It should be illegal to hold the handrail while running on a treadmill

22 VIPs have spoken »


TO: The fake runner at the Y
FROM: Cardiogirl
RE: Your running technique

Before I offer constructive criticism, I like to start out on a positive note. Um, you’ve got a lot of hair on that head of yours — from behind you look like Sarah Silverman. Well, from behind your hair looks like Sarah Silverman’s with those long black curls. So there’s that. And I have to give you credit for working out in the first place.

Alright, we’re gonna talk about your running technique but not before I ask about the fingerless gloves that you wear. They’re those ones that weight lifters wear to prevent callouses.

You never lift weights. Ever. I’ve been there before you got on the treadmill, while you were on the treadmill and after you left the treadmill. You don’t touch the weights.

What’s up with that? Is it like a costume that gets you in the right mindset to run? Okay, I’m getting tripped up on a side note. I don’t care about your gloves; wear them all you want. It’s your running technique that’s getting on my last nerve.

Clearly you’re making an attempt at interval training. Groovy. I’m down with alternating between running and walking. But that’s not really what you’re doing. You are, technically, running for around two minutes.

But it’s not really running when you hold onto the handrails with your elbows locked so you can support your upper body while your legs simulate running.

That’s. Not. Running.

Hang on. Michelle is a hard core runner so I’m going to throw this question out to her. Michelle, is this chick running? Is this some new method that strengthens the upper body in order to streamline the running process?

The second part of the problem is that you let the belt run at 5.5 mph while you hop on the frame around the moving belt. You rest for about two minutes, then you get your arms into position, use your right leg to touch the belt once for momentum and then you hop on and run for two minutes.

But that’s where you head back to the first part of the problem. You’re supporting your upper body on the handrails while your legs run. You do this for up to 45 minutes every time I see you.

It’s really annoying. I try not to look. I really do but there are a lot of mirrors in the place and that treadmill you like so much is squeaky. I can hear you pounding away on it over my music. Then of course the pounding stops when you hop on the rails for a rest period.

You better not be logging the miles and calories into Fitlinxx after your workout, because you’re barely “running” (and I use the term loosely) half of the time that the treadmill is on.

Because of those breaks you take every two minutes.

So you’re not burning those calories or earning those Fit Points when you rest on the frame. If you are logging that stuff you’re gaming the system and cheating yourself.

But I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are not using Fitlinxx since I’ve never seen you log stuff at the computer kiosk.

Can’t you slow the belt down to 3.5 mph and walk on the treadmill for a break? Please? What about slowing the pace down when you run to something you can actually handle? And when I say handle I mean a pace that allows you to jog without holding on to any part of the treadmill.

There’s no shame in running slowly on the treadmill. The shame comes in when you lock your elbows.

Now I do realize that I cannot change you. My therapist reminds me of that regularly by telling me the only person I can change is me. For that reason I have readjusted my workout schedule. I’ll be in the gym when they open the doors at 5 am so I am no long privy to your workout.

I doubt we’ll ever meet again, but I am asking you to consider slowing the pace down so you can run upright and unassisted. There’s no way you could run a 5K with a walker in front of you so don’t do it on the treadmill either, okay?

Farewell and thanks in advance.


22 VIPs have spoken

  • Han says:

    As I finish tucking in to my blueberry muffin that my colleague brought into work with her today lol.

    Even I don’t do that. I hop up on the sides if the stop button doesn’t kick in otherwise in a comedy fashion I’d fall off the back or flat on my face lol.

  • v says:

    um, i had a vision when disqus didn’t accept that gold star of yours, there would be an immediate break-up between you two. i could see you in dr. phil’s office with your arms folded and your head turned to the left, to the left, not listening to reason. that’s my cg! ahhh, i’m so thrilled to have this comment box back. i liked disqus because of the comment reply feature, that was cool, but you don’t need that to be one of the cool kids. remember, you’re cool because you’re different, now what’s better than that?

    now that the smoke has cleared from your arse what the heck is my comment?

    i don’t know. oh the fake runner. uh i guess she could call it jogging, but that’s not running. loved this: There’s no way you could run a 5K with a walker in front of you so don’t do it on the treadmill either, okay?

    exactly. if you wouldn’t do it outside, don’t do it inside. i don’t think it’s good to hold on to any of the machines. i do it with the elliptical most of the time, but once in a while, i can step without holding on. it’s (holding on) probably not as effective, but i don’t care, that thing is a beast and i’m scared of it.

    • cardiogirl says:

      Here it is. Here’s your Gold Star.


      I truly *love* the image of Dr. Phil, me and Disqus sitting in the therapist’s room. I’ll admit it. I was charmed by his Big Man on Campus savvy. All the girls seemed to swoon when Disqus was in the house, but it turns out he’s sort of a punk.

      Okay, I have turned the microscope on myself and I’m not sure if I’m a dork for holding onto the handrails of the elliptical. It’s not going to stop. Ever. But I think I’m okay since at least 80% of the other elliptical users hold on as well.

      Although I actually have seen someone sort of prop himself up by locking his elbows on the elliptical like this chick does on the treadmill. Ugh. What’s the point?

  • Lin says:

    And again, this would be why I can’t go to a gym–I don’t want judging eyes on me. I’m so pathetic in my running form, I am afraid to do it in public for fear of ridicule. “Oh, no one will laugh at your running” they say. HA! Now I KNOW I would be laughed at and ridiculed.

    Even though I don’t know our friend, I’m gonna give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she has burns on her hands and needs to protect them when she is “running”. Maybe it was an awful fire in her home that rendered her legs weak and she never knows when they are gonna give out–hence the holding on to the rails. Maybe running scares her and she needs to hang on.

    I dunno. I guess I’m sympathizing with lame workout girl, so I can’t judge. That whole germy, judgmental gym thing prevents me from going and I end up with a fat ass. Bummer.

  • What she is doing is NOT running. And, I think she would most definitely benefit from slowing down to a WALK rather than taking BREAKS every two minutes.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I really was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. I know I can be bitchy but I swear she’s NOT RUNNING! She’s not, we’ve established that.

      I do think she’d get a better workout if she walked, like you said, consistently for 45 minutes.

  • Elizabeth A. says:

    That is an odd visual. But I’m kinda giving her props in knowing what she is doing is absolutely, well dumb. But at least she’s out there increasing her heart rate. I’ve told my husband, I don’t care how you do it, just get out there and move!

    People look at me really strangely when I’m in full on sweats, sometimes hoodie pulled up over my knit cap.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I’m not sure *she* knows what she’s doing at all, much less knowing that it’s dumb. I JUST saw a guy wearing a knit cap — like a winter knit cap — at the Y this morning.

      Thought it looked extremely weird and wondered what was up with that.

      • Elizabeth A. says:

        I have a specific toboggan – like a knit cap – for working out. Keeps all the little hairs out of my face. I hate the little hairs. And gets me sweating. I know. You don’t have that problem.

        Jeff says he likes it too because it’s like a heavy duty sweat band. Helps you sweat more and catches it all at the same time.

  • Buf says:

    I’m having a really hard time picturing this…makes no sense! Plus, everytime she jumps on/off the belt she is putting herself at risk of missing the frame and sending herself flying.

  • Kari says:

    Oh man, I think I’m scared off of the gym for awhile. This is what makes me nervous about going anyway, that people are staring at me and thinking how what I’m doing is wrong. Eek, it’s true!!

  • Becky says:

    Locking one’s arms while putting so much weight on them WHILE moving the lower body WHILE doing it for 45-minute spans is asking for tendonitis or other repetitive motion malady. I mean, I’ve gotten tendonitis from DRIVING. She is going to be sad, soon, from her delts to her fingertips. No to mention the impractical way she is doing her cardio. Why doesn’t a personal trainer pass by and stop her fer pity’s sake??

    • cardiogirl says:

      I’ve wondered that same thing. There are always at least three personal trainers walking around at any given time in the Wellness Center. It seems like they could gently suggest a different method to work out a selected muscle group, you know?

      Maybe you need to workout at Bally’s for that sort of attention, not at the Y.

  • Jack says:

    Got to love a fake runner.

    • cardiogirl says:

      If you can’t smack ‘em in the back of the head. That is to say, if you can’t smack ‘em in the head then your only choice is to love ‘em and then blog about them behind their backs.

      I. Love. Blogging.

  • Michelle says:

    OMG! I am cracking up at this post! I love how you will be changing your work out schedule to avoid seeing this women. I completely get that mentality.

    My thoughts? (as the VIP lounge’s running expert) NO!! That does not sound right at all. Clearly she is not getting the concept of running. You do it on your feet. That sounds about as annoying as the people who get on the elliptical, then drape themselves over the handlebars. Or the meathead weightlifters who throw their entire body into curling what is clearly too much weight for them. I can go on, but have to get back to work!

    • cardiogirl says:

      Okay, I thought that was wrong. I really think she’s doing it because she *thinks* she’s still getting the work out even though she cannot handle the full-on running. There was a guy about six years ago who did that and he really pissed me off because he was clearly doing it when he got tired.

      Meanwhile, I was on the next treadmill running at 6.0 mph for an hour. I didn’t *touch* the handrail while I was running.

      Maybe that’s why my left knee is jacked up today, though.

  • absepa says:

    What is this “treadmill” of which you speak? (I kid.) Seriously, I wish I could be like you, CG–one of those people who really loves to exercise. I hate it. In fact, I hate it so much that the thought of going to a gym makes me want to lie down on the floor and wail, like a two-year-old at the doctor’s office on the way to get a shot. When I exercise, I do it at home, with a DVD…and a resentful attitude.

  • Disqus! Disqus! Disqus!

    OK, that’s out of my system.

    She’s wearing the gloves so that she doesn’t get blisters from gripping the handrails so much. Locking the elbows and supporting your weight can give you a killer blister. And you’ve got to be dressed properly if you’re going to go to the gym and pretend to exercise.

    Your observations remind me of the guy I used to watch at the gym who would hop on the treadmill, push the incline as high as it would go, run the speed up to about 5 or 6 mph and run for about 2 1/2 minutes before hitting the Stop button and going off to do two or three reps on his favorite weight machines. And by two or three reps, I mean he lifted each weight two or three times and moved on. His entire routine took 15 minutes to go through, and five of those minutes were spent drinking water.

    • cardiogirl says:

      (Laughs) I tried Tarheel. I did try. It’s like brussel sprouts. I threw some butter and salt on those things and choked some down, but I really don’t like them (Disqus.) Sure they’re good for me (it emails my replies) but in the end the struggles outweighed the benefits.

      I do wish WP would get on board and do the same thing without having to install anything.

      That’s crazy — the guy that did TWO REPS on the weight machine and then moved on. I’m positive he thought he was doing intense circuit training. Whatever, it makes working out interesting.

  • brookeamanda says:

    I’m not understanding the gloves, either and I think they would make her hands sweaty. That being said, this is why I work out in the privacy of my home. I KNOW I look like an uncoordinated reject and I don’t want to subject other’s to my awkwardness.

  • Poolie says:

    I am going out on a limb here to say what I am going to say. I am one of those people who never has good form no matter what I do. I don’t type correctly, I don’t have the proper fingering when I play the piano. I’ve been told I wash dishes incorrectly and my math logic stinks.

    If I went to the gym, I would probably be the lady on the treadmill. I know what it feels like to be the person doing everything wrong. So, I am going to give her credit for getting herself to the gym and at least trying to do something. I know she is awkward and she disrupts other people, but has anyone offered to help her do it correctly? Just wondering.

    Being on her side of the fence made this entry a little touchy for me. I often go into things with great enthusiasm and have fun too. If I am not doing something right, I appreciate help.

    When I learned to sail a boat, I was doing everything wrong but I was having the time of my life. Some people showed me how to do things correctly, and now I have even more fun. It wasn’t my objective to make anyone feel bad here. I just want to say how I see it standing on the outside looking in for most of my life. Please don’t hate me. I just feel sorry for her.

    • Lin says:

      Amen, sister!! I AM that woman too!!!

      • cardiogirl says:

        @Poolie I didn’t mean to touch a nerve. I hear what you’re saying and I’ve actually seen a few folks who exhibit that behavior in a true sense — they just aren’t sure how to use the machines. I do wonder why the trainers don’t correct them in that situation.

        However, in this situation, I’m almost positive (without being a mind reader) that she thinks she’s gaming the treadmill.

        That is to say, I would guess she tells people that she runs five miles every day. When, in reality, she’s possibly running two. It’s basically cheating, what she’s doing, and when you are playing by the rules (as I feel I am) it’s frustrating to watch.

        Yes, that speaks volumes about me. Why does it matter? I know my workout is solid. This is part of the reason why I’m in therapy.

        @Lin You’re aware of it though and I’m certain you would ask the trainer to teach you the proper method, so I don’t think you are that woman.

  • Angelika says:

    ROTFLMFAO! Oh my gawd. I cannot imagine someone holding the flipping rails and basically miming running. WTF?

    LOL. So stupid.

  • jessica says:

    my physical therapist tells me she has clients all the time who can’t understand why they are not getting better when they admit to never doing what she tells them to. Go figure.

    • cardiogirl says:

      I thought everyone attending physical therapy avoided doing the exercises at home. My husband never did his homework and, shockingly, his knee and hip are still bothering him.

  • [...] — to get a solid workout. I get pissed off when someone distracts me either by talking to me, by faux running on the treadmill or by passing gas [...]

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