I routinely have the same discussion with my training buddies, uttering the same words… ” the treadmill is a perfectly great tool for marathon training.” They don’t believe me. The rigor of indoor, treadmill running is always up for debate by many runners, yet I think you will see why the treadmill is your friend, especially in these hot, summer months.

Clearly there’s no comparing the monotony of the treadmill with lacing up your running shoes to explore beautiful backdrops of cool mountains. Balance, heat, pace, and the many running variables are unknown variables in outdoor running, and I’d never debate the merits of negotiating them as part of a solid training plan. But, those same variables can also be maximized when you embrace treadmill running for a few key runs, especially in thick of summer rain and heat. I was reminded of its benefits today, on the heels of 14 days consecutive marathon training; it was time for change, less bodily stress, and a quality, confidence building run. Here’s why you’ll want to consider working the treadmill into your training plan.


Controlled workout – To train well, you must incorporate a variety of workouts, and whether a tempo run, speed intervals, hill repeats, progressives, or fartleks, hitting your targeted pace is important. The treadmill allows you to reach each goal with no wiggle room! Novice runners predictably go out too fast or attempt a strong finish too early. Practicing control, practicing the variation in paces, and maintaining discipline on the treadmill will go a long way towards your next race.

Speedy Running – An effective training plan will call out your ideal paces leveraged against race goal time, and the treadmill will assist you in successfully hitting each run’s objective. Grab any opportunity for building success and taking stress out of a training run. It’s as easy as grabbing your plan and setting your pace and incline. Just looking for a solid fitness workout? Find a beginner to advanced treadmill workout from the internet. My favorite resource for this is at Popsugar. Each provides a great cardio routine, with varying speeds and intensities to give you the best workout for your fitness level.

Quality Running and Recovery – If you’ve ever run in the summer heat, you realize the unique intensity of these workouts. Paces are challenging with a great deal of exertion put into managing the climate, form, pace, and emotional fortitude. Recovery from a run that overheats and overworks causes added stress and can require a longer recovery. Imagine throwing in a quality, speed workout on the treadmill, one that focuses on maintaining form with speedier paces with less burden on your entire system and a faster recovery! A cool-air treadmill workout allows you to sustain energy, emotions and confidence, all critical to keep your head in the game!

Practice Inclines – I live in flat Florida. Every week, I hit the bridge or the one single hill in our County. That’s acceptable, but it doesn’t necessarily match the grade required to simulate my upcoming race. What’s more, I cannot hit these inclines at the same time in which I would have in a real race. An occasional training run on the treadmill will allow you to adjust to the correct grade at the correct time. To map out your run and its hilly terrain, check out When you hit the hill at mile 9 in your next race, you’ll thank yourself for the treadmill prep work!

Fat Burning Workouts – The treadmill is perfect to put together a 30 minute fat-blasting workout, because you can easily control the paces and intensity required. According to a study from the Cyber Institute , when you increase the incline to 1%, this truly yields best “road similar” conditions at sustained higher speeds. As you progress through a 30 minute workout, you’ll want to alternate between easier, conversational paces for approximately 15 minutes total, with more challenging paces of harder breathing in addition to strenuous paces in which talking is impossible, each for 7.5 minutes total. I recommend my PK Treadmill workout (shown at right), which provides for all three levels and ratios of intensity (easy 50%, challenging 25%, strenuous 25%).

Safety and Reliability – The summer months bring travel and unpredictable schedules. Both cause added stress to any training plan as you negotiate new neighborhoods and cities, early morning hours, and the darkness of unknown area streets. Treadmill running allows a safe and reliable option to maintain that training runs are successfully accomplished.

Treadmills are a great tool in your training plan if used correctly for targeted runs and for maintaining the quality and integrity of your efforts. As we push through these long summer months, look no further than your treadmill for an ideal run!

In my 40 Day Reboot Program, you receive one month free access to my personalized PK Training app for balanced cardio and strength training fitness plans that you can complete anywhere. It’s the ideal complement to your Reboot Program! Schedule your free consultation to get started today!