Indoor training ideas?? (Read 94 times)


    I live in a part of the country where it can get quite cold and there can be excessive amounts of snow on the ground throughout some of the winter months. Are there any advisable training methods for runners throughout these winter months such as a treadmill or an elliptical? I assume but treadmill has much correlation to running, they also have been told by many runners that it is not close to the same thing as running outdoors, so I wouldn’t want to get into any bad habits. I am

    currently trying to o increase the miles i run each week, and would hate to have that fall short due to snow. I’m sure many others are in a similar predicament, please let me know what you do.



      You don't have to default to running indoors. Running outside in the winter is a matter of finding the correct clothing, making smart choices in routes/distance/stopping as needed and being willing to slow down a little because no one is as fast running on snow and ice. (I don't love running in -40* but that is winter here. My mileage will drop some in the winter )


      Dreadmill is an option. Also do some research to see if there is an indoor track in your area. Some gyms and sport facilities have them and it's a good alternative.

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        Treadmills can be effective in maintaining and improving running fitness.  You can vary the speed to get in a fartlek or tempo workout.  You can adjust the incline to get in a hill workout.  The major thing to be aware of is that most treadmills have padding to reduce the impacts so you will likely deal with some discomfort when transitioning back to the roads.  Additionally you may use videos and music to distract you from the fact that you are running on a treadmill.  This may impact your mental training for running.  Finally, many treadmills lose calibration over time.  This means the speed and distance showing on the readouts may or may not be accurate.  With all that said I have run as much as 20 miles at one time on a treadmill.  It is a great way to get a workout when icy conditions or windchill can make it too difficult to run outside.


        The suggestion of locating an indoor track you can use is a good one.  They are flat but are great for a variety of workouts.  Since they tend to be 200 meters or less in length, you probably want to consider changing direction (if possible) on a regular basis to avoid putting too much strain on one leg or the other.

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          Treadmill is better than no running.


            I agree with everything in the above posts.


            it is not close to the same thing as running outdoors, so I wouldn’t want to get into any bad habits. 


            Well it's not exactly the same thing, but it is close. And I can't think of any bad habits you'd get into. The majority of runners living in wintry climates make use of a treadmill for some portion of their runs. They are more or less interchangeable, with the caveat as mentioned that the pace/distance may not be exact. They are especially useful if training for a spring race and needing to get in some speed workouts. One tip, when just using them for easy runs: don't just plug in your typical average pace, think about how your outdoor runs go. Start it slow and gradually ramp up to a normal easy pace.


            Elliptical is very different, I'd forget about that.


            If you do decide to run outdoors on slippery surfaces, take an old pair of shoes and turn them into screw shoes. Works like a charm.





              I wouldn't necessarily 'forget' about the elliptical.  It's a very good training tool.  When I was running my very best, years ago, I'd do my normal running at lunch or whatever and then supplement with about an hour on the elliptical every day after dinner.  I lost weight and got in the best running shape of my life and that elliptical was a big part of it.

                I don't know what you call cold, but I have had no trouble running at -30 deg F.  My avatar photo is from an 11 mile run at -10 deg F.  I had better frost and ice after 11 miles at -20 deg F, but it had melted by the time I found the camera.  The -30 deg F run was only about 5 miles, so not enough time to get good frost and ice.


                Dressing for subzero weather is more than just a warm jacket.  My face is covered with something I can breathe through.  I have jockey shorts under long underwear under heavy running pants. Add in a neck warmer, which can be a scarf or one of those knitted tube things.  And wrist warmers, which are more important than you might think.  Wrist warmers are a pair of old socks with the toes cut off and jammed between my gloves and jacket sleeve.


                My winter running shoes are GoreTex trail running shoes.  I use Walmart work socks in winter, along with gaiters if running in loose snow.  I replace the shoes when the lugs start to wear down, and also have some spikes that work nicely when the spring thaw / freeze makes ice.


                I find winter running to be no harder than summer running as long as I prepare properly.


                  I'm a big advocate for running on the treadmill.

                  I don't like running in the dark, especially when it may be slippery out.  So due to work schedule and family obligations I use my treadmill year round.  I honestly don't notice much if any difference when transitioning back and forth between roads and treadmill.  Just adjust your pace and incline a lot as you use it and it will be fine.

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                    I agree with runmichigan maintaining and improving running fitness is a big advantage of the TM. You can also work on improving your biomechanics with video cameras to work on stride and cadence depending on your running style. I get stuck indoors for 3 or 4 months a year and still manage to maintain 25 mile weeks although I use inclines and vary distances all the time to limit the boredom.  I agree with kcam that an elliptical is a great crosstraining tool.


                      Treadmills and ellipticals can definitely help maintain mileage when outdoor running isn't feasible. Treadmills mimic outdoor running but can feel different, so mixing it up with outdoor runs when possible can be good. I'd suggest focusing on your running form indoors to avoid bad habits. If you prefer staying home, consider in-home fitness training. It can be tailored to your running goals, incorporating strength and flexibility to complement your mileage increase.