Sprinting on Treadmills Part 4

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I actually forgot about this series….shame on me. I had written it up and forgot to post it. Here’s the fourth installment of this series. We’ll start again with anoher question.

Are there any scenarios when you would want or need to use a treadmill?

I think they are. I know many would flame me for this but I think there can be situations where a treadmill can be a great training tool. Here’s a couple off the top of my head:

  1. The weather is bad, there’s no snow on the ground, there’s no access to an indoor facility that would allow more than 20m of running and you need to do speed work. I actually trained an athlete who lived in Minnesota like this last year. Other than Saturday’s when he would drive 90 minutes to the nearest indoor track, he did most of his speed work on a high speed treadmill and did 10m accelerations in his basement.
  2. You want to do a biomechanical analysis. While this is possible off of a treadmill it is much more difficult and requires a lot more time to get accurate data. It’s also possible to embed several force platforms within a treadmill to accurately examine forces at ground contact. While it’s easy to embed force platforms in the floor or a track (heck….they’ve got a ton of them in the runways at the OTC in Chula Vista), using them to examine ground reaction forces in sprinting can be a logistical nightmare for a couple reasons.
  3. You need to do tempo (extensive, intensive, etc), your indoor facility is crappy (turns are too tight, surface too hard, etc.) and the temperature is too low or it’s raining too hard. While I would personally, use some other options in this scenario, I could justify using a treadmill for this type of training.

What other reasons can you think of that would justify use of a treadmill?
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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

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