Archive | Gym RSS feed for this section

Treadmill Vs Running Outside

22 Jun

I have finally bitten the bullet today and rejoined a gym! I really thought I could get through winter and not have to do it but I had a bit of an experience a week or two ago that made me rethink. I was running around the lake near where I live at 6am and a guy appeared in front of me. It kind of threw me a bit. He laughed and said some words in a language I didn’t understand, and I just kept on running.

It made me think. What if he hadn’t been as passive? and what if he had been with other guys? I got home a little bit shaken and took stock of it all, and decided that I wouldn’t run outside in the dark alone again. Need some tips on safety – read one of my previous posts all about it.

My issue is that during the week I have no-one to run with as my friends are dotted all over the place – weekends are not a drama, but weekdays are an issue. So I joined a gym! I’m quite excited to be going back for a while – it will be nice to be in the warm 🙂

Before I committed to join my gym I sat and really thought about the benefits of both the treadmill and running outside to weigh up whether I would use the gym. I decided in the end that I would likely use both – gym during the week and outside on the weekend. My notes that I wrote for myself are below for anyone wondering what the benefits of both are.


Benefits of running on the treadmill and running outside

Running on the treadmill

Great for speed sessions

Treadmills are really good for when you have specific training requirements – i..e if you are running a speed session and need to do x km per hour. You can literally program the treadmill for whatever speed you need to run at, and away you go which is very handy when working to a specific program with specific speed training requirements.

All weather training 

The treadmill is a great alternative when the weather isn’t going in your favour. Whether it is torrential rain outside or a heatwave – it really doesn’t matter if you are running on a treadmill inside.

Great for the solo runner 

If the only time that you can train is early in the morning or last thing at night, and it is dark – running on a treadmill is a great way to ensure that you don’t put yourself at risk by running alone in the dark. You can run at any time of the day on the treadmill without having to be conscious of where you run and keeping safe.

Better when you have an injury

The treadmill can be better if you have an injury than running outside, as you will have a consistent flat surface to run on, whereas outside the surface on which you are running may not be as even, the pavement may be harder which could worsen your injury. Although on the flip side it is good to ensure that your sessions on the treadmill are mixed up to ensure you don’t fall prey to injury from just pounding away on the treadmill session after session.


Running Outside 

Change of scenery and route 

Running on the treadmill can be very boring, seeing the same view time after time and not physically getting anywhere. Running outside is great therefore for alleviating boredom and mixing things up with your running routes, enabling you to change your routes, add hills and variation to your terrain i.e. roads, trails.

Save money 

The biggest advantage of running outside compared to inside on a treadmill is that unless you own your own treadmill it means that you save money on hefty gym membership fees. You can literally put on your running gear, step outside the door and go!

More realistic training conditions for a race 

The treadmill can often seem easier than running outside, and if you are training for something in particular it can often be better to run outside to get used to the conditions that you will be running in rather than running on a treadmill where it isn’t always an accurate reflection of true racing conditions.




Tips for staying motivated when injured or unable to train

15 Nov

This week has been another interesting week with my second cortisone injection in my other wrist. This one hurt a lot more than the first and I have been on a bit of a downer wondering what’s going to happen next! My wrist seems to be improving but I haven’t been able to do anything – my family have been helping whilst I rested but being an active person it has been very frustrating and I even froze my gym membership for a week or so to get a bit of rest – I can still run but I have to run a bit funny so my wrist doesn’t pull so I decided to rest!

I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and sometimes things that happen to slow you down are actually a good thing and force you to realise perhaps you needed the rest – so all good.

I was hoping to get a race in before Christmas but it’s unlikely now and I am actually ok with that. I’m intending to start running outside more with the Baby Jogger now bub is old enough so I can’t wait once my wrist is strong enough.

It's hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

It’s hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

4 Tips to stay motivated when injured or unable to train 

It’s not forever

Often we see hurdles and setbacks as the end of the world and a real killjoy. I know with being pregnant, then being injured I have certainly felt that way. I don’t think I had ever not trained for so long and it drove me nuts. Friends that I had disappeared as I no longer had those things in common and I felt quite isolated. Often we learn a lot from these experiences and just remember it isn’t forever.

Cruel to be Kind 

In not training because of an injury or health issue or even pregnancy you have to remember it is for a specific reason. It’s not like you just can’t be bothered – there is a specific reason and you should remember that. Running with an injury would be pretty silly just as running when pregnant unless your doctor has given you the all clear.

Other Opportunities

Take the time to use the time for other opportunities – get that book read or call your friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while and enjoy the time off as if you are anything like me when you eventually get back to training you will work extra hard to make up for lost time!

Set a goal for when back training 

When I was pregnant I set all sorts of goals for when my baby was born to give me some motivation to push through the pregnancy. I know dead on week 12 I signed up to a new gym and started slowly getting back into training. I bought a few new gym clothes and was very excited about getting back so I had something to look forward to – but that’s just me – you might have other ideas but it helped me to keep going. I know when I go back to the gym in a matter of days I have set myself some goals to really get myself back into training and a couple of targets which if I don’t make them I’ll get over – but I’m being positive that  I will achieve them!

Anyway onwards and upwards – have a great week of running!

Zoe 🙂

A bitter taste in my mouth from my gym

4 Mar

Happy Monday everyone. Three posts in three days! That’s pretty good or me. I need to have a rant today which is why I am posting..

I have been feeling a bit unfit lately due to not being able to train as hard as I like and as much as I like due to a few health issues and so this morning I called my gym thinking if I book in for them to just do me a simple program it will help me get back on track…..the response I got was that it probably came under PT and I may have to pay for it and that I couldn’t book over the phone I had to go in. Having an assessment at the gym has always been something that has always been a bog standard part of the service at gyms I have been in – and I have been going to gyms since I was 18 (quite a while then and quite a few different gyms….). I didn’t want someone to push me I just wanted someone to ask me what my goals are and to just suggest a couple of machines that would be suitable.

I got off the phone feeling really flat, fat and not happy – so I did what any girl would do – I called my friend and moaned at her, she also happens to be a personal trainer – a pretty awesome one too and my solution is  now sorted – she is going to write me a program instead which is great for me but leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth over my gym. I kind of thought that the gym was about empowering people, service and lifting them up rather than money and protocol. So regardless of whether they now turn around and offer me a free program

….thanks but no thanks.

Am I over reacting?

It’s that time again: does the fan go on or off at the gym!

28 May

I love my gym. It gives me great pleasure to train there except when it’s boiling hot as there is no air conditioning, just fans, and when it is winter in Brisbane and it’s cold.

Oscillating Fan

I train my butt off at the gym especially on the treadmill when I don’t want to run outside, but the issue I face and the girls that I train with is often when we are running inside in winter and we are working hard and sweating, we put the fan on much to the annoyance of the people that think going to the gym involves sitting on a bike and reading a magazine and not raising much of a sweat hence they don’t really warm up and give death stares when anyone goes near the fans.

I had one of those moments the other day as I was running for the first time in a couple of weeks after being sick and went to put the fan on to discover it wasn’t working. I went to one of the guys on the desk who came over and said someone had had it switched off at the mains, he then switched it on for me and the guy in question didn’t look too happy and said I shouldn’t work so hard – in a nice way of course.

I am finding I now have an aversion to the fan. Everytime I think about switching it on I look over at who else is training and whether they are training hard, if so I will go and switch it on, but if not I just suck it up as I don’t like to upset people and I end up finishing my training early because I am too warm. Am I being crazy? I mean when I sweat I get really hot – and there are only so many clothes I can remove without getting in trouble!

Maybe I should stick to training outside!

Back on the horse…

14 Nov

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks with trying to finish college work (i graduate from a graphic design course in a couple of weeks!), and also finishing a job I resigned from a while ago. I have been really distracted and demotivated to train which has been a real pain as I was running better than ever and thanks to not pushing the last few weeks I have a bit of ground to make back up. I also stopped doing P90x for a while and realise now that it really seriously helped me improve my running and in stopping that I lost a a bit of fitness too.

So now I am near to completion of my course and without a job so no excuses now to get my butt back into  tip top shape. I am the kind of person that needs things to aim for so up until Christmas it is just to really get in shape again and then next year I need to think about what races I am going to go for. Do I stay short and improve my 5k time or go long again and do a few half marathons and 10ks? or do I do both 🙂 ! I am swaying towards really going for it and I am hoping that my running buddies plan to do a few races too then it will help me stick to my goals.

So the next months plan is to do a couple of runs a week, also toning and at least one session of core a week. I like the P90x arms and leg work outs so will probably keep them along with some runs and a couple of cardio classes at the gym and see how I go.

More to come ..


I’m back and feeling good.

23 Oct

The last week has been hard.

At first I felt unwell and then I have had some things going on and have struggled with motivation to get out of bed to train and basically took a week off. I didn’t see the point pushing myself to exercise when I really just didn’t feel like it so I rested and it has been great.

I got back on track on Thursday when I went to the gym to do my treadmill training and my speed sessions went well and I managed to get up to 16.5km ph on the treadmill – edging to that target of 20.00 on the treadmill. Please note though that I only managed to keep that pace for approx 30 seconds but it was a real achievement for me.

So today I ran with two of my friends at 6am and I did 10.5k which I felt pleased with, then later on in the morning my friend who wants to get into running came over and we took my dog out for a run and walk – both dog and friend did well 🙂 so I did approx 16.5k today which I feel good about – back on track. Probably going to run with the girls tomorrow morning as my husband is out so this weekend will have been a good weekend of running.

And as Nina Simone sings “….and I’m feeling good.”

self consciousness

7 Oct

Tonight I went to the gym for my usual speed session on the way home from work. I decided I would switch and do a longer run on the treadmill and do my speed work another day. I always feel a bit self conscious running at the gym as now it is getting warmer I find I get hot easily as I am used to running outside and the gym has no AC – yuk. So I end up running in my crop bra top and my shorts.

I was on the treadmill tonight and there was a woman that got on the treadmill behind me to the right and she proceeded to eyeball me and continually look me over. I’d love to have known what the big fascination was. I mean I was running fast and the only thing I can conclude is she was wondering how a not so skinny person was managing to run so fast!

I guess thats the great thing about running, it isn’t always the really thin people that are strong runners. I’ve been overtaken by women twice my size in races not to mention superman and wonderwoman in the London Marathon!

Don’t let your size put you off running, I certainly don’t! but to the woman on the treadmill behind me tonight come up and say hello next time rather than staring at me!