You Think I’m Crazy? How Bout a MARATHON on a Treadmill

well i have a coaching client… who… well i’ll just share her email with you.

please note this wasn’t prescribed by me as training. it was cheryl’s idea, but i certainly didn’t deter her!


Good morning! So, I will attempt to account my underway marathon experience below (meaning on a coast guard boat).

For the planning phase of this run, I had to choose between treadmill and running laps around our ship. Three factors led to chose treadmill over laps:
1. I have issues counting laps for a 3-mile run, let alone a 27-mile run.
2. Running laps includes a jaunt up/down an outside set of stairs (or ladder, if you will). Knowing me, 20 miles into a run and my chances of eating shit go up to about 100%.
3. Non-skid is not gentle on the joints. So, I gave up a better view for an inside excursion.

I woke up at about 5 am on Saturday morning to the sound of us breaking ice enroute to Nome, AK. I visualized the ship breaking through the ice as a metaphor for me breaking through the monotony of running 4 hours on a treadmill. It didn’t help. I procrastinated as much as I could (put in a couple loads of laundry, ate a bagel, checked email, etc) before finally hitting the treadmill around 5:40.

Here are the run stats:
Time: 3:48:11 (continuous watch time, 26.2 mark was 3:40::10)
Distance: 27.0 miles
Incline: 0 (except when the ship rides up on the ice, plus the treadmill is set up in our windlass room at a slight uphill angle)
Treadmill restarts: 4 (it only goes to 60 min before shutting off, first stop was after the first mile…read below)
Head calls: 1 (about 1 mile in, my body finally decided to wake up…um yea)
Music: 5.2 hours of my favorite songs
Tony Robbins cds: 1 (good motivation)
Camelbak: 1, filled with water (thanks Alex!)
Gels: 2
Bonks: 0
Treadmill: 1
Somewhat crazy JO: 1

Breakdown by hour (since that was the natural break of re-starting the treadmill everytime):

9:13 first mile, pace 6.5 mph, head break (4 minutes) not quite into it yet

Restart 1: got in the grove, listened to music, pace 7.0 mph (actually the treadmill shut off at 57 min for some reason so only ran 6.7 miles during this section. Took in water every 10 minutes.

Restart 2: pace 7.0 mph, this was the Tony Robbins hour. Good cd on fear vs stress (they are the same, it is just how you prepare for it), Trying vs. Doing (trying is just an excuse for failure), and the power of personal CANtations. Took in water every five minutes.

Restart 3: turned the volume up on the music and caught myself singing along to most songs, pace 7.1 mph, felt pretty good this hour…though knees starting to hurt. Took in water and a bit of gel every five minutes

Restart 4: Picked up the pace to 7.5. In the scale of relative pain, my heart was doing much better than my knees, lower back, and legs, so I figured I should hurry up and get it over with. Finished the last 5.23 miles and was happy to be done. Took in water and gel every five minutes.

I think this was good mental preparation for the Florida race I will be doing over Memorial Day weekend. It is not the most senic race, but has got to be better than staring at a anchor hawsepipe for 4 hours.

Have a great weekend!
-Cheryl