My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip

My daughter’s first birthday was this week and we had her party last Sunday. We had family in town and a busy day of activities scheduled on both Saturday and Sunday. 

My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip | A Mother's Pace

I knew I needed to get in a tough 12 mile run at some point but I wasn’t quite sure how that was going to happen. Finally I decided that the easiest way would be to wake up super early and just get it done.

My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip | A Mother's Pace

Easier said than done when you have family in town and are up late the night before. 

But I did it. I set my alarm for 5:00, ignored the snooze button and got out of bed. I got ready and then headed down to the treadmill. I don’t like running alone in the dark so lately all my early morning running has been done on the treadmill.

The treadmill has been tough lately, mentally. Sometimes an easy 3 mile run can feel like FOREVER. But this run was a little different. I knew I had to get in 12 miles and I knew I couldn’t cut it short. 

My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip | A Mother's Pace

I needed a plan and I remembered back to some treadmill tips from my treadmill runner hero, RunEMZ. She recently ran 100 miles on a treadmill in less than 24 hours to raise money for charity! Pretty much anything she suggests about treadmill running, I take seriously. She inspires me daily on Instagram, so go follow her if you don’t already.

I read somewhere (I really wish I could remember where!) that to get through long miles RunEMZ sometimes puts names on post-its and dedicates miles to people. This turned out to be the perfect motivation for my run on Saturday.

My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip | A Mother's Pace

I filled out the post-its the night before and dedicated a mile to someone that I know that has been or is currently struggling with cancer. 12 miles and 12 names. It’s very sad to me that I can come up with a list like that easily. 

I’m not going to say that the run was easy. Before this the longest run on the treadmill that I have accomplished was 9 miles. These 12 miles were challenging but they did go by very quickly for me. Every time doubt would creep into my head as to whether or not I thought I could finish the run I would just glance down at a name. Just thinking about that person…my niece, a good friend, a mother of 10 that just found out she has cancer for the second time…just thinking about these people and more pushed me to finish out the mile I was running.

My training called for 12 miles with 4 at race pace. I warmed up with the treadmill set to 6.3 (~9:30 pace) and then bumped it up to 6.6-6.7 (~9:05-8:57 pace) for 4 miles at ‘race pace.’ I wrapped up the run with the last 4 miles at around a 9:30 pace. 

My Treadmill PDR + My Favorite New Treadmill Running Tip | A Mother's Pace

I finished the run in 1:52:06 with an average pace of 9:20. Last time I ran 9 miles on my treadmill it shut off at some point. Either I had reached a certain distance or time cap and the thing powered off. To avoid that this time around I stopped it at 1 hour to reset the clock and miles. 

The benefit of running on the treadmill is I don’t have to worry about missing a pace goal. I just set the treadmill and run. I know it’s not the ideal way to pace a run but it definitely works when it’s needed.

I was tempted to keep running and just get in 13.1. Crazy, I know, but I’m so close now I know I want to accomplish a half marathon on the mill at some point. 

What is your treadmill PDR (personal distance record)? What secrets do you have for getting in long miles on the treadmill?


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  1. jillconyers says:

    You're a machine and you conquered the dreaded treadmill long run. BEAST MODE! Love the mile dedication idea. I watch TV on my ipad when I'm on the tm but with the winter we're having I'm running out of new episodes of the shows I like. Seriously way too much time on the machine! My pdr is 12 miles.
    My recent post Be True To You Giveaway

  2. Soleful Runner says:

    Wow, 12 miles on the treadmill! I am in awe. I believe my PDR is somewhere in the range of 4 miles. I would rather run outside in a blizzard than 1 mile on the treadmill. I wish I had your strength.
    My recent post Runniversary Reflection

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