How to Cheat on Your Treadmill and Not Get Hurt

by Rachel on March 9, 2010

Due to the great weather here in Michigan, I’ve gone for two outdoor runs in the past week. And…I’m incredibly sore! I forgot how running outside after running inside for a while (or not running at all, let’s be honest!) can really do a number on your body. I almost always get shin splints after my first outdoor run “of the season.” I’m using “quotes” because otherwise using that phrase might give you the impression I’m a runner…and I’m not. Because I don’t wear shoes like this.

Anyway, if you’re ready to cheat on the treadmill with the super sexy open road, the new issue of Runner’s World has some great tips on how to do it. They are meant for beginners, but I think even the more experienced runners can take note!

Ease into it. Only go outside once a week (whoops!) and do a run/walk plan when you do. You can check out my all-time favorite, swear-by, how-I-became-a-marathoner run/walk plan; otherwise, Runner’s World suggests doing a minute of running and a minute of walking for the same total time you normally run indoors. It’s OK to start slow; Tiger Woods probably started with only one mistress, and look how far he took it!

Slow down. Because it’s just harder to run outside (wind, natural inclines), going from the treadmill to the sidewalk can be so frustrating. The flip side of this is that running outside for a while means when you do go back on the treadmill, you will absolutely fly! But prepare for going outside by upping your treadmill incline — FYI, it needs to be at least at 1.0 at all times or you’re pretty much running downhill — and then slow your pace when you do get outside.

Don’t go all the way. If you don’t want to slow down or add in breaks, you can cut your total mileage. And in that case, it’s not even cheating! (If you’re Bill Clinton, anyway.)

Be prepared. If you’re going to cheat, you don’t want to end up with a baby mama (hello, John Edwards!) so you gotta pack protection. Wear layers and go for sweat-wicking performance gear to keep you comfortable and dry. And here are some tips on how to protect yourself from creepers and speeding cars.

My hamstrings were so sore and tight today, despite the sunshine, I took it to my bike to loosen up. But I’m eager to get back into my (ugly, white girl) running shoes soon, so I’m definitely going to use these tips to cheat again this week!

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Runeatrepeat March 9, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Sorry if I’m late on this – but love the blog makeover :)


2 Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) March 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Love the cheater references. Wouldn’t that be an awesome dinner party? Tiger, Bill, and John. Love to be a fly on the wall at that one. And, what kind of shoes are those at the top anyway? Love them. (I go for looks cuz I’m not a runner either!)


3 Rachel March 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Those shoes at the top are white-girl shoes. That’s all I know. :)


4 Kristen March 9, 2010 at 4:41 pm

omg those are my shoes!


5 Rachel March 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

….no offense. It’s fine for you to wear those shoes! You’re a white girl!!


6 Carla March 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Love the past entry about how to be safe on outdoor runs! I was grabbed on my favorite trail in EL this past summer, it scared the HELL out of me! I then enlisted my brother as my bodyguard and he rode his bike with me on all my runs!


7 Teri [a foodie stays fit] March 9, 2010 at 5:56 pm

OMG Carla that is so scary!!! That’s a good reminder though that even familiar running routes can be dangerous. I always run with friends or my dog, but it still wouldn’t hurt to bring my mace along when it’s just me and my dog…because she might just lick any attacker.

Great post Rachel. I need to cheat on my bike with the treadmill OR the road. I haven’t run in AGES.


8 Suzanne March 9, 2010 at 7:43 pm

These are great tips! Thanks! You crack me up, girl!


9 amanda March 9, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I agree…I have been running outdoors this week becuase it decided to be like spring here and wow there is a major difference


10 Ashley @ grindz March 10, 2010 at 1:33 am

LOVE your run/walk plan. I’ll start working on that this week! I’m definitely NOT a runner, but I know it’s just a mind over matter thing with me. I need to just kick my butt and do it.


11 Hima March 10, 2010 at 8:13 am

I couldn’t have read this post at a more perfect time. Thank you for the great advice, Rachel!


12 samantha March 10, 2010 at 12:41 pm

i went for my first outdoor run of the season on saturday and it was a LONG one… and three days later i’m still sore. planning an easy 3 miles on the treadmill tonight, and kind of dreading it.
.-= samantha´s last blog break! =-.


13 Lexie March 12, 2010 at 12:02 am

I just started running this winter so I’ve only run indoors. I was able to run outdoors this week and was surprised by how incredibly difficult it was! I’m going to make sure to put an incline on ol’ tready from now on.


14 Fattie Fatterton March 14, 2010 at 9:31 pm

That was hysterical. I am just transitioning from treadmill to outside with my 5k walks. I am so much faster outside – a difference of 5 minutes per mile. I have to constantly remind myself to slow down. Thank God for the Garmin!
.-= Fattie Fatterton´s last blog ..My own private 5k =-.


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