Top Reasons Running on the Treadmill is Bad-ass: Coach Paul Duncan
If you ask 100 different runners/endurance athletes their feelings on treadmill running, you will get 100 different opinions or feelings on the subject.
Some runners compare running on the mill to stabbing a fork in their eye, and some swear its the greatest tool ever.
I am one person that absolutely loves to run on the treadmill. As a recreational runner, I average anywhere between 40-70 miles per week, and I would say over 50% of those miles are done on a treadmill inside an old non-air-conditioned building at my work. Yes I live in Las Vegas, and yes it gets over 100 degrees in there, but its part of my routine and I love it. Do I think everyone should do that? No, I don’t, that’s weird, and some people think im psychotic, but as a coach, I do prescribe the treadmill to the majority of my athletes. in a healthy way.
Here are some reasons that I believe that the treadmill should be incorporate into any endurance athletes running routine.
Convenience: This is huge. The clients that I coach have a wide variety of occupations, from college students, to active duty military, to finance, to lawyers. One thing that they all have in common… They all have lives. Very few people have the luxury of being “full time athletes” that have the ability to drive across town for a workout every day followed by two hours sitting at starbucks drinking a Venti Caramel Latte with extra whipped cream. They are on a time crunch. Sticking around for a refill is out of the equation.
Treadmills are more convenient for most people than the drive through at Taco Bell. Many of them either have a treadmill available at their work, or the gym is close, or even at home. Missing a workout shouldn’t be an excuse. Even if you are traveling, its easy to book a hotel that has a gym with a treadmill.
For me, the one at my work is private, and rarely is anyone else in that gym, so literally all I need is a pair of running shorts and shoes and I can grind out some miles between appointments, etc..
Workout Control: Let’s say I prescribe a client a workout of 4x1miles a specific pace. Well, thats going to be difficult if you live in the city or dont have access to a high school track, or flat road, or whatever. On the treadmill, it’s a no-brainer, lock the pace in, and hold on! Love doing specific workouts on the treadmill. Plus last time I went to the track, the security guard kicked threatened to kick us off. Maybe it had something to do with my 3 inch shorts and no shirt. I dont know.
Long Run Nutrtion: For long runs, I preach practicing your fueling plan. So depending on the length of the run, that may require multiple sources of energy (water bottles, gels, donuts, etc..), much simpler if you can just have it all laid out for you, takes logistics out of the equation. I don’t know about you, but my day is jam packed with shit I need to get done, sometimes I don’t have time to play around with a logistical nightmare. I know many of my client/athletes feel the same.
Tracking Progression: I like to track my clients progression. The treadmill takes out a lot of the variables like uneven terrain, changing climate, etc.. Every workout they report to me, I can easily analyze progress, etc.
Mental Conditioning: Half the battle of running is dealing with the thoughts in your head, many runners will agree, running on the treadmill is mentally tougher, than running outside. So when it comes to race time, time goes by much fast.
If you are crazy like me, try staring a metal wall for your next 15 miler, that’s how you get really mentally tough. Ok, I dont reccomend that, Im weird, you dont need to be weird too. Watch youtube on easy runs, listen to hardcore gangter rap on your hard runs. Catch up on Netflix or old movies. Which brings me to my next point.
Productive Laziness: I love taking treadmill days as an opportunity to watch tv or movies. Especially low intensity runs. Currently, I am catching up on old episodes of entourage on Amazon Prime.
Let me know your thoughts? Do you love the treadmill? Or am I ridiculous? If you think the treadmill is great. Share this article with your friends, and lets start a movement.
About the author:
Paul Duncan is a Military Recruiter (NVARNG), USAT Certified Coach, QT2 Systems Level 1 Coach, and OutRival Racing Level 3 coach.
Paul also is a member of the “ALL GUARD” National Guard marathon team, competes in endurance events in his spare time.
70.3 PR (4:24:26)
140.6 PR – (9:51:53)
Half Marathon – (1:24:21)
Marathon – (2:57:27)
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