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Is running on a treadmill the same as running on the road?

There is no substitute for time on the road, but running on the treadmill can be a good alternative on occasion. One way to better replicate road running using a treadmill is to set the incline to 1 percent. While a treadmill won't prepare you for wind, temperature and other external factors, it can help you stay on track if you just can't get outside. Happy training!

Training for a marathon on a treadmill is done only if the weather is bad outside or if you need to rest the legs a few days a week to help prevent joint stress in the legs. If joint stress is an issue, using a bike or elliptical is an option. Running outside while training is very important and should be done three to four times a week. The problem with training on a treadmill is that the belt aids you in your running stride. If you don't supplement the treadmill running with outside running, you will not be developing all the leg muscles needed in running, mainly the hamstrings. The treadmill belt does a lot of the turnover motion that the hamstrings are used for when running outside. Poor development of the hamstrings in a running stride can cause injuries over time when you do start to run outside. The treadmill is a good substitute for running, but can't be used all the time if you plan on racing outside.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.