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Frequently Asked Questions:
Training on the Treadmill

I do much of my running on a treadmill as opposed to on the roads. Will this have any effect on my marathon training and the actual event?

My belief is that runners who plan on competing in a marathon must do some running on the roads in addition to mileage logged on the treadmill. The fact of the matter is that because virtually all marathon course routes utilize man-made terrain (e.g., asphalt, concrete), it is imperative that runners become familiar with running on these surfaces, particularly during the all-important long runs. Running on the roads can be sometimes difficult for runners who reside in areas where winter brings large amounts of snow and ice. As a result of this, some treadmill running (shorter runs during the middle of the week) will probably be necessary to maintain and build cardiovascular conditioning. In summary, try to do as much running as possible on the type of surface(s) the marathon course utilizes to be best prepared for the race.

Treadmills - Be Careful!

It is important to remember that the training concepts presented in this site also pertain to treadmill running. That is, you must gradually adapt to running on a treadmill by building mileage slowly. Even well conditioned runners can experience some aches and pains when switching from the roads to the treadmill. When working out in a gym, make use of staff that can give you extra pointers about how to get the most out of your treadmill workout.

Treadmill Tips:
  • Learn how to use it prior to using it. Use manual mode for complete control of the intensity (speed, elevation, and resistance levels). Pay particular attention to your intensity level. Listen to music, read, talk, think, etc. to pass the time; however, don't overdo it by these distractions. Stay hydrated. Drink fluids frequently during exercise.
  • Use a fan to keep from getting overheated.

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