Marathon Training On A Treadmill For First-Timers

Keep in mind that road running and treadmill running aren’t the same although there may be a few similarities. But if you can’t run on the road in preparation for your first marathon for any reason, then you should do the best with whatever is available – and the treadmills at LA Fitness are available no matter the weather!  

Here are two useful tips that will make your treadmill running a more suitable training for your first marathon.  

Add Difficulty

In general, running on a treadmill is significantly easier than running on a road for many reasons. First, you can run faster and easier on a treadmill because the treadmill belt assists in better leg turnover. Your feet aren’t fighting against an immovable surface, so to speak, when you’re on a treadmill, too. 

Second, you aren’t dealing with the natural elements when you’re running on a treadmill. In contrast, road running means that you have to adjust your stride for environmental factors including wind, heat and humidity, and even rain. You will not be getting the important weather conditioning on a treadmill, in short.  

Fortunately, you can compensate for these points in two ways, namely: add speed and incline. You can’t do anything about the weather conditioning but you can definitely control the level of challenge!

For example, if you run a 9 minute mile on a road running session, then you can set the treadmill for a 14 minute mile. You may also set the incline at a higher level so you’re pushing against gravity, as if you’re running uphill.

Your main goal in both instances is to create a similar feeling of physical exertion experienced in road running, albeit on a treadmill.  

Add Weight Training

Road running is known as an endurance event so it initially doesn’t make sense to add weight training to your treadmill training. But it does because strength training is essential for general conditioning that, in turn, becomes crucial in fighting off the fatigue during a marathon’s later stages.  

For general conditioning purposes, we suggest lifting weights two to three times every week, which will compensate for the absence of physical stress on your body’s soft tissues. Every other week, add a leg workout followed by treadmill running, which will mimic the feeling of fatigue during a marathon, too.

Many treadmills also have a Hill Program that can be used in building your strength and stamina for a marathon. Add it to your training, too, every other week so you get a feel of marathon running albeit indoors.  

But treadmill running has its limitations for your marathon training. You should also train for road running so that your body can adapt to its unique demands.  

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