Does the dreaded treadmill have a purpose?

I hate running on a treadmill. It’s hot. If feels weird going the same pace with no hills, curbs, rocks, etc. (I know, you can make an incline, and you can modify the pace occasionally, but it’s entirely different than outside running).

But when it’s wet and cold outside, and I have a brick workout (running after a bike ride), it’s really difficult to motivate to run outside if I ride inside. I’m hot and sweaty, and the idea of putting on more clothes to run outside for just 10 or 15 minutes is a barrier I usually don’t overcome. I will usually put the extra run time tacked onto another run, completely blowing the purpose of the brick workout (getting used to using run muscles after cycling).

So, I ran after a cycle class at the gym, on the treadmill.

In the process, I discovered something intriguing. I was doing well at running on the ball of my foot (much better than I think I do on the road), but I could hear my footsteps in a way I don’t running on the road. They were loud and heavy. I know we are supposed to be light on our feet with a quick turnover time, and I clearly wasn’t doing that. I played around and found that I could easily pick up the tempo and create more of a quick ‘pat pat’ rather than the ‘thump thump’.

I still have to learn to convert to the outside, but maybe the treadmill can be a useful tool in training to help us modify technique in a controlled environment.

For short periods…I still don’t think I will be planning any long runs on a treadmill.

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