Not everyone enjoys indoor training, even though treadmill running has many advantages. Here are 7 reasons to run indoors during the colder months.
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Relief for the joints
A good treadmill is equipped with cushioning that is roughly equivalent to running on forest ground. This can provide considerable relief for athletes who suffer or are prone to joint problems. In addition, there are no pesky motorists, freezing temperatures or slippery roads, and no dark alleys or barking dogs. But be careful: runners preparing for a road marathon should always run regularly on asphalt, as well as training on the treadmill, in order to accustom the musculoskeletal system to the stresses required in a race.
‘Inclination’ for an active running style
With treadmills, you can set the incline percentage and actively focus on the ‘uphill’ running style. This means that there is less risk of neglecting an active running behaviour and shortening the stride because the ground ‘slides’ under the runner due to the treadmill. For untrained runners (treadmill running for beginners), running uphill is therefore a good way to get used to the special characteristics of a treadmill. In addition, an incline of 1-2% also plays the role of the missing draught, which is often felt in the open air.
Reliable training analysis
The treadmill is the perfect environment for all runners interested in reliable information on race pace, heart rate and power decline. Performance tests can be conducted in a reliable and standardised manner. Which brings us to the danger of this aspect: the treadmill always offers identical general conditions and demands equally uniform performance from the musculoskeletal system. External factors such as headwind, uneven terrain, curves or rain are ignored. Treadmill training should therefore be combined with outdoor training.
Different forms of training
The ‘cockpit’ of a treadmill offers a wide variety of training forms, such as uphill running, tempo and incline running, interval training, random generator, and cool-down. This makes training extremely varied and efficient. However, it is important not to look too closely at the display and to remember to maintain an upright running posture.
For parents who need to care for small children, a treadmill at home can be worth its weight in gold. Time saving is also an argument: you come home late and want to read or watch something, but you also want to exercise. The best solution: combine active treadmill training with a passive activity, such as watching TV or listening to the radio.
Combination with strength training
General strength training in the fitness centre is also useful for runners. So why not combine resistance training with strength training when you go to the gym and schedule a half-hour treadmill session before training on the machines? It is important to note that (moderate) endurance training should be performed before strength training.
If you get bored during long runs, you will enjoy the entertainment offered by a treadmill. In many fitness centres, TV and movie channels offer distraction, and in the gym two runners can run side by side on two treadmills and talk to each other while doing so.