Treadmill. A running dirty word. Affectionately known as the dreadmill, ask just about any runner and you’re sure to hear how much they loathe running on one. They’re inside and they are boring. Unfortunately treadmills get a bad wrap. The gym staple can be both a valuable training tool and steady partner. Here are five reasons Team ECRP (sometimes) loves their treadmills.
Safety. Hopping on the old ‘mill can help keep you safe. Running indoors can keep you away from potentially dangerous streets in busy or strange cities. Especially during dark early mornings, late nights or slippery winter months having the ability to run indoors is great. Sometimes it’s hard to beat a place where the temperature is controlled, the running surface is dry and the lights stay on. The softer surface of a treadmill can also keep your body safe from injury. Reduced pounding and a level belt will help protect tired tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones while staying out of the sun can help prevent skin cancer.
Weather. There’s bad weather and then there’s bad weather. Heading for cover every time it sprinkles or the wind picks up isn’t the best way to prep for race day but sometimes mother nature has other plans. Hurricanes, blizzards and heat waves are all good reasons to stay inside and, maybe, away from windows.
Speed. The last chunk of a hard workout is usually hard. That’s the point, right? If you really want to push yourself and work on maintaining a hard pace for longer, let the treadmill help you. The belt won’t unintentionally slow down due to fatigue so as long as your feet keep moving, neither will you. More time at a faster pace can contribute to faster race times and build confidence.
Slow down! A lot runners have trouble slowing down. Running at a medium pace all the time, however, is a recipe for trouble. Using a treadmill can help you take things easy and keep them that way for a recovery run or easy session.
Hills. Hill training can be tough for those who live in the flat lands. Long, steady hills that are safe to run might be hard to find no matter where you are but usually a treadmill isn’t too far away. Since incline is a feature on almost all ‘mills, put it to good use. It’s easy to get in a killer hill session while working on both form and strength by pumping up that incline just a bit.