The reasons one may want to use a treadmill to train for a half marathon can be varied. Maybe the weather isn’t cooperating with their training schedule and bad weather is keeping them indoors.
Kids can be a factor as it can become very expensive to pay a babysitter every time it is time to train.
When training outdoors safety can be a concern, especially after dark or when running alone. Whatever the reason, rest assured that training for a half marathon can be done on a treadmill.
When using a treadmill for training it is best to try to duplicate the outdoor conditions that will be a factor in the actual race.
One way to do this is to set the treadmill at a 1% to 2% incline to simulate the wind resistance of running outside.
When setting the incline, bigger is not necessarily better and too big of an incline could cause injury so keeping it under 7% is a good idea.
Running at room temperature is another way to simulate what the weather may be like on race day assuming the weather will be better when the half marathon is held.
Interval training on a treadmill can help to prepare for the big day.
For example, after a warm up of course, run hard for an interval of 3 minutes followed by a recovery period of 3 minutes.
During the recovery period run at an easy pace. Repeat these intervals 5 times or however many times you would like or can handle, then follow it up with a cool down jog for a few minutes.
Running on a treadmill can help better your overall time by making you run at a consistent tempo. Since the treadmill will be operating at a consistent speed, you will run at a consistent pace.
In other words, speeding it up a bit when training will make you speed up. Start out by running 2 to 3 miles at a hard pace, but one you can handle the first time you do this.
Then every couple of weeks add a mile or so to the distance you are running at that pace.
Pyramid running is another way to train for a half marathon on a treadmill. Once warmed up, Run hard for a couple of minutes, followed by a couple of minutes of easy running.
Run hard again for 3 minutes this time, followed again by two minutes of recovery running. Increase that hard runs by 1 minute each time up to 5 minutes then work your way back down (4 minutes, 3 minutes etc.)
Treadmills are great for working on stride count as well. Finding your stride count is simple. Count the number of times your foot makes contact with the belt in a minute then double the number that you counted.
Top level runners stride count is about 180 steps per minute. Find out what yours is and set goals for yourself to increase it.
There are many advantages to training on a treadmill. While running outdoors with headphones on may not be safe, it certainly is on a treadmill.
One can listen to music, podcast, or even watch movies, and the time will fly by. Work hard and treadmill training will have you ready for that half marathon.
Lucy has recently taken an interest in running as a means to staying fit and keeping unnecessary pounds away.