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How to juggle on a treadmill

Living in Chicago or anywhere else that experiences snow, wind, and rain requires that you supplement your outdoor running with indoor workouts. If you can find an indoor track, great, but most people will be stuck on a treadmill. To winter-ravaged Chicagoans, these modified hamster wheels are a godsend. Unfortunately, they can also be boring, hard on the legs and tricky to keep a good juggling pattern going.

Treadmill joggling

Take heart, joggling on a treadmill can be done and it can be fun! Here are some suggestions when trying it. First, two videos showing treadmill joggling in action.

The first is a front-on clip taken directly from the treadmill.

[youtube= 350 425]
And then a side shot. I took it myself so it looks like I’m headless. My wife thought it was amusing.

[youtube= 350 425]

How to juggle on a treadmill

Note: This how-to list assumes you can already juggle and have at least tried joggling. If not, see these tips on learning. Juggling

1. To begin plan your speed and distance. My slow pace is 7.5 miles/hour run anywhere from 3 to 10 miles. Yesterday, the pace was 10.0 miles/hour for 5 miles. If you’re just starting out go with a 5 to 6 mile/hour pace.

2. Begin joggling after the treadmill has reached pace speed. Until you can make the transition from walking to running while juggling, you’ll want to delay your joggling start. Once the pace is established start joggling.

3. Timing is everything. When juggling, time your pattern so you are catching a bean bag while the opposite foot is hitting the surface. Left hand catches should be made when the right foot lands.

4. Focus forward. Don’t watch the bean bags. Look straight ahead through the pattern. Keep your gaze directly in front. If your eyes follow the moving balls you could get dizzy and drop or worse, fall off the treadmill!

Treadmill safety

Expect to feel disoriented. If it’s your first time on a treadmill your legs will feel weird when you get off. Your body will be expecting the floor to be moving and you could fall over. This goes away after you used it a few times.

Also, try to stay in the center of the machine. Going off to the side could lead to your foot hitting one of the non-moving side rails. This is bad! Similarly, going too far forward or back can lead to fall.

Finally, when you do drop (and you will) pause the machine before trying to pick up the bean bag. Failing to do this could lead to a fall and there’s nothing fun about that.

Joggle on.

Visit this Runner’s World page for some Treadmill Workouts.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Mcgee, I’m a joggler through and through. Even if I worked as hard as I possibly could on running I’d never be as fast as the fastest runners. But if I work really hard on my joggling, I just might catch up to speedsters like Michal and Zach.

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