What's best..?

Hi, I completed my first ever 10k on Sunday and was quite pleased with my 54 min time. I'm hoping to do another early november, and am really keen to get a sub 50 time. My question really is whether when I'm doing my training runs, is it OK to try and mix in some running on the treadmill together with my normal road runnin..?


  • Treadmills are good for speedwork but can be very boring. Also they have more "give" than a hard road surface.
    However, I would sooner run outside anytime.
    I mixture of both will do no harm. The more you run, the more you will want to be outside.
  • Try doing your speed work on the treadmill and your long/recovery runs outside.

    It is easier to monitor your speed and distance on the treadmill.

    You must make sure to set your machine on a 1-2% incline.This will help to simulate outdoor speeds.
  • Mark - I do the majority of my training on the treadmill. Lots of reasons, I go to the gym from work at lunchtime so there's convenience there, originally I found it hard to judge pace and still do so the treadmill is a great tool to keep the pace in check, I use it for a lot of the "10 x 400m" type sessions as I don't have a running track nearby, and finally I have a history of knee problems so it's a good feeling to know that if something "goes" I can just step off rather than walk 4 miles home. I still do 1 or 2 runs on the roads but managed my best PB Half Mara (1:38:17, 6 mins off last time) on Sunday having followed a schedule that I found from Mike Gratton on Leisure Pursuits Group website. Most of this I did on the treadmill! It's horse for courses I guess and you'll make your own mind up over time.
    Good luck
  • I find that I injure myself more on the treadmill than outside as you're connstantly 'pounding' on the treadmill as your main focus tends to be the movement of your feet whereas I find that running outside I focus more on my surroundings and therefore am 'pounding' my feet on the ground a lot less. - may seem odd: but hey, that's me!!However due to the darker mornings I'm finding I have to use the treadmill a bit more (euch!!) mixed with as many outdoor runs as I can get away with during the daytime (not many due to work)
  • On the TM a 1% incline mimics air resistance on a perfectly still day.The fact that the 'road'is moving and not you means that the running action is not quite natural so I would recommend no more than 2 or 3 sessions of running on the TM per week.
    I particularly like to do Long reps or hills as the boredom factor is reduced.The TM comes into its own when the weather is particularly bad on a cold wet windy winters nightand you can do a quality session in vest and shorts in a warm air conditioned gym!!!!
  • I do one speed session a week on the treadmill because it's the only way (at the moment, until I acquire some gadgets) that I can judge speed accurately over short distances. It's sufficiently hard work not to get bored, but I would hate to do a 2-hour steady run on the tready!

    To condense my gym session in the run-up to a race last weekend (like you, I did my first 10K in 54 mins, and was mightily pleased with it), I did 30 minutes of intervals on the stair-climbing machine instead of my usual 20 minutes warming up on the steppy followed by 30 minutes of treadmill intervals. It was hard work but a pleasant change.
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