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Published January 03, 2011, 12:09 AM

Wagner: Treadmill workouts the answer to tough winter conditions

There once was a time when I felt the need to apologize for running on a treadmill.

There once was a time when I felt the need to apologize for running on a treadmill.

Perhaps that’s one reason why every morning, bundled in two or three layers, I’d head outside. The number of times the weather forced me inside last winter probably could be counted on one hand.

This winter has been a completely different story.

With a marathon on my schedule in less than five weeks, running on a treadmill has become essential for speed work and important workouts during my training.

Back-to-back blizzards late last week, pushing Fargo’s snow total to more than 45 inches so far this winter season, have made treadmill running one of the only viable options for staying on course. Running 20 miles on a treadmill is not a treat or any less grueling than a long run outside.

Some of the top running coaches in the country prescribe treadmill workouts for a variety of reasons, including weather conditions or recovery from certain types of injuries.

One of the best reasons to run indoors is that using a treadmill allows the user to control important elements of each workout, namely speed, distance and incline. And playing with the speed and incline mid-run definitely helps eliminate the monotonous nature of exercising indoors.

There won’t be any more apologizing from this runner for using a treadmill. If it weren’t for a treadmill, my next marathon likely wouldn’t be possible.

Run for survivors

It’s a new year offering new possibilities, new challenges and new trails.

If you’re planning to run one of the events during the Fargo Marathon, consider running to raise money for TAPS.

The organization, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, provides support and information for those grieving the loss of a loved one who has died serving our country.

Runners will wear shirts of fallen service members’ names and pictures. One of a select few races participating in the program, TAPS is aiming to sign up more than 200 people in effort to raise money to support its mission.

For more information, visit the TAPS website for Fargo at www.taps.org/friends/runningevent.aspx?id4713 or find them on Facebook.

Forum News Director Steve Wagner writes a running blog, which can be found online at runningspud.areavoices.com. He can be reached via email at swagner@forumcomm.com.