your training schedule and can help you change things up once in a while. So put on a movie, listen to good music, grab a book, or just zone out without worrying about traffic. Enjoy!