Happy Friday Five ya’ll! There is so much hate associated with the treadmill and I think it’s ridiculous! A treadmill can be your best friend if you know how to use it. Most people associate the treadmill with winter months and training for Spring marathons, but I think the treadmill has a place in year round training as well. The treadmill is absolutely not a substitute for running on pavement or hitting the trail, but it can be useful.
I get a lot of questions from newbie runners about pacing and speedwork. The treadmill can be your BFF as a newbie if you know how to make the treadmill work for you. Like I mentioned before, it’s not a substitute for road running, but there are advantages to running on the treadmill. Some of the most obvious reasons include the treadmill being less impact on your body than road running and that you can control the speed and incline on the treadmill with the touch of a button.
1. HILLS. Doing hill repeats on the road can be fun, but the treadmill is awesome for hill running because you have complete control over the grade and duration. Mix up your running routine by varying the incline and alternating the amount of time you run at that particular grade.
2. INTERVALS. Intervals are speed work and so easy on the treadmill! The treadmill takes the guess work out of the speed and duration because it does it for you. The idea is that you run at a normal pace then build from there so that the faster pace eventually seems normal because your body adapts to it. Eventually the fast pace doesn’t feel as horrible and the normal pace will feel incredibly slow.
3. CROSS TRAINING. The treadmill is a great way to get some cross training in if the weather bites. Sometimes I love to hop on the treadmill and walk while I’m reading a good book or watching a great tv show. Vary the speed and the incline for a full workout that is a great way to cross train. You could also make a treadmill walk as part of your active recovery from training runs.
4. SPLIT RUNS. A split run is a run that is literally split in half. A lot of times we may not have the time for a longer run so we have to run half of it in the morning and half of it in the evening. When I trained for my first half marathon this happened to me all the time. My work schedule was strange, so I would have to run at weird times but usually after dark. I would only have time for 3-4 miles in the morning, but would have 8 miles on my training plan so I would do the rest at night while watching a tv show I had recorded earlier. Splitting runs aren’t ideal, but they are helpful because running on tired legs is an important thing to overcome if you want to be a distance runner.
5. CATCH UP. Sometimes I just want to watch my shows! My weeknights are usually free from most obligations, but I always find myself running around cleaning, meal prepping or training so anytime I get to binge watch tv shows I rejoice. I may or may not run at night just to catch up on seasons of tv shows that are no longer on the air 😉
Do you love your treadmill?
What’s your favorite treadmill workout?