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Treadmill Training: Maximizing Your Indoor Running Experience

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

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Treadmill Training:

Maximizing Your Indoor Running Experience

As outdoor temperatures drop and days get shorter, many runners turn to treadmills to maintain their training. Treadmill running, often viewed as a fallback, can actually be a highly effective and enjoyable part of your training regimen. In this post, we’ll explore how to make the most of indoor running, ensuring your treadmill training is as rewarding as hitting the open road.

1. Embracing the Benefits of Treadmill Running: Treadmill running offers controlled conditions, allowing you to focus on specific training aspects without external variables like weather and terrain. It's perfect for precise pace training, interval workouts, and hill simulations. Additionally, the cushioned surface can be gentler on your joints. But, beware if it is not a high qualilty treadmill - the surface could do the opposite. When I have an athlete that is having a hard time staying in Zone 2 - I often recommend doing a couple runs a week on a treadmill. Set it to your zone pace and go. Watch your heart rate. I personally like adding stride at the end of my zone 2 treadmill runs. It sure helps that last mile go by quick.

2. Structuring Your Treadmill Workouts: Vary your routines to keep things interesting. Mix steady-state runs with interval training, hill workouts, and tempo runs. Apps and treadmill programs can provide structured workouts, pushing you in ways you might not on the road.

3. Treadmill Specific Training Techniques:

  • Interval Training: Alternate between high-intensity bursts and recovery periods. This is excellent for improving cardiovascular fitness and speed.

  • Incline Workouts: Simulate hill running by adjusting the incline. Start with gentle slopes and gradually increase.

  • Tempo Runs: Maintain a challenging but sustainable pace for a set duration to build endurance.

4. Mindful Running on the Treadmill: Without scenic changes, treadmill running can feel monotonous. Use this time for mindful running. Focus on your nasal breathing, running form, and the rhythm of your steps. It's an opportunity for mental training, building focus and resilience.

5. Entertainment and Engagement: Stave off boredom with entertainment. Create energizing playlists, listen to podcasts, or watch TV shows. Some treadmills offer virtual running routes, providing visual stimulation. I have many athletes who have watched many movies or shows durring their "alone time" runs.

6. Safety and Equipment Tips: Ensure your treadmill is in good condition. Use proper running shoes and remember to hydrate, just as you would outdoors. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down to prevent injuries.

7. Tracking Progress: Many treadmills are equipped with advanced metrics. Use these to track your progress and adjust your training plan accordingly. Beware that your gps watch does not often work the best for treadmill workouts. If it is a high quality treadmill, its metrics will likely be more on than your watch. If you have a hihg quality watch and not the best treadmill, that could be the other way around.

8. Balancing Treadmill and Outdoor Running: If possible, balance treadmill running with outdoor sessions. This ensures variety in your training and prepares you for different conditions, especially if you’re training for an outdoor event.

I personally do not love being cold! But also have never done well running miles on the treadmill! So something I have tried this season is running, for time, on the treadmill on my M-Th runs and run outside F-S runs. It has helped me with Zone 2 training for sure! I have many athletes who do 4 miles on their treadmill and the next 4 outside to get their 8 miles in. So many options!

Treadmill training, far from being a mere substitute for outdoor running, is a versatile and effective tool in a runner’s arsenal. By varying workouts, focusing on specific goals, and using the treadmill's unique advantages, you can enhance your running performance and enjoyment.

Ready to take your indoor running to the next level? We do rent out our 4front Woodway treadmill, for those who want some treadmill time for any of the reasons listed above. They are often not availble more than 24 hrs in advanced.

But if you wake up and decide you want a treadmill run that day. Message us and we will let you know what time options we have open that day.


We have a few lactate testing spots open this week!


For the last minute gift shoppers - you still have time to give - Gift Card - give the gift of running this season!


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I'll be posting more ideas this week on my IG & FB accounts

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