Many people have posted on treadmill etiquette, especially related to how a person smells and how much they are sweating. However, today at the gym when I was on the treadmill, I realized there was a different topic about treadmill etiquette that needed to be covered: noise. Specifically, how loud your feet are when they hit the treadmill belt.
In case you have not noticed, I'm a pretty picky person. The same is true for my running routines. I've been doing doubles everyday, running 5.5 miles at a forest preserve in the early afternoon and then doing another workout in the evening. (Side note: today I had an awesome run: 5.5 miles with a 7:46 min/mile average. It felt wonderful!) I always try to take one of four treadmills that have the TV screen at eye level. I just like the way they are set-up compared to the others, where you must look down at the screen.
After I was about half way done with my treadmill run, a woman got on the treadmill two slots away from me. I didn't think anything of it, as there was another man in between us who I see quite frequently. I did start to notice her when it sounded like stampede of slow elephants was running beside me. Clonk! Clonk! Clonk! Clonk!
I thought maybe she just needed to get into her running groove and then her footsteps would become lighter. However, this did not happen. I was watching TV at the time, but still her footsteps were louder than Pat and Vanna on Wheel of Fortune.
I got to thinking: why does a person's feet hit the treadmill that hard? I even took out my ear plugs at one point to see if my steps were loud, but did not appear to be. I remember when I ran xc in high school a person told me that your footsteps are loud if you are tired when you are running. I don't really know...I've never had the need to look into it. Do you know? Would a person who sounded like a herd of elephants bother you? I can say that I was happy to go to the StairMaster for once.