Running

A Quick Fix for Improving Your Treadmill Runs

Brrrrr! It is so cold here and snowing! I usually hate snow but I was actually kind of excited for it this time since it’s been a while since I’ve seen snow fall. (Not even when I was in Utah!) Usually my strategy for Southern snow “storms” is to wait unit all the crazies (i.e. bad drivers) have left and gotten off the roads, because generally the roads aren’t as bad as the drivers on the roads. (This was my work parking lot a little before 5 PM. Everyone else had left around 4.)

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But today, that strategy failed me. I got stuck coming home! Each way to get into my neighborhood involves a steep hill and my car got stuck because the road had turn into a sheet of ice. I called John and he was luckily close so he came to push my car to the point where I could gain traction and go a different way. I finally made it home, but it took about 45 minutes (for a typically 7 minutes drive) and was a total pain, still sliding and my car spinning out everywhere. I miss my Corolla! That thing was great in the snow!

Anyway, let’s talk about the treadmill shall we? I’ve been using it a lot this winter because I’ve totally lost my thick skin since moving to the South. Last Saturday, I hit the treadmill for a run. I started out around 7:45 and started getting wicked side cramps, something I’ve been struggling with lately. Slowing down, walking or stretching hasn’t helped the past few times so I tried something weird – I kicked up the pace to 7:15…and the side cramps went away. I didn’t want to keep that pace for long since I wanted to run a little bit longer than normal and also play with the incline, so I held that for about 3 minutes and then slowed the pace down to 7:45. I increased the incline to 1.5 (yowza) and increased my speed every 5 minutes. I ended at a 7:08 pace for the last 5 minutes and averaged about a 7:30 min/mile.

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I ended up having a great run and glad I found a side cramp solution! I’ll have to test it again to see if it’s really a solution. Might have been a fluke.

So about the whole incline thing: I’m terrible about never using incline because, well, it’s hard! I hired a running coach for John for Christmas and one of the things his coach — Chuck Engle of Marathon Junkie — requires is never running on the treadmill unless you use a 1.5 incline. It seriously makes a big difference in the difficulty! So I’m going to use incline on the treadmill going forward since it helps simulate the outdoors more and the natural resistance (air, non-moving road, ups & downs) you feel out there vs. the treadmill. Hopefully it’ll strengthen my hamstrings and glutes a bit more too.

After the run, I chowed down on some quinoa + pumpkin seeds + flax oil, and then John and I headed over to Hoots Roller Bar & Beer Co. to pick up my goodies for being a backer (including my first growler!). We were both still starving and were both randomly craving french fries. We went to First Street Draught House and demolished all of this food – regular fries, sweet potato fries and baked wings. ha! Not healthy at all but you just gotta live sometimes. And it all tasted amazing!

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I’ve been getting pretty sick when I have my favorite wheat & hefeweizen beers lately, so I experimented with a dark beer. I had a taste of the Founders Breakfast Stout at Hoots and looooved it. I have never liked dark beers but I really liked this one, so I ordered a half glass at First Street. And I didn’t have any stomach issues! I don’t know why dark beers wouldn’t bother me like lighter beers – anyone have a theory? I’ll have to try it again to see if it’s really a type of beer I can handle but so far, so good.

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Do you like or hate snow?

Do you use incline on the treadmill?

What’s your favorite style of beer?

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    at

    I am so, so done with snow + cold this winter. It felt like -38 today with the windchill — yuck! Please hurry up, Spring!

  • Reply
    RLR
    at

    Snow is ok if I can stay inside and just watch it – but one of my kids like to go outside in it, so I end up outside, too. Mostly, I don’t like all of the “Ack, snow! Buy all the milk and bread!” frenzy 🙂
    I don’t run on a treadmill (though I have wished for one on occasion). I’ve only run on one once, when I was staying in a hotel for a wedding. I ran outside last Saturday at noon – still COLD, but it was worth it to be able to run! I’m trying to get back into a routine, including adjusting my work schedule a bit. I skipped today, however…
    Not a beer-drinker! 🙂

  • Reply
    Meghan
    at

    If it’s a wheat/gluten thing, hefeweizen beers have the highest concentrations!

  • Reply
    Maria
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    Oops. I never up the incline when I’m running on the treadmill. I figure running on the treadmill is torture enough! (And I’m starting all over again in the running department, so I’ll give myself some slack…for now!).

    I LOVE snow, but now that I live in California, I of course, never get to see it! We are actually driving up north to see real snow in February. Hoping Mother Nature cooperates. Also, glad you made it home safely!

  • Reply
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run
    at

    I love the TM! Yes, I most definitely use the incline function!

  • Reply
    Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.wordpress.com
    at

    Holy Cow! That is really scary about your drive home, that would have made me so nervous!

    I usually set the treadmill incline to 1%, but maaayyybbeeee I need to bump it up considering I run on the treadmill on the weekdays. Meh!

  • Reply
    Livi
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    I love the snow!{when it gets me off school ;)}

  • Reply
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
    at

    I used to love snow when I lived in NC and only saw it 2 times a year. Now that we are temporarily located (not too much longer) In Erie, PA I see it every day of the entire winter. I HATE It. I don’t use hate very often but I really do HATE snow!

  • Reply
    Brenda Breining
    at

    Darker beers contain more oatmeal, barley and maybe less gluten? And the grains are often toasted, which could destroy/breakdown the gluten.

    Side cramps—check your posture. If I slouch forward even a little I get one. As soon as I straighten up, it goes away.

  • Reply
    Sara
    at

    You also might want to play around with filtered beers vs. unfiltered beers. I have a friend who cannot drink unfiltered beers – she breaks out and feels awful.

    PS. LOVE Founders Breakfast Stout!

  • Reply
    Chicago Jogger
    at

    That’s so interesting about the incline – I always set mine at 0.5% but I guess I should start setting it higher! Thanks for the tip:)

  • Reply
    Mrs Type A
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    I always recommend dark beers to people who think they don’t like beer because they’re truly so different from lighter beers. People who don’t like an IPA or ale think that there’s no way they’d like something more heavy but it’s kind of it’s own thing! New Castle is one of my favorite beers of all time. It’s a brown ale that is very smooth. Great for winter!

  • Reply
    Nicole
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    I thought you were gluten-free for the most part. How do you tolerate beer?

  • Reply
    Katie
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    Homebrewer here… It could be the wheat that’s bothering you. It’s used for various things in various amounts in beer but the styles that have been bothering you are pretty high in it. A lot of dark beers like the Founders breakfast (love that stuff) may not have any at all. It should be fairly easy to avoid, especially if you’re drinking beer at microbreweries and such where you can ask about the grain bill.

    Thanks for the tip on putting the treadmill on an incline, I had a much better workout today!

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Thanks for much for the education and tip on beers, Katie! I’ve never even heard of grain bill – I’ll be sure to ask about that going forward. And I’ll continue to enjoy Founders Breakfast. 🙂

      Glad you had a better workout today!

  • Reply
    Sassypants
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    Years ago I read that either decreasing or increasing your speed should help get rid of side cramps. So your instinct to speed up was right on the money!

  • Reply
    Rachel
    at

    Hi there, I first want to say thank you for such wonderful work in creating your blog!

    I was wondering if you have tried these little known gluten free and paleo products: Miss Paleo Mixes. They have some more information on the website: http://www.misspaleomixes.com

    If you’d like to try a sample to review on your blog, we’d be happy to send it!

    Feel free to email or contact me through my blog (www.relizabethpaleorunner.blogspot.com) if you decide this is something that interests you.

    Thank you! -Rachel

  • Reply
    Anna P
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    I’m so excited you discovered breakfast stout! Paul introduced it to me a couple years ago and it is one of our fall/winter favorites! So full of deliciousness 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsay
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    I always use the incline at 1.0% to mimic outside but hate playing with it for a “hill workout” I think it causes me to run a lot differently but playing with speed keeps me sane (and justifies only staying on for 3 miles)!

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