It’s been a while since I’ve used this mailbag to answer your questions. I’ve been using them in the reviews I’ve been writing, but haven’t addressed your questions directly much. Well, I’ve decided to begin actively using the mailbag again. You know what that means. If you have any questions about any treadmill or elliptical machine, all you gotta do is ask me and I’ll use my bottomless pit of treadmill knowledge to enlighten you. Sometimes you can get it down to just a few choices, but aren’t sure where to go from there. Well, let me know where you’re standing and perhaps I can help compare them. So ask away!

Today I’m going to answer some questions about incline trainers. A lot of people ask about whether certain incline trainers will hold up to regular running. Here’s an example from Joe on the Mileage ST 7100 Incline Trainer.

I am interested in this machine, however, is it good for running purposes as well? I am currently a marathon runner and am looking for a good treadmill to run on during the winter.

That’s a good question that a lot of people wonder. First of all… Why are you interested in an incline trainer? How much do you plan to use the extra incline? Incline trainers are great for burning calories and ripping the crap out of calves and thighs. At the full incline this machine is very intense, and (as the ads say) it really can burn calories 5x faster. However, the workout you will get from this machine is very different from a long distance run, and may not be ideal for marathon training.

In the class of Incline trainers this machine gets high ratings, but the design is different enough from a normal treadmill, that to try to use it as a normal treadmill for a long period of time wouldn’t be the best idea. The ST 7100 feels strong and stable, but you can easily find even stronger treadmills for much cheaper if you just get a regular treadmill. I imagine since you are a marathon runner you will be running a lot, and will need a treadmill that can really take a beating for a long time.

Spending the money for an incline trainer is only a good idea if you really plan to use the high incline the majority of the time. If you think you will use it as a regular treadmill most of the time, it would be wiser to get a good normal treadmill. If you really do only plan to use it only for the winter, I’m sure it will hold up. However, if you plan to keep using it, you will find much more durability and endurance in a normal treadmill, like NordicTrack, Smooth, or Proform.

Thanks for the good question. Keep them coming!