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You can definitely get faster using a treadmill. A few years ago, I would have laughed at the idea of running on one. Now during the winter, I run almost 100% on a treadmill. I am not alone, Christine Clark, the winner of the 2000 US Olympic Trials Marathon trained almost exclusively on a treadmill. In addition, Utta Pippig, former world record holder and Boston Marathon winner also did a lot of treadmill running. Whether you improve really depends on the workouts and how your body responds to training. The same is true if you run outside.
There are advantages and disadvantages to treadmill running.
1. You can run without concern for the weather
2. You can run at any time of day
3. You can precisely control the workout
4. If you are not feeling well you can stop at any time
5. You can run hills even if you live in a flat area
6. You can run hill repeats without having to run down hill
7. With two treadmills side by side, you can run with a partner even if your abilities are vastly different
8. Professional gym treadmills have a nearly ideal running surface. (This is not necessarily true for a cheap home machine)
1. Treamill running can be a little boring
2. Biomechanics are not 100% the same
3. Some gyms are not well ventilated and it can become too warm (this can be advantage if you are preparing for the Honolulu Marathon)
The boredom can be overcome by listening to music, watching tv or by varying the workout. While the biomechanics are not 100% the same, they are close enough for distance runners.
When running on a treadmill, set the incline to 1%. This better simulates outdoor running. In addition, if you run outdoors once a week you will be plenty prepared for road or track running.
Is it pretty normal to be sore after a 3 mile run for the first time in over a year? i am a 33 year old male?
i don't know about that. but if u train hard u can become a fast runner...
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When you compare running outside versus running on a treadmill, there are some obvious differences. From a mechanical point of view, the rearward rolling tread decreases the need for the hamstrings to pull the upper body forward. The hip flexors, however, now have to work harder to control the foot being dragged backwards and in pulling the lower leg forward. A decrease in push off ability caused by the moving belt further increases the hip flexor load.
As you can see, there are subtle but significant differences in the muscles that are used when running outside versus on a treadmill. That is why many who tend to train to a greater extent on a treadmill have difficulties in applying the same speed to the hard surface.
However, that is not to say that running on a treadmill is not effective training. While it may not be the same as running outdoors, you are still getting quite a workout by exercising your leg muscles that are involved in running. By gradually increasing your pace, you will become a faster runner, particularly if you are a long distance runner.
What are some good ways to improve my mile time?
A treadmill does offer advantages in training such as weather not being a factor and being able to run hills constantly. However, there is a draw back from exclusively training on a treadmill. The running surface of a treadmill is quite different that the hard pavement of a conventional track. If you become accustom to the "spring" in a treadmill, you could have leg problems when you switch ie. impact fractures or the catch-all phrase "shin splinters".
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