I’ve always been a fan of the treadmill. Ok, let me rephrase that – I enjoy the treadmill but at times have had a love/hate relationship.
Obviously this was a picture from pre-pregnancy.
I personally think the treadmill gets a bad name in the running community. I’ve heard over and over again people having some not-so-nice names for the treadmill; however, I find that the treadmill can not only be an amazing training partner but sometimes a necessary one.
Pregnancy brings a whole new line of advantages to doing many runs on the treadmill, but still advantages for any runner.
You will find me on the treadmill for sure on Monday and Wednesday mornings when I do a longer run with a little more to it. On my shorter runs I’m usually outdoors and long runs are hit or miss depending on where I am. To me, the treadmill is always a safe place I can go to regardless of where I am or what I need to do.
So, why exactly do I think the treadmill is such a good tool for pregnancy (and beyond)?
Easier on my Body
My home treadmill has more give then when I run on the pavement and I even notice that my body recovers better afterwards as well. This is especially important since my weight has gone up and I have more force coming down on my body during running. It may not always feel easy, but it does go easier on my legs.
Water Always on Hand
I love to run outside, but I’ve yet to find a good way to carry water that doesn’t drive me crazy. Running on the treadmill assures I can have my water without having to carry it and can use it as often as I need. This is actually really helpful especially since the temperatures are refusing to cool down.
No matter what time of day you need to get up and run, I always have a light down in my basement or at the gym. While I do run outside in the dark, some mornings I just feel safer on the basement treadmill and not worrying about cars or carrying my mace with me.
Easier to Control
Outside I usually just run off how I am feeling; however, sometimes I can push too hard even when I know I probably shouldn’t. The treadmill allows me to control my pace (whether I want to go slower or speed things up). It also allows me to pause the run should I need a break.
This is also the only way I have been able to small intervals while pregnant. The treadmill allows me more control so I know I’m not getting out of hand while still allow my legs to pick things up for short amounts of time.
The treadmill has quickly become a pregnant woman’s best friend just for the ability to be close to the bathroom. As I progress in pregnancy this is becoming more and more important, especially since I am so focused on taking in adequate hydration throughout my run. This may seem silly to some, but I can’t tell you how awesome it is!
I love running outside and getting lost in my thoughts, but sometimes it’s just nice to hook up my iPad and watch whatever I’m into on Netflix. It allows me to check my brain out for a while and catch up on my shows which I usually don’t have time to watch. It’s also a great way to get the time to go by quicker.
Now if only I could master running and reading like my awesome friend Meridith.
Close to Home
Obviously being on my basement treadmill allows me to be incredibly (even in) close to home. During pregnancy it makes me feel more secure and at ease knowing that if for any reason something went wrong I’m right there and I wouldn’t have to find a way to get back to my house. There is a lot to be said for a little peace of mind sometimes.
As you get bigger during pregnancy sometimes your since of balance can be thrown off. Running outside (especially in the early morning when I do) can often cause other issues and make it easier for you to fall. The treadmill is a great flat, unchanging surface that makes me feel safer as I continue to grow.
The more I run on the treadmill the more I begin to enjoy it for what it is. It can’t replace those wonderful runs outdoors, but sometimes it is just what you need. Being pregnant allows it to have even more benefits than it usually does. It’s not always easy, but I’m learning quickly that if my body responds better to the treadmill then that’s what it needs!
How do you feel about the treadmill?
Want to read more about treadmill running? Check out these posts: