A goal, like finishing or improving your performance on a 5K, gives your workouts meaning. Beginners and seasoned runners benefit from training on a treadmill for a 5K race. You may choose to do the majority of your training runs on the treadmill, or use it supplement track work.
Benefits of Treadmill Training for 5K
- Train in Bad Weather – The treadmill offers a safe training location any time of day in any weather, allowing you to stick to your training plan come snow, rain or a late work night.
- Convenient – Treadmill training is a convenient alternative, especially if you have your own treadmill at home, when time does not allow for a drive to the track.
- Simulate The Course – A treadmill allows you to simulate hills, particularly beneficial if you live in a flat area, but are training for a race with elevation. Many treadmills offer program options so you can replicate your race day run.
- Improve Pace – While determining and maintaining a consistent speed outdoors is challenging, on the treadmill, you can be much more precise, allowing you to track and improve performance.
- Shock Absorbent – Treadmills provide more shock absorbency than outdoor running surfaces, helping prevent injuries to joints.
- Beginner Friendly – The treadmill is ideal for beginners who may be intimidated by running outside and would like to combine bouts of walking and running.
5K Training Tips For Beginners
The way you train for a 5K really depends on your goals and fitness levels. If you are a beginner or out of shape and looking to finish your first 5K, you should spend most of your treadmill time alternating walking and running, gradually decreasing the length of your walking intervals until you are ready to run 3.1 miles straight.
- Establish Goals – For beginning runners, building up the endurance and cardiovascular fitness is the most important part of completing a first race. Using a treadmill to do short runs, building up in distance toward 3.1 miles is an effective way for beginning runners to train.
- Training Schedule – Ideally an 8 week training schedule is recommended to start training for your first 5K.
- Rest Days – Especially as a beginner, resting in between training days will help reduce your risk of injury. Three to four runs per week will keep your training level high, but still allow for rest time in between.
- Establish Your Baseline – The first week of training, if you are able to jog a mile without stopping to walk, for three consecutive training days, then you are ahead of the game. If you can’t, this should be your starting goal.
- Speed – You should spend most of your treadmill time alternating walking and jogging, gradually decreasing the length of your walking intervals until you can jog 1 mile straight, for three consecutive training days. Most treadmills offer an interval program that will allow you to set your interval speed and times to make your training easy.
- Distance – Once you are able to jog a mile without having to walk, increase the distance by a half mile. Once you can jog 1.5 miles without walking for three consecutive training days, you can then increase your distance again by another half mile. Continue this pattern until you can jog 3.1 miles without walking.
- Treadmill Settings – If you are trying to simulate running outdoors, set the treadmill incline to 1% to 2%. Since there’s no wind resistance indoors, a gentle uphill better simulates outdoor running. If you’re just getting started, it’s fine to leave the incline at 0% until you build up your fitness level.
- Utilizing Treadmill Programs – If you are new to treadmills, most offer programs that will help aid your training. Many treadmills offer interval training, pace workouts, and even goal programs, that will help get you ready for race day. There are even treadmills that let you set your workout so specifically, you can exactly replicate your 5K course right on the treadmill.
- Treadmill Running Tips – For more information on how to run on a treadmill, CLICK HERE.
- Types Of Treadmills – If you would like more information on what kind of treadmill would be best for your home, your goals, and your fitness level, one of our Fitness Exchange Professionals can assist you. Click Here For Contact Info.