Treadmills are a great option for running and will provide you with a sprinting option, however sprinting on a treadmill won’t provide as many benefits compared to sprinting on a solid surface such as grass or a track.
Treadmills force you to use your entire body when running, which means your body will be moving and you will be able to reap cardiovascular strength, stamina, and tempo.
Sprinting sessions that revolve around these will be useful on a treadmill. Where you will notice the setback is improving your acceleration and power on a treadmill.
Depending on the treadmill that you are using, there are some sprinting exercises that you can do. These include the following.
This is where you run on the treadmill at a certain speed for a certain amount of time. You should also use the speed to track your average steps (turnover) per second.
This is where you keep the treadmill switched off and you push against the resistance from the surface of the treadmill. You want to try to be as explosive as possible so you can improve your acceleration and drive. It should mimic the sled push drill.
This is where you sprint for a short amount of time at 80-100% of your maximum intensity. This will also train your body to maintain a fast tempo and it will improve your cardiovascular strength, which will also condition your body to not decelerate as quickly, which will make you run faster.
Depending on what you need to achieve with your sprinting training, a treadmill can be handy. However, you shouldn’t prioritise a treadmill over running on a solid surface.
A treadmill should be treated as a “substitute” option based on the training circumstances.