Running is a great exercise, and it doesn’t have to be done outside. I discovered this after buying a treadmill a little over a year ago, and I’ve been running on it every day since.
Before we start, a disclaimer…
This article will not cover how to run or provide any fitness advice. If you’re new to running then please go to Couch-to-5K and follow their beginner’s guide. This post only covers the logistics of where and how long I run indoors with my treadmill.
If you have any questions about starting out as an indoor runner or if you’d like me to expand on any points please feel free to give me a shout and I’ll be sure to respond.
– Treadmill: ProForm 505 CST with iFit (premium service) and Disney’s Frozen theme (optional accessory).
– iPhone 8 with Nike+ running app and earphones.
– Heating pad as my “running blanket”.
– Little table beside treadmill for storage of necessities (water bottle, phone charger, etc.)
My favourite thing about this setup is that it is fully self-contained – all you need is an Internet connection and power socket. This means I can run indoors while watching Netflix, listening to music, or reading on my Kindle without having any other equipment lying around.
Where do I run?
I live in an apartment building, so outdoor running is not an option. My treadmill that I proudly found on https://www.northernfitness.ca/collections/treadmill is located in the spare room beside my living room. This setup works for me because it’s close to everything else I need (eating space, laundry) and it’s out of the way enough to avoid being a tripping hazard while navigating around furniture at night.
As mentioned before, this post will provide logistics rather than fitness advice or tips on how to run better or longer distances. If you are interested in that then please see some of the numerous other posts about running. There are countless pages filled with advice when it comes to running form, training advice, equipment recommendations, etc but when it comes down to it, there are only 2 things that matter to me in terms of my running routine: time and distance.
My run starts at 6 AM every day when I wake up early enough to leave for the gym before work. My favourite thing about the treadmill is how it forces me to plan ahead. I can’t afford to be late for work or class because the treadmill won’t wait for me if I’m late – it will start moving by itself once plugged in ( but don’t worry, it does have a mind of its own ).
Running on a schedule is one of the most important factors for being consistent with your training. If you’re just starting out then you’ll find that this runs counterintuitively against what everyone tells you, which is to run when you feel like it, at your own pace, etc. I’ve found that scheduling specific days and times to work out is the best way for me to ensure my running routine becomes a permanent part of my life.
How long do I run?
I used to be one of those people who would just set the treadmill on an incline (which acts as elevation) and go for however long I felt like. Then I’d come back home after stopping it 3 times because my mom told me dinner was almost ready every single night. This worked fine for a little while but eventually became unsustainable; if I didn’t time myself correctly then dinner would always end up getting cold (and/or soggy) because the treadmill wasn’t stopping by itself.
A runner’s life can be busy, you’re constantly trying to juggle school, work, social events, daily chores (e.g. grocery shopping), your friends want to go out on the weekends but then there are also those designated couch-time days.
I used to run solely because I wanted to and it helped me forget about my stresses and the horrible things outside. But lately what has been helping me keep up with running is setting a schedule and sticking to it so that I don’t have an excuse not to run. The treadmill takes care of stopping itself, why wouldn’t you?
My personal favourite thing about the treadmill is how efficient it is – if you’re ready for your workout then just hit go and done! You can literally do anything while on a treadmill that doesn’t require movement (e.g. reading).
As mentioned before, I set my alarm for 6 AM every day but sometimes 7 AM or 8 AM rolls around depending on whether or not my mom wakes up early enough to tell me to go back to sleep. But I’ve never been a morning person so the perfect time for my workout is always whenever I’m finally able to leave for school after snoozing my alarm a million times.
I use a chime as an alarm clock now but when people ask me what kind of music I listen to while running, it’s usually classical – not because that is the best genre of music for running but rather just because that was my only option at the time.
On average, I run between 15-20km per day although sometimes it will be more during training weeks and less on weekends (when I’m drunk or trying to party and/or sleep in past noon). Depending on what I have going on that day will determine how long my run is. Sometimes, if I only have a few things to do for the day then I’ll try to fit as many kilometres as possible into my workout but usually it’s just about getting the job done.
The important thing is not how far or how fast you’re running but rather following a schedule and working towards your goals one step at a time – focusing on quality over quantity. My goal is never to become a better runner but rather to finish with a good feeling of accomplishment every single time. The more difficult aspects of life are things we need to face head-on so being able to overcome those challenges will make us stronger people in the end.
I’m sure that some days I won’t be able to run because of school, work, or some other excuse but no matter what happens I always find a way to go running eventually, even if it means being late for an exam. Even on those especially tiring days where you just want nothing more than to crawl back into bed and curse at your alarm clock so it stops playing its obnoxious chime every 5 minutes… try your best! Sometimes the only thing that gets me out of bed is knowing that I’ve already committed myself to doing my workout for that day.
If you know you’re going to miss a scheduled workout then reschedule it immediately – don’t wait until later on when you’re too lazy to figure out what you’re doing that day. You’ll end up flaking on your workout then wondering why you never have time for it anymore.
If the treadmill isn’t an option then just do something else that is quick and easy, like one of those kettlebell workouts or a 10-minute boot camp video on YouTube. I know this might sound ridiculous but sometimes when I’m running outdoors in the winter I’ll bring my headphones with me so there is someone who could potentially call for help if anything happens to me (I don’t own a cell phone). Of course, most of the time people walking by probably think I’m crazy and wearing earbuds in -20 degrees Celsius but better safe than sorry… right?