Real runners don’t use treadmills. Or something like that. There is a bias against treadmills in the fitness community. Some just find them boring. Some think they can cause injuries. Some just really hate them for other personal reasons.
Living in the Northeast, I’m not going to say I prefer running on the treadmill, but I’m glad they exist to help keep my motivated and in-shape in the dead of winter. However, being a data nerd, I do often wonder about treadmill workouts. I certainly don’t totally trust the numbers the treadmill is spitting out.
Just how hard are you actually working on the treadmill? What is the pace if you change the incline? Do your mechanics change on the treadmill? Should you really always set it to a 1% incline? Let’s get some answers.
It’s February here in the Northeast and we are deep into treadmill season. Despite some brief respites of days over the freezing mark, the majority of my runs over the last two months have been on the treadmill.
As a replacement for the bulk of base miles the treadmill often gets maligned, but as a training tool for specific, targeted workouts, I think it is often neglected. I wouldn’t want to run all my miles on a treadmill, but the treadmill can have a purpose in your training cycle.
It’s the dark days of February in New England which means lots of people are bundled up and running outside to train for the marathon. God bless, them. Training locally for Boston is probably the toughest and sometimes most dangerous part.
I don’t have to worry about that this year, but I’m still trying get some running in despite the snow, ice and general unpleasantness outside.
I have two things to confess. First, I am one of those weirdos that actually don’t mind workouts on the treadmill. For certain workouts, I even prefer to do it on the treadmill, even if it’s not the middle of January in the Northeast and perfectly fine to run outside. The treadmill allows me to peg a pace and hold it and the treadmill offers little distraction (for better or worse!). I’m notorious for returning from runs where I’ve stepped off the curb or onto a root and twisted an ankle.
Second, I am a championship sweater. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 20 minute low impact stretching session or a 90 minute tempo run, at the end my shoes will be sodden and I’ll be five pounds of fluid lighter. And if I’m doing that workout on the treadmill, most of that run off ends up the treadmill. In short, my treadmill is well-loved and usually disgusting.
Here are the things I try to do daily, weekly and monthly to keep it working and fungus free.
I am one of those perverse people that doesn’t HATE the treadmill. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I like it, but most days we get on OK. Given a choice, I would almost always choose to go outside for my run, but I think the treadmill can have a positive use and purpose in any training block, especially during the winter in New England.
Over the years I’ve logged thousands of miles on the treadmill and I’ve found 3 things help me most when I have a treadmill workout to complete.