marathon treadmill training

Marathon Treadmill Training at a Higher Level

Marathon runners are considered the elite of the running world. These are people who will run more than 50 miles a week to get in shape, and follow a strict dietary plan. Their dedication to the sport causes them to consider various options to improve their conditioning. That is why a number of marathon runners will use treadmills.

Training Advantages

This might seem unusual but it makes perfect sense. Treadmills are designed for softer impact on the surface and this is a lot easier on the knees than running on concrete surface. Marathoners are sometimes restricted by the weather; stormy days are the wrong time to be outside. Treadmills allow a training schedule to be followed without interruptions.

Modern treadmills are much more than a jogging belt. The technology of treadmills allows for changes in incline, speed, and time. Many models will actually have training courses for long-distance runners that are programmed into the system. A marathon runner can train at various degrees of difficulty and the treadmill will adjust accordingly. The different workout applications on a treadmill can allow a marathoner to cross train and concentrate varying degrees of elevation (e.g. a hill course work on application), and even speed differentials. All of this can help the marathoner get into better shape for that long, grueling race.

Greater Mental Discipline

A major complaint about treadmill training is that it is boring. Granted, there is more diversity in running outside but treadmill training does have a serious mental benefit for a marathoner. Marathons can require as much as four hours or more of running and that produces mental fatigue. Training on treadmill for extended periods requires developing a degree of inner toughness to deal with the monotony. A marathoner may find that the treadmill experience better develops mental endurance and the ability to handle the tedium of a long race.

Running on treadmill doesn’t have to be boring. A marathoner can plug into his or her iPod and music can make the minutes go by very quickly. Looking again at the treadmill as a training aid, a marathoner should consider:

  • The ability to train regardless of the weather outdoors.
  • The chance to cross train effortlessly.
  • An ability to change inclines or speed ordinarily at the press of a button.
  • A chance to develop the mental discipline necessary to successfully run for hours.

All these considerations make the treadmill an excellent piece of fitness equipment to help train for a marathon.

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