You have to be honest, as a runner and in particular a trailer, running in place , locked in a room or a room for tens of minutes or even hours, no, that does not make you dream! We agree, nothing beats climbing a beautiful hill to admire beautiful views and feel the good fresh air wriggling our sinuses. However, we must also face the facts that under certain conditions, we are better at home in front of a good film than in the pouring rain which will make the session even more difficult or even dangerous. But no more good excuses that will leave you on your sofa watching your favorite series because the treadmill will be a more than interesting alternative!
Is it really effective to train on a treadmill ? Can we progress optimally? What are the pros and cons ? This is what we will detail today!
NO MORE EXCUSES, RUNNING EVEN IN BAD WEATHER
And yes, one of the advantages of running on treadmill comes from the fact that you will not be able to use the weather conditions to justify the cancellation of a session. Whether it’s snowing, raining, blowing, or the sun is blazing, you can always take refuge in the gym (or at home if you have the chance) to do your training because running on a treadmill is, with a few nuances, as effective as running outdoors.
START ON A TREADMILL
If you are new to a mat, you should know that the first strides are quite confusing. Indeed, running in place is not necessarily natural because the tread that runs under your feet greatly helps you with propulsion, while when you run outside, your hamstrings will mainly fulfill this role. But I will come back to this a little later.
So to start, take the time to go gradually and get used to the different paces, starting with walking for example. Then you just have to increase the speed as soon as you feel comfortable.
AIR RESISTANCE AND THERMOREGULATION
One of the differences between the treadmill and outdoor running is that there will be no air resistance as you walk, since you are treading water. It will therefore be necessary to take into account two things: the first is that being devoid of air resistance, you will not fight against the latter, even if it remains tiny. And the second will inevitably have a consequence on your body in full effort because without the help of fresh air, thermoregulation will be more difficult, your body will struggle more to cool down so there will be a direct impact on your performance.
The sports halls are almost all air conditioned and well ventilated therefore the temperatures are relatively correct. In addition, it should be noted that today, many treadmills are equipped with integrated fans precisely to promote thermoregulation.
If you have a carpet in your own house, then always think about ventilating the room well or else placing fans near the appliance so as not to suffer from the heat.
REPRODUCE EXTERNAL CONDITIONS
The lack of air resistance as well as the limited solicitation of our hamstrings due to the tread, make the exercise less intense and therefore easier. In order to counter these effects and to reproduce as well as possible the external natural conditions, the majority of the practitioners use an incline ranging from 0.5% to 1.5% according to their pace. Personally, I always maintain a 1% incline regardless of my speed.
AGONIST / ANTAGONIST MUSCLE IMBALANCE
One of the disadvantages of running on a mat is precisely the fact that the hamstrings, which generally serve as a propellant on the field, will be less stressed as I indicated previously. It is therefore not recommended to practice exclusively sessions on a treadmill otherwise it will create an imbalance between the agonist / antagonist muscles (in this case it is the quadriceps and hamstrings) which can lead to injuries. As I said in the introduction, the mat remains a complementary tool , an alternative to training but not a replacement in its own right.
THE PRECISION OF THE RACE PARAMETERS
Now let’s come to the major advantage of running on treadmills: the precision of the running parameters . When we run outdoors the only really precise parameters that we can play with are the time and also the distance if we are on an athletics track. However, the speed remains a given which cannot be really constant. Even with years of experience, it is difficult to maintain a regular speed to the nearest tenth and it is precisely in this that the treadmill stands out. It will allow us to precisely control the distances and the running paces for each one. of our sessions and more particularly those of VMA where maintaining speed is very important for a successful session.
The second advantage of the treadmill, and not the least for us trailers, is that we can work on the difference in height by adjusting the incline which can reach more than 30% for some models which also offer to work the negative difference in height up to – 6%.
For people living in the plains, the treadmill is therefore a perfect solution to work on your D + if you want to tackle mountain trails for example.
The only problem is that on most of the models that I have tried to date, none of them displayed the D + in real time as can the time or the distance. Of course, this is a bit of a shame, especially if you only want to base your session on the cumulative positive elevation gain.
There is nevertheless a simple formula to be able to calculate it upstream but we will come back to this in a next video.
SCHEDULE YOUR SESSIONS
On most mats today it is possible to program your sessions either with programs already pre-recorded or else programs that can be personalized as desired where you choose the pace, time, distance as well as the difference in height … ” perform VMA sessions that I schedule beforehand so that I only have to worry about my performance over time and not adjusting the speed at each interval.
Finally, the plateau on which we run offers significant cushioning with each stride which certainly has an advantage but can also have a disadvantage, especially for trail running.
An advantage on the fact that the impacts on the ground are reduced therefore it reduces the traumas linked to the latter. The drawback will relate to exactly the same problem that was mentioned previously in this case on the frequency of use of the carpet. In addition to the fact that we weaken the hamstrings, the excessive and exclusive use of such a tool will accustom us to a coating that is too flexible and regular, which is not at all the case in trail running. Consequently, we will tend to weaken not only our support but also the stability of all the joints involved in the race such as the ankles and knees. And in trail running, that’s not at all what we want!