When we think of running a marathon, most people think that training outside is the only way. But what happens if the climate you live in is a little challenging to navigate on a regular basis due to inclement weather? It’s not exactly easy doing an extensive run through your neighborhood streets when there’s a foot of snow, ice, and general polar vortex around you.
Even if you don’t have regularly sloppy weather in your area, is it possible to train for a marathon indoors? You may be surprised to learn that various professional runners have trained at least partially while indoors. As you might guess, that training was exclusively on a treadmill. The reason for that is due to one specific skill runners need to pay attention to.
The Importance of Pace in Marathon Training
Roadrunner Sports points out some of the famous runners who’ve trained on treadmills for marathons. All of them did training on a treadmill at least half the time due to the regions they lived in having weather unsuitable for outdoor running. Regardless, all of them managed to get enough training on treadmills to run in such events as the Boston Marathon through to the marathon in the Summer Olympics.
What needs to be focused on is pacing in marathon running. Treadmills can help do this by keeping you at a consistent speed. It’s not always easy to maintain a pace when outdoors and guessing how slow or fast you’re going from your last run. While wearable tracking devices might be able to help determine what your actual pace is, a treadmill forces you into maintaining what you start.
You have even more benefits partially training this way, particularly if problems go beyond weather.
Helping Health Conditions
By listening to music on a treadmill, you can run on one for several hours and never get completely bored. You’ll also be safe from any allergies you might experience when running outdoors, if additional problems of asthma. It’s even possible that you may have to train on the treadmill entirely, as some have successfully done. All that aside, many runners still emphasize how going outdoors gives you more of a sense of reality for marathons.
Finding a Middle Ground
In the Roadrunner Sports article above, we see evidence of various runners doing a combination of treadmill training on rainy days and outdoor training on better weather days. Some say you need to train on real pavement to get a feel for what it’s really like to run long distances outdoors. Nevertheless, when you have to train on a treadmill, what features should you have to get more of a real-world feel?
Investing in a Treadmill That Mimics Marathon Terrain
While a good treadmill with sophisticated features will cost you more, you’ll want to have one that gives you the feel of inclines and declines to mimic going up and down hills. Also, one with interval training is going to be important so the pace running can be timed appropriately.
Most of all, you’ll just need the commitment of time. If you’re too busy with other things around the house, you may not have the focus and drive to take on a marathon. You’ll need at least two to three hours of time on your treadmill, which may require the use of a TV for focus if music doesn’t sustain you for that long.