So can you train on a treadmill for a half marathon? The question about using a treadmill for marathon training arises when you have to carry out all or a larger percentage of your training on it. Will indoor training affect you in any way on the day of the actual outdoor race? Stay with me as I look at this issue in detail and provide you with some answers.
There are certain weather conditions that make training or running outside impossible and sometimes dangerous. There are certain neighborhoods that are just not ideal for marathon training due to congestion and overcrowding. These situations leave the runner with only one option and that is to use an indoor treadmill.
Treadmill vs. Outdoors
It has been said that whatever workout you can get outside, you can simulate on a treadmill. A treadmill can be adjusted for incline, speed, and decline. So whilst it’s true that treadmill training will not affect your endurance, you have no way of knowing what the actual weather conditions will be like on race day.
So yes you can train on a treadmill but at least once a week if you can; do run outdoors and preferably run the marathon distance. In case you didn’t know weather conditions will affect your sweat and hydration levels and your body needs to be used to these.
Running 26.2 miles on a Treadmill
I have done it before and I just have one word to describe running 26.2miles on a treadmill; boring…!!! Unless you have your treadmill positioned in an outside place or by a window with a full view of the outside, you can easily become demotivated.
If you don’t have a nice view of the outside and are completely indoors, you can put on a DVD and watch it whilst you run; it could be movies, music or just tuned in to a local channel.
Tips and Advice for Using Treadmill
Whilst it might seem like a simple process using the treadmill there are few things you need to be aware of.
1. Start Slowly:
Most treadmills have a safety feature that prevents them from starting off at high speed, so make sure you have both feet of the belt and at the sides until you are sure it is moving at a safe start off speed. This is about 1-2 miles/hour.
2. Be familiar with all the Controls:
It is to your advantage to be familiar with all the switches of the machine before you go into full training mode. This is so that you do not mistakenly instruct the machine to carry out an instruction that you are not prepared for. The most important button to note is the big red emergency button. It’s normally located on the center of the machine control panel
3. Choose a suitable workout routine:
There are pre-set workout programs on the machine that you can follow but for training, you can choose a manual work out where you will be in control of your whole workout routine.
4. Avoid getting distracted:
Our bodies tend to move or run in the direction that we are facing or looking. So it is important to avoid distractions and keep facing forward particularly when running at high speed. It is so easy to get hurt just from a few seconds of turning your head away and looking at the side.
5. Using the phone:
If you are serious about your workout you will avoid using the phone. Truth is at a fast running pace, you can hardly utter a word let alone carry on a normal conversation. This is another distraction that should also be avoided.
Just to summarise marathon training on a treadmill versus outdoor marathon training and to reaffirm the answer to the question, can you train on a treadmill for a half marathon;
There is really no shortfall that you will experience in terms of endurance if you train on a treadmill as opposed to the outdoors. 26.2 miles run indoors is still the same as 26.2 miles run outdoors. The only thing you are likely to experience with indoor training is ennui which can lead to demotivation.
You can keep yourself driven by using any of the techniques I mentioned above. Also, one disadvantage of indoor training is that it cannot simulate weather conditions. So it is important to occasionally (once a week) take your long run outdoors and use the treadmill for the shorter training runs.
Everything Else Still Applies
Even though you are on a treadmill the marathon training rules still apply. Keep yourself hydrated, follow the right marathon training diet and program and you should be no different from the guy who trained outdoors. If you are happy with the answer to the question of this article i.e. can you train on a treadmill for a half marathon then take a few minutes to read more content on this site. You will be glad you did.
Also Read about Half Marathon Training Questions and Answers