Olive to Run

Reasons to Love the Treadmill

race 2009

I started my running journey on a treadmill. I would go to the gym to workout and run-walk until I felt like I was going to fall over from it… which was usually around a mile and by fall over I mean literally keel over and die. As my overall fitness started to improve I decided to start pounding the pavement. It actually surprised me when it was a lot harder for me, which seems funny now that I know a lot more about running than I did at the time. But I continued to get out there and slowly each time I went it felt easier and easier to step out the front door and begin my run.

Over the years I have ran in all kinds of weather. Being from Wisconsin, I spent many miles outside with ice spikes on my shoes, layers and layers of clothing from wind gear, to waterproof gear and everything in between. I wasn’t afraid of getting out in any kind of weather and getting my run in- because my run was my me time. It became the time I could think about the day ahead of me and prepare for what was coming next… I needed to run.

It’s been five years since I walked into that gym in my hometown and learned what a treadmill was all about and it’s been five years of me being thankful for that treadmill.

Over the years I have learned that there are three types of runners: #1. The runner who HATES the treadmill. They will so kindly call it a dreadmill and make anyone who even THINKS about hopping on one feel like they should be outside instead. #2. The runner who doesn’t mind the treadmill. They will run outside when it’s nice, they’ll run outside when it’s not… they’ll run inside when it’s nice, they’ll run inside when it’s not. #3. The runner who loves the treadmill. The one who will run every training run on one because they are afraid to discontinue their love affair.

I fall into the second category… right in the middle. I don’t hate the treadmill but that’s because I find value in it. Here are a few of my favorite reasons for treadmill running:

reasons to love the treadmill

With that being said, that doesn’t mean I don’t also love running outside, I do, because I find value in that kind of run as well.  But running on a treadmill is perfect when you are a control freak, you dress like Punky Brewster and not having clothing to match, and have bathroom issues… :)

What do you think? Is it a dreadmill? Do you enjoy the treadmill on occasion? Is the treadmill your bff?

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112 thoughts on “Reasons to Love the Treadmill

  1. Patty @ Reach Your Peak

    blahhhh no I hate the treadmill. But I don’t make people feel like they HAVE TO run outside…though I do tell them how I can’t stand the treadmill lol I just get so bored. Though I do like it for speed workouts. These are good reasons as to why treadmill isn’t THAT bad…thanks for sharing!

  2. Ashley @ Brocblog

    I love the speed control and the invent your own hills option but running in place is so hard for me. If I’m in the mood to run forever I can do a few miles on the treadmill but If I’m not super in the mood for a run I need to be outside to reignite my motivation.

    1. Olive Post author

      First off, that’s awesome about your second half marathon! I can’t wait to hear more about it. I also feel like having the pace control is beneficial! :)

    1. Olive Post author

      I love that most people are writing about surviving the winters and you bust out with Florida summers :) So true in the south! Even in NC we get some really HUMID days!

  3. Lindsay

    I definitely prefer, and probably always will!, running outside but I learned to loved the treadmill a lot more this past winter. I doubt I will ever train for a Spring race again. STUPID WINTER. That is unless I move to NC, which may be happening in the next 1.5 years, I’m just saying ;) I am going to force you to be my friend and let me play with Axllittledudefurman on the regular if that’s the case!

  4. fitnessmeetsfrosting

    I’m with ya- I’m a #2 gal. Wait, that sounded wrong. I like the treadmill in the summer when it get’s over 110F by me. Would I prefer to run outside? Definitely. But I love that I have the treadmill there.

  5. Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles

    I am in the 2nd category too. I started my running journey on the treadmill and for my current marathon, I have been running 2 out of 3 weekly runs on the treadmill, only doing my long run outdoors because of the tough winter we have had and the wee hours of the morning that I run. I don’t mind the treadmill at all and really love that it keeps me honest and consistent with my pace, plus, I have been able to keep up with all the tv shows I love that I never have time to sit down and watch when I am home!

    1. Olive Post author

      One of the only times you’ll get me to focus on a t.v. show is on a treadmill… otherwise I’m up walking around, cleaning things, or sleeping :)

  6. runsaltrun

    I also started my running journey on the treadmill and I still have a lot of love for it and use it at least once a week. I wish I had one at home, but my gym has a movie theater so I’m not complaining. :) (And I love being able to pee when I want to also!)

  7. Anel

    I also started running on the treadmill and still have love and respect for it. I am a somewhere inbetween treadmill runner too. Love running outside but don’t mind the treadmill. Make the best with what you have , right? The apartment gym’s treadmill is not the greatest but as long as I can get a run it, I’m happy!

  8. Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom

    Treadmill is my go-to for speed since I don’t have access to a track and don’t trust myself outside…. but I’d avoid it if I can. I love being outside before the sun rises…. it’s my favorite part of day! I think I tell myself that I don’t have the mental capacity for it, but I’d rather run inside and hate it than skip a run if I had one planned!

  9. sharissepieces

    \I never thought I’d wish to be back on a treadmill. Now with the two baby boys, I have no time to work out, let alone find some “me time!” If I had a treadmill in the house, at least I could squeeze in a quick run while never leaving the house. Can’t wait till they’re big enough to run with in a stroller!

  10. stephanie

    I started running on a treadmill, but once I got serious about running, I only ran outside. Now, with a move up north coming up soon, I am hoping to be one of those in the middle people.

  11. Kim

    Pretty sure you already know by know – group 3!!! I love my treadmill. I run outside when the conditions are great and when I travel the rest is treadmill!!!

  12. Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk

    I love/hate the treadmill! Some days I love just hopping on the treadmill and watching Netflix and just sort of mindlessly unwinding from a crazy day. The treadmill is also an AWESOME resource for me to feel safer while running, whether it’s from bad neighborhoods or crazy 110 degree weather. And I LOVE speed workouts on the treadmill. I do 99% of my speed work on the treadmill. But there’s also something really amazing about running when the sun is just coming up. Love them both!

  13. TheGirlWhoRanEverywhere

    i teeter on the edge of the middle category on any given day. That being said-when my tradmill died 2 years ago, I cried as if there was a death in the family. My husband, being the clever genius he is, fixed it within a week. What a guy! After that incident, i realized how much i value my treadmill. Even if i don’t necessarily ENJOY running on it in the colder months, even i have to admit it keeps my fitness livels up because there are way too many days that I get stuck infoors!
    Great post!

  14. MJ

    LOVE LOVE LOVE my treadmill, BFF! I need to work on getting more outside running in (usually only on Sunday) since races are outside (mostly anyway, LOL) and probably would benefit from running w/ a group or partner occasionally. But I’ve been tmill running for my whole running “career” due to weather, shift work, safety, time of day needs….and it’s me time. I’m looking to get into ultras and plan to continue tmill training for those too!

  15. fitmamalove

    I’m with you on this. I usually run at the gym while the kids are in child care and I love watching TV to pass the running time. I love when I get to run outside once every week or two. It definitely adds something to the run. Changing it up is good for me, though, so I’m happy to run anywhere I can.

    I also used to think running outside was way harder, but now I usually run faster outside. Not sure what that’s about.

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  17. Maria

    First time reader here and happy I stopped by because I started my running journey on the treadmill as well and while I do run faster and it’s easier outside, I really don’t mind the treadmill most days. I am NOT a warm weather runner (or a cold one for that matter!) so climate control is super important to me. On race day, I just pray for temps in the 50′s or maybe 60′s and no sun :)

    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

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  19. theregoesmollyrose

    I am number 2 as well! (Sounds funny:) I always throw it in to the mix when training, or when I’m not training. Its there and I love it. I also like that I don’t have to carry a water bottle, its just placed right there! Ps I am a total Punky Brewster at the gym. Or outside, I really don’t care.

  20. ktfit

    I’m 100% with you. Living out here in San Diego, people give me a hard time ALL the time whenever I run on the treadmill. But I fell in love with it back when I lived in Chicago for 5yrs. Love your story about falling in love with the treadmill. Finally someone who can relate to me! ;)

    1. Olive Post author

      Absolutely! I live in North Carolina… not as beautiful as San Diego but it’s still much better from Wisconsin. However, living in WI gave me the insight that it is OKAY to run on a treadmill and even love it :)

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