Mikhaylove: The longest I ran on the treadmill before was about 35 miles, so I was able to notice that it is quite different from running on the roads. First of all, Iâ€™m not a road runner. Iâ€™m not a treadmill runner. Iâ€™m a mountain runner. I only did this record because it seemed like it was doable. Iâ€™ve done a couple road races and they definitely arenâ€™t my specialty. Iâ€™m not fast; Iâ€™m not fast on the road at all. Iâ€™m in [the] Hardrock 100 this yearâ€”thatâ€™s my kind of thing.
From my limited time on the treadmill I understood that itâ€™s different from regular running outside because first of all, there seems to be a little bit different muscles involved and, second of all, mentally, after a couple hours your brain gets confused because your legs are moving but your scenery doesnâ€™t change. Itâ€™s a very different kind of situationâ€”you have to keep your mind sharp the whole time, to know whatâ€™s going on. Many times in road racing, or any kind of ultra racing, itâ€™s a very good thing mentally to just zone out and run on autopilot. The problem here is that you cannot do that. Once you turn autopilot on, automatically something will happen: you will stop and slide off the treadmill or you will grab the handles accidentally
or something will happen. Considering that, my pacing strategy was very conservative. I didnâ€™t want toâ€”I know I have a tendency of going fast in the beginning so I had a friend Elena Makovskaya who knows me pretty wellâ€”she was pacing me at several ultra events.
So, I let her handle my pacing completelyâ€”she knows my weakness of going out too fast and she didnâ€™t let me do that. Iâ€™m happy for that: the first 30 or 40 miles were pretty effortless. Then I just started to suffer but was able to pull it off. My pace was still a little faster in the first half but not dramatically. I was able to have a smooth pace, which is probably how it should be on the treadmill.
iRunFar: Was she pushing the dials?
Mikhaylove: Exactly. The rules were a little unclear
. They say you are allowed to change the speed, obviously, but they also say that you arenâ€™t allowed to make a lot (?) of contact with the treadmill. Just to play it safe, I had someone else pushing all the buttons for me
. I was just asking someone to bump it up or take it down a little. Mentally it was absolutely destroying: having to watch the numbers doesnâ€™t let you relax. You have to call out every mile. All these papers have comprehensive logbooks where you write every mile and the time, so I had to call out every mile I did. I had to pay attention to all the numbers.http://www.irunfar.com/2015/03/treadmill-diaries-interviews-with-treadmill-world-record-holders-denis-mikhaylove-gemma-carter-and-michael-wardian.html