Improve Speed through Treadmill Training

Over the last 23 years, Athletic Republic has researched and perfected ways to use specially designed treadmills to improve speed. This long, never-ending journey of scientific learning, discovery, and commitment to athlete development has taught us that when used appropriately, a treadmill can be an outstanding tool in a knowledgeable performance trainer’s sports training toolbox.  But like any tool, it’s only effective when used appropriately.

You don’t have to be an NFL player or run 25 miles per hour to benefit from treadmill training.


And this is not your ordinary treadmill– it is built like a tank, can start and stop on a dime and will incline to 40%.  Athletes enter and exit the treadmill while it is running sprinting for as little as 7 seconds to as much as 60 seconds- depending on the protocol they are on and the goals of the athlete.

A treadmill can be effective for improving speed in athletes of all ages for several simple reasons:

»Efficient means of teaching proper running mechanics:

  It’s easier to improve a skill when you can see, hear and feel how to do it correctly, and running mechanics are no different.  Studies have shown that most athletes are visual learners, so having real-time visual feedback is important.  Strategic placement of a mirror in front of the treadmill and effective use of replay video helps athletes see what they are doing.  In addition to visual feedback, a coach can stand next to the treadmill and provide verbal cues so athletes can hear how to make corrections in mechanics and implement them immediately.  Finally, using the visual and auditory cues makes it easier for athletes to feel what it’s like to run properly, making the improvements easier to execute when the athlete is back on the field, court or track.

»Improving Explosive Power:  All speed coaches know that running hills improves power.

Running uphill on a treadmill can be even more effective, because the treadmill does not slow down like an athlete does when he becomes tired training on a hill outside, building power

through proper mechanics. With the exception of wind resistance and the perception of moving, research has shown the differences between running on a properly designed treadmill and running on the ground are small.  However, a treadmill forces an athlete to run a consistent speed – that of the treadmill belt.  From a training perspective, this is a good thing when used properly – especially when it comes to improving power.

»Precise training loads and periodization:   Treadmill training programs take advantage of the fact that speed, duration, and power are all variables that can be controlled.  The power output per unit bodyweight that an athlete must produce at each speed and grade is known precisely on a treadmill, which makes it easier to design training programs that safely fit within the specific demands of almost any sport or activity.  For example, a football lineman must produce huge amounts of power in five second bursts with a 60 second recovery, while a wide receiver must produce huge amounts of power for 5-10 second bursts with a much more active recovery (since they have longer distances to cover to get back in the huddle).

Basketball, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and baseball all have quite different metabolic demands and must train accordingly.  Cyclists have known for quite some time that training based on power output is much more effective than organizing training by distance, time, speed or some combination of the two – and treadmills can be used in the same way.

Practice doesn’t make perfect.  Perfect practice makes perfect – which is why it doesn’t matter

how fast an athlete can run on the treadmill.  Running fast with poor technique is counterproductive.  All athletes should be concerned about how well they can run at high speed with proper mechanics, and treadmills are an effective, efficient tool to reinforce good running technique.  This is only one tool that differentiates us from other training programs.

In addition to speed training on our super treadmills, we do ground based agility training, plyometrics, functional strength and sensory training.

If you want to get faster, this is the best place to do it!

Visit or email to schedule a complimentary trial speed session.

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Ellie Huff

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