Friday, January 08, 2010

The Treadmill

Weights and 175.4 pounds

I am developing an unhealthy obsession with the treadmill. I used to do all of my runs outside in Golden Gate Park, but am now doing the majority of them at Planet Fitness or the Holiday Inn in Kingston, NY. What is my problem?

I have no issue with running outside - I ran twice in Central Park when I was in New York a few weeks ago and loved it even though it was 20 degrees. But I had no treadmill option which I am sure I would have taken. My list of why I like the treadmill includes:

1) Predictability. Even though I run at virtually the same pace when I am outside, I know exactly how I am going to feel on the treadmill every time. My runs in Golden Gate Park can be painfully unpredictable, especially at night when I tend to have less energy than the morning (see reason four).

2) Weather. It is always 65-70 degrees with no rain or wind at Planet Fitness so I can run in shorts and T-shirts all the time.

3) Music. I hate using an iPod outside because it screws up my rhythm and pace. On a treadmill that is not an issue because you can run a constant pace no matter what the beat to the Madonna song.

4) No traffic. I am doing more of my runs after work in an attempt to live on the same time cycle as most adults. When I run downtown I have to run about a mile on the city streets and I am either going to die of a heart attack from waiting for red lights or get hit by a truck while jay walking. All green lights on the treadmill.

5) Vanity. As a vain person, part of what motivates me is checking out the shape and fitness level of other people which is much easier to do at the gym, particularly when you run on the only treadmill in the gym in front of a mirror.

6) Rainman. I have a border line obsession with numbers and while Gmaps is good for measuring the distance of running loops, it is not 100% accurate. On the treadmill I know I ran 7.61 miles in 60 minutes last night.

For the sake of my sanity, I can't do more than an hour on gym machines so I am going to go outside to do a 45 mile ride tomorrow. 3 hours or so on the Lifecycle would crush even my OCD spirit.