The Great Big Treadmill Debate

1 to 20 of 81 messages
02/02/2011 at 08:17
I've had very conflicting opinions about the effect that Treadmills have on your legs.

I much prefer running outside so let's assume most people do, however with the dark and cold days it's tempting to substitute some midweek outdoor runs for indoor ones.

however, I've heard some people say that Treadmills are bad for your legs as they don't move at the same speed as the runner, and other people say that they are much better than the open road because the impact is less on your joints.

So what is the truth? As someone with a touch of shin splints in one leg, this is of keen interest to me.
02/02/2011 at 08:31
I think earth is a giant natural treadmill under my feet as it keeps turning every second of the minute of the hour of the day
Edited: 02/02/2011 at 08:32
02/02/2011 at 08:40

In an article on this website a while back they rated treadmills as softer/less impact than tarmac or pavement, more than grass or earth trails, as I recall. 

I prefer outside on grass, but bought a treadmill so I can still train if I can't get out in daylight (I run in an unlit park) or if it's throwing it down.

02/02/2011 at 09:14

From what I've seen 10 minutes on the treadmill at a cadence of 120 is perfect for warming up before doing 10 sets of biceps curls in front of the mirror.

cougie    pirate
02/02/2011 at 10:39

10 minutes on the treadmill ? Thats insaaaane.  At my gym its normally 60 secs or so at 20kmh and off.

 Or failing that - walk at about 4kmh chatting to your mates for 30 mins or so.

I use treadmill as well as running outside - and I dont think theres much in it really.  I think it was Ingrid Kristian (?) who won the first London Marathon who had done most of her training indoors as the weather was so awful where she lived ?

02/02/2011 at 11:19
cougie wrote (see)

10 minutes on the treadmill ? Thats insaaaane.  At my gym its normally 60 secs or so at 20kmh and off.

 Or failing that - walk at about 4kmh chatting to your mates for 30 mins or so.

 LOL so true
02/02/2011 at 11:21

You're missing the most important question:

Could a plane take off on a treadmill?

02/02/2011 at 11:52
Skinn102 wrote (see)

You're missing the most important question:

Could a plane take off on a treadmill?



 The answer is yes, but its wheels would have to rotate twice as fast. But it might also get distracted by talking to its mates.

cougie    pirate
02/02/2011 at 11:55

LOL ! Oh not that one again - that almost melted my brain.

Oh and another popular one at my gym - running in your socks as fast as you can manage for 30 seconds or so before hopping off, panting for a few minutes, then hopping back on again. Repeat four or five times and then hog the treadmill whilst talking to your dumb mates. And clutching lucozade sport like it was the elixir of life.

02/02/2011 at 12:06

Oh, the plane question!

Would have to be done on a Woodway Curve. I tried one the other day and it was cool. You don't have to plug it in so can keep training by candle light during a power cut. Doesn't self destruct if you spill your Lucozade Sport all over it.
Spread the word!

I think treadies are fine for emergencies, but having your foot hit always at the same angle isn't good. Tarmac is carp too but at least less monotonous. Better to get off road if at all possible 

02/02/2011 at 12:08

I love the treadmill - trained for a half marathon on it.

I NEVER run outside.

Each to their own!

cougie    pirate
02/02/2011 at 12:08
I always knacker my ankles off road ! Its pretty - but you have to watch where you are going.
02/02/2011 at 12:10

I'm nursing a groin/hip injury thanks to too much treadmill running....

There have been a number of attacks in our area recently and I don't feel safe running outside.

I am adamant the treadmill has caused me this injury since I'd been running consistent 50-60 mile weeks with no problems whatsoever before.

Personally, I think it's to do with the artificial aspect of it i.e. the road beneath you doesn't move when you're outside, therefore your running is not natural.

My cadence is generally pretty high but on a treadmill it's even higher and I feel a restriction in stride length...

Also, I find treadmill running doesn't work your hamstrings as well as running outside - which could create an imbalance/injury in the quads since when one overpowers the other, it leads to problems. Often it actually feels like you're just running up and down on the spot which obviously isn't a good thing.

Setting the tread on an incline could be a quick-fix but I'm determined to get back outside again even if there is an attacker on the loose..

My running was stronger than ever before my treadmill work - I could run 6.3m/m effortlessly, now I get on the tread and struggle to run under 8m/m without some kind of niggle.....

Of course, there will be people on here who will say my strain is down to overtraining, yet it seems a huge coincidence to me how this has come about since I swapped the road for the belt.

02/02/2011 at 12:13

ALSO, I think treadmill running could possibly worsen people with biomechanical issues.

I'm known to supinate yet when I run on the treadmill, it's dramatically worse - to the point of my other half saying he can visually see where I'm slapping down on the outside of my foot.

I don't feel the smoothness/rhythm of good form on a treadmill. It's just too jolty and unnatural, not that straight-line feeling you get when you're outside.  

02/02/2011 at 12:26

(without sounding like a tool) Olympic sports dr consultant man i saw for stress fracture recommended it to me as its less impact. Don't really understand how it could be bad for your legs in the way you've decribed.

02/02/2011 at 13:02
There is no debate. Treads are boring and don't make you faster in races.
cougie    pirate
02/02/2011 at 13:11

Thats a bit of a sweeping statement.  If you do the right workouts on a treadmill then they'll help you.

I still think it would be weird to do all of your training on one.

02/02/2011 at 13:19

Less impact - yes, but it's an unnatural form of running, which could lead to imbalances/injuries.

I second what someone else said above - it's OK to supplement with the use of one, but don't  count on it for the bulk of your training.

02/02/2011 at 13:23

I like the mill. Wouldn't do sprint work on it, but love doing a decent spirited 5km on it when I'm in the gym.

I've done a half on a tread - The only disadvantage is overheating I find.

02/02/2011 at 13:24

Why are people trying to achieve 'less impact'?

Its the same as all the cushioning in shoes, a major causes of weaknesses and imbalances and preventing the body's infrastructure developing its own robustness.

Runners who graduate to minimalist footwear have far less lower leg problems than those seeking to 'reduce impact'.

Edited: 02/02/2011 at 13:25
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