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The Treadmill Versus The Outdoors For Marathon Training

If you’re someone who’s getting started with a marathon training program, one thing that you’ve likely been thinking about is the location where you should be doing the vast majority of your training for the event.

Should you be focusing on treadmill training so you’re in a controlled environment that you can count on or should you be doing most of your training runs outside where it’s more likely to be as it will be during the actual marathon?

Let’s look at some things to consider.

Where You’re Racing

The very first thing that you’ll want to take into account is where you’re racing in the first place. Are you going to be doing the marathon in your home town or traveling? If you’re traveling, the weather conditions, atmosphere, and elevation are all going to be different, so while running outdoors now will get you close to simulating that environment, it’s still not going to be exactly the same.

If you are running in your home town, then you can easily go out and practice running right on the marathon course and do simulation training sessions. This could work to your advantage on race day.

The Outdoor Conditions

Next, you also need to consider the outside conditions. If you’re running in a spring marathon and have started your training in the dead of winter, you may not have the option of doing many runs outdoors. In this case, you have no other choice but to resort to treadmill training for the time being.

But, this can be a good thing as treadmill training will allow you to more precisely monitor your speed and distance as you move through the program, making sure that you see the advancements that you’re after.

Getting The Best Of Both Worlds

Finally, the last thing to consider, if you are able to, is utilizing the best of both worlds. Rather than choosing to either do all your training outdoors or all your training indoors, mix it up and do a bit of both.

If you can do your tempo runs on the indoor treadmill as this will better allow you to make sure you’re sustaining the proper speeds for these runs and then your sprints as well as your long run outdoors where it’s easier to accelerate to top speed and also more the type of run you’ll be doing come marathon day, that will be your best option.

Plus, having the treadmill and outdoor options will add more variety into your overall program plan, which can help to increase interest in continuing on and finishing your marathon training plan to start with.

Doing so many runs each week can get to be boring, especially if you are always indoors, so combining the two tends to be a very smart move.

So there you have some of the main things to consider as you make the decision where you should be doing your marathon training workouts.

See this guide for more information on choosing a treadmill.

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