OK, I obviously didn’t do very well getting my point accross in a simple manner in my previous treadmill post, so I’m going to try again here. I’m not sure why I veered off into too much technical detail (regarding accuracy of measurement, etc.); probably just a symptom of the fact that I used to post tech stuff on here all the time and it’s been a while.
So (fresh off a round on the treadmill just now), my basic, ultra-simplified reason for valuing a treadmill when running is that I don’t have to put as much thought into the workout as I would without it.
Sure, you can (with the aid of other devices and more attention paid) do a reasonable job on your own of keeping a desired pace during a run, depending on what level of detail you’re looking for (and most people don’t care too much about the level of detail I was talking about). BUT, the point of the treadmill is that I don’t have to regulate the pace myself, I punch a few buttons and the computer controls the pace, I just have to keep up. That’s the beauty of technology working for you.
The reason this is important for me is mostly that I don’t really enjoy running. It isn’t something I do because I like it; I do it because I need to. Therefore, I usually spend my workout time listening to podcasts (which I do enjoy). Most of them are technical podcasts, which require some degree of concentration to follow. I’d just rather devote my concentration to that instead of things like keeping my pace, etc.