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Making nice with the treadmill

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This past week marked the unofficial arrival of winter in Saskatchewan, with temperatures dipping below -20 C. For Saskatchewanians, this means the shovels and boots come out, space heaters get plugged in, warm vacations get planned and “with the wind chill” starts to pop up in conversations. For runners, this time of year also means the treadmill. As I mentioned in my last blog, running on a treadmill is a reality here, where the temperature hovers around -25 C and occasionally hits below -50 C with the wind chill.

With this being my first season having a dedicated running routine, I’m learning to accept this reality. I have never been a fan of any machine that finds me in the same place I started after running 17 kilometres, no bridges to cross, fresh air to breath, puddles to dodge, or paths to explore. I have, however, been starting to appreciate it for what it is.

What I’ve learned about how to enjoy treadmill workouts:

  • Remind myself I’m wearing shorts in the middle of a snowstorm while still getting in my milage.
  • Ensure I have some solid go-to music to get me through the longer sessions. I’ll go with anything from listening to an entire album to jumping over to “shuffle” to keep things interesting.
  • Vary the incline from five per cent to two per cent throughout the workout.
  • Pick the treadmill that gives the best view for people watching.
  • Remind myself this will pay off when I hit the road again.