Many runners can’t stand the treadmill. It’s monotonous, it gets hotter than an outdoor run and no matter how you distract yourself, time spent on the treadmill can drag on forever. Despite this, some people love the treadmill. If you’re lucky enough to own one, maybe you can learn to like it (or at least tolerate it) with the help of these runners who love hopping on that conveyor belt and cranking out a few miles.
Mo Farah told Athletics Weekly that he’s “one of these people” who loves the treadmill. “I’m weird,” he said. He said he knows that most people hate the treadmill, but sometimes he prefers the treadmill over a regular run.
While in lockdown in the U.K., where citizens are only permitted to go out for one form of exercise per day, the quadruple Olympic gold-medallist has used his treadmill quite a bit. The treadmill might not always be fun, but sometimes it can be necessary.
Grateful for the treadmill
Canadian ultramarathon champion and coach at Personal Peak Performance, Jacob Puzey, considers the treadmill “a luxury.” In 2016, he ran a 50-mile treadmill world record time of 4:57:45. In an Instagram post from 2018, Puzey explained that, when he uses the treadmill, he he feels a sense of gratitude.
“Any treadmill—mine or even the most basic model—is worth more than many people’s homes or annual incomes,” he wrote. Treadmills represent a lot for Puzey, and they’re a symbol of how fortunate he is to live in a place like Canada and to be able to afford such a luxury.
I am often asked how I don’t get bored on a treadmill. The answer is simple: gratitude.
I have never thought of a treadmill as a “dreadmill,” “torture device,” or “pain cave.” I have always thought of it as a luxury for which I am grateful.
— Jacob Puzey (@jacobpuzey) November 8, 2018
Time moves pretty slowly on the treadmill, and one hour can feel like two or three. Next time you want to complain about that, though, think about Matthias Kyburz and Pablo Espinosa—two men who own ultra-distance treadmill records. Kyburz, a Swiss orienteering world champion, set a new 50K treadmill world record just last week, running 2:56:35.
Espinosa’s record was even longer. Kyburz ran 50K on just one occasion for his record, and that sounds like more than enough time spent on the treadmill. Espinosa, who lives in St-Polycarpe, Que., set the 30-day treadmill record earlier this year when he ran 2,150 kilometres over the month of February. That’s over 70 kilometres every day for 30 days on the treadmill. Your workout might sound long and daunting, but it’s nowhere near what Kyburz or Espinosa did, so you can make it.