For beginner and experienced runners, running on the treadmill offers the runner a great opportunity to develop their running training through a repeatable and controlled environment, where you can have total control of the speed, incline and duration of the training session.
Most runners however, have a love/hate relationship with the treadmill (or “dreadmill” as some call it!). I happen to love it!
Now I understand that the treadmill has a bad reputation, it’s boring, right? Well, not the way I do my training sessions! Today I’m going to share some ideas with you that might just change your mind about training on the treadmill.
So why use the treadmill rather than run in the great outdoors?
- You never have to worry about the weather. The wind, rain, snow and ice are irreverent when you’re in the comfort of the indoors, where it’s nice and warm or nice and cool depending on your environment
- You don’t have to worry about the darkness, traffic, potholes or yappy dogs when using a treadmill
- You have complete control over the speed, terrain and duration of the training session
- It is an amazing tool for developing leg speed and strength endurance through interval training
As you can see from the above bullets, there are some wonderful advantages that treadmill training provides. For me personally, I’m not too concerned about the weather or potholes or yappy dogs, so the real advantage for me lies in the ability to absolutely control the training session, to have the treadmill push you to complete the interval, whereas you might wuss out when trying to do the same session outdoors.
For me, running faster is the key to running faster. Sounds obvious, right? However you’d be surprised how many people simply go out and plod along at the same slow pace on every single run. Running faster, and using interval training, is the single best thing that will take your running to new heights. The higher bouts of intensity followed by lower bouts of intensity (walking or jogging) allows the body to recover slightly, therefore allowing you to train at a higher intensity for longer than you would be able to manage if trying to train at this intensity in a steady, longer run.
Using the treadmill for doing intervals allows you to have control over the speed of the interval, the incline of the interval and the speed/incline of the recovery period between intervals; this is not always possible when training outdoors (you can’t control the size of the hills outdoors or the recovery period in between the intervals when you have to return to the bottom of the hill to start the next interval).
So next time you’re in the gym, instead of walking past the treadmill, jump on it, crank up the speed and enjoy an interval session safe in the knowledge that you’ll be using your valuable training time in an safe, efficient and effective way!