Treadmill Running Isn’t All That Bad

Treadmill running has been my saving grace this winter. I’ve soldiered on during snow and artic temperatures but there’s a point I reach when it’s too much.


I keep coming back to the treadmill. I’ve enjoyed the intervals on the treadmill because it’s a lot easier to speed up without upcoming obstacles like the ones I encounter on the road. Different incline settings make it closer to running outside but not quite. 

For whatever reason, I decided to do an easy four mile run at my gym’s indoor track. I wanted to try something different and workout at my pace (not the one on the treadmill).


Big mistake! My indoor track is a torture device for runners. The gym boasts its rubberized flooring track for support but that’s garbage. After that four mile run, I think I know what football players might have experienced running on AstroTurf.

My feet, ankles, and knees were sore from the surface and turns on the track. This was supposed to be an easy pace.

While the surface was pretty unforgiving, it was the turns that were equally harsh. When I run outside my routes do require me to turn but not at these tight angles.


All of the sudden treadmill running is looking pretty good. The surface is pretty forgiving and the turns aren’t awkward.

What I Like About Treadmill Running

  • Support for feet and knees
  • Closer simulation of outdoor terrain
  • Treadmills today have a TV screen mounted – great for catching up on news, sports, or even movie (if you’re lucky enough to find a good one)
  • Better control over interval training

I’m sure others could make the argument in the opposite direction and damn the treadmill. It’s not a perfect machine but I do see the benefits as we wait for the weather to warm up.

During the winter months, I’m all about self-preservation for running. I just want to stay healthy and moving so that when spring is finally here, I can really excel.

I’ve probably run more this winter than in the past and with little injuries too. I’d like to officially thank the treadmill for that. In celebration of the treadmill, enjoy these links:

Treadmill Benefits via Amplify (infographic)

Katie over at Gettin’ My Healthy On has a bunch over treadmill workouts that are worth a look.

Treadmill tips from Yuri in a Hurry.

And, last but not least, a good treadmill speed workout from Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC.

Tell me about your love (or at least respect) of the treadmill running. Leave a comment!

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  1. says

    I used to hate running on the treadmill and it was mostly mental because a.) I got bored and b.) I thought I was going to lose my speed. However I found a great chart online and it helped change my mind. It tells you what the treadmill equivalent is to running outside. I wrote a post about it several months ago but you can find the same chart by going to
    Before I used the chart I never went about a 1 or 2% incline but I was able to simulate hill repeats by increasing the incline and get a pretty accurate comparison to running outside. 🙂

  2. says

    Thanks for the mention! Living in Vancouver, I’m lucky the wether rarely keeps me from running outside, but I still like the treadmill for connivence—especially on weight training days—and for specific hill or speed interval workouts.

    • Chris Narbone says

      I’ve never made it to Vancouver but heard it a great city and beautiful too. The Midwest does hamper running sometimes – really only when its subzero or outrageous snow fall. The treadmill is a great alternative. Thanks for commenting!

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