The Shamrock Shuffle hit the downtown Chicago streets early April, which means we are in running season. While the most seasoned runners and crosstrainers know that we could be in for a springtime snow shower, most athletes are excited for the opportunity to move their bodies outdoors for the next months. Springtime is an excellent time to exercise in Chicagoland – there’s so much promise of better weather and new fitness goals ahead.

As you look toward your spring, summer and fall training calendar, what are you focused on? Perhaps this is the year that you set out to train for a marathon, or maybe this is the season that you set a PR for a triathlon. No matter your fitness goals, you may be overlooking one key component of your exercise plan over the next few months – the treadmill.

We know what you may be thinking: why would you want to run indoors when it is beautiful outdoors? Here are just a few reasons why you should give treadmill training another look.

Humidity can kill your spirit
Have you ever attempted a speed run or long run during a hot and humid day? It can be brutal on your legs, your hydration and on your spirit. To combat the humid days that are par for the course in our area, consider having a treadmill to run safely on at home.

Flexibility means success
There’s nothing that can quite squash a fitness training plan than waking up for a run and seeing a downpour (or a spring snow!). Instead of shuffling the rest of your training plan for the week, and attempting to regain your motivation, you can hit your treadmill instead of a soaking wet street.

School’s out for summer
If you are used to exercising during your child’s school schedule, a long summer break can throw a wrench into your routine. Instead of worrying about scheduling childcare while you get your run or walk in, you can still get your miles in on the treadmill in your home.

Long runs can be boring and unsafe
If your exercise plan includes long runs or walks, treadmills can become heaven. Not only can you catch up on Netflix or reading while you log those extra miles, you can also rest easy knowing that you are close to extra water, a few Tylenol, or a bathroom.

This summer, consider adding a treadmill to your fitness plan. If running or walking is a part of your training calendar, a treadmill can give you the flexibility and safety that you may not have if you only log miles outdoors. Happy spring!