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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The belt is moving which can help with cadence and foot turnover something that I struggle with particularly when running off the bike.
- It’s helping my legs with the skill or running fast and learning what it feels like to run a particular speed.
- 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.
- 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).
- It’s a good option if the weather is bad, it’s dark or unsafe where you live.
- 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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