Hamster wheels vs. running on a track

  Okay, maybe relating running around a track to a hamster running on its wheel is a bit harsh, but c’mon. It’s true. Both involve running around in a circle, not making any actual progress towards some other point, while going run and round only to see the same thing every. single. time. I mean really. Would you rather run a nice 6 mile that winds through scenic back roads and over rolling hills? Or rather be subjected to 24 LAPS FROM HELL? Sure, running on a track isn’t all bad, but personally, I think that most of it is. Let’s go over the good and bad though. I think I might be a bit biased …

The Good:

  1. Interval workouts, yippee! A great way to develop speed and put strain on your muscles from the constant left hand turns.
  2. You always know exactly how far you’ve run! Not that you couldn’t use a watch out on the roads or run a loop that’s already been measured or anything.
  3. There isn’t anything to run into if you’re not paying attention! I’m actually serious about this being a good thing about running on a track. I’ve had my fair share of almost being hit by cars, tripping on sidewalks, being pushed into puddles, and getting cut up from random tree shrapnel. You can even close your eyes and run without running into anything when on the track! On the straight stretches that is …
  4. Huh, I can’t think of anything else … surprise!

The Bad:

  1.  IT’S BORING! Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Probably the #1 reason runners try to avoid the track as much as possible. Sorry that I enjoy experiencing the beauty of trails, running by creepy houses that make me run faster, or even the random hobo that rides his bike around town yelling random crazy things whenever he sees anyone.
  2. Running the track hurts. Sure, it’s rubber which is definitely a lot cushier than concrete and asphalt streets, but all of the pounding can really get to your legs. That’s why so many people at the beginning of track season end up with shin splints. It’s because they aren’t used to the heavy pounding that trudging around … and around … and around a circle, will put on their legs.
  3.  There’s a bunch of people. Okay, maybe not the most sound reason, but let me try to explain. I understand that a ton of people see me running on the roads, hence the waves and random honking that happens, but when you run on a track, there are people really really close to you. I mean, close enough to you that they can actually see you gasping for breath and probably are close enough to wipe the sweat off your brow and give a pat on the back for encouragement. They’re really that close. Maybe I’m just being self-conscious, but when I’m struggling with a workout or on a run, I don’t exactly like the fact that I can look over and see someone watching my every move. Yes, I am tired and this is hard. Yes, you should stop staring at me and wondering what I’m doing. I bet you’re just jealous that I happen to get the pleasure of running 15+ intervals, and you don’t.

 The UGLY:

It’s bad enough to think about what happens when you’re running on the track, but seeing it? Just brings back horrible and painful memories. All you might be seeing are ugly mental images after being reminded of the dreaded workouts that you’ve previously endured on its evil , oval-shaped, rubber surface … but not gonna lie, red tracks are pretty cool looking! 

So, congratulations if you made it through this post! Sure, you may lie and say, “Oh it was interesting!” or “Oh my gosh how could you think that? Running on the track is the only thing I’ve ever tried since I’m too scared to venture out on the roads to the big, bad, world of actual running.” I know what kept you from closing out of this window though … You were really just waiting to see a cute picture of a hamster … in its ball … on a legitimate track. Well to end your long wait, and further bring together my comparison …

They call it …

The Hamtrac.

It’s pretty legit. I wish I had a big hamster ball that I could roll around on the track with instead of running. Now that would be exciting!  Until then, I’ll continue to complain and vent to you guys about every detail and situation in my life that’s running involved. Apparently some of you get a kick out of it! And for that … I thank you. That’s also the reason I’ll keep trying to write entertaining posts for those of you who read this. On the other hand,  if there isn’t anyone out there who reads this silly thing, then I suppose I’ll just keep writing for myself … because it’s fun. :)

Until next time,



2 thoughts on “Hamster wheels vs. running on a track

  1. SO TRUE!!! No i dont mean the ‘nice’ 6mile run, because thats about as far as iv gone and it was tough! ;) but the boring, and the knees hurting, and the tons of people such good examples of why when i say im going for a run, i go on the streets! Because, like you, id rather be pushed into puddles or have people wave to me while im huffing up 3rd street hill, then be a hamster!

  2. I thought running circles on a track was bad. I also thought running the 1 mile course around the local park got boring. I did manage 16 loops one Sunday to train for a marathon. But these are both quite enjoyable compared to my new running course which is on a treadmill. A treadmill feels just like that hamster you pictured. ;)
    Well…it is exercise.
    Greetings from north of the Arctic Circle!

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