Many runners have a love-hate relationship with the treadmill—or “dreadmill.” While it can be mind-numbing at times, the treadmill has a place in your running routine, and it’s a viable option when running outside isn’t feasible.

The Benefits   

Running indoors means avoiding the hazards of the streets, like traffic and broken sidewalks. The cushioned belt means less impact for your joints to cope with. You can add hills at any time and don’t need a track to measure to distance for intervals. Even staying at a consistent pace for a tempo run is easy.

A treadmill gives you versatility if the weather is too intense or you can’t find a babysitter. Any number of things can become an excuse not to run, and this can be a tool that helps you stay on track towards your goals. 

Here are a few ways to get the most out of running in place:   

  • Have a clear plan before hitting the treadmill. Time management, mental clarity, and training with intentionality will help you have a successful run.   
  • The treadmill is the perfect opportunity to be more conscious of your form and to make improvements if necessary. Keep your head up and eyes focused on an imaginary horizon, executing proper arm swing and maintaining appropriate foot cadence.   
  • Varying both pace and incline on the treadmill reduce stress on your body and help keep you from getting bored. It also helps replicate the changes in terrain and pace from running outdoors.

Use the treadmill wisely and with a clear plan in order to fully realize its benefits. There is no substitute for getting outside and enjoying the wind in your hair, but there is a time and place for the treadmill.