Benefits of Treadmill Running

How treadmill running can be good for runners

Although some running find treadmill running to be boring, there are plenty of benefits to running on a treadmill. If you find your motivation to run on a treadmill is lacking, consider some of these advantages of treadmill running:

Treadmill running is easier on your body.

Mid adult woman running on treadmill in gym
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Treadmills offer better shock absorption, resulting in less stress on your feet and knees, as compared to running on asphalt and concrete surfaces. The extra cushioning and smooth surface also allows for easier runs.

You don't have to worry about the weather.

Indoor running means that you don't have to run in bad weather, such as heavy rain or snow. You also don't have to run outside when it's extremely hot and humid. Running in the comfort of a temperature-controlled environment also means that you don't have to worry about overdressing or not wearing enough for your runs. In addition -- my personal favorite benefit -- you don't have to worry about putting on sunscreen before your run.

You can simulate race courses.

If you live in a very flat area and you're training for a hilly marathon, you can still run hills on the treadmill. You can even plan your hills for certain points during your run, so you can prepare yourself for the same type of course on race day.
More: Treadmill Hill Workout

You can simulate race conditions.

If you're training for a warm weather race but you live in a cold climate, you can run on a treadmill to get acclimatized to a warm environment. You can also try out race day outfits, so you're not wearing shorts or another item of clothing for the first time on race day.

It's safer than running outside.

Running indoors on a treadmill means you don't have to deal with potential hazards of running outside, such as falls, cars, cyclists, dogs, and other attackers. If you don't have a running partner or group to run outside with, running on a treadmill is a safer alternative than running alone outside.

You can control your pace on a treadmill.

When running outside, some runners have a hard time maintaining a consistent pace and end up running faster or slower than they wanted to. The treadmill makes it easy to track your mileage and pace.
More: 4 Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workouts

You can multi-task on a treadmill.

Unlike running outdoors, it's safe to use headphones and listen to music or audiobooks, watch television, or flip through a magazine while you're running on the treadmill.
More: Beat Boredom on the Treadmill

Treadmill running is convenient.

Treadmills offer more convenience than running outside. You can run inside when it's late at night or pouring rain. Moms and dads can run at home without having to pay a babysitter.

Hill training on a treadmill is easier on your body.

When you're running hills outside, you're running both uphills and downhills. But when running hills on a treadmill, you get all the strength and endurance-building benefits of uphill training without the downhills, which are a lot harder on your body.

Source: Daniels, Jack, PhD. Daniels' Running Formula. Human Kinetics, 1998.

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