So the phrase mental breakdown makes it sound as though I literally had a break down on the treadmill.
While I can see how easy it is for that to occur, it has not happen to me just yet.
I don’t always love treadmill running but for the most part, I have the positive thinking thing under control which I do believe is key for getting through a run, especially an indoor run.
We have reached the month of March which means Spring is on the horizon (even though there’s a ton of snow outside my window and school is delayed this morning yet again) and outdoor running freedom will be ours before we know it.
But mastering the treadmill is still important.
We still need to know it can work for us when we can’t get outside.
Recently we talked about the positive thinking process for getting through long runs on the treadmill but I think it’s also beneficial to talk about what goes on in my head during a routine treadmill run too.
My goal is to give you a bit more insight beyond Oh look, she ran 6 miles again. It’s like so nothing for her!
It’s never nothing. Running, especially on the treadmill, is a mental workout as much as it is physical which means the brain needs some strength training too, not just the muscles in our body.
Let’s start with the Display Screen
I don’t cover it up.
I paused the treadmill to take the picture, I didn’t run those five miles in 30 seconds!
I actually like to see the numbers in front of me rather than hide them from myself.
I want to know where I am at in terms of speed and distance especially because I am always playing around with the settings.
I do not acknowledge the time. My focus is on distance because that is something I have control over.
The time will move at its own pace; the distance is covered and controlled by me and I like being in charge!
I do not focus on the amount of miles I have run or how many more I have to go.
I focus on where I am in each mile.
And during each mile, regardless of speed, my thought process typically breaks down like this:
Of course, there is more to it than this.
Even when I break each mile up into the above thoughts, I think and feel other things throughout my run.
A mental glimpse at last week’s 6 mile treadmill run:
Mile 1 – > Keep it easy. Pace yourself. You will be warmed up and in your groove before you know it!
I started off at 6.5 in an attempt to keep things easy. Normally I start at 6.8 but decided to scale it back and warm up a bit more.
1.06 Miles – > Maybe I should switch to the elliptical for ten minutes. I don’t feel like running, I am not warming up and I don’t like the treadmill.
1.08 Miles – > Just stay put! You are already into this next mile. Stay here until the two-mile mark and reevaluate then. Keep it easy, no pressure just do your thing.
Mile 2 – > See? You did it. Hang in until mile three and if you want to hop off, go ahead.
I begin some speed intervals at this point ranging between 6.8 and 7.5 (interval workout post coming soon!)
Mile 3 – > Boom. Three miles. Drop your pace for a little and relax. No need to switch to the elliptical. No pressure. Just run.
More speed intervals at the .30 mark in this mile.
Mile 4 – > One more mile and I am at five miles already? Look at that.
I raise the incline from 0.5 to 2.0 and then back to 0.5 throughout this mile. Sometimes changing the incline and then bringing it back down feels really nice.
More intervals going as high as 8.0 during this mile.
Mile 5 – > Totally in my groove! This is why I hang on during the first few miles! I am so proud of how strong I always feel once I am 45 minutes into a run!
Okay so that sounds crazy. 45 minutes to feel great? Shouldn’t I be tired at 45 minutes? My brain doesn’t understand this but my legs think it makes perfect sense so I will go with it.
5.70 Miles – > I cannot believe I am almost at 6 miles. When did that happen? I am going faster now than before and feel as though I could run forever but it’s enough for today and time to go home.
6 miles. Run and done.
It is not always easy to do but training your brain to turn to the positive over the negative and standing tough for what you want teaches the mental and physical side of us how to hang in there and develop our stamina for running.
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Treadmill running is mental. Here's how to mentally break it down #treadmill #running… Click To Tweet
Will you be running on the treadmill today?
Do you cover the display screen or keep it in view?
Best thing you ate all weekend?