A treadmill is a piece of indoor sporting equipment used to allow for the motions of running or walking while staying in one place. The word treadmill traditionally refers to a type of mill which was operated by a person or animal treading steps of a wheel to grind grain. The principle is a belt system (an electric motor or flywheel connected to a circular belt of material) where the top of the belt moves to the rear so as to allow a runner to run an equal, and necessarily opposite speed. Thus the speed of the run can easily be set or measured (the rate at which the belt moves is the rate at which the runner moves). The more expensive, heavy-duty versions are motor-driven. The simpler, lighter, cheaper versions are passive, moving only when the walker pushes the belt with their feet, and operates just to resist the motion.
How to train on a treadmill
- Motorized treadmills provide variable speed controls. Use them to start slowly and gradually move up to your target training pace.
- Pay attention to your form as you run on a treadmill. Side-to-side motion while running on a treadmill can be hazardous.
Although no official records are kept for running competitions on treadmills, there are a number of athletes that claim to have set world record runs on treadmills (which do match the ground performances at the same distances.)
Michael Wardian claims to have set a world record for running a full 26.2 mile marathon on a treadmill in 2:23:58.
In 2004, Edit Berces set a 24 hour world record on the treadmill of 247.2 km (153.6 miles) and set a a 100 mile world record as well en route. Both of these women's records still stand and the strength of the 24 record is shown by the fact that at the time, it was better than the men's world record.