Are there any benefits to running on a treadmill? Or is it just a dreadmill? It it a total waste of time and it’s not even “real running” right?

Well, I think there are some benefits to be had from using a treadmill, just like there are some benefits to be had from training on an indoor bike set up.

Of course it won’t be for everyone and it does depend a little bit on the type of runner, what you need to work on and of course what you like doing.

I would never recommend you do all your training on a treadmill but I’m hoping it will be a useful tool to help my own running for these reasons:

  1. It provides a much more structured work out because there are no interruptions for crossing roads, dodging wheelie bins or avoiding dog walkers and uneven pavements.
  2. There is no arguing with the speed of the treadmill. Again this makes it much more structured and focussed. While outdoors even when I’m super motivated I can find it hard to keep the pace especially if I’m training on my own.
  3. It’s harder because of the two reasons above. In my first workout I worked so hard I got that sick feeling and I got my heart rate up to my 10km race intensity. A level I really struggle for outdoors and haven’t hit for months.
  4. I don’t feel like I’m all that agile, I’ve never run very fast and I have history of repeated ankle sprains which I think holds me back from running fast. The treadmill has a flat surface so it’s helping me to learn how to run faster with more confidence and learn what it feels like to run fast.
  5. The belt is moving which can help with cadence and foot turnover something that I struggle with particularly when running off the bike.
  6. It’s helping my legs with the skill or running fast and learning what it feels like to run a particular speed.
  7. There are less distractions on the treadmill which can give you more space to focus on your running form and technique. I might put some mirrors up in my garage so I can see how I’m moving and it’s also easy to set your phone up on a treadmill for some regular video and self analysis.
  8. If you live in a flat area you can simulate hills on the treadmill and if you live in a hilly area then the treadmill can be used for flatter faster intervals. Sometimes I want to do 4 or 5min hill repeats and it’s difficult to find a hill like that without getting in my car which all adds time. (Of course there are days I’d rather drive to a hill hands down than get on a treadmill).
  9. It’s a good option if the weather is bad, it’s dark or unsafe where you live.
  10. It adds variety, a different stimulus and gives you a range of options. One way I broke down a 3hr run was to run 1hr on my on own, 1hr with a friend and then I finished 1 hr on the treadmill. When it was getting tough I had to stick with the pace on the machine.

If you have a treadmill but don’t know how to use it properly why not get in touch to find out how I can help.

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