As the weather changes, runners can’t wait to brush off their summer gear and get out into the fresh air and sunshine. Although running in the spring can be an absolute joy, running on those muggy, scorching summer days can feel like torture. Putting your body through that kind of stress may be hurting your workout, or even injuring your body. If you’re feeling fatigued by your outdoor runs, or it feels like you’re just trying to “tough it out” in the sun, it might be time to rethink skipping that treadmill run.
The Pros of Running Indoors
- Avoid heat exhaustion. Poor weather is one of the many reasons we love a good indoor run. Sure, when it’s snowing outside or a hair too chilly, running inside can feel like an absolute necessity. The same can be said when the heat of the day is too strong. Our bodies go through so much, especially on those long distance runs. Running indoors can save you from overheating, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. Less heat means less heat-induced stress on your body. Your body can devote far more energy into running as efficiently as you can.
- Control your pacing. The assistance that a treadmill can provide during your run can help you heat your target pace quicker and with less resistance. Although running on pavement gives you a more realistic version of your pacing, you’ll be putting more stress on your body. Interval training, and switching up where you’re running can help you run faster, stronger, and with better form.
- Lower impact. Running outdoors effects your body differently than running on a treadmill. Although both styles of running should be utilized, soreness and injury should factor into where and when you choose to run. If you’ve been running inside primarily during the cold winter days, it’s more likely you’ll feel sore or achy after you start running outside again. Take it slow and listen to your body. As much fun as it is to get out and run, if your joints are feeling less than pleasant, you might want to transition to your outdoor runs at a slower pace. As it heats up outside, our bodies are put under far more stress than normal, and the low impact of a treadmill track might help you get through your workouts safer and in a more enjoyable fashion.
Dialing in Your Run
- Consistency is necessary to not only maintain your baseline of fitness but to keep injuries at bay. If you’ve been using a treadmill a few times a week in the winter, continue that regimen in the summertime.
- Heart Rate. Although you shouldn’t rely on indoor or outdoor runs only, your treadmill workout can help you hit your intended heartrate faster, and keep it consistent.
How to Get the Most From a Summer of Treadmill
- Ultimate control. There’s a lot of ability to control your workout when it’s happening indoors. From your pacing and incline to the weather. You might not get what you expect outside, so if you’re not one for surprises, get to a treadmill instead.
Faster recovery time. Because you’re experiencing lower impact on a track, your body has the time to recover quicker.
- HIIT it. Your machine is perfect if you’re using it as part of your HIIT workout. Treadmills can offer a killer intermittent portion or finisher to your those HIIT’s. Use yours to spike your heart rate, fire up your body, and burn those calories.
- Mimic your outdoor runs. If you want to mimic an outdoor run inside, increase your incline to at least 0.5 or 1%. Not only will it push your body more than running without an incline, but it also gives you a more realistic run.
- Use your presets. If you need a little structure or are easily bored by your current treadmill workout, don’t forsake the presets on your machine. You won’t have to worry about making manual adjustments on your machine, and it can add a bit of challenge to your normal workout.