Treadmills Can Be Useful to Outdoor Runners Too!


You enjoy running outside vs. a treadmill, and have been doing it for years. Why would you want to use a treadmill?

That’s a very good question. For an outdoor runner, a treadmill would seem to have little appeal. You might think, It’s boring or it feels funny.

But I’m here to tell you a there are treadmill benefits for nearly all outdoor runners. I’m not talking about the tiny percentage of serious competitive outdoor runners. That’s one in a thousand. I’m talking about you and the other 99.9%.

Now you’re saying, Okay. Show me. And I will.

Beat the Weather

Even though you try to tough it out through the cold, snow, rain, or even cold rain, you don’t like it one bit. And as a result, you take days off running. How many depends on where you live, of course, but it could easily be 50 to 100 days per year, for example, it rains 150 days per year in Seattle. That is a lot of unpleasantness or missed workouts.

With a treadmill, there’s no extra clothing, and not a bit of chilly, wet discomfort. You just step on and go.

But running on a treadmill is boring! you insist. Read on.

Now You Have a Good Reason to do Interval Training

Everyone knows that interval training is a very effective training and fitness technique. But it’s not easy to do intervals outdoors without a good running track, and almost nobody has easy access to one of those.

A treadmill is both the solution and the incentive for interval training. A solution because it gives you precisely measured distances and times.

So do intervals on a treadmill, instead of constant-speed running. Here are a few suggested workouts that maximize treadmill benefits: 


Jog easy for one minute, then run faster for one minute. Alternate these for as long as you feel comfortable, but try to get a total of twenty minutes in.

Somewhat experienced:

The classic pyramid: jog easy for one minute, then run faster for one minute. Then jog 1, run 2; jog 1, run 3. You get it. Increase the running interval by one minute each time, then go the other way, like: jog 1, run 3, jog 1, run 2, jog 1, run 1.


Keep the one-minute rest intervals of the above two workouts, but make the running intervals three or four minutes long. This is tougher, but it will have a great training effect.

How do you compare your performance from workout to workout? When you hit Stop after your last run interval, look at the treadmill’s Distance display. That’s your performance measurement. As long as you do the same workout, you can compare your performance accurately.

Getting Used to Running on a Treadmill

Yes, a treadmill can feel funny to run on in the beginning. And interval training, with some fast running, might feel uncomfortable at first. This is normal, and you can get past this obstacle.

Learning to run outside vs. a treadmill is just that: learning. It’s a skill to develop, but one that develops quite quickly. Those interval workouts? Start slowly, and maybe keep your first treadmill workouts to around 20 minutes. I guarantee you that after five to ten workouts, your comfort level will be just fine.

Getting comfortable with treadmill running allows you to do better, faster workouts, and improves your balance. For me, the treadmill benefits are that I've become a more efficient outdoor runner, because it improves my capabilities across varying types of terrain.

The Total Package

With your new-found treadmill running routine, your total training and fitness regime will finally be fully-formed. No rain or snow days, or it’s-too-dark days. Also, if you live in certain areas where pollution is high, it can actually be detrimental to your health to exercise outdoors. Using a treadmill takes advantage of air filters year round. Overall, you will have far more training flexibility than ever, and your fitness will show that.

Let LifeSpan help you complete your workout program. Check out our treadmills today and see which option is best for your needs. Whether you want a compact, folding, non-folding, or light commercial treadmill, we have what you need, regardless of what’s going on outside.