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Treadmill Training for your Next Marathon...

The winter months can be a bit trying for those of us training for a spring marathon and dealing with inclement weather. Depending on where you live, ice, snow, sleet, and rain can wreak havoc on your outdoor training not to mention running in the dark because of shorter days. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a good workout in at the gym or in your home on a treadmill.
Treadmill running can be a great alternative when things get to be a bit much outdoors. In addition, in terms of efficiency for a quality workout there’s nothing better. Whether it’s speed you’re after or hill repeats, both can be accomplished in a nice climate controlled setting without sacrificing safety. For many, including a number of top professional athletes the treadmill will suffice for a complete marathon-training program.
Let’s consider some of the benefits. As mentioned above, treadmills are safe in the sense that they are indoors where temperatures can be adjusted accordingly even in the dead of winter. You never have to deal with uneven terrain, or dark streets, and there are never any icy patches to contend with. In terms of convenience, they allow you to have all your nutrition right there for the taking, as well as allowing you to multitask with the best of them. For example, because you can run on a treadmill at any hour of the day, and in many instances, you might just have access to a tv, news station or podcast to listen to, you’ll never miss a beat on keeping up to date with the latest events going on in your life. In addition, treadmills are consistent; not only do you get the same run every time, but you also get to run in that controlled environment with similar terrain and conditions.
Whether running indoors or outside, always make sure you warm up. Run or walk at a slow, easy pace for 5-10 minutes. Although it may be tempting to just jump on the treadmill and start the workout, you should allow time for a warm up. Likewise, when you are done with your workout, make sure you give yourself enough time to cool down. Spend a few minutes doing a slow jog or walk at the end of your run and allow your heart rate to slow down before you get finish. Cooling down will help dissipate lactic acid buildup in the muscles and dizziness or the feeling that you're still moving when you step off the treadmill.
Does running inside bore you? Why not try some intervals or counting your strides to keep your mind sharp? Consider your heart rate and some steady state pacing. Do remember, however, that your heart rate will most likely run a few beats higher for your outdoor pace when running inside as you won’t have the cooler air or breeze to wick away your perspiration.
Regardless of what type of workout you do, remember that a treadmill can enhance your fitness no matter what time of year. So consider jumping on one the next time the weather outside looks frightful; or not. You just might find a new training method that you can utilize no matter where you might be; at home, at the gym or even when travelling for work.



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