Dreadmills

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This winter is pretty typical here on the East Coast; we have the usual snow, slush, and ice that will last until spring finally arrives.  For this reason, running during the winter can be pretty tricky.

Many athletes turn to the treadmill to get their workouts in.  Whether it’s an aversion to the cold (at this point, many of us are day dreaming of tropical locations) or wanting to get a specific workout in, the treadmill can be a valuable piece of equipment for runners and triathletes.

Dreadmills

But using the treadmill (or as many of us like to call it, the dreadmill) has some pros and cons.

PROS:

  • You get to watch TV or listen to music.
  • It can help you work on having a higher cadence.
  • It’s easier to complete certain workouts as written (like hill workouts) without having to worry about traffic or varying terrain.  You’re in control of the terrain.
  • Keeps you protected from the elements during bad weather.
  • Keeps you safe by not having to run outside when it’s dark or icy.
  • If using one at home, it gives you a chance to spend more time with family by watching your kids.
  • Forces you to keep an even pace.

CONS:

  • Boring! (Thank goodness for music)
  • It can be harder to do certain workouts as written (like speed workouts) because you can’t get up to speed as quickly as you would if running outside.
  • Your running mechanics change when running on a treadmill.  Instead of having a good forward lean, you run more upright and bounce.
  • When switching to outdoor running, your fatigue rate will be higher.

TIPS FOR USING THE TREADMILL:

  • Set the incline to 1% – 1.5% to equal running on even ground.
  • Do workouts that include intervals and negative splits.
  • Focus on your running form; be conscious of having a forward lean.
  • Include strength training in your plan to counteract any muscular imbalances.
  • Run outside whenever possible.

So…how do you feel about running on the treadmill?

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