Suffering from Treadmill Psychosis?

Well if you are reading this you are either suffering from the symptoms of treadmill psychosis or very curious about the title of the article.

In a post last week I described trainer psychosis and in this article using the same format, I will describe treadmill psychosis and some cures.

Let’s break down what I am calling Treadmill Psychosis. Which is very similar to Treadmill Psychosis, which I will cover in the next article

When I say treadmill I am talking about that piece of equipment all serious and competitive runners use to stay fit or to improve their performances. These treadmills are self-prescribed by athletes or by their coaches for off-season training in colder climates and sadistically sometimes during the warmer months!

This dastardly piece of equipment is often a necessary evil, but after about 6 weeks of using said treadmill it becomes a spiteful, boring, tormentor and hated piece of equipment for all but the most twisted of runners.

Psychosis is a mental sate whose symptoms consist of: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002520/)

  • Disorganized thought and speech
    • The usual effects occur after long endurance runs and hill intervals
  • False beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions), especially unfounded fear or suspicion
    • My treadmill is trying to destroy my heart
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there
    • Is that runner on the treadmill next me trying to pass?
  • Thoughts that “jump” between unrelated topics
    • Such as maybe I should move to Fiji and I wonder if barefoot running is better on a treadmill and I wonder what’s for dinner.

All kidding aside many of us are stuck at home or the gym on the treadmill AKA: Dreadmill knocking out mile after mile going nowhere. I promise it will be worth it especially if you are consistent in your training.

Is there relief from this dreaded condition? Absolutely!

Run indoors. Find a gym with an indoor track! They do exist. You can also run stairs but make sure you have several weeks/moths of endurance work in your legs before attempting stair running, as it is very explosive in nature.

Run trails. Yeah, I realize it’s cold, wet, snowy and even windy but it’s possible to run outdoors in the winter. Invest in some trail running shoes, wool socks, running tights and other cold weather gear and hit the trails. It’s amazing if you have never run trails before. No cars, very few people, fresh air, and the occasional wildlife.  I have found that running trails have helped me with surges in running groups and even balance. One thing to remember about running trails for those of you who regularly run higher that 180 SSPM you may discover that you need to lengthen your stride to clear tree roots and rocks.

Get off the treadmill. There are many ways to enhance and improve aerobic function so if you start getting bored on the treadmill take a day or two off. Go for a hike, swim or even ride your bike. While the weather may not be conducive to riding a road bike outdoors you can always invest in a mountain bike!

Not happy with your treadmill? Get a new one or have your current one serviced. If the deck of a treadmill is starting to feel like you are running across the surface of an unforgiving slab of diamonds I suggest you have your treadmill serviced by a professional. Most modern treadmills are pretty complicated pieces of equipment. Maybe your treadmill is shot and you need to replace it. If you are running 4 or more days a week it may be time for a treadmill upgrade. While not everyone can afford a new 5000.00 commercial treadmill it is advisable to seek out a used piece of gym equipment with a consistent service record. You can get great deals on used commercial treadmills in the warmer months. Look for features you couldn’t get in your inexpensive models such as 11-13 MPH top speeds, decks that also decline and that can make connections to ANT+ or newer Bluetooth HR monitors and foot pods.

If you have been plodding away on your treadmill and not doing any intervals at all you are missing a wonderful opportunity to get your sweat on!

I will be publishing several new articles in the coming weeks on how to get more out of your treadmill sessions. So check back soon.

Are you suffering from Treadmill Psychosis? Stop by our Facebook page and tell us about it. Pain shared is pain lessened.

Until next

Time Train Smarter Not Harder

Coach Rob

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