How I Ran 24.7 Miles on a Treadmill

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24.7 miles in 3:46:58 on a treadmill?! I’ve heard of people running their 18 or 20 mile training runs on the treadmill to avoid running outside in 0 degree weather. I always thought those people were crazy! I never thought I would have to experience a long run on a treadmill while living in California. But unfortunately, our state has recently been hit by devastating fires and the air quality is too unhealthy to be running outside.

Here is how my not-so-average morning went.

I woke up at 4:45 AM to get ready for my run, as I normally would have. I mentally set out for somewhere between 22 and 24 miles and started to gather all of my gear together. The good thing about treadmill running is that I didn’t have to carry anything. I packed a bottle filled with water and a bottle filled with nuun. I also brought along some salt tablets and Gu gels. Then, I was quickly on my way to hop on the treadmill.

I decided to start off slow.. after all, I was going to be running on the thing for a few hours. This helped me physically, in order to warm up, and mentally, so that I could find my rhythm. I decided that 24 miles didn’t seem so bad if I cut the run into 6 mile segments in my head. Little did I know that the treadmill would shut down and and restart every 60 minutes anyway. Since I was forced to take short breaks in between, I used that time to refuel and use the bathroom – it kind of worked out perfectly.

Miles 1 to 7 were effortless. Miles 8 to 14 weren’t that bad either. Miles 15 to 21 is where it definitely got tough – I even had a hard time focusing on Grey’s Anatomy. At 21, I wanted to stop and be done but I thought hey, maybe I can even make it to 26.2! The last few miles were hard and at 24.7, I decided that I wasn’t going to make another step.

Even though I kind of gave up at the end, I hopped off the treadmill with a huge smile on my face. This felt more accomplishing than any marathon that I have run. I was literally on the treadmill for almost four hours!

While I would not necessarily recommend doing all of your long runs on a treadmill, maybe there is some value to changing it up every now and then.

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