Reason #5: Cost Per Mile
Believe it or not the array of treadmills is vast – (who knew a belt and a motor could be so varied?) – and the prices are just as varied. Unless you are a hipster looking for a drying rack, you can expect to spend a fair bit of change on one of these former torture devices. (No joke, check out this link.) And let us be honest about this, unless you really are a runner, there is a pretty good chance your expensive treadmill is just going to turn into a drying wrack to compliment the weight bench, the spin bike, and the bowflex in your basement.
When the time finally came this year for us to throw down on our treadmill, I did a bit of shopping. I ran our last one into the ground with ease and I did not want to do that again. I asked around on some running forums and was directed to the Sole line. All the reviews say they make a good machine, in fact, the frame is advertised as being bullet proof – which does me no good, I live in Vermont. (And if I did live somewhere I needed a bullet proof treadmill, I think I would be stashing my cash in the mattress, tossing my running shoes over the wires and getting the hell out of town.) Soles are not cheap, nor are they the most expensive jobs out there, and they have a pretty good warranty. But to be honest, I really wanted a wooden slat job from Woodway, but there was no way I could justify the cost.
We ended up dropping $1500 on our machine and it would have cost more to have the driver drop the 327 pound package off at our door, instead of the end of the driveway. But that is a story for another day…
The part that gets me about the cost of the treadmill, is that running should be cheap. I judge the cost of things by the mile – a $50 half marathon will win every time over a $25 5k any day. That means I would have to run 1500 miles on the treadmill for it to cost me $1 to run a mile. That is almost three-quarters of my mileage for 2013. That is insane. And there is no way I am running that mileage on a treadmill unless I am in a damn space craft. Since November, I have run near 140 miles on it. I might see 250 by spring time, a far cry from 1500 – that is $6 a mile. That means I have to keep this up for six years, and even then, it is still a dollar a mile which is more than I pay for my shoes. And none of this takes into account the cost of the electricity I use to run it.