The first April treadmill run, 2019 edition

Back to the treadmill today, though the weather turned out to be unexpectedly decent, so a run outside would have worked, too.

My goals were the same as last time–maintain pace, hope for no issues, finish with a nice BPM. And I hit all three, woo.

I goofed a bit on the tracking, letting the timer run (ho ho) for over a minute into my cooldown (walking) phase, so my average pace was officially 6:19/km. Using my primitive caveman math skills to eliminate this part of the run, my overall pace was actually closer to 6:12/km, so pretty much identical to the last treadmill run. My BPM was down slightly, as well, to 153.

No issues encountered throughout, it was just a nice, steady run.

The stats, slightly skewed by the aforementioned extra time:

Distance: 4.18 km (4.01)
Time: 26:25 (24:50)
Average pace: 6:12/km (6:11/km)
BPM: 153 (155)
Calories: 314 (283)
Total treadmill distance: 42.72 km

The five days later treadmill run

In which I feel it a little more than last time, but stay on-track for the full 25 minutes.

This time the timer was set to the standard 30 minutes, so I got the cooldown at the expected 25 minute mark. Unlike Thursday’s run, I did not particularly get a second wind tonight, and I also supped from my water bottle several times during the run. Still, I ran the full 25 minutes, then walked during the five-minute cooldown. I stop tracking the run when the cooldown begins, so the pace doesn’t get thrown off by all the lazy walking.

My BPM was slightly higher at 155, but that was because I was working harder–my average pace dropped from 6:16/km to 6:11/km. You may wonder how you improve your pace on a treadmill that moves at the same speed for the entire time. So do I, a little. Really, though, it’s easy to recognize when I’m over or under-performing. Under performing = moving farther back on the treadmill. Over-performing = running into the grips at the front. I did a bit of both tonight.

Overall, though, an effort I am happy with, and no issues to note.

Stats (note the 2+ minutes difference in time vs. the last run):

Distance: 4.01 km (4.39)
Time: 24:50 (27:34)
Average pace: 6:11/km (6:16/km)
BPM: 155 (153)
Calories: 283 (297)
Total treadmill distance: 38.54 km

The treadmill run run

Off to the treadmill again!

Tonight I wanted to go farther between intervals as my main goal. I focused at the start on two things: my breathing and how I generally felt. And I felt pretty decent.

Once I got to about the 14 minute mark I knew I could push to 20 without slowing to a walk, and probably go right up to the cooldown at the 25-minute mark.

Which I did, though the cooldown mysteriously did not begin at the 25-minute mark. I discovered after that the previous user had set the total time to 32 minutes (signs near the machines ask you to limit workouts to 30 minutes as a courtesy if others are waiting). That meant the cooldown didn’t stop until the 27-minute mark.

It was at that point that I switched to a fast walk and I walked for the last five minutes. I ended the run to keep my average pace up, then switched to an indoor walk for the walky part. Then I forgot to turn it off, allowing me to test the Workout app’s ability to sense when a workout has ended and ask if you wanted to stop. It did do this, albeit about two minutes after I stopped.

In terms of results, I felt a mini version of the runner’s high midway through, which was spiffy, brought my average pace down, and despite running the entire time, also brought my heart rate down. When you compare the distance and calorie counts below, keep in mind that this run was about two minutes shorter than the previous.

If you add the distance of my walk after, I hit exactly 5 km (and burned another 59 calories, for a total of 356. Woo.

And here are the stats (note I am now tracking total distance for treadmill runs and will go back and start numbering the treadmill runs, which I am too lazy to do tonight):

Distance: 4.39 km (4.38)
Time: 27:34 (29:26)
Average pace: 6:16/km (6:43/km)
BPM: 153 (157)
Calories: 297 (327)
Total treadmill distance: 34.53 km

The exercise-bike-turned-into-a-treadmill run

Tonight I tried the exercise bike, to see if it would torture my knees as the elliptical had two night earlier.

The answer is: Yes! Not as badly, but still enough for me to bail out after 45 calories (five minutes) worth of pedaling.

I went back to the treadmill and managed to run longer between walking and walked less overall. It all went fine. The stats, with previous run in brackets:

Distance: 4.38 km (4.22)
Time: 29:26 (29:35)
Average pace: 6:43/km (7:01)
BPM: 157 (156)
Calories: 327 (327)

Yes, even though I ran harder, had a significantly better average pace, I still burned the exact same number of calories. Or so my Apple Watch says. Perhaps it is a big fat liar. BPM remaining virtually identical despite the harder push was nice, though.

The started-as-elliptical-turned-into-treadmill run

Tonight at the pool I got on the elliptical, intending to do a full workout.

Six minutes and twenty seconds later I stopped because my knees were hurting too much I won’t say I suffered a thousand agonies, but it was probably at least 600. I tried adjusting the machine multiple ways, but it made no difference. I have a pretty high tolerance for discomfort, but could not abide this.

I did manage to burn 64 calories before packing it in.

I switched over to the treadmill, which went much better. The workout there was almost a mirror image of Friday night. I say almost because I walked a little longer during the cooldown period at the end, which slowed my overall pace. I also felt a bit tired to start (probably from the elliptical) and this made me want to drop to walking more often, but I checked my BPM, it was good, and I pressed on.

The stats, with Friday’s in brackets:

Distance: 4.22 km (4.24)
Time: 29:35 (29:28)
Average pace: 7:01/km (6:57)
BPM: 156 (157)
Calories: 327 (330)

The March “Last of the snow?” treadmill run

I was actually planning on using the elliptical tonight, but they were all in use when we got there and I was too impatient to wait for one to free up. On the other hand, a bunch of treadmills were free, so off I went, planning to do the same interval thing as the last few times (which I duly executed).

Here are the stats, with the previous treadmill run results in brackets:

 Distance: 4.24 km (4.10)
Time: 29:28 (29:05)
Average pace: 6:57/km (7:06/km)
BPM: 157 (159)
Calories: 330 (330)

The calorie burn likely stayed the same because I was up a bit in weight vs. last time. Overall I saw minor improvements in each category, so I am pleased, but not doing cartwheels because the improvements are quite modest. Also, I’d probably seriously injure myself attempting a cartwheel.

Jeff wants to go more often, so we’ll see if that happens. If it does the stats should continue to get better and when my average BPM drops low enough, or it stops being so unseasonably cold, I’ll resume runs outside.

The free treadmill run

It’s Family Day and with Jeff away, I decided to hit the treadmill at the Canada Games Pool. I need to work on my sexy summer figure, you see.

I was going to walk, so I consulted Google Maps for the most efficient route, which turned out to be an estimated 23 minutes.

I created a different route that would take me past a spooky cemetery and require fewer twists and turns along the way. Google Maps told me it would take me 30 minutes.

I got there in 23 minutes.

To my surprise and delight, there was free admission, probably because of the holiday. It did indeed appear that numerous families were in attendance. They even had the big slide open. I did not ride the big slide.

Instead, I followed my previous treadmill run, hitting certain milestones (distance or time), at which I would check my heart rate, and if it was peaking, I’d fall back to a brisk walk until it had settled to just a little above my normal brisk walk pace, then I’d resume running. This means that in the time I normally do a 5K I noyl cover about 4K, but it’s easier on the body (and heart). Given how out of shape I am, this feels like the prudent thing to do until I start to see improvements in stamina and BPM.

I never felt bad and experienced no discomfort during the run, save for a slight bit of soreness in my left foot. I wore my cross trainers, which have little support, and used the regular insoles, rather than the orthotics. It was a nice reminder of how much the orthotics actually help to reduce pain and discomfort.

Here are the stats:

Distance: 4.10 km
Time: 39:05
Average pace: 7:06/km
BPM: 159
Calories: 330

The average pace was virtually identical to the last treadmill run, but the BPM was up a little to 159 vs. 153. This is a bummer, as I was hoping it would at least not be higher. It was peaking around 169 during the running parts, which is at least below the 170 mark.

I’m going to try to get out again within the next three days so I can see how the next run compares. If it’s even worse, I will be a sad, slow panda.

The first February treadmill extravaganza

Today, as a few winsome flakes of snow fell for the first time this winter, we headed out to the Canada Games Pool for some exercise and relaxation. My original plan was to run in the snow, which can be strangely delightful if it’s not waist-deep or turning to torrential rain, but given how light the snow was and how high my BPM was on last weekend’s river run, I chose to hit the treadmill once again.

I ended up falling into an interval pattern based on my heart rate after seeing how high it was getting even on the treadmill. I would run until it reached 164 or 165, then switch to a fast walk until it got down below 140, then start running again.

It worked out decently enough and I feel a bit better not pushing quite so hard as I normally would. I’ll see if the BPM starts trending downward as the runs get more frequent (it should), because if it doesn’t I may need to See a Doctor before continuing on with more rigorous or rigorous-like exercise.

When compared to my last treadmill run, the distance is shorter (because I walked more), but the calorie burn was higher and my BPM was exactly the same at 153, which means it was actually higher than last time, as I walked more, so my overall heart rate should have been lower. This is not great, though I feel fine now and felt fine immediately after the run, too, apart from that usual moment of vertigo when you step off a treadmill onto a floor that doesn’t move at all

The stats:

Distance: 4.27 km
Time: 30:14
Average pace: 7:05/km
BPM: 153
Calories: 342

Treadmill run 2019

Well, the first one of 2019, anyway. I’ll run outside one of these days (but maybe not tomorrow, as they are forecasting winds gusting up to 70-90 km/h).

I spent about five minutes out of the 30 doing a fast walk, with the pace set to 4.0 on the machine, which is…I’m not sure. I don’t really know what the numbers represent, exactly. The rest was jogging at a pace set to 6.5, which is a bit slower than an outdoor jog, based on heartrate and just generally how it feels. I’m more comfortable pushing myself outside because I don’t have to worry about flying off a fast-moving mat below my feet.

My best km, which did not include any walking intervals, was 5:58, which is actually pretty decent. The knees were again not an issue and my stamina is perhaps a very tiny bit improved.

The overall stats:

Distance: 4.62 km
Time: 30:03
Average pace: 6:30/km
BPM: 153
Calories: 336

This is slower than the previous run, but I spent a bit more time walking, especially during the 5-minute cooldown period when the machine automatically drops the speed to 3.9 (I raised it back to 6.5 for a few minutes of the cooldown, as I’m a rebel).

Here is the previous treadmill run for comparison:

Distance: 4.31 km
Time: 27.03
Average pace: 6:16/km
BPM: 157
Calories: 354

Treadmillin’ again

This afternoon I spent three minutes on the elliptical.

(That’s how long it took for a treadmill at the Canada Games Pool to open up. Not surprising on a Sunday afternoon. My watch detected a workout just as I stepped off. Is it ironic that my watch has poor timing? I say yes.)

Today’s effort went better than last Friday’s. I only switched to a walk a few times and only breifly, so it was less of an interval-style run and more of a run-style run. The knees held up fine, my pace was about on par for being indoors and out of shape (6:16/km–this includes the walking. I was closer to 6:00 if you only count the running bits). My BPM was also decent, at 157 (I tend to run harder and faster outdoors, so it’s unsurprising to see the BPM here be lower. But it’s still nice).

Overall, I found it encouraging and sweaty. I’m thinking of perhaps jogging outdoors in the next few days to see how that goes. Mind you, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Tuesday is Christmas, so I’m not sure if I’ll run or just stay home, drink eggnog and get fatter.

But I’ll definitely get out sometime this week. Almost guaranteed.

The full stats for the treadmill run:

Distance: 4.31 km
Time: 27.03
Average pace: 6:16/km
BPM: 157
Calories: 354

Return to the treadmill

And it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

Back around the start of November I had the flu and ended up being the poster boy for Why You Should Get a Flu Shot. This not only put a crimp in my NaNoWriMo novel, it meant running was right out. I barely had enough energy to sit in a chair, let alone do actual exercise. Then I became wrapped up in writing for a bit, then the weather turned cold and wet and by this point I was making excuses not to run because I had become soft, flabby and lazy.

The longer I held off, the more I dreaded the return, not only because I was getting increasingly out of shape, but also due to this year’s special bonus of sore knees.

On Friday after work we went to the Canada Games Pool and instead of going on the elliptical, I strangely climbed on a treadmill, opting for an interval-style run for half an hour where I’d jog at a good pace, then ramp down to a fast walk for a few minutes, then back to jogging and so on. Intervals are supposed to be a great way to train/exercise and it was easier, which particularly appealed after more than a month off.

And it really wasn’t that bad. I pushed a little at times, but I kept up and burned some 300 or so calories. The knees were a bit sore the next day, but the soreness didn’t persist much longer than that, and I actually kind of want to go back. I’m supposed to hate the treadmill and in a way I still do, but it’s warm inside the pool building and I had my water bottle and music and it was all right.

I may even try running outside again this weekend. The forecast for Saturday is rain showers with a high of only 4°C. This is not especially inviting weather. In fact, it’s yucky. But I will change into my running clothes and convince myself to go instead of sitting on the couch eating shortbread cookies.

I’m pretty sure, anyway.

The important thing is I miss my incredibly sexy legs, which are looking positively ordinary right now. This will not do.

Run 480: Running on a treadmill uphill (both ways)

Run 480
Average pace: 7:13/km
Location: Canada Games Pool (treadmill)
Distance: 4.38 km
Time: 31:41
Weather: n/a
Temp: n/a
Wind: n/a
BPM: 155
Stride: n/a
Weight: 165.3 pounds
Total distance to date: 3790 km
Devices/apps: Apple Watch, iPhone (for music) and Matrix treadmill (for running)

Only four days between treadmill runs this time, though I was originally planning on using the elliptical. Alas, all of the machines were occupied and I was too impatient to wait a minute or two for someone to decide that soaking in the swirl pool beat exercise.

Instead of choosing Manual or 5K Run I went with Fat Burn, same as I choose on the elliptical. As the run progressed (inclination set to 1, speed set to 6) I felt fine…for awhile. My ankles started to feel sore again, though not as much as the previous time. But then I started to feel really tired. I mean, really weirdly tired in a way I never feel during a run.

I dialed the speed down from 6 to 5.5 and eventually all the way to 4, which is a fast walk. I pondered.

I ramped the speed up a few times after, briefly, but switched off between jogging and walking until the end and I didn’t even cheat (mostly) during the cooldown period, which slows the treadmill to a walking pace. This also explains my silly slow average pace of 7:13/km.

It was during one of the running parts when it felt very hard that it dawned on me what was happening–and how dumb I was to not realize it. The hard parts were uphill. I verified this by tapping on the incline control and saw that it was set to 3.5 instead of 1.0 as the good lord intended. Each uphill segment lasted multiple minutes, which is multiple minutes longer than I have ever done uphill running before. It also explains why my ankles were hurting. I am a lousy mountain goat.

Secure in this knowledge, I will never choose Fat Burn again. I’ll burn fat by not eating Twinkies. For treadmill runs, I’ll stick to 5Ks or manual settings in the future.