5 Benefits of Running on the Treadmill
Yes, yes I know it’s something that almost every runner see as a necessary evil. The Treadmill, it has been not so fondly referred to as the “Dreadmill” and other such names but hear me out. The treadmill can be a useful tool, not only to simply endure when the weather turns cold or rainy, but a to improve upon your running. Here are a few good reasons to help you take advantage and make the most of your time on the treadmill.
1. It’s all about control.
Running on the treadmill is definitely not the most exciting thing in the world but if your workout calls for a specific pace, heart rate, or elevation there is no better tool to help you ensure you are that . Using the treadmill will allow you to maintain the specific pace that you want and even maintain a consistent heart rate. This has been of great value to me during my marathon training, especially in the first third of the training programs that I have recently done that require specific heart rate training at high heart rates especially during workouts such as lactic threshold runs and tempo runs.
2. People Watching at it’s Finest.
If you run on the treadmill at the gym there is plenty of people watching, but with more sports bras and spandex.
The gym I go to has treadmills with TVs built into them. This means that I can watch sports or cartoons while I do my long runs. I once ran a marathon on the treadmill and got to watch almost two whole college basketball games. You can also get a lot of audio books time in on the treadmill. You can also run with a friend that would normally not run at the same pace as you.
4. Keep it consistent.
The treadmill provide you with a consistent surface, speed and elevation, which most runners despise because it is boring. Yes it is boring, quite boring but it also allows you to work on any form issues you have. I have used the past 3 winters logging a lot of treadmill miles to make adjustments to my form. Note that the only way to make permanent changes to your form is by creating a habit. This take conscious effort each step and what better place to do it then the ultimate consistent surface.
5. Avoid Injuries.
Most treadmills these days are design to have a firm but forgiving surface which allows you to run on a consistent surface but also forgiving. Especially for those of us who live in the colder climates this means many cold and snowy days which can make for some tough running. Yes, I know the saying that there are no bad weather running days just poor clothing choices but if your training program calls for a 10 mile tempo running and it -20 degrees and icy out no matter how well you dress you are risking injury. Take advantage of the the ability to run on a firm fast surface.
I know that many of you still will despise the treadmill and that’s fine. Given the choice I’d much rather run outside any day of the week. But for those days were you need to get a run in and the weather is not cooperating, especially here in Minnesota, there can be a lot of value in utilizing the treadmill to not only get your run in but make improvements to your running.