Running on a treadmill: what are the advantages?

When the outdoor training conditions are not that nice, running on a treadmill is a great alternative. Although some athletes will find it quite boring, it brings significant advantages that we will explain to you below.

Running on a treadmill: what is it like?

Training on a conveyor belt that moves under your feet may unsettle some runners. Unlike running outside, adapting your stride is vital. The absence of horizontal movement requires athletes to put their feet down more quickly on the deck. As a result, the propulsion phase is decreased. This unnatural movement can modify how your muscles work: on a treadmill, your hamstrings aren't used very much. On the other hand, your hip flexors (iliopsoas) compensate for this action by working harder.

Running on a treadmill: 6 good reasons to get started

- This easy-to-use piece of equipment can be very helpful as an addition to or replacement for your outdoor sessions. There is always a good reason to run, even if the running is a bit different!
- A treadmill helps you to reproduce a movement that is similar to running, as well as giving you a similar cardiovascular workout.
- The console lets you track lots of different internal and external parameters: heart rate, calories, speed, time, distance, etc.
- Training on a treadmill will help you to maintain a steady pace and get a good aerobic workout.
- Lots of treadmills offer a variety of training programmes. Simply do as it suggests in order to achieve your running objectives.
- Running on a treadmill avoids the inconveniences of running outdoors: bad weather, darkness, traffic, lack of safety, etc.
- And unlike tarmac, the impact on a running deck is quite gentle. It provides cushioning that protects your joints.

Typical treadmill training programme

In order to boost your endurance, here is a treadmill session that you can do at least twice per week.

- 10-15 mins: warm up with a fast walk or a light jog
- 25-35 mins: training session at a regular pace (roughly 70% of your maximum heart rate)
- 5-10 mins: cool down with a fast walk or a light jog

- Progressively prolong the length of the main training session to increase the total time
- Shorten the warm-up phase to 5-10 mins
- Increase your running speed
- Use the interval method during the training session: Alternate 6-12 blocks of 30 to 60 seconds by varying the running speed (walk or jog / run or sprint = faster than your usual running speed)
- Progressively increase the number of blocks

These variations will help your body to boost its endurance little by little and let you gradually extend the amount of time you exercise for.

Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth The inhalation and exhalation should last the same amount of time. If you get a stitch, exhale for longer.

Position yourself in the centre between the treadmill's arms. Remember to run on the balls of your feet so that you absorb the shockwave and prevent knee and back pain. Imagine you are "stroking" the ground in order to push your hips forward. Unlike walking, never put your heel down. Drink small mouthfuls regularly every 10-15 minutes.