How to Transition to Indoor Running for the Winter

How to Transition to Indoor Running for the Winter

Exercising inside can be fun, even if you normally take your workouts outside.

By Catherine HopkinsonUpdated November 20, 2020


Like so much in life, for most of us, our workouts are cyclical. Maybe as a high schooler you played tennis in the fall and ran track in the spring (and just kind of hung out in the summer). Or maybe you were pretty into cycling a few years ago, and now you’re training for a half marathon. For runners in particular, the seasons provide a natural change that affects the way we work out. And a lot of runners dread it. Yes, winter is coming. And with it, a host of environmental conditions that can make running outside unpleasant or even downright dangerous.

That’s where the Tread comes in.

Running inside doesn’t have to be boring. It can even make you a better runner. But if you’re an outdoor runner in your bones, and you’re not at all psyched about coming inside for the winter, how do you make the transition away from that glorious wind-in-your-hair, just-you-and-the-road feeling? We’ve got a few ideas.

Focus on the Opportunities

There are so many ways to train differently inside, explains Peloton instructor Becs Gentry. “This is a great time to learn how to run in the most efficient way,” she says. “We have some fab basics classes that cover form and cadence—optimal steps per minute.” If you’re new to running, or you want to improve your form, this is the perfect place to start your winter training on the Tread.

Don’t Let It Be “Easy”

You probably know this, but it bears repeating: “Running inside on a Tread offers us the chance to run with zero resistance if we choose zero percent incline, which is something we do not get to elect running outside,” Becs says. “We always have air, and often some wind, as a resistance pushing against us when we head outside for a run.” She suggests trying to re-create those outdoor conditions on the Tread by leaving the incline at least 0.5 percent for a flat road and up to around 2 percent for more experienced runners or those training for a hilly race.

Embrace the Steady State...

“I also love practicing my tempo run pace on the Tread, as you sit at this pretty uncomfortable speed for a given time, 20 to 60 minutes depending on experience level,” Becs says. “Doing this on a Tread opens your world to so many ways of training your body and mind. Because you are devoid of distractions and the ability to vary pace, it teaches you to settle and learn discomfort in a whole new way.”

…or Mix It Up

There are 12 Tread instructors, and they’ve all got different styles and musical taste, so take this time to have fun with somebody new. Jennifer G., a runner who just got her Tread+ in August, usually prefers exercising outside. “I have always hated treadmill running because of the monotony and the feeling of going nowhere,” she says. But now, the plethora of Peloton options has her discovering the beauty of variety. “I love the tempo of the classes, the drills and the motivation of the instructors,” she adds. “I’m looking forward to longer runs on the Tread come winter.”

Pro tip: Want to pretend like you’re somewhere besides your basement? Try a scenic run. “They’re great for feeling like you’re outside,” says Member Dolores R.

Let Your Brain Relax...

For many Members, the best part of the classes is that they take the guesswork out of running on a treadmill, since the instructors have already designed all the workouts you could possibly need. “When winter hit hard in 2019, I decided to try the Tread classes,” says Member Nadine F. “It took out the need for creating my own intervals and allowed me to try out different music than my go-to playlists.” Hey, maybe you’ll discover you love country music after all!

...and Give Your Joints a Break Too

“I loved running outside as it was a stress reliever for me, but I kept getting shin splints no matter what I tried,” says Member Mira M. “I bought the Tread+ after reviews of the slats being more friendly on joints and our body, and haven’t looked back since, from using it until I was 36 weeks pregnant to starting all over again after having my baby.”

Ready to give the new Peloton Tread a try this winter? Here’s how you can check it out today!

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