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Desperate times: homemade soap treadmills

Runners stuck at home have come up with an interesting substitute for a treadmill

Treadmills can run you anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to well over a thousand. But dish soap? That costs under $10. Under $5 if you don’t buy a name brand. And dish soap, it turns out, can turn your floor or bathtub into a treadmill of sorts. This is definitely unsafe and you really won’t get a good workout in, but these DIY-treadmills are too funny not to feature.

Step One: get some dish soap. Step Two: pour it on the floor in your kitchen, bathtub or really any smooth, flat surface. Step Three: wet the ground and spread the soap around. Step Four: hold on to something in front of you and start your workout.

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The above video features Joshua Holmes, an American ultrarunner who recorded a top-10 finish at last year’s Badwater 135 in California’s Death Valley. He jokingly says he got 35 miles in for this “training run,” but for some reason, we have a hard time believing that. Regardless of how far he went, it was pretty funny.


Even Olympians are jumping on this at-home training trend. American Paul Chelimo, an Olympic silver medallist in the 5,000m in Rio, tweeted a video similar to Holmes’s, although instead of the kitchen, Chelimo took to his tub, where he conveniently has a towel rack to hold while on a long run.

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“I’m not about to show up at the Olympic Trials out of shape,” Chelimo tweeted. This is what separates the world’s best—the Olympians and world championsfrom us amateurs. They don’t care where they are or how they get their training in, and it doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to get done.

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Neither Holmes nor Chelimo created this soap treadmill trend, and it isn’t even a new creation inspired by COVID-19 quarantines. We aren’t really sure who came up with it first. Maybe the man in the above video, or maybe someone else. For all we know, this could be how the Ancient Greeks got in a quick 5K before heading to the agora or going out to philosophize.

What we can be sure of is that this is most definitely just a joke, and that no one should try this at home and expect to run a legitimate workout. Hopefully in Canada we won’t lose the right to work out outside (as they have in Spain and Italy), but for now, just keep going outdoors and make sure to keep a safe distance between you and other people.