Sunday, March 02, 2014
Recently, when I was at a conference in Baltimore, I made use of the fitness room at the hotel. (Side note: It was a lovely facility overlooking Camden Yards.) There was a man on a treadmill next to me using it in a fashion that has always fascinated and mystified me.
He had the treadmill running at a decent clip. Then every so often, he suddenly leaped in the air and landed with his feet on either side of the belt. I've seen people do this before, and it is quite impressive, actually. I don't think I have the gross motor skills required to ever try this. The belt is still moving, but the person is resting. Then the person jumps back on and starts running again. It is amazing to me that I've never seen anyone fall.
Clearly he was doing interval training. I understand interval training; I’ve done it when training for speed. However, I have never quite understood why people don’t just slow the belt down and run a lot slower during their recovery interval, or walk, or just pause it.
Leaping off a belt moving at 6.5 mph seems a bit dangerous, but maybe I’ve just seen too many “America’s Funniest Home Videos” of treadmill accidents.
But even putting this aside, I don’t think I would be let the treadmill run when I am not. I like to keep records of how far (and how fast) my running workouts are. If the belt is continuing to run, the mileage continues to go up, even if you’re not running it. That would not be acceptable to this numbers geek.
So, is anybody able to give me a reason why some runners don’t just slow down or pause the treadmill when it’s time for their recovery interval? What am I missing? Please understand I am not putting down their training style. I am truly curious!