Winter running can be a very enjoyable experience. As you put on your final layer of clothing, you might think about the conditions that you face outside. Usually within 5-10 minutes of running you get into your rhythm and begin to feel good.
I believe there is a positive side to running in weather adversity; we become tougher! However, treadmill running can be beneficial in developing your fitness and technique. If you plan on competing this spring, each workout has to have a purpose. That purpose will help you decide weather to run inside or outside.
You can improve your running technique and cadence while on a treadmill. The first thing to test is your running cadence. This is easier on the treadmill because you can count your strides per minute. Elite runners stride 90 steps per foot/min. You can test your cadence by counting how many times your right foot comes forward in one minute. The problem with a slower cadence is the slower you take steps causing more air time. Your foot will hit the ground harder; this can result in injuries. Running on the treadmill helps you learn to keep a steady cadence with a variable pace.
Most sports incorporate drills into their program to improve efficiency and technique. You can follow some basic drills to improve your stride.
Interval training on the treadmill allows you to follow a workout and know your exact pace and degree of elevation. A relatively flat road outside is approximately 1 degree of elevation on the treadmill. Two of my favorite interval training sessions on a treadmill are:
Combining both indoor and outdoor running can improve your fitness this winter. You have to decide the purpose of each workout to achieve your goals. So, don your running shoes and enjoy your workout.