Running doesn’t just involve going outside to pound the pavement. You have to put in some training hours too. Sometimes limitations such as bad weather, injuries or work crop up and these can mess up your outdoor training.

Indoor cardio equipment is a godsend in such instances. You can use them to increase your running performance, building up your speed, endurance and power as you go. There’s a wide variety of equipment out there to choose from and each activates your running muscles differently. The best strategy for becoming a better runner is to incorporate different cardio equipment in your training routine.

Some of the best machines to improve your running performance include:

1. The Treadmill

Runners and treadmills are made for each other. These handy machines provide an effective replacement for outside running in case the weather is uncooperative or if you’re a little squeezed for time.

Treadmills help you work on your quads and glutes (both critical running muscles) and they provide a much more forgiving running surface than concrete. Best of all, you can easily program and adjust the treadmill, increasing or decreasing both the speed and incline to cater to your running needs.

So whether you want to work on your pacing and endurance for middle or long distance races or you just want to increase your speed for all-out sprints, there’s a treadmill with a setting that works for you. Shop around and you can even find a great deal to help you purchase a treadmill without ruining your budget.

2. The Elliptical

Most runners ignore the elliptical in spite of its numerous advantages. Next to the treadmill, the elliptical comes closest to mimicking running motion i.e. the running stride and leg muscle engagement.

This machine lets you work out both your upper and lower body and is ideal for runners who have had some kind of injury or those who are predisposed to excessive soreness after running. Pedaling forward and backward on the elliptical exercises your calves, quads, hamstrings and also strengthens your knees. You can use the handlebars to strengthen your upper body for a well-rounded workout.

3. The StairMaster/ Stair-Climber

Stair Masters or stair-climbers offer a host of benefits and are excellent alternatives to pounding the pavement. Running on one of these machines targets and strengthens the same muscles used while jogging, running or walking, namely your glutes, calves, and quads.

You can also adjust the speed and resistance settings to suit your fitness levels which in turn helps boost your power and endurance especially when it comes to hill running, high-intensity running or long distance races like marathons.

Keep in mind that adhering to the same training workout will keep you stagnant, no matter how much you sweat on one of these machines. So switch up your routine once in a while and don’t hesitate to give different cardio machines a try. Your performance will improve as a result.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin Jones has mastered a busy lifestyle with work and fitness combined with family life. He writes offering solutions for personal fitness and time management as well as keeping families fit together by utilizing activities and diet.