7 Benefits of Training with a TREADMILL

Hi guys!

My laptop had a little bit of a meltdown {nooooooooo}, so I was out of commission for a little while. Paul seems to have fixed the problem… temporarily at least! I know it’s about time for a new one, as I have a 5 year-old Macbook, but I don’t want to part with this one! I love how pretty and white it is and they stopped making this model years ago. Never-the-less, this baby has served me well as outlasted any other computer I’ve ever had. #teamMac!

Anyway, enough of that randomness. On my day off from work today, I hit the gym this morning to use a treadmill as it was pouring rain outside! That got me thinking… treadmills get a bad reputation. I often hear people call it the “dreadmill” and I can see how people would prefer other methods of cardio. BUT, there truly are some pluses to using a treadmill to enhance your training!

Treadmill Training 7

Now, keep in mind that I am a far cry from a running expert! These are simply some benefits I have personally experienced throughout multiple half marathon training cycles. 

1. Holding yourself accountable for running at a goal pace! If you don’t have a GPS watch for running outside, the treadmill is a fantastic way to make sure you’re running at a particular speed. This is especially helpful if you are training for a race and have a goal pace in mind. You’ll get an accurate feel for the speed you will need to maintain.

2. Safety. A lot of people, including myself, work for the entirety of daylight hours during the week. Especially in the winter when the sun isn’t out as long. Although I live in a safe area, I do not feel comfortable running outside by myself in the dark before/after work. Enter the treadmill! To get my cardio in on work days, I typically gravitate towards the treadmill because I get a much better workout in than if I were to use a bike or elliptical. Everyone is different, but this is my go-to when it’s dark!

3. Ease of incorporating interval training! A lot of running gurus encourage you to incorporate some sort of interval workouts into your training routine. There is one type of interval training that I was introduced to through a running club a couple of years ago called “fartlek.” The term is Swedish for speed play and helps you to ultimately get faster! The treadmill makes this super-easy, since you can actively see the clock ticking and are able to set specific speeds.

4. Bad weather is no excuse to not exercise! A lot of people tend to use the weather as an excuse to stay at home and not exercise. This is a terrible excuse, because even if it is too cold/snowing/raining/too hot/too humid/ whatever weather you don’t like outside, you can still get a solid run {or walk!} in with a treadmill. Today, I would have run outside if it hadn’t been raining. I could have easily said “Oh, it’s raining. I can’t run today,” but instead I took my run inside and completed the same workout that I would have if it was sunny out.

5. You can make hills. Well, not technically. But if you want to do a hill workout, that can be accomplished with the push of a button. Changing the incline is a wonderful way to make your workout more interesting, as well as more difficult! You can always leave it at a certain level, or alter it throughout your run. Whatever you are in the mood for can easily be accomplished in a way that it often cannot be outside!

6. Less hard impact on your body. Although running on a treadmill is still running, the softer surface of a treadmill can help with that pressure. I know that after a race when my legs are feeling sore and tired, I prefer to do an easy post-race run after a day or two on the treadmill instead of outside. It’s not as rough on my body, which can be helpful in the recovery process. There are even special treadmills with zero impact… although I’ve never had the privilege to use one of those!

7. It’s good mental training! I think one reason people don’t like treadmill is because they can be boring. I’ve learned to challenge myself mentally on a treadmill, which is incredibly helpful for both racing and work! I can’t tell you the number of times during a race I hear people say “What?!? It’s only been __ miles? I’ll never make it!” I know that due to my treadmill training, I’ve learned how to really get a feel for time passing slowly and pushing through that mental block!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

  • Do you use treadmills to enhance your training?
  • What is your favorite treadmill workout? Please share!
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