The crowd gathered around the man running – and they began to cheer. The man announcing the event said, “Eight miles in 40.53. That was a 5-oh-5-mile. He’s now 17 seconds under world record pace.” Meanwhile Tyler Andrews kept up his speed. He was on pace to break a world record. The announcer continued, “12 miles, 101.52, six seconds above world record pace. He needs a five-minute last mile to do it.”
23 year old Tyler Andrews hails from Massachusetts, and is a long distance running professional. He often trains in the mountains of Ecuador and Peru, and this event added to his long list of running accomplishments. Tyler also ran this treadmill test to raise awareness for STRIVE, an organization that helps student athletes in South America and Africa.
Early this March, Andrews broke the treadmill 13.1 mile half marathon record with a time of 1:07:18, almost 11 seconds better than the standing record. He ran the record breaking distance on a treadmill nearly identical to the Boston Marathon 4.0 model. A test of this kind requires only the best equipment demanded by elite athletes.
And what was Tyler’s last mile time? A blazing 4:58. He’ll be running the real Boston Marathon in mid-April so this event was a perfect opportunity to support a good cause and get some serious training under his belt.
“It feels good,” Tyler said even though he was exhausted.
Benefits Of Treadmill Training
Many pro athletes like Tyler Andrews extensively use indoor personal treadmills. The training required by these hard core runners cannot be hindered by the elements. So when the weather is bad, they hop on the treadmill to get in their workout. This also avoids injury since slick road surfaces can lead to falls and knee injuries.
Treadmills, like the Freemotion 775 Interactive, also provide incline adjustment to simulate hill climbing. This makes sure no element of training is left out of the marathoner’s workout. These machines even come with online connectivity options so one’s progress can be tracked on Google maps. This simulates real race courses anywhere in the world to keep training interesting and interactive.
Even though there is nothing like real road work for the serious racer, today’s treadmills have tech features that can optimize training efforts. For example, professionally designed fitness apps, HD video workouts and built in heart rate monitors. People can even compete with others online.
Vary Your Training
One of the best strategies to get in marathon level shape is to vary your training. Now you might not be able to travel to Peru, like Andrews did, and simulate a Boston-type course, but you can mix it up. For example, you can go three or four days a week on the road and the other two to three days on your treadmill. Another advantage of using a treadmill is that you never have to stop to wait for cars to cross. In this way, there is nothing that simulates the constant effort of a full marathon like a home treadmill.
Don’t sacrifice the road work completely though as there are a few muscles that are developed completely only on a road surface. However, the major muscles and cardio work completed on a treadmill will serve you well when you want to finish the race strong.
You might not be going for any world records, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get world class training. Have a solid road and indoor plan, go with a high quality machine that is built to last and is full of features. Then go out and give it all you got come race time.