Let me start this off by talking about my community gym. There are three treadmills: two nicer looking ones that look pretty new and one that looks as if it will fall apart at any moment. At first I would always try to use one of the newer looking ones. One day I went to use it and after I got into a good rhythm the treadmill stopped dead. Now I was going pretty fast and when you go from a fast speed one second to completely stopped the next it is a good way to cause an injury. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but it did startle me. I got off and tried the other newer treadmill, but this time at a slower speed. The same thing happened, the treadmill stopped and lost all power. I reported it to the front office and they said they would look into it. After that I always tried to use the older treadmill, which has never failed me to this day.
Months later during my half marathon training I went to the gym for a speed workout. I don’t like doing speed workouts outside because it is too hot, I don’t have a gps watch to track my intervals, and because I would have to stop at the traffic lights. On this particular day someone was on the older treadmill. I figured I might as well try one of the newer ones. It had been months, so I thought that maybe it had been fixed. I started off slow and did a one mile warm up. After the warm up, the speed work started. I increased the speed to about a pace of 7:35 a mile. I hadn’t even gone a minute, when the treadmill stopped dead again. I was pretty angry, so I went straight to the office to complain. Someone could really get hurt on that thing! The guy from the office made me show him which one it was. He bent over and flipped a switch on the front of the treadmill and said it had overheated. The thing that got me was he acted like that was completely normal! I told him that someone could get hurt when a treadmill just stops and he didn’t seem to care. I have never heard of a treadmill overheating. If that were true then this would happen at gyms everywhere! After that I said I would never use one of the newer looking treadmills again.
Well, today someone was on the older treadmill when I entered the gym. Because I have the virtual race tomorrow I figured I would do a slower 4 miles, so I tried one of the newer treadmills. Everything seemed fine at first. It actually felt pretty good. The treadmill belt had a little bounce to it as I ran. I kept increasing the pace a little at a time. I got my pace to about 9:20 when the belt felt like it was slipping. It happened a couple more times where I had to hold on to the railing so I wouldn’t fall off. At that point the guy that was on the older treadmill had left, so I decided to switch treadmills. I had gone one and a half miles in 14 minutes and 17 seconds. Once on the older treadmill I picked up where I left off and increased my pace to 8:00 per mile by the end of the next two and a half miles. My total time was 36:31 which comes to an average pace of 9:07. Next time if someone is on my trusty treadmill I will go home and come back later.