Running Indoors, the best kept secret to Better Running
Running on the treadmill has often been thought of as a last resort to get your workout done. Most believe that it’s a boring, mediocre way to get mileage in. Staring at a screen, while monotonously moving one foot in front of the other, doesn’t seem like an ideal workout. Nothing beats the challenge one gets from running outdoors, right? Well, not quite.
If you want to improve speed, stamina, and overall performance, you can turn to indoor running to supercharge your training. Here are a few reasons why you should consider running on the treadmill!
1. No Excuses
With the rainy season in full swing, it’s easy to skip a workout just because weather conditions aren’t ideal. “I don’t want to get sick” is a popular excuse I hear whenever people are faced with the task of running in the rain.
By hopping on the treadmill, you eliminate external factors that would prevent you from logging in the miles. Similarly, treadmill running would also allow you to train even if it’s scorching outside. This means you can use your lunch break to add more mileage!
Aside from weather, other external factors such as terrain, traffic, and safety may become hindrances between us and our training goals. By running on the treadmill, you can consistently log in the miles the way you want to!
By setting the incline, you can mimic the hills or flats you’ll encounter in your race. You can concentrate on your set without worrying about getting sideswiped by cars/motorcycles. More importantly, unless you’re careless, you’ll be a lot safer! You can run anytime you want without worrying about getting mugged, kidnapped, or chased by dogs!
3. Higher Intensity
Most workouts ask us to run at specific speeds or intensities. For example, here’s a favorite workout of mine: 6x 4mins at 10k pace with 1min easy. This involves running at a very hard pace for a short amount of time with even shorter rest.
The goal of the workout is to maintain your threshold pace even with fatigue setting in. If we were to do this outdoors, you’ll see your pace drop towards the end of the workout. However, by running on the treadmill, you can make sure you maintain the speed you want no matter what! As they say.. HTFU!
4. Practice Proper Form
Treadmill running is like running on a perfect surface. By eliminating things like bad road conditions, uneven surfaces, or loose gravel, you can practice proper form easier. Landing on your midfoot, nailing that push off, and maintaining the proper stride frequency will surely translate to better performance once you step outdoors!
5. Prevent Injuries
Treadmills have a softer, more forgiving surface than cement, gravel, or asphalt. This puts less stress on your knees, ankles, and hips. While proper strengthening, biomechanics, and flexibility are important for injury prevention, running on surfaces such as this would help mitigate problems (especially if you’re overweight).
Similar to #4, running indoors will allow us to be more aware of what our body is doing and what we need to do to improve our movement.
I always advise my athletes to consider running indoors because of the numerous benefits it provides. While there will obviously be no substitute for running outdoors, nailing your sets indoors will have huge benefits. Having a well-balanced training regimen will allow you to run better whatever the conditions may be!