Revelations from a sea going treadmill

Have just got home after 14 days on a cruiseship - and have come away with an appreciation of the use of a treadmill as a complimentary tool to use for running training. I did also try out one (once) on a previous cruise in August and came away thinking "not for me" . But this time I persevered and did about 6 sessions - which I enjoyed and feel very good about.

The biggest benefit for me was the ability to set out to do a certain task and to complete it to the letter of what was required - especially as a HRM user. One big problem for me is pacing myself to achieve a certain training requirement - eg that could be to run for a set period of time at a certain heart rate. Out on the road, I find that the hills and my own inability to pace myself causes my HR to go all over the place. But on the treadmill, I was able to to do short and long "threshold runs" at a specific required heart rate. I used it to simulate "hilly" threshold runs, and high HR intervals for set periods of time. The machine was set for a maximum of 20 minutes use at one time - so this meant that I was able to undertake strenuous tasks for a 20 minute period - a time which is really quite short to what I would normally do on a road run. I am thinking that from a cardio point of view, because I don't have to worry about the leg muscles side of things while using the treadmill, I can improve my breathing and increase my endurance at threshold/tempo speeds. I am thinking that long slow runs on the road - and faster ,shorter runs on the treadmill would be of great benefit to me.

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13 Replies

  • Hope you had a good holiday Bazza. Useful lesson there about the benefits of treadmills. As I think some one else pointed out in another post, professional runners do use them, pretty much for the reasons you've listed. Definitely a tool to consider including in the running arsenal.

  • I do have room to have one -- but to get a"good" one they are fairly expensive!!

    I am intending to do the "running for fitness" plans as in Jack Daniel's book "Daniels Running Formula". He has 4 plans of 16 weeks duration - and I will start on his second one. His plans are very specific - and the pace of all the runs are all determined by the outcome of a recent 5K race. He says to his runners - "you can train faster only after you prove that you can race faster." Hence the need to be able to do so-called "quality runs" at specific paces. I use this spreadsheet in conjunction with the book.

    It is starting to get hot here - so all of my runs are going to have to be very early morning from now on - 4.30 AM to 5AM at the latest, so a treadmill would be good also because of this to do the short but hard quality runs . I do have a running track close to me - so I am going to measure it out to do the 1K and 1mile Threshold level runs that he calls for in the plan. Will see how that goes for a while.

  • What time have you run a recent 5K in??

  • That 30 min run was only a training run - therefore you would run faster during a timed 5K race - if we regard that run as a long "tempo" training run, then according to the spreadsheet, you should be able to achieve 32 minutes for a 5K race ( after you have had sufficient training using that tempo training pace PLUS lots of much slower " easy" pace runs. -- easy pace being around 8 minutes per K)-- your pacing is very much like mine

  • Nope - haven't got a Garmin. Yet! :)

  • Too much good grub and wine, I am afraid to say - looks like I have gained 1 Kg !! :(

  • Thank you Bazza, this is exactly the kind of motivation I went online for! It is lashing down and it's windy - even the dog does not want to go out... so I got my swimming pool bag ready but I am going to add in the runinng gear and have a go at the dreadmill!

    Hope you enjoyed your holiday and well done on that Volcano!

  • Hi bazza glad you had a good time & could carry on on the treadmill . I can't make my mind up on them , used one in hotel on holiday in Turkey but it was pants , and used one in gym twice for incline walking few years back , that was not bad . Anyway what I want to ask is are you still doing the Jeff Galloway method of running ? I've just started his 10k training plan and find it much easier on my legs . Happy running

  • Re Jeff Galloway -- yes and no! :) I have been playing around with a heart rate monitor and doing "easy" runs by running until I get to 130 BPM and then walking until it goes back down to 120 BPM . According to all indications and and best "intelligent guess" I can make regarding my maximum HR ( which I believe is probably around 165), my easy runs should be done at between 120-130 BPM. As it turns out this works out at around 1 minute run/1 minute walk.

    I am about to do a 16 week Jack Daniels "Running for fitness - not a race" programme. This entails mostly easy runs plus varying distance short and fast runs which have walking breaks between them. We are going to the US for 2 months in May/June , returning early July - there is a HM nearby which I would like to do in October ( which only gives me 10 weeks to train for that ) - I will use a "modified" Jeff Galloway plan for that .

    Have a look at at Coach Jenny Hadfield's run/walk plans for various race distances here -- I quite like the look of them.

  • Thanks bazza , yes seems a good plan you are following , and not much different to jeff galloway . I've got heart rate monitor got it with garmin but never used it . I will take a look at that link . Good luck and all the best with your training

  • Bazza1234, You are a very methodical man and it has paid. Like you, I prefer the equipment at the gym, as both treadmill and bike can be calibrated to your need. I shall go to my 4th week session this afternoon. Best wishes for your performance. Oh by the way, do you always have to book a cruise to go on the treadmill??

  • Only if I want to gaze out at the ocean when I run !!:)

  • :-)

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