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Which is better, running on the street or on tape? This is how you should practice

running on the street

There are many who doubt the effectiveness of career training on tape; But now that we are in full-wave of cold and rain, that there are many fewer hours of light, it can be the perfect substitute for maintaining the routine of our career training. Although it is true that running on the belt requires a slightly less effort than doing it on the road, since, in addition to helping in the displacement and not presenting the irregularities of the asphalt, the fact that they are inside the gyms, The temperature (cold or heat), the wind and other weather conditions facilitate training.

To match the outer race conditions inside, you must slightly increase the speed when running on the belt

The fact that the treadmill is a machine that elite runners started using when they couldn’t keep their training plan out seems to answer yes to the question we were asking in the title of this article. Tape training: Yes or no? The answer is yes, but as a complement or substitute. Indeed training on tape, yes, but taking into account and applying a series of important issues that will allow you to faithfully reproduce your training on the street. The variables that you must enter in your tape training are:


Running on the treadmill in principle requires less effort in your training since even if we don’t realize it, it doesn’t have the unevenness that we find on the street. It should include variations in the inclination of the tape. When shooting at a controlled pace, to more closely resemble asphalt running training, raise the incline by one degree or two, and even alternate the incline degrees from time to time to better simulate the outside terrain. 

Speed ​​increase

As we have commented above, the fact that the tape moves automatically also favors its displacement. You do not have to pull your body, the tape helps you move. His career is easier on the tape. This presents a resistance slightly lower than that of the asphalt race. Therefore, to match conditions, you should slightly increase the speed when running on the belt compared to when you do it outside. Fifteen seconds faster per kilometer would be the pace that best reflects your pace abroad.

Long and varied

The fact that we do our indoor race training will cause us more perspiration than when we run abroad. That is why our feeling of fatigue will be greater. This joins the monotony of running on the site, which undoubtedly causes us a feeling of tiredness and desire to leave that will probably reduce our training time. To avoid these sensations, it is essential to plan sufficiently long training and force us to fulfill it using tricks that distract us from the bland running on tape. The best trick is to vary the intensities and inclinations.

An ideal type of training and which I usually practice consists of:

  • 5 minutes of heating at a controlled and comfortable speed so that we go into heat and our body adjusts to the demands of our training. (5’0 ”)
  • 4 minutes at a controlled rate, the equivalent of our long-run rate (4’45“)
  • 4 minutes at a more lively pace, equivalent to marathon pace (4’15“)
  • 4 minutes at a long run pace again. (4’50 ”)
  • Everyone who adjusts their rhythms according to their career.

Repeat this cycle as many times as you need, until the scheduled shooting is completed. In my case it will usually be a couple of times, to reach 40 minutes of training and finish with another 5 of cooling. In the same way the training programs prefixed by the machine itself would be worth it. There are routines that simulate mountain training, intervals with different inclinations and long shoots, etc., and all of them equally effective. You can also track your heart rate using the fitness trackers.

To avoid the feeling of fatigue we must include variations in our routine that distract us and help us achieve small challenges

Most of the time, the main enemy we have when we train on tape is usually boredom and the feeling of fatigue that invades us much earlier than when we run in an outdoor circuit where we have to go and return. Psychologically, the fact of being able to abandon the minimum feeling of fatigue weakens us and pushes us to stop training early. To avoid this sensation we must include variations in our routine that distract our attention and help us achieve small challenges, small objectives. Effective tricks to fight against this feeling of abandonment is to start at a relatively slow rate of warming, and gradually increase the speed in very small sections of 0.3 kilometers per hour every three minutes.

Thus, if we start rolling at a rate of 12km / h, and after heating for five minutes at this speed, we start to increase the speed at a rate of 0.3km / h every 3 minutes, we are more likely to complete the training. In this way, we will complete ten sections of 3 minutes or what is the same: thirty minutes of the effective race. The pursuit of a challenge helps us complete the training and prepares us psychologically to face the challenges of a marathon. If we increase the speed every three minutes, we can run for 40 minutes (We include the five initials of warming and five endings of cooling).

Both in tape training, and when we want to complete a marathon, it is important to set short-term goals. Small increments of speed on the belt and go completing stretches of 5km in a marathon. Thinking about running for 40 minutes on the treadmill or running 42km in a row becomes easier if we divide it into sections.

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