Three Tip Tuesday – Cait The Arty Runner Chick!


I realized yesterday morning that I kind of sort of ran seven days in a row. I know better than to do that (especially when I wanted to go easy last week) but since I don’t follow a strict running agenda and tend to go with how I feel, I guess I felt pretty darn good every day to allow for such a streak to occur.

I felt like running yesterday too but I didn’t allow for it.

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I purposely left the house wearing my Saucony Kinvara instead of my favorite Adidas Energy Boost. I am so stubborn that the only thing keeping me away from the treadmill would be the wrong pair of sneakers.

Anyway, I am super excited this morning because Cait Chock, The Arty Runnerchick, is here to talk to us.

If you don’t already know her, she is so fun, creative and full of running inspiration and information. I can’t thank her enough for taking over the blog today to share her story and treadmill tips with us!


Hi! My name is Cait aka, The Arty RunnerChick.

To sum myself up quickly: I run, I write, I art. Hey, if you’ve got a passion why not turn it into your whole life, right? Haha…oh, I also love sarcasm and laughing.

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Previously I was a professional runner for Nike. In 2010, I was out running and hit by a car. I almost lost my right leg, the doctors told me I’d probably never even WALK normally again, and running was impossible.

I refused to envision a life without running, trust me, running keeps me sane! I used that runner mentality and tenacity, and fought my way back to being a runner today!

My journey back taught me a lot and also made me want to help inspire others to forget ‘logic’ when dreaming up their dreams and goals, and go for it. Stay positive, keep working your BUTT off, and you’ll be surprised just how much you can achieve!

I used my passion for art and created a running shirt line aimed at motivating and inspiring runners…and keeping them looking good too.

I don’t know about you but I live in running clothes, and there is NO reason running clothes can’t look so cool that they double as ‘normal people clothes’. You can check out my shirts HERE.


Meredith has been ROCKING my ‘Get Chicking’ shirt.

Because of my background as a competitive runner, I have personal experience and knowledge on training, running, fueling, and everything that goes into being the best runner you can be.

I share lots of tips on my blog and work as a freelance writer, contributing to Running Times, Competitor, RunBlogRun, and other outlets. My latest big running/writing project was my ebook: “Effective Mental Strategy: Race better by out-thinking your brain”

Anyway, enough about me –  Today let’s talk about the treadmill.

Winter has forced poor Meredith and lots of other people inside to get their runs and workouts accomplished. Meredith has shared tons of AWESOME tips to beat treadmill boredom and as well as other treadmill advice so I thought it would be a good time to add to this important topic.

Not a Weakness

The first thing all runners need to get out of their heads is feeling like they’re ‘weenie-ing out’ or should be embarrassed for using the treadmill instead of ‘sucking it up’ and running outside. That’s so wrong and here are just three quick reasons:

  1. Safety: Running outside when the conditions are dangerous is just plain not smart. Slip on some ice, get injured (or worse), then you won’t be doing much running at all!
  2. Quality: When outside conditions are really cold, windy, snowy, etc…you can get a better quality workout inside. Especially for hard workouts when unsure footing and elements make it literally impossible to run fast, opting to the treadmill will give you a much more effective workout.
  3. Old-school Peer Pressure: Feeling ashamed for running on the treadmill is just coming from other people, that’s their hang-up, not yours. At the end of the day running is running.

Treadmill Considerations

Now, there ARE some differences between inside and outside running, that’s true. I recently wrote an article which elaborates more, but, to sum up the differences:

  1. Air resistance: Inside you’re not breaking ANY wind, which comes from just moving through the air. It’s easy to negate that, set your treadmill up to 1.5% grade and that should make the paces more true to that of outside.
  2. Hamstrings: The belt moving on the treadmill causes your legs to shift the muscle groups relied on a bit; namely your hamstrings aren’t working and your quads are working double-time. So when doing lots of indoor running, make sure you supplement with some hamstring strength exercises and do lots of stretching for your quads.
  3. Repetitive: On a treadmill, every step you take is the.exact.same. There is no variance that comes with turns, and your ankles and core muscles are less engaged. It’s important to keep those areas strong with exercises so that when you move back outside your body is better able to avoid some injuries.

Does it FEEL the Same?

There’s been an ongoing debate about if a runner even needs to put the grade of a treadmill up to 1.5% to make it equal to the paces outside. Some suggest that the small bit of air resistance only becomes a factor at paces 7:36 or below, some say not at all, other stick to the 1.5% grade being necessary.

I’ll just give my personal thoughts. I’ve done a LOT of treadmill running; after my car accident it took me years to feel comfortable enough to run outside, so my treadmill was my best friend. I’ve come to conclude this:

  1. Treadmills Vary: The quality of a treadmill TOTALLY makes a difference. They all have different stiffness vs. cushioning levels just to name factor, and running on a jank treadmill can make the pace on the screen totally off. Some have felt loads easier than running outside, others way harder.
  2. Effort: Taking that into account, you can’t only take the treadmill’s screen at face value. Go off of effort. If the pace feels significantly easier than the same pace outside, the treadmill is probably off. Similarly, if the pace feeling crazy hard compared to what you’re used to…the treadmill is probably off. Go off of perceived effort…at the end of the day that’s what we should go off of for ALL of our runs.
  3. Hamstrings: The thing I brought up about weakened hamstrings is legit. After years and years of ONLY treadmill running, when I moved back outside my hamstrings were in for a shock, and this was still after doing some hamstring strength moves.
  4. Transition Slowly: To avoid getting injuries or tweaks, when the weather allows you to move back outside, transition carefully. This works both ways, going inside to outside and outside to inside, be mindful of your body and remember it always appreciates gradual transitions.

Whew!! All this treadmill talk and there’s still plenty more that I could yammer on about…but this post is becoming epic!

Thank you, Meredith, for letting me hi-jack your blog today!


Did I not tell you Cait is the best? If you haven’t checked out her artwork and site, you just must.

Links of Interest From Cait:


Do you need to wear different sneakers to keep yourself from running like I do?

How are the treadmills in your gym?

Favorite post-workout meal?





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  1. says

    Ohh the treadmill… I’m more acquainted with it than I would like, seeing as I live in Canada and have to deal with winter 6 months out of the year… and while we’ve learned to be cordial with each other, I don’t think we’ll ever be friends 😆 Your story is so inspiring though, Cait. If you can come back from an injury like that, then I really have no excuse not to lace up my sneakers more often. Thanks for sharing, girl!

  2. says

    I love that you had Cait over here – she is one of my all-time favorite bloggers!!!
    And, as a happy treadmill runner (no shame from me over not braving the cold), I did not know that about my hamstrings but it does explain why I’m always so sore when I do get outside for a good run. And, I always put my treadmill at 1.5% incline – makes me feel like I’m not running downhill!

    • says

      Isn’t she the best? I usually notice an adjustment period too when I switch between outside and inside. Last week for some reason I didn’t feel the effects so much though but normally, it’s a total adjustment! I keep my incline at .5 % or 1.0% for the majority of my runs.