Treadmill Training – Lesley’s how to guide

When you’ve been loving the outdoor runs, and autumn comes and spoils it all

It’s just the most wonderful feeling running outdoors. Vitamin D, mood improving light and invigorating fresh air. And then the nights close in, the temperature drops, the rain sets in and eventually ice makes it dangerous. But don’t let the poor weather spoil all your hard work over the summer. Running indoors has its advantages too.

Treadmills aren’t just undercover

Treadmill running pushes you out of your comfort zone and challenges you to a different running experience. Outside you’ll probably stop at crossings, gates or other obstacles and you slow down naturally over a distance. The treadmill gives you consistency. The machine only slows down if you ask it to and there’s absolutely no stopping for rest breaks! This all adds up to improving your stamina to help you run further and faster when you get back on the road.

Lesley, advanced fitness trainer at Pulse 8, says that running indoors can feel a bit “easier”. If this is you, then put a 1% incline on your treadmill, which brings it into line with outdoor running.

Control = better progress

Running outdoors is limited to what’s around you, whereas indoor running can be tailored to your needs. You can add in hill running, do your own interval sets or work to a threshold, to maximise your training.

Sprint 8, for example, is a super-quick, simple to use programme, which changes your body composition. It helps to increases metabolism, adds muscle and promises greater weight loss. And it’s highly motivating to watch your own improvements over a specific course.

Indoor winter time training brings so many opportunities. It gives you a control that you can’t get from outdoor running. For example, if you’re considering running a marathon, you could begin Yasso 800s, to help predict your marathon time. It’s a speed workout which involves a series of 800-meter repeats, with a 400 metre recovery jog in between, up to a maximum of 10 repeats. The time that you’re able to hold for 10 repeats (in minutes and seconds) roughly predicts the marathon time you can expect to run (in hours and minutes). So, if you’re able to run 10 x 800 metre stints on the treadmill in four minutes each in training, your marathon distance will be approximately four hours. It’s not a perfect prediction, just a guide.

If you’re not familiar with it, ask us!

Do something different

Adding a class in to your gym visit presents an incredibly uplifting antidote to the dull, dark days of a long winter. And what better opportunity to do your run and weight training in the same place?

Best of all? You can run with that friend whose pace isn’t quite the same as yours. By running to a specific time set on a treadmill, rather than distance, you can run side by side at your individual pace and get the benefits of moral support! With coffee and a catch up afterwards, of course.

Finally, treadmill running can bring some relief from the impact of running. Good shoes are essential, of course, but too much road can still be unkind on the legs. The treadmill cushions the impact of every stride to help protect joints and keep you running for longer. Lesley’s top tip to avoid repetitive strain is to use the treadmill to vary pace and incline.

All in all, running indoors can’t replace the feel good factor of running outside. But with feedback stats you learn what you’re capable of and improve your racing skills, which ultimately improves your confidence.