The treadmill divides opinion among runners like not much else. Some can’t stand it, others swear by it. You probably have your own opinion, your friends probably have another. But some of the negative press that they’ve received in recent years may not be entirely fair.
There is no doubt that treadmills can be an effective tool, for running rookies and veterans alike. Endurance work, strength, speed, cardio, fat burning, tabata (HIIT) — you can do them all and more on a treadmill. When used right, they can put you on a (very straight) path to increased performance.
“For me there are a lot of benefits to running on a treadmill,” says elite On ultrarunner Florian Neuschwander, who on Thursday, February 27, broke the world record for the fastest 50 kilometers on a treadmill with a time of 2 hours 57 minutes and 25 seconds.
That’s an average pace of 3 minutes 30 seconds per kilometer. For 50 kilometers.
Click here to see Flo's treadmill workouts, or keep scrolling to find out more about his record-breaking run, tips on overcoming boredom and a little treadmill myth busting.
“Basically, you can run like it’s summer,” continues Florian.
“You don’t need to wear winter clothing or carry your drinks. You can run at a good speed. When it’s windy or bad weather outside it’s difficult to run at a good tempo.
“It sounds strange but as an ultrarunner you need to get used to doing boring things. You need to get mentally ready to run for four hours or even longer. And I believe that you can train your mental strength on the treadmill.
If you can't handle 50 km on a treadmill, you're really not ready for a 100 km or 100 mile run.