It’s definitely that time of year again. That time of year when the treadmill becomes my best friend and I start writing up treadmill posts and workouts to share with you, encouraging you to embrace indoor running rather than despise it.
While running indoors will never be my first choice, I have learned how to get a great run accomplished and even appreciate running on the treadmill.
I will go as far to admit as well that running on the treadmill has made me a better runner overall and that treadmill running has its benefits for us outdoor runners.
The Mental Part:
We always say that running is just as much mental as it is physical. Learning to push your way through challenging runs, tough workouts, bad runs and races is what helps to train you to be an even stronger runner. Running on the treadmill definitely takes mental toughness to a new level.
I am not really sure what it is but completing a treadmill run always feels like such an accomplishment, even more so than an outdoor run. The easy paces, fast paces, same paces that I run outdoors just seem to take that much more mental strength which when you think about it, is terrific for us because it helps us grow as runners.
When I do get outside for a run after running on the treadmill a majority of the time in the winter, I totally feel the difference. I feel empowered, tougher, stronger yet at the same time, even more at ease than usual.
Since I know I can master a treadmill run, I feel as though I can master any run < – mental strength right here.
Of course we can do speed work just fine outside but tackling the speedy stuff inside on the treadmill can work even better for you sometimes. Since you have to set the speed for your workout, you have no choice but to run that fast — unless you feel like falling off of the treadmill.
I can select a fast pace to run which is sometimes easier to do than trying to tell myself outside to run a 7:30 mile.
Over time I am finding that the more I run the speed workouts indoors, the more I see my speedy self happen outdoors with less effort.
Renewed Appreciation for the Outdoors:
When you run outside all of the time, you sort of take it for granted. When you run indoors and then get released again outside (released is how it feels when you can actually get outside!) you have a whole new appreciation! The fresh air (even if it’s cold), your familiar route, the feel of the ground, the wind…the outdoors.
You realize all over again why you love running outside and appreciate your hobby even more than before. This new-found renewed appreciated gives you an extra boost in your step, a refreshed frame of mind and stronger approach to your workouts.
Change of surface:
Even though I love running outdoors, it’s smart to change up your running surface to help avoid injury. I was talking to Laura the other day about this and here is what she said:
Varying your running surface is a great way to prevent injury as it helps you to utilize different muscles. Running on the treadmill is easier on your joints and muscles because the surface of the treadmill provides more give. If you run all of the time on the treadmill and then race on the roads, you may ache during the race but using the treadmill for a couple of runs a week is a great way to prevent soreness and injury. You get the same benefit from running on dirt trails, but treadmill are often more accessible and safe, especially in the winter.
I don’t run hills outside very often at all. My usual route is flat and directly outside my front door so I succumb to laziness rather than getting in the car to drive a few minutes to the hillier parts of town.
However, running on the treadmill allows me to play with the incline and create hills within my run whenever I want. I am able to raise the incline as high or as low as I wish, simulate hilly race courses and follow training plans which include hills without having to go anywhere.
More on treadmill incline workouts coming soon!5 benefits of treadmill running for outdoor runners #treadmill #running #runners #fitfluential Click To Tweet
Looking for more treadmill inspiration and workouts? Check out my running page listed at the top in the menu bar 🙂
How often do you run on the treadmill?
Do you change your running route often or stick to the same path?
When is your next race?