How Effective is Treadmill Running?

How Effective is Treadmill Running?

We found the following quote about treadmills on

“Competition is like a treadmill. If you stand still, you get swept off…”*

It made #TeamRBF smile, simply because it is a great analogy. One of Roger Black Fitness’ mantras is to ‘Keep Britain Moving…’ so the link and advice is both real and metaphorical – but how effective is running on a treadmill?

Does Running on a Treadmill Work?

Well, as an initial response, it depends on what you want to achieve. A treadmill is designed for walking, jogging, running and a mixture of all three disciplines. As we approach Halloween and enter the winter months, even more hardy road runners sometimes choose to bring their workouts indoors, for a few months at least.

We fully appreciate that buying a home or office treadmill is a commitment and financial investment. Infinite information on the internet can also sometimes be confusing. We would always suggest you consider your budget and the amount of space you have at home as two key questions prior to clicking ‘BUY’.

If you are looking for a folding treadmill that doesn’t require assembly and is priced at under £400, we would suggest our Roger Black Folding Treadmill. The Easy Fold Treadmill is our second best-seller and is straightforward to use. It is also compatible with a Zwift Run Pod, priced at under £40 – see Running the roads of Zwift couldn’t be easier. Even if you are a treadmill novice, easy-to-follow treadmill programmes can help you find your running, jogging and walking mojo, 365 days a year.

Treadmill VS Road Running

Running on a treadmill for those who are used to running outdoors can be viewed as workout maintenance, complementary to trail or road running and also as an integral part of your fitness and wellbeing routine. It can be equally efficient from a calorie and fat-burning perspective plus you don’t have to worry about insects, rain or wind.

On the flip side, running inside you may miss the sights, sounds and smells of Mother Nature. For some, running on the spot can be a little repetitive so if you are easily bored, it’s best to mix up your indoor routine into intervals, sprint-rest-sprint runs or competing against family members or friends.

For those of you who are more experienced runners and perhaps training for a half or full marathon, even with regular treadmill workouts, we would recommend you keep up with some road running. The physical experience and impact upon your joints are quite different and regular road runners may need different footwear.

How often should you run on a treadmill?

As with the first question in this blog, there are multiple answers to this one… We would, however, recommend that you build up gradually and literally find your feet, confidence and pace before you embark upon any long runs or sprints.

Running or jogging on a daily basis for anywhere between 3km-5km is a reasonable workout. Even moving 1km a day is to be celebrated for those who struggle with movement. The aim is to include any form of exercise into your daily routine, so it becomes a habit rather than a chore. Workouts should also be enjoyable so make sure you find a rhythm that works for you and your body.

We also recommend that you don’t beat yourselves up if you miss a workout or do a few minutes less on any particular day. Our energy levels vary throughout the month. Ditto, if you have an injury or have pulled a muscle. Be gentle on yourself and listen to your body. If you aren’t sure about your running style, you can always go to a fitness store and get your gait checked or get it checked online Free Online Gait Analysis | Running Gait Check |

Can Running on a Treadmill make you Faster?

For more experienced runners or those seeking to improve your speed and running efficiency, a treadmill is a great way to help you to better understand and improve your running speed Vs time, in a precise and organised way, at any time of the day or night.

If you are hoping to beat a previous personal best competitive running time, there are a number or online tools and Apps to help you analyse your performance. Most marathon training support manuals and websites also usually offer help and tools as well.

It’s really important to remember that running on a treadmill is a different experience to road running. Unless you have programmed a gradient into your machine console, a treadmill run is flat and consistent – roads, woods and trails are more uneven. So if you are looking for a like-for-like experience, it may be a little unrealistic.

For beginners, however, it is best not to over-stress about speed and time. Build up at your own pace and do ask for help from a running buddy or personal trainer if you need support or guidance. Roger and #TeamRBF are also happy to answer specific questions (if we can!) so feel free to email us at

For now, enjoy Halloween… a whole different take on being swept off (your feet)… but less likely when you are indoors on your new treadmill!


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