When the weather is uncomfortable, treadmill running is an effective alternative to outdoor running when you want more control over your training. But for how long should you run on the treadmill?
With many treadmills offering advanced computing technology and media entertainment integration, you may find it easier than ever to run on a treadmill over an extended period. However, how long you should run on a treadmill depends on your training goals.
Weight loss goals
When combined with a healthy diet, running on a treadmill can help you lose weight and maintain weight loss. If you have little experience running, start by running at an easy and comfortable pace for 15 minutes, three days a week.
You may even have to run a minute and walk a minute until you can run a full 15 minutes. Slowly increase the time you run on a treadmill to 30 minutes four days a week to maintain a healthy weight.
Improve your overall fitness
You need to train at a moderate to vigorous intensity level to improve your overall fitness. Pay attention to how long you run on the treadmill, as well as how intensely you run.
According to the American Physical Activity Guidelines, you should exercise for 150 minutes at a moderate intensity or 75 minutes each week at a high-intensity level. Use a heart rate monitor to assess your intensity level better.
As your fitness level improves, you can combine moderate and vigorous treadmill training throughout the week.
Prepare for a short race
You can find a road race nearby almost every weekend. The shorter distances of 5K or 3.1 miles are typical. For example, if you run at a pace of nine minutes per mile, a reasonable 5K goal should be 27 minutes.
During the weeks leading up to 5K road races, run 2 1/2 to 5 five miles per workout at a slightly slower pace, a little faster, or at the target pace, depending on your goals. Running 23 to 50 minutes on the treadmill will do.
Train for a long run
When preparing for longer distances, have more extended workouts on the treadmill. If you expect to complete an upcoming half marathon in an hour and a half, prepare on the treadmill by running this time weeks before the race.
When preparing for a hilly race, add a degree or two of incline to your treadmill workouts. Moving uphill can add minutes to the training time on the treadmill, but it will make you faster, stronger, and better prepared for the long, hilly race.