Is it OK to Train For Marathon Race On Treadmill?

Is it OK to Train For Marathon Race On Treadmill

A treadmill gives you a perfect place for running. However, all the races happen in the open air.

So, please complete some part of training outdoors. But, there are days when you cannot go out due to bad weather or any other factor. It’s where an indoor running machine can be of great help.

You can use a treadmill for speed training. If you are looking to beat a particular time, then treadmills are the best.

You can try to simulate actual races and slopes on a treadmill.

Plus, a running machine also helps you to cover the required distance in the decided time.

Here, we will suggest you some treadmill training for beginners as well as experts.

Training for a 5K on a treadmill

The routine gives you rest of 2 days every week. Rest is essential to improve your running performance because it gives you the time to recover.

Then, you should try and include cross-training activities in your workout schedule. An elliptical or bike can help.

You can try indoor or outdoor options depending upon your preferences. You can also go for swimming.

The workout programs last for eight weeks, wherein you need to rest on Mondays and Fridays.

It will help if you run on Thursdays and Fridays. Start with 1 mile for the first and second week. It means you need to run for 1 mile on Thursday s as well as Fridays.

Reach up to 1.25 miles on the third week, then 1.5 miles in the fourth. You need to add 0.25 miles every week until you reach 3 miles.

You will run for a given duration on Sundays.

For the first week, run for 15 minutes, then repeat the same in the next week for 20 minutes. Keep adding 5 minutes every Sunday until you reach 45 minutes on the 8th week. Cross-training is reserved for Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Treadmill Marathon Training Plans

There is a huge benefit of running on a treadmill; it gives you accurate details of all your workout related data. Use this benefit to enjoy this workout exceptionally crafted for marathons.

Workout 1

  • Start with an easy running to warm up your body. Run for 10 minutes on an incline tread of 1 per cent.
  • Run for six times, wherein each session should last for 3 minutes at 5km race speed. You can take a 90-second recovery walk in between the reps. Maintain a 3 per cent incline for this step.
  • Cooldown your body. Run for 5 minutes at 1 per cent incline.


Workout 2

  • Start with a warm up session of 10 minutes. Run at 1 per cent incline.
  • Run for 2 minutes at 5k race speed on 6, 8, 10, 12 per cent gradients one by one. Then, lower down the slope for 10, 8 and 6 per cent. You can take recovery walks of 90 seconds in between each rep.
  • Cooldown at 1 per cent incline. Run for 5 minutes.


Workout 3: This is one of the best workout programs if you want to run faster for long durations.

  • Start with a 5 minutes’ warm-up. Run at 1 per cent incline.
  • Run at marathon speed for 15 minutes at 3 per cent incline.
  • Run at half marathon speed for 10 minutes at 3 per cent incline.
  • Five minutes at 3 per cent incline for 5 minutes. Maintain a speed of 10k race.
  • Run comfortably for 5 minutes at 1 per cent incline.


Can a treadmill simulate race conditions?

If you want to overcome hills while you race, then the treadmill gives you an incline option.

You can raise the gradient to 1 per cent, and it might be equivalent to outdoor running.

However, we don’t recommend that you should include slopes in your race training. Stick to a flat tread belt unless you are training for a marathon.

If your upcoming race has some water stations, you can keep some liquids to maintain hydration levels.

It will help you to sustain speed and save time. Overall, simulating a real-time racing track is not possible on a treadmill.

It’s the primary reason we recommend that you complete at least 25 per cent of your training outdoors.


Tips for adequate training for a race on a treadmill

  • Use incline: You can complete any of the marathons if you are strong. And hills are one of the best ways for strength training. So, it’s best to use the incline feature in your treadmill, especially if you are training for marathons. Some of the treadmills come iFit enabled, which mimics any outdoor track to make your training more exciting and motivational.
  • Don’t focus on speed: Some of the individuals runs faster outdoors. Still, their gait changes on a treadmill when compared to outdoor running. So, you don’t have to force the same speed as you run outside. Instead, focus on efforts. Try to complete a selected training program instead of running fast and exhausting yourself early.
  • Add variety to your workout: Varying your workout makes positive impacts on your physical and mental health. Talking about mental aspects, diversity prevents boredom. You will feel motivated if the exercise or running session is different every day.

Include warm-ups, moderate jogging, long-running sessions, sprints, and inclines in your workout to make it more interesting. In other words, it’s better to change the speed, incline and duration while running on a treadmill. Such planning will engage your body as well as mind.

  • Include outdoor training: Schedule at least one day for outdoor running, especially while following a 10K treadmill training plan. Plus, it’s a great idea to include outside running if you are involved in a half marathon treadmill training plan.
  • Work on your mental fitness: Training or running a marathon on a treadmill could be boring and monotonous for some individuals. But, it would help if you take it as an opportunity to develop your mental toughness rather than cribbing about boredom.

Handle the monotony in the training, so that you can deal with long-distance races. Whenever you want to press the stop button, push your limits and run for a few more kilometres.

  • Don’t ignore injuries: Treadmills comes with a cushioned belt. Still, the moving tread surface can be a reason for severe injuries. But, you can avoid such incidents by following proper running mechanics. Plus, you should avoid working out too much without taking breaks and rest days.

Spent some time to warm up your body. Do not run at high speeds in the initial days of training. Vary your workout by adjusting the speed, incline and distance. Apart from that, stay away from the moving tread belt if you are running barefoot.

  • Develop a positive attitude: Either you can stick with the same workout program for years without any development. Or you can embrace it to win some accolades. A treadmill can give you the required running platform, but you can make it fruitful only with a positive mindset.


Final talk

You need to train hard to be a successful runner or racer, and a treadmill can be beneficial in this mission. However, it will help if you understand the difference between indoor and outdoor workouts. If you have a running track in the neighbourhood or are a member of any health club, it’s good to enjoy some outdoor running sessions.

Enjoy your workout. If you don’t find it interesting, then the results might not be pleasing. If you are participating in a marathon, then plan and train well in advance. Work out regularly, and you will get what you deserve.


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