Running on a treadmill often takes serious effort & motivation. Those that aren't inclined to running on a treadmill waste no time in telling you how ineffective treadmills are.
They might state that running on a real path is much more efficient, or that fresh air offers it's own challenges which offer faster results. However, treadmills definitely have their own advantages.
Firstly, Treadmills are always there, waiting to be used. When it comes to the Winter months, are you going to lace up your shoes and go for a run? You might try it once! (The ice cold chill makes it really difficult to run, with lactic acid often building in the throat). In addition to this, your body is cold & tends to get that itchy feeling, as if you've had some pre-workout!
Secondly, when you decide if you're going to use the treadmill… you're already in the Gym. This means that you're going to do a workout of some sort. If you're at home deciding if you should go for a run, it's easy to put your feet up and re-schedule for the morning.
It's time to use our treadmill workout tips, because it is possible to use the machine incorrectly. There's nothing worse than an ineffective workout, as it's a waste of time and effort. Take a look at these beginner tips we have, which should aid your next workout, when you next hop onto the treadmill for a workout.
Sort Your Gear Out
Having the correct gear will ensure that you can maximise your workouts. If you aren't wearing the correct gear, you potentially be unsafe & you may be uncomfortable.
When I go for a run, I like to wear tighter fitting clothes. I don't wear the Nike Pro gear, as that's a little too compressed for me.
If you prefer wearing Jogging Bottoms, they're ok too. Again, I prefer the polyester (plastic feeling) joggers opposed to the Fleeced ones. Fleeced Joggers are ok if that's all you have, but they do tend to feel heavier on long distance runs.
A good-fitting shirt is also essential. The shirts to avoid are polo shirts. Some of the better picks are Football Shirts, as they are designed for unrestricted movement. In addition, you'll feel comfortable & you won't look like you've fallen in a river!
Once you've sorted your clothing out, it's time to take a look at your footwear. Your training shoes are the second most important thing that you can bring to the gym.
The first? Your water bottle!
You need to ensure that you're wearing the correct shoes. If you have already got running shoes, you can ignore this step. However, it's moreso for gym enthusiasts that use the same shoes for all their workouts.
Running shoes have specific architecture, designed to help your feet when running. This consists of enhanced foot cushioning & arch support. The latter is extremely important, if you have a flat foot.
I've been a victim of this myself in the past, before taking running more seriously. I would wear my general gym Nike trainers, and I always felt like i'd been tortured when I was finished on the treadmill. They just didn't have the support required, to support me on a 5KM run.
Once you've got your running shoes sorted out, ensure that you've set them tight, with no trailing laces. It's also important to ensure that your shoe grip is clean enough to offer you a good grip on the treadmill itself.
Optional extras which can improve your workout is music, with a high BPM playlist, to keep you motivated and focused. A towel & an easy usable water bottle is advised.
Now you've got all the gear, but you still might have no idea! Don't worry, we've got some more treadmill tips for you below.
Take Advantage of the Treadmill Programs & Technology
It definitely pays to learn what technology your treadmill offers. All treadmills are different, so I unfortunately can't write a perfect guide that suits all. However, I can explain the various functions and technology which most offer.
I am however, going to start with a feature that's only found on the higher-end treadmills.
This feature is an interactive display, which offers you the choice of watching live television or using the screen to simulate a natural running environment. I really like these & they are proven to increase the duration of your workout.
If you haven't seen one of these, just imagine. You can step on the treadmill, and set your interactive screen up for a simulated run around many destinations. For example, you could set yourself up to run along a stream, seeing various nature on your travels.
Whilst it's not as immersive as actually doing it, this would give you the motivation to finish the workout, seeing all of the sights on your exploration.
If you want to stick to normal functions, which all treadmills have, they're less interactive, but just as effective.
You can set the program to target a specific fitness area. For example, Fat Loss. The program is then tailored to Fat loss, and would create a workout which you should follow to target fat loss. During your workout, the treadmill would alter in speed & incline level to target fat loss.
You can also take advantage of the Heart Rate Monitor, Calorie Burn Monitor & your speed displays.
You also have the option for a completely standard workout, by jumping on and hitting start.
Use a Slight Incline
It's advisable to use a slight incline at all times, when on a treadmill. This helps to simulate a natural path, which you would be on outside.
It's no major issue if you are unable to set an incline, but you should set it as one of your goals to use it. It doesn't matter if you have to lower the speed a little bit, the extra incline will still provide an effective workout.
When you've built up some fitness, having a zero incline will limit your gym workouts. It's been compared to running downhill, which is obviously too easy and you can just glide, with minimum effort.
It's important to feel that you've broken a barrier in your workout, knowing that you've pushed yourself fairly hard. However, it's also vital to set yourself a few runs that are lower intensity, with a longer distance. This helps to ensure that you are working all muscle groups aswell.
Once you've got used to working out on a higher incline, you can consider a HIIT workout, which will definitely test your limits whilst working wonders for your metabolic rate.
As we are talking about high inclines, it's important to mention that you shouldn't over-do it. It's easy to get over-confident & most people will over-exert themselves. It's a natural way of finding your limits.
Don't set the incline too steep! This will have the adverse effect on your body, most notably your lower back & hips. Too much strain on these parts & you might find yourself out of the gym completely, with a muscle injury.
Every gym has a member which has to set a machine to the complete maximum, but it makes no sense with a treadmill. When running, have you found a hill which you need to climb flat out?
The more sensible way to tackle this, would be at a lower pace. You're still climbing the hill, afterall!
Alternate your inclines every few minutes to simulate a more immersive environment, which would feel like running on a real road (without the safety concerns!).
Going to the gym requires a specific mindset, regardless of your exercise plans. If you aren't motivated, it's increasingly difficult to get through the gates. However, nothing feels better than when you've been to the gym on a day that you could've easily refused.
We need good preparation before the gym, both physically and mentally. If you're going to the gym after work, ensure that you've prepared for this in terms of your nutrition. Try and avoid food completely for 60 minutes before your scheduled workout, so you can avoid heartburn or a stitch (ETAP).
You will also benefit from stretching properly, as this is a universal requirement in the fitness world.
Correct mental & physical preparation ensures that you set yourself up for the most effective workout possible.
Avoid the Handrail
This is a little pet hate of mine. I fully understand why they're there, as they are required for safety.
However, they aren't to be used to aid your workout, or even worse… to help you along the way whilst you're texting your group chat!
Using a handrail like this, will steal all of the gains that you should've made, and render your workout pointless.
Avoid Watching Your Feet
This is something which you should naturally stop doing, once you gain some experience. However, at first, it's quite normal to be physically assessing your strides.
Running on a treadmill is easy, when you don't think too much into it. However, if a point comes that you start to monitor how you're running too often, you may find yourself making shorter strides than usual, or running with incorrect form.
It's like driving a car, you know how to do it, but if you slow down and monitor every single action… it becomes significantly harder!
In addition to not watching your feet, I would also ignore the huge centre console which is advising you how fast you're running. Your form will dip if you start looking down for too long, which can lead to an injury.
It's best to check out your stats when you're on a cool-down!
Due to a lack of Wind resistance to keep you cool, you're more prone to sweating on a treadmill. It's important to replace any lost water, which is why you need to stay hydrated at all times.
It's simple, drink water!
When you've finished your workout, you have really reached that promised land. It's time for a rest and to recharge, ready to go again!
Let's rewind a bit. You've done it wrong!
After your workout, it's important to allow yourself a 5-10 minute period to cool down. Your body isn't going to like you switching from running for 30 minutes, to sat down all night. Allow yourself time to transition into it.
You can also avoid light-headedness & nausea.
You need to slowly lower your intensity, by walking or jogging really slowly. Over a period of a few minutes, you should slow down to a crawl. This is the safest way of lowering your heart rate, too.
So there you have it! Running on a treadmill will give you huge health benefits, help you reach your fitness goals & keep you mentally fit too.
Contrary to belief, it's just as effective as an outdoor run providing that you follow our treadmill tips & exercise safely.