Runners CAN Train on a Treadmill


If you’re a runner, training on a treadmill can be a beneficial part of your training. No, it isn’t perfect! Nevertheless, a treadmill does have some advantages.

A positive aspect of using a treadmill to work on your running skills is that you are training in a sheltered, controlled environment. The weather won’t interrupt your treadmill training. You can train any time of day or night, without having to worry about your personal safety. You can even catch up on the news or watch a movie as you train!

For beginning runners, a treadmill may be the ideal way to train. If you throw a beginner in with more experienced runners, they will likely feel intimidated. Training on a treadmill in the beginning will allow a novice runner to gain experience, build endurance and speed, and improve self-confidence before joining more advanced athletes in the sport.

When training on a treadmill with a heart rate monitor, you can easily judge and adjust your running intensity. Also, a good treadmill will display your speed, distance traveled, pace, incline level, and calories burned. These indicators are great for monitoring each workout and areas of improvement.

With a variety of training programs to choose from on a treadmill, the runner may choose a desired workout program. Or, the runner has the option of manually controlling speed, distance, time, and incline level, thus, designing a workout that practically mimics one that the runner would experience outdoors.

Training on a treadmill greatly diminishes the chance of a running injury. Because a treadmill workout is done on a smooth running belt that reduces impact and eliminates obstacles that could get in the runner’s path outside, there is virtually little or no risk of injury to knees, back, and joints.

Additional advantages of treadmill training include:

  • A treadmill provides a good opportunity for the runner to work on his/her running form…without having to worry about stumbling over obstacles in the path, uneven surfaces, or any other outdoor distractions.
  • Training on a treadmill makes it more convenient to have plenty of fluids on hand during the workout, as well as having the convenience of a bathroom nearby.
  • A treadmill allows for a consistent workout. It eliminates the guesswork concerning how fast you are running, how far you’ve run, the consistency of your pace, and so on.

On the con side, a treadmill workout fails to provide wind resistance, such as you would encounter when running outdoors. After all, you are running in place on a treadmill…indoors, out of the wind. When you run outdoors, you run through the air, creating resistance. The faster you run, the greater the wind resistance affects you.

Although you can adjust the incline level on a good running treadmill, the treadmill still doesn’t provide the changes in terrain that you might encounter when running outside. You’re certainly not going to stumble over a stone or be hindered by soft sand when running on a treadmill.

When you run outdoors, you depend solely upon your own power to carry you along. A treadmill has a moving belt, however, that helps propel you along. It is questionable as to whether the runner is fully using his/her potential when running on a treadmill.

Training on a treadmill can be boring! It takes discipline to run in place, going nowhere, all alone, for any length of time. So, although treadmill training may be great for developing dedication, self-discipline, and self-motivation, it may seem quite tedious as compared to running outside.

Additional disadvantages to training on a treadmill include:

  • The runner’s stride may not be the same on a treadmill as it is outdoors.
  • The runner may be tempted to hang onto the handles or side rails of a treadmill for support during a workout.
  • The runner may lean less on a treadmill rather than focusing on forward momentum.
  • The availability of a treadmill could be an issue. The runner either would have to buy one (which could be quite costly), join a gym, or know someone who owns a treadmill that could he/she could use regularly.

You may be a beginning runner or a more advanced athlete. Either way, training on a treadmill just may be the solution to your training needs!

Cyndi Schoenhals is a certified personal trainer and author of the I Hate Diets Approach to Weight Loss []. Learn how to lose weight without starving yourself.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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