Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dumb Q

Can you do speedwork on the treadmill?

I've been pondering that question for awhile now.

I've heard one coach say no to this question. I've done my own form of speedwork on the treadmill from time to time, but wasn't sure if that was "real" speedwork.

It seems that as it gets warmer outside and my school schedule gets even more crazy (I have Econ AND Finance this summer!), I will not have the time to get in a lot of outdoor runs.

Can someone school me on this please? I dread running indoors on the treadmill, but I want to make the most of it.


Steve Bezner said...

I've done plenty of speed work on a treadmill. Simply adjust the speed up and down during your intervals and practice the math on converting meters to miles. The treadmill will keep you honest and provide consistent pacing.

The downside is that your not running on the surfaces that you race upon.

I would like know why a coach would say no? I've done hills, speed work and tempo runs on a treadmill. Adjusting the speeds and inclines during a treadmill run helps break up the monotony. And be careful it may kick your butt.

Have Fun!

TX Runner Girl said...

Thanks Steve! I need some butt kicking!!! :-)

barbara said...

I'm totally with Steve. Look at it this way - if you have a chance to improvise and do speed work on the treadmill...vs. not doing any all due to time constraints, etc. - which will make you faster?

One thing I would suggest (and wondered if this is where they're coming from) is to base it on time, not distance. In other words, 1 minute faster followed by 2 minutes recovery vs. 400's, 800's, etc.

bunnygirl said...

Steve and Barbara are right. Just be sure to have at least a .5 incline going, and preferably 1.0. The incline will help you mimic road and wind resistance.

I think speed intervals help the time pass faster on the ol' dreadmill, so have at it!

JustJunebug said...

I think that if you run on the treadmill its better than nothing; but I think you should put it on 1 incline and never have it level.

If you want to do speed, raise that incline and of course the pace. Do the 400/800m with 100/200 recovery, and go faster than what your 'fast' pace would be on solid ground.

I have found that running on the treadmill is dangerously deceptive as to a persons ability. I can run all day on that thing, but put me on pavement or another solid surface and I can immediately tell that I am not as good as I think I am running on that thing.

Which is why I RARELY run on one.

Just my .02 cents and its worth even less than that.

Anonymous said...

Christy, you can do anything on a treadmill but how effective is it? If you want to watch Tivo'ed programs with the fan on and the AC turned down then you have found your thing. Unfortunately these do not mimic any condtions that you will find in a race including the pounding of the hard surfaces that your body has to aclimate to. Treadmills are great for injury recovery and when extreme weather conditions make running outside difficult. Speedwork is easily done at any track. Next time you are at a race, interview all age group winners and see if they train on a treadmill. My guess is that it is the exception rather than the rule. Running/racing/training is not about being comfortable but rather pushing your body to achieve results. If you don't push it you will not get better. Your goals may be different than that. I guess the true test would be for you to train on the treadmill all summer long, June runs Kenyan way beat the heat. Progress can be measured at a fall race.

J~Mom said...

Great question! I don't have a treadmill yet...