Are you thinking about running a half marathon or a marathon? Sometimes, the weather could make it tough for doing our training runs outdoors. For instance, hot weather conditions make long miles difficult and cold climates could interfere with our workouts tool. Due to these reasons, most people wonder if they can go for marathon training on treadmill. But can treadmill adequately prepare you for your marathon?
While there are differences between treadmill and outdoor training, there are a number of benefits of treadmill running. To train for a marathon, running indoors can be safe and effective. However, it is significant to run some miles outdoors for fully preparing for the marathon.
- 1 Benefits of Treadmill Training
- 2 Different Kinds of Treadmill Training
- 3 Tips for Marathon Training on Treadmill
- 4 Limitation of Treadmill Training
- 5 Combine Treadmill Training and Outdoor Training
- 6 Conclusion
Benefits of Treadmill Training
Treadmill training offers better running preparations, especially if you train for a spring marathon in winter. Your marathon will likely happen in warm weather. So, when you run at room temperature, you get used to race-like weather conditions. Also, the treadmill offers a great opportunity for testing out race-day outfits as you would not be wearing cold-weather running clothes throughout the marathon.
Even if you do not have to deal with a seasonal change, performing some workouts on a treadmill can offer benefits for marathon training. Have a look at some advantages of treadmill running!
Different Kinds of Treadmill Training
There are various kinds of treadmills, which can also provide different benefits to marathon runners.
Many gyms feature automatic treadmills. These machines enable you to incline settings and enter a speed on their electronic panel. Usually, they feature a stop and start button for starting or ending the workout. They are beneficial for training that needs a particular incline, time, or specific speed settings. These workouts could include hill interval training, speed interval training, tempo runs, and pyramid workouts.
Most health clubs provide non-motorized or manual treadmills. These machines do not feature electronic input or keypad. Here, you just step on board the belt and begin moving. When we talk about pace, several manual treadmills are limited. However, many recent models are not just limited but they provide additional challenges that could be helpful for marathoners. For instance, some curved ones are designed for enhanced stamina and endurance.
Without the curve, manual treadmills are often preferred by runners as they offer no electronic assistance. The belt follows with energy generated by the movement of runners. In various ways, these treadmills more accurately simulate actual road conditions.
Tips for Marathon Training on Treadmill
So, can you train for a marathon on a treadmill? Yes, you can. However, if you are choosing to use a treadmill for the marathon preparation, there are certain key points that you need to consider for ensuring that you get the best benefits out of your treadmill training.
Best Treadmill settings for simulating outside running
Experienced runners often remark that treading running and running outdoors are two different things. For beginners, outdoor running means experiencing wind resistance or drag, while on a treadmill you effectively run in-place and do not get pushed forward through the wind. For correcting this absence of wind resistance, you can run on a treadmill at an incline of 1% to get this energetic value of running outside.
Benefits of Treadmill incline for better running
The advantages of putting up a slight incline on the treading running go beyond just adding up the wind resistance. When you run outside, you need to generate efforts with your hamstrings and glutes for driving forward with every stride. On the contrary, the constantly running treadmill belt does this propulsive work.
So, experts recommend runners to do their marathon training on a treadmill for increasing the incline to 3% for flat runs. This extra incline would force them to work a bit harder through the hamstrings and glutes when running on a treadmill. This assists them in preparing the legs for the conditions of outside running when they go out for a marathon.
If you suffer from knee pain, specifically patellofemoral syndrome, adding an incline to the treadmill will help you to prevent knee pain. So, this happens because it is significantly difficult to over-stride while running uphill. The only drawback is that your speed will need to be slowed a bit for accommodating the incline. So, you have to set the speed of your treadmill depending on efforts rather than just stick rigidly to the favored speed, as if your treadmill was flat still.
Treadmill Speed Marathon Workouts
Another benefit of running on a treading for a marathon is that it could be super specific about the speed training workouts. Usually, a treadmill displays all the information on the display. Most treadmills even allow runners to program particular workouts, which then deliver. All you need to do is to run and run. You can also go for some marathon-specific speed workouts, such as treadmill intervals, treadmill incline pyramid workout, progressive tempo workout, etc.
Long marathon training runs on a treadmill
The fact about the treadmill training for a marathon is that you will have to finish your long training runs. This is not something different from what your outside training. One can learn about the distance of the longest marathon from marathon goals and experience. If you are a beginner, you can go for an 18-mile long run.
While running outdoors, there are various kinds of sounds and sights for keeping our minds occupied. These distractions help our long, slow miles to pass quickly. But, you can sense boredom while opting for treadmill running. To distract your mind, you can listen to podcasts and audiobooks while running long runs on a treadmill.
One of the benefits of performing your marathon training on a treadmill is the simple availability of nutrition and drinks. If you were running outdoors, you need to carry your long-run drinks and nutrition along with you. However, you can have the supplies handy while on a treadmill.
Practice your target pace on a treadmill
In a marathon training schedule, the key session is the long run. During these sessions, you have to become aerobically efficient and get the endurance required for running 26.2 miles. It is important not to just get the miles in but pace the long run correctly.
Many runners tend to run long runs in a faster way. The majority of the long run mileage needs to be slower as compared to the final marathon pace. Having said that, the closer you reach to your race day, the important it becomes to practice running at the pace of your marathon. One thing that is good about treadmill running is how you could set the speed of your treadmill for hitting the favored training pace.
Practice great treadmill running technique
There are lots of points that you need to remember regarding the treadmill running technique, especially when training for a half marathon on a treadmill. This is because some runners adopt a slightly diverse running style on a treadmill as compared to outside running.The points that you need to consider are: making sure that you have room for a usual running arm swing, keeping your head up and looking ahead, and listening to your footfall.
Limitation of Treadmill Training
Indoor running has various advantages, but there are drawbacks too for treadmill training. You need to take these points into account before you rely heavily on a treadmill for your marathon training. First, most gyms restrict the time every client could spend on a treadmill. You might not be able to work out for more than 60 minutes. As a result, your mileage will be limited, which is not a problem in early training but eventually, you will have to run more miles. If you own a treadmill, then there would not be any time restrictions.
It is important to have a long training day for building endurance. It will get longer in the weeks just before your marathon. It is going to toughen your feet so you might get blisters on running for longer.
Another drawback of treadmill training is that most treadmills only feature speed and incline settings. A very few of them come with decline settings, which means your training could help in preparing for going uphill and not downhill. As downhill running employs diverse muscles and your feet run differently in shoes, you need to prepare the body for such challenges if the marathon course features hills.
Finally, you would not challenge your form or balance with diverse curves, surfaces, and maneuvering about obstructions as you perform while running outside.
Combine Treadmill Training and Outdoor Training
If you enjoy access to a treadmill and could face challenges that will limit outdoor training like schedule or weather limitations, you can combine outdoor runs with your treadmill training for maximizing your marathon-day potential.
If you work out in severe cold or heat, you have to look at the weather forecast for the coming weeks and plan the outdoor runs for the possible weather days. Weather conditions might be less than ideal, but again you could not control the weather on your race day either. Try making outdoor runs a long one, so the body gets used to outside running for longer distances.
Runners can also combine their workout by performing some mileage on a treadmill and doing more of it on roads outdoors. Running outdoors means that you would not need to deal with boredom while performing double-digit miles on your treadmill.
If you have schedule limitations, then plan a long run on your free schedule and protect that workout from home and work interference. Then, you can try fitting in treadmill training as your schedule allows.
If your gym features limitations on a treadmill, put in the entire time allowed and only then take a break for doing other cardio exercises. You can add outdoor or indoor running, elliptical, walking, and rowing machine. Also, you can hit the stairs and practice incline training!
If you could, return when it seems appropriate to put in some time for treadmill running. If your break could not maintain the heart rate, try a warm-up at a simple pace before increasing incline and speed.
So, going for long runs outdoors and shorter workouts on the treadmill could be an incredible way for navigating weather or schedule challenges throughout marathon training.
So, you know now that how can you train for a marathon on a treadmill! There are various ways in which you can use a treadmill for making the most of your half-marathon or marathon training. However, keep in mind the limitations of running indoors. Try combining your indoor sessions with outdoor runs. Keep indoor days for practicing targeted speed, tempo runs, and incline. You will be able to use a treadmill effectively to train for your upcoming marathon or other running goals. If you found this article helpful, share it with other enthusiastic runners. Post your queries or comments in the comment section if any!