On Wednesday night, as I was getting into bed, I saw a tape dispenser on the ground next to my desk.
“Hmmph, why is that there?” I thought. Not giving it a thought after that, I shrugged and got into bed, leaving the tape dispenser on the floor.
On Thursday morning, as I was getting ready for work, I stepped on said tape dispenser. I heard the inevitable crack of plastic, which was followed by a piercing pain in my big toe. When I first looked down at my toe, it didn’t look like much damage had been done. Three seconds later, a large bubble of blood appeared on the surface of that toe. So, I hopped over to my roommate’s door to get a band-aid. Band-aid applied, no harm done. Until I tried to walk and realized that the cut was located at the exact place my toe touched down and pushed off from the ground. This would be a problem, I thought, as I began three days of hobbling around in my Ugg slippers and only walking around on the outer edge of my foot.
My little big toe injury deterred me from running for about 5 days. If you remember, I ran 4 miles on Sunday and a combined 7.5 miles on Monday. I gave myself off on Tuesday (an approved day of rest) and then I had an unapproved day of rest (where I pretended to do yoga in my room for 30 minutes but then just watched Revenge and hung out in down dog for a while instead) on Wednesday. Thursday, it was time to hit the streets again, but my moment of laziness that prevented me from bending down to pick up a tape dispenser ended up causing me a VERY SMALL but VERY INCONVENIENT injury. It was equivalent to slicing open the tip of your pointer finger and then trying to type all day at work with it.
Despite my toe of woe, I still got a short, but great, strength workout in on Thursday. I finally brought workout gear to work and utilized the building’s gym. My favorite part about it is that they have a squat rack, which can also double as a bench press. Barbell squats and bench presses are two of my favorite exercises. Why?
- They are SIMPLE. None of this crazy stuff where I’m swinging a barbell, hopping on one foot, and then doing a flip. Don’t get me wrong, I like the innovative exercises sometimes to spice things up. But most times I just want to go back to the basics.
- Want a full body workout? Do a couple sets of bench presses and squats and you’ll be good to go. My arms, chest, back, and legs were burning Friday-Sunday. The trick? Make sure your form is perfect, challenge yourself with incremental increases in weight, and move slo-o-o-o-wly. Don’t race to pump out your reps. The resistance you use to go slower will build even more muscle for you.
- Not many exercises make my legs feel stronger than a barbell squat, and not many exercises make my arms feel stronger than a bench press. The feeling of accomplishment I get after I have to push my feet into the ground, clench my abs, push a heavy bar upwards and place it on the rack after my last breath of effort is one of my favorite things about working out.
Now to get to the title of this post: The DREADMILL. Why do you call it the dreadmill, Abby? Because I dread going on it and it rhymes with tread and I like combining words. Ever since I fell in love with running outside (and actually committed to it), I’ve dreaded having to do my workouts inside. While, yes, one of the reasons is because I find it boring, I can usually get over that fact if the TV is working and I can find a good show to entertain me while I trek away. The main reason that I dread running on the treadmill is because I have heard rumors about how the treadmill does not equal running outside. Bottom line: I am scared that my training on the treadmill will not suffice and the 13.1 miles I have to run in March will be a lot harder than I want them to be due to the dreaded treadmill (the dreadmill).
Yesterday, I found an article titled My Scientific/Personal Advice for Treadmill Training and it put me at ease. Key points from this article:
- You do not need to set your treadmill to a 1.0 incline to mimic outdoor walking. So, when I try to set the incline on my apartment building treadmill and the screen reads “ERROR” I do not have to fret.
- Your body is moving the same way and utilizing the same muscles to do so whether you are running outside, on a stable surface, or on the treadmill, a moving surface.
- There are two main (but very, very minor) differences between ground running and treadmill running.
-When you run, you have added air resistance to propel your body through. Good news? You only need to increase the speed a little bit (say from 6.0mph to 6.3mph) in order to take the place of the missing air resistance.
– Treadmills are more springy than the ground you are running on outside, meaning that the force that your joints are sustaining with each step is decreased when on a treadmill. No need to pound harder on the treadmill in order to mimic outdoor running–just be aware of this and be kind to your joints at all times.
This article made me feel a lot less guilty about running on the treadmill. Please don’t get me wrong, you should NOT feel bad about working out on the treadmill–YOU ARE DOING GREAT THINGS. It’s just a personal thing of mine.
Before I sign off for this afternoon, below is a site my friend sent me that I will be frequenting from now on. Enjoy!