There’s a number of benefits to working out in the cold, from increasing VO2 max to gleaning some vital vitamin D from those oh-so-rare winter rays. But there’s no getting around the fact that freezing temperatures are hardly the most inviting environment for running in, which is where many runners might start thinking about heading indoors and onto the treadmill conveyor belt. However, there are some differences to note before you transfer your runs.
Firstly, that conveyor belt will covertly help leg turnover, making it easier for you to run faster. Zooming along like your Usain Bolt is a good feeling, but understand that your pace on the treadmill won’t necessarily correlate to your speed on the roads. You also won’t be building up your soft tissue as you might on the slabs, but that does make it easier for those coming back from injury.
Now, for all of these differences there are some benefits to treadmill running, especially, as mentioned, in winter. Here then is personal trainer, running coach and founder of Train Passa, Lillie Bleasdale, with some of those benefits, along with her top treadmill running tips and three treadmill workouts for you to try on your next trip to the gym.
The Benefits Of Treadmill Running
There are several benefits to treadmill running, especially during the winter months. First off, it offers a safe solution to being able to get your run in when you may not feel safe outside, especially with it getting dark much earlier.
Furthermore, it allows you to ensure a safe run during difficult weather conditions like when it’s snowing or wet outside. Other benefits include being able to run without having to stop to cross roads, and also being able to lock yourself into a specific pace.
Making Treadmill Running More Exciting
One of the downsides of treadmill running is that staring at the gym wall can be pretty dull, especially for a long duration of time.
Make sure you’ve got yourself armed with everything you need before you jump on — a drink, sweat towel, a banging playlist on those headphones. Or maybe even pop some Netflix up on your phone to enjoy while you’re running along.
3 Top Treadmill Workout Tips To Remember
There are some huge variations between treadmill running and road running, and it’s important to keep these in mind when you take your runs inside.
Don’t Forget Your Outside Runs
While there are some real positives to treadmill workouts, it’s also important to remember that it should be included alongside a varied running plan. Consistently running on the treadmill can lead to injury due to the foot strike always being on the same surface.
Hone Your Technique
Our form also tends to change when running on a treadmill as we find ourselves in a more compact area. It’s important to focus on key queues throughout your session, remembering to keep your eyes up, shoulders relaxed, arms swinging backwards, and landing underneath the body, not in front.
Release The Layers
Finally, remember things are going to be a lot more toasty inside, so wear layers or less clothing. You may need to dispatch of that jacket when you’re really starting to get going.
3 Failsafe HIIT Treadmill Workouts To Try
Sprint Like You Mean It
Start off your HIIT treadmill workout plan with this simple pattern. Run for 30 secs, 10 times at 8/10 effort, with a 60 second jog or walk recovery in between.
This one is slower but longer. Run six, 3 minute intervals at 7/10 effort with 90 seconds jog or walk recovery in between.
Fartlek, or speed play in Swedish, is much less structured than usual pace changing runs like interval training as the pace variations should be done spontaneously as you run. These runs are also based on moving from high intensity to lower intensity, rather than transitioning from work to rest as you would in interval training.
One way to do this while on a treadmill is to pick a song on your playlist, increase the pace and effort for the chorus, and back off for the verse.
Repeat for five to six songs and you’ve got a serious Fartlek session on your hands.