How to train on your treadmill without losing your mind and still love running
February 23, 2018
Whether you are training for some upcoming spring time races or just trying to stay in shape, your treadmill may be the best go-to fitness machine this winter season. It's no secret that boredom may be your biggest challenge when running in place while covering all those miles. The trick is how to spice things up during your training regimens.
This article offers up some training tips for the treadmill.
Quality and Consistency
Any type of worthwhile training involves quality and consistency. Doing it on the treadmill may lack stimulation because there's no change in scenery. But there are ways to shake it up and keep your interest piqued. Here a few:
Take it one mile at a time
One of the worst parts of an indoor long run is imagining the hours you’ll spend running in place. Instead, change something (the incline, the speed, your focus) every quarter mile. You’ll be more engaged, and it’ll be more similar to an outdoor long run. Try this:
- At 0.25 of every mile Increase the pace by 0.2 to 0.3 mph for 30 to 60 seconds to change up your stride. When you return to your slower long run pace, it will feel easier.
- At 0.50 of every mile Perform a head-to-toe form inventory to shift your focus from the run to your body. Relax your shoulders, swing your arms parallel to one another, and center your shoulders over your hips. Count how many times your right foot hits the belt for 60 seconds. The ideal cadence is around 85 to 92 right strides per minute.
- At 0.75 of every mile Increase the incline slightly to two to three percent, or just enough to make it feel a little more challenging. You’ll use different muscles and build strength. If your goal race is hilly, use the treadmill to exactly simulate the inclines and declines of your course.
- At the mile marker Before you begin, write out a numbered list that corresponds to the number of miles you’re planning to run. Dedicate each mile to a person or charity that’s important to you, or spend a mile focusing on a mantra or visualizing part of your goal race’s course. This gives your mind a positive distraction for each mile.
Binge-watching television shows or inspiring running movies while on the treadmill helps pass the time and keep you engaged. If a screen isn’t available, listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or a custom running playlist. It’s an obvious strategy, but it works to fight boredom. Check out our Landice Vision system option that provides a ready-fit entertainment system to your treadmill.
Break It Up
If you can't get over the idea of doing your full distance in one workout, break up the run into two shorter runs that total your target. For instance, if you want to run 16 miles, run 10 miles in the morning and another six in the afternoon.
For those who are training full-time on a treadmill due to bad weather, be careful when moving back to roads or trails. Do shorter runs outside before you tackle an outdoor long run. It’s also better to train by effort instead of pace at all times, since your pace will vary from inside to outside.
In the end, it’s all about getting in the time and simulating the changes in speed and terrain a runner experiences during an outdoor long run. Have confidence in your preparation this season. Although treadmill running differs from road running, it is a very effective way to prepare for any of your racing goals or just fitness levels.