There are pros and cons to treadmill workouts. On the plus side, they can provide you with “instantaneous biofeedback,” says Eric Bean, professional triathlete and coach of the Fast Forward Triathlon Pro Development Team based in Chapel Hill, N.C. In other words, treadmill workouts allow you to “experiment with foot plant, body lean, and arm and leg mechanics,” he says, giving you feedback on how to make your stride as efficient as possible. And they can teach your body to run at a consistent pace, as you can’t subconsciously slow down on a treadmill like you can on the roads.
A treadmill workout can also be a good solution when it’s too dark or cold outside to run. And many age-groupers use the treadmill when they can’t leave the house because they have to keep an eye on the kids.
Here are three treadmill workouts—two from top coaches and one from an Ironman World Champion—that can boost your run training. Always be sure to set your treadmill to at least a 1 percent grade, as this simulates running on the road.