Treadmills at the gym question

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 18, 2013 7:24 PM GMT
    Hi everyone, forgive me if this is an old topic but I can't see anything like this...

    Due to the snow I am doing some training on the gym treadmill. A colleague of mine who used to run told me that due to the fact the treadmill surface is not varied but smooth, it can perhaps do some damage to the ligaments (this is what happened to her, but only because she runs with her legs going outwards)(my mind has drawn a total blank at the correct terminology for this but its been a long week!)

    I am up to 8 miles in my training in preparation for a half marathon. After talking to my colleague I am now doing 4 mile runs on the treadmill (booorrring) until the snow clears (please be soon).

    So two questions: -

    - Do treadmills do actual damage? Has this happened to anyone else?

    - As I have just hit 8 miles, what is the recommended distance I start back at once the snow is cleared (hopefully in a few days). Is it recommended that I can do 8 just slow, or should I start with 6 or something?

    cheers guys!
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 20, 2013 8:08 PM GMT
    Hmm no-one has answered this: THREAD REAPPEAR!!

    Anyone????
  • mmmm_mmmm

    Posts: 1658

    Jan 20, 2013 8:11 PM GMT
    why not just run in the snow??
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2013 8:26 PM GMT
    Not a doctor here. You are a very lean guy in a colder part of the US (ok, damn cold, if memory serves.)

    I'm a klutz. You can tell when I've been running outdoors, my hands and knees are skinned up, horror-movie style. Treadmills, I've assumed, are like drinking booze and getting sun exposure. Ok in moderation, perhaps even beneficial to maintain during winter months. Just don't overdo it.

    I switched to a slow pace (15 min mile) and maximum incline. Fewer aches and pains afterwards.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2013 8:33 PM GMT
    Treadmills do more potential damage than do elliptical machines, which relieve the banging on the joints.

    Some treadmills feel better than others. I liked the treadmill for years but had to discontinue using it for anything but a walk. One day my knees gave out on a treadmill. It was strange. I took a break from it. I tried it again carefully and each day I did, my knees could not take it.

    Lots of people use treadmills, and I figure they don't have any problems. Just watch out.
  • vbportugal

    Posts: 82

    Jan 20, 2013 8:59 PM GMT
    Couple years ago I ran for an hour on a treadmill at a fairly slow pace (9-10 minute mile). I ended up inflaming something in my knee and was unable to run or walk up stairs without pain for about a month. I went to see a doctor about it and he explained that it was because the motion of running on a treadmill is homogenous. If I had been running outside the differences in muscle load due to compensating for different speeds and terrain would have supposedly prevented the inflammation. It was a one time thing though.
  • WhoDey

    Posts: 561

    Jan 20, 2013 9:04 PM GMT
    Running outside on the concrete can also do damage to your knees
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jan 20, 2013 9:07 PM GMT
    vbportugal saidCouple years ago I ran for an hour on a treadmill at a fairly slow pace (9-10 minute mile). I ended up inflaming something in my knee and was unable to run or walk up stairs without pain for about a month. I went to see a doctor about it and he explained that it was because the motion of running on a treadmill is homogenous. If I had been running outside the differences in muscle load due to compensating for different speeds and terrain would have supposedly prevented the inflammation. It was a one time thing though.


    This is basically what happened to my colleague. Hmmm, what i am thinking now is that the treadmill may be ok short-term until the snow clears (and to that poster above, no I'm not bloody running in the snow!!) Think I will keep my runs short. My colleague did advise to do short runs (30 - 40 mins) but maybe use this time to train on an incline to build up stamina for hills.

    Thanks guys.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2013 9:15 PM GMT
    mmmm_mmmm saidwhy not just run in the snow??


    this, plus barefoot or with those shoes that mimic being barefoot like the Vibram fivefingers.
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    Jan 20, 2013 9:35 PM GMT
    Knee problems suck. I grew to appreciate treadmills as the mental focus I required to keep my feet parallel to each other kept it from being as boring as an elliptical. Fortunately, that lesson didn't leave long-term damage.

    Discovered I could ramp up the resistance on a Precor AMT adaptive motion trainer and require a nap in half the time. But... I can attest that the design of the Precor AMT encourages you to grab hold of the handlebars for upper body. But, arm involvement usually removes something I need for my knee joints: constant force through the entire movement.

    The only way I can use a Precor AMT is to only allow a vertical motion, keeping consistent weight on both feet during the movement. If I shift my weight side to side, my knee joints ache.

    http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120312005043/en/Study-Adaptive-Motion-Trainers-Put-Significant-Stress

    While visiting my parents, I finally had the chance to try the Cybex. And, I have to agree with Cybex. Their mechanical design screams "infomercial". But, it is more comfortable for me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 20, 2013 9:50 PM GMT
    I've never had problems but I only run for about 15 mins.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2013 7:34 AM GMT
    Hello,

    I'm happy to read those questions. They bring fond memories.
    The most important thing to remember is consistency. If you are running whatever.... Treadmill, trail, road and staying injury free, keep at it.
    And remember the training rule: never, never... Increase more than 10% in a week, and if your over 40 no more than 10% every 10 days.

    And to be successful at longer distances priorities the Long weekly run, that simulates your race. And to make it easier especially if your starting later in life cross train, it will help your cardiovascular fitness, and reduce impact fatigue.

    I'm an avid runner, completed many marathons, and triathlete, including Ironman. And I always consider myself a runner first.

    Welcome to the sport, hope you have many years of joy, rewards, and stay Injury Free...

    TriKen / San Diego
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Feb 02, 2013 7:36 AM GMT
    smudgetool said
    mmmm_mmmm saidwhy not just run in the snow??


    this, plus barefoot or with those shoes that mimic being barefoot like the Vibram fivefingers.


    They have a variety for that. However, barefoot is definitely not for everyone...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2013 7:52 AM GMT
    As for treadmill running: it is a Great substitute for being outdoors.
    They are softer, smoother, and less likely to cause injury than hard surfaces.
    Many Olympic class marathoners spend lots of time on treadmills.
    Two other great surfaces to reduce impact are grass, and if you are near the beach, the hard pack sand is terrific.

    As for runners getting injured on the treadmill, I'm certain the experienced ones would say: A runner will get hurt much sooner on hard surfaces than a treadmill.

    To transition outdoors, think time not distance. If you have been running 30 minutes on the treadmill, try 20 outdoors. Just remember shine splits, and tendinitis, will set you back more than transitioning properly will.

    Best of luck.
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    Feb 02, 2013 8:26 AM GMT
    I'm kind of a barefoot enthusiast and basically live in my Vibram Five Fingers. I started running on treadmills barefoot for a while, and I think it helps overall because you're required to do a lot of impact control with muscles (Which will get stronger and adapt) versus bones (Which might not be able to deal with all the forces over time as quickly).

    This seemed like some good advice:
    http://www.runbare.com/359/barefoot-running-on-treadmill-challenges

    And the lab at Harvard that got me really interested in barefoot running is here:
    http://barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2013 4:02 PM GMT
    Hello JerseyJames,

    I would be very curious to hear about your injury free running success after many years of No protection...

    Best of luck, and keep us updated.
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    Feb 02, 2013 4:57 PM GMT
    I wouldn't say that I have been injury free, but I do think that the nature of my injuries are less permanent. When I started barefoot running (literally barefoot) I of course got scratches and cuts here and there. Those are not permanent. I also had a lot of muscle pain/very sore calves. Walking was difficult. But, to be fair, I was doing too much too quickly. However, once those injuries healed, my calves grew, and I can easily put in 8 or 9 miles now with little pain and minimal recovery time. I now run in Vibrams to avoid glass and stones.

    If you transition very slowly to barefoot running, the theory is that your muscles and ligaments adapt to a healthier, modified foot-strike. This greatly reduces the forces that impact the knee and other bone joints. These are the joints that in the long run suffer a lot of damage. Oh and the hips as well, I believe.

    I started completely barefoot because I wanted to learn the proper foot striking technique. Once I had it down, vibrams kept me protected.

    Born to Run is a great book on the subject as well.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2013 7:12 AM GMT
    JerseyJames,

    You missed my point, but did answer one of my concerns. You have been injured, as most runners have. I am most curious about your long term success. Get back to me after you have completed some races, or ultra distances, marathons, or Ironman. You will not notice any athlete wearing your favorite shoe.

    Modern civilized Americans, which are not portrayed in the Novel "Born To Run" do not have the physical or nutritional composition to be "BareFoot" runners. A big current trend runners will notice in shoe design is toward minimalist, forefoot shoe design, they are designed for running miles, and protecting the limited miles all our bodies have.

    And Please don't rub those calloused dogs against me, or my clean white bedding....

    I wish you much Success at your endeavor....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2013 2:25 PM GMT
    And what are your personal credentials, or what literature can you cite, to back up your claims?
  • runnermtl

    Posts: 129

    Mar 03, 2013 4:33 PM GMT
    I absolutely cannot stomach the mindlessness of the treadmill. I'm lucky in that my gym as an indoor running track, which I find significantly less tedious. Maybe you can find one in your area?
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    Mar 03, 2013 4:39 PM GMT
    I cannot answer specifically, but for me - the impact of the treadmill bothers me more than if I am walking or jogging outside.

    I am not a runner and have naturally flat, flat, flat feet.

    It's why I prefer the elliptical.