Treadmills can be useful to outdoor runners too!
, 4 min reading time
, 4 min reading time
You enjoy running outside and have been doing it for years. Why would you want to use a treadmill?
That's a very good question. For an outdoor runner, a treadmill seems to have little appeal. You might think: it is boring or it feels strange.
But treadmills are beneficial to almost all outdoor runners. It's not about the small percentage of serious competitive outdoor runners. That is one in a thousand. It's about you and the other 99.9%.
Now you are saying: okay. Show it to me. We will.
Even though you try to expel it through the cold, snow, rain, or even cold rain, you don't like it at all. And as a result, you take days off. Of course, how much depends on where you live, but it could easily be 50 to 100 days a year, for example, it rains 150 days a year in Seattle. That's a lot of unpleasantness or missed workouts.
With a treadmill, you need no extra clothing and you don’t feel a bit of cold or wet discomfort. You just get up and go.
But running on a treadmill is boring! You insist. Keep reading.
Everyone knows that interval training is a very effective training and fitness technique. But it's not easy to do outside or intervals without a good running track and hardly anyone has easy access to it.
A treadmill is both the solution and the stimulus for interval training. A solution because it gives you accurately measured distances and times.
So it's better to do intervals on a treadmill, instead of running at a constant speed. Here are a few recommended workouts that maximize the benefits of the treadmill:
Jog a minute slowly and then run a minute faster. Alternate these as long as you feel comfortable, but try to bring in a total of 20 minutes.
Somewhat experienced runners:
The classic pyramid: jog for a minute and then run faster for a minute. Jog 1, Run 2; jog 1, run 3. You get it. Increase the running interval by one minute each time and then go the other way, such as: jog 1, run 3, jog 1, run 2, jog 1, run 1.
To experienced runners:
Maintain the one-minute rest intervals of the above two workouts, but make the walking intervals three or four minutes long. This is more difficult, but it will have a great training effect.
How do you compare your performance from training to training? If you press Stop after your last run interval, look at the distance display on the treadmill. That is your performance measurement. As long as you do the same workout, you can accurately compare your performance.
Yes, a treadmill can feel funny at first. And interval training, with some fast running, can feel uncomfortable at first. This is normal and you can overcome this obstacle.
Learning to run outdoors versus a treadmill is just that: learning. It's a skill to develop, but one that develops quite quickly. Those interval workouts? Start slow and keep your first treadmill workout for maybe about 20 minutes. I guarantee that after five to ten workouts your comfort level will be fine.
As you become comfortable running on the treadmill, you can do better, faster workouts and improve your balance. For me, the benefits of the treadmill are that I have become a more efficient outdoor runner as it improves my abilities on different types of terrain.
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