Until recently, I was the worst at running on a treadmill. No, not like I couldn’t physically do it. Mentally, I would just throw in the towel. I would sift through every excuse in the book
It’s too boring
I can’t go as far
I’ll have to drive to a gym
It’s not as effective as running outside
Blah, blah, blah
Until recently (aka Grant’s arrival), I really didn’t understand the amazing benefits of a treadmill until I was forced to do one of my long runs on one. We were on a quick trip to Detroit last month, and I was not comfortable running outside. I hopped on a treadmill and hammered out 9 miles, my longest treadmill distance to date! Here are a few reasons why treadmills really are a great tool for your training schedule.
You can run anytime
Sometimes, it doesn’t work for me to get out and run in the wee hours of the morning anymore. Whether Grant had a rough night of sleep, I need to sleep in for some extra energy, or Marcus is traveling so I can’t leave – the treadmill is a great option. I have access to a gym at work, so I can hop on a treadmill at lunch and knock out a 5 mile run.
The weather isn’t a factor
The heat and humidity this time of year is really rough in Tampa. No matter when you wake up, you are looking at 80+ degrees and very high humidity. Running on the treadmill can make a big difference in your recovery time, as you don’t lose as much sweat so your body recovers quicker, making for better workouts in the near future. I’ve even been splitting my long runs on the treadmill some, by running half inside and half outside to help with this recovery.
New terrain awaits
Another little tidbit about Florida – we have very limited hills, especially here in Tampa! The only way we really can get a hill workout is if we plan our runs around bridges. Raising the incline on a treadmill helps to get your legs prepped for hills. I don’t have access to a machine with the downhill factor, but there are some that simulate a downhill as well.
Water is easily accessible
This is minor, but can make a big difference as well. I have a carry along water bottle that works really well for my outdoor runs, but not having to physically carry it is great. Not only is water right there for you, but so is a restroom! Anyone that has been running for a decent amount of time has wished there was a bathroom near on some runs, so this makes it possible.
It is a more forgiving surface
Unless you are running trails, a treadmill is your next best option. It is significantly softer than running on pavement and way more forgiving. If trails are the only option where you live, it’s nice to run on a soft surface and not have to worry about rocks, roots, etc.