WHY RUN INDOORS WHEN YOU COULD...NOT?

Dave believes in toughing it out or taking a rest day.

DAVE MCGILLIVRAY, for Runner's World

Runner’s World asked me to offer tips for running indoors. Unfortunately, I can’t offer too many because I hardly ever do it.

Above is a photo of the treadmill in my basement. Notice the three feet of snow outside my window. Notice, too, that I am not running on the treadmill. Instead, I am on my way out the door for my six-mile workout in the three to four feet of snow and 10 degree weather. Gotta love it. Boston Strong!

I do realize there can be circumstances where the only option is to run inside. However, I would argue that those situations are truly few and far between. If the governor declares a state of emergency because your area just got three feet of snow and he wants everyone to stay off the roads because they are dangerous, then that should include me. I get it.

However, for me, the whole thrill of running is in escaping to the outdoors, breathing in the fresh air, seeing the world, and running on all types of terrain. In really bad weather, you have to be smart about running outside—dressing appropriately, maybe avoiding running during rush hour, perhaps driving to a less congested area to run, and being sensitive to everything around you.

I just don’t enjoy running on treadmills when I can run outside. (That is not to say you shouldn’t. This is a personal preference, for sure. I’m just totally old-school.) I’ll do it if I have to, but it takes a lot to convince me to stay inside.

I’m not steady on the treadmill, nor can I ever get into a comfortable rhythm like I can outside. I am so used to the feel of the road that running on anything different is uncomfortable. And, I lose control of my pace on the treadmill. It always seems like I am running much faster than I am. The fact that I am not going anywhere, that I’m running in place—that feels strange to me. I have three little children at home, so I can never get much uninterrupted time on the treadmill in my basement. Plus, I am too tempted to stop so I can check my text messages and emails.

If I can’t run outside, I usually just take the opportunity to rest. Most of us need more time off than we give ourselves, especially as we get older. This is a time to consider cross-training (swimming, for example), weight-lifting, or doing other types of indoor exercise. You could even spend time doing what most of us don’t do enough of—stretching.