Sunday Feb 17, 2008

Bought a new treadmill - Ironman Envision

Finally bought a Treadmill - Ironman Envision!

I must say it's turning out to be a great so far (in around 2 weeks) and I'm able to run regularly in spite of rain/chill in the morning. And moreover I can tune my workouts to the desired intensity. If you are in that market, it's a big jungle out there - Treadmills range anywhere from $258.71 (Unbranded) to $5899 (True Fitness Excel 9.0) and probably more expensive ones as well. Here are some tips I found handy in order to buy a treadmill for home usage:

Here is the 3-step process I followed:

  1. Identify the need - What purpose will the Treadmill serve ?
    1. What will a typical running week look like ? How many miles ?
    2. How many runners will use it ? - Just yourself, or spouse as well or may be a buddy or neighbor. Always plan for a little extra cause it may end up getting used if it's in home :)
    3. What is the weight of the biggest runner ? - Treadmills can handle certain normal weight reasonably well. You may as well need more professional support if you are above that weight limit anyway ;-)
  2. Identify the model (within your budget). This is the most difficult step but if you've done the first step diligently, then this is much easier. This is mostly done by checking the online reviews at some of the websites mentioned below:
    1. Treadmill Doctor
      1. Best Buy Treadmill (classified by budget) - here, here, here, here
    2. Treadmill Adviser
    3. Treadmill Tips
    4. Treadmill Ratings, Reviews & Comparisons
    5. Treadmill Comparison Charts
    6. Just Treadmill Reviews
    7. Treadmill Resource Center
  3. Run on the exact Treadmill model (that you intend to buy) in a store. Even though this step is important before spending a high 3-figure or low 4-figure $$ but it may not be possible all times (for example in my case). Then you rely on online reviews & return policy of the store.

Post a question in Runners World Forum if you have any doubts or clarifications or seeking particular model comparison.

Here are some of the joys of this machine:

  • The installation was really smooth with well guided instructions. It took me around 90 minutes from opening the box to get the machine running. The first nut took some time and then it was seamless.
  • The speed and incline controls on handle bars are really useful.
  • One-touch speed and incline controls are very useful too.
  • MP3 input keeps you occupied for some time but it takes some experimenting to figure out how exactly it works. Still need to hook up my TV.

The maximum distance I ran on this machine so far is 5 miles/40 minutes and it has behaved well! In all, I've spent approx 5 hours on this machine feeling happy. Few things that I don't like:

  • Once the Stop button is hit, all the meters are reset to 0. A summary of results would be useful.
  • The speakers are not powerful enough, especially at higher speed the music is barely audible.
  • If the security key is detached, the belt comes to a sudden stop. This could be dangerous if you are running at a high speed.

Technorati: running treadmill ironman envision

Monday Feb 11, 2008

Hill Workouts During Winter

It's winter, so here is how to do hill repeats on a treadmill:
  • 10 min easy running
  • 2 Short hills - 3% grade, 90 seconds, 3 minute recovery between each hill
  • 2 Moderate hills - 5% grade, 60 seconds, 2 min recovery between each hill
  • 2 Steep hills - 7% grade, 30 seconds, 60 second recovery between each hill

Technorati: running hillrepeats winter treadmill

Saturday May 19, 2007

7 miles on treadmill - boring

One of the disadvantages of traveling on weekend is I miss my long distance road-running. This weekend because of Rails Conf 2007, I had to plan my long run on a treadmill. So anyway, I got up at 5:45am and planned a 10 miler on the treadmill (few more weeks for the marathon). I'm a road-runner and have never run that long a distance on treadmill but decided to give it a shot today. After running barely 4 miles I started feeling bored. I browsed through all the channels and it was either 'Good Morning Weekend' or something else. I finally hooked on to History channel which was showing a great program on F16 & F18. But even that couldn't keep me around for long. The walls around me were the same, the scenery was not changing and I was sweating more than normal (what else to expect in a closed room!). I finally decided to stop at 7 miles, burnt lot of calories because I changed the gradient from 3 to 5 multiple times but it was quite boring!

I wonder how anybody can run 153.76 miles on a treadmill :)

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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