Monday, 9 December 2013

Suffering

I was having a conversation the other day with another fit 30-something about training methods, diets and the like, when the topic of treadmills came up!

I hate running on a treadmill! And I'm not alone! 

Then it dawned on me. The very reason we hate treadmills so much, is because it's such a hard workout. But, because it's such a hard workout, it makes us stronger!

So, why is it hard? A treadmill session might go something like this. 

You get on the treadmill and start out at a reasonable pace. You get into a rhythm and before long you're cruising along, watching the kilometres tick by. After about 10 minutes, although you're keeping your normal pace, you're now becoming decidedly uncomfortable. It's at this point I usually say to myself, "I'll just run until 20mins...then I'll hop off."

Just having a closer look at the wear pattern on the running belt

20 minutes: By this stage, you're noticing the sweat on your head, and your shirt is becoming sticky. The effort is still uncomfortable, but I think, "I can't get off now, I might as well make it to 30mins... then I'll hop off." 

30 minutes: By now it's confirmed that there is nothing to distract your mind, there is no air and this is the longest 30 minutes of your life...and did someone just turn off the air? It's now I think, "Look, I made it this far, lets just hang on until 40mins, that'll be a reasonable workout...then I'll hop off."

40 minutes: Am I still here at 40 minutes? You're dripping with sweat, the towel you've got nearby is saturated and your shirt is now pretty much soaked.You're thinking..."If I can just hang on for another 5mins, I'll make it to the 10km mark, and that's a decent effort!...then I'll hop off"

So, you hang on...and on... and on, the effort is UNCOMFORTABLE!!!

You're dipping with sweat, the lack of airflow for the last 45 minutes is killing you, you've been staring into nothingness, and can now see images emanating from a singular scuff on the wall. Added to that is the frustration that your Ipod keeps playing slow songs that you've heard 1000 times before - it's hard!

50 minutes: And then it happens! The 50 minute mark comes and goes and you're still hanging in there. Not only are you hanging in there, you can see the light at the end of this extremely sweaty tunnel. The last 10 minutes seem easier, so easy, you up the pace for the last 5 minutes or so...just to give yourself a bit of a workout!!!

60 minutes: You made it. Slow the treadmill to a walk, finish your water and glance around to see if anyone notices how much of a BOSS you are for completing such a hard workout!

So what's the point here?

Training indoors makes for a tougher workout

The point is, the reason we ALL hate a certain exercise, whether it be running on a treadmill, jogging down the road, or swimming laps of a pool, is because it's hard! And why is it hard? Because it stresses our body. And what happens when we stress our body? It repairs itself - fitter AND stronger!

And that is why I LOVE TREADMILLS. They are a punishing, mentally draining workout which not only builds your fitness and makes you sweat, but also gives you the mindset to cope when the going gets tough. 

So next time you find yourself complaining about a certain session, or just whining about having to get off the couch and do some exercise, remember - It's good for you.

Let the mind games begin!

Love, play, train!

@m_zank