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How To Run On A Treadmill for Beginners

Running on a treadmill for some time can be boring. But for others, it is the best alternative to stay fit even without running outdoors.  It is deemed that exercising outside has more benefits than hitting the gym. But what if the weather outside is not favorable? Fitness experts recommend running on a treadmill.

It’s not only important to know the health benefits of running on a treadmill. It is also essential to know the right ways of using the treadmill. It’s important that you run properly to avoid injuries. Getting rude while on the treadmill can lead to possible injuries. Thus, the best thing to do is to avoid mistakes when doing the workout on a treadmill.

What Do You Need to Know Before You Start Running on the Treadmill?

How To Run On A Treadmill

Warm Up

Just like doing the outdoor run, it is also necessary to warm up before jumping on the treadmill. Warming up raises the body temperature, increases the heart rate, and transports oxygen to the muscles. The best thing to do is to take a 5-minute jog or walk on the treadmill before increasing the incline and the speed.

Familiarize the Treadmill

Before using the treadmill, you should familiarize its various functions. Usually, many treadmills feature the following:

Set the Treadmill

To start with the workout, you should set the inclination of the treadmill up to two percent. Slight incline simulates outdoor running. Build up first your fitness before increasing the comfort level. Once you get comfortable on an incline, then you can increase the incline and the speed to another level.

Read: Best Treadmills 2019 for Home

Avoid Making It Too Steep

It is not recommended to make the incline over seven percent. It can be harmful to your hips, back, and ankles. It is better to alternate steep inclines and flat running.

Do Not Hold on To The Console Or Handrail

Many people running on a treadmill thought that holding on to the side rails helps them work harder. But it is a misconception because it is not a recommended way. It does not only lead to bad posture but also to injury. The handrails are there to help to get on and off the treadmill.

Never Lean Forward

Leaning forward while running on a treadmill is a big NO because the treadmill will pull your feet backward. As much as possible, you should pull your feet forward before the belt pulls them backward. Likewise, leaning forward will also cause back and neck pain, or losing your balance.

Watch Out Your Stride

When running, you should do it naturally considering proper form. Never land your heel first or overstriding. Rather, you should keep your feet in line with your body.

Never Look Down

Looking down can compromise your running form. It can also lead to neck and back pain. The best way is to look straight whether you're running outside or on a treadmill.

Don't Jump Off or On The Treadmill While The Belt Is Moving

When you're running on a treadmill, the first thing you keep in your mind is your safety. As much as possible, you should not take a risk by jumping off the treadmill while the belt is moving. Otherwise, it would cause you to fall or trip. 

Before jumping off make sure to adjust first the speed of the treadmill and reduce the incline. To avoid frequent hopping off the machine, see to it that everything is within your reaches such as the water, towel, headphones, and others.

Make sure to slow down the treadmill gradually and not abruptly. Otherwise, you may lose your balance. In getting off, hold onto the handrails and put your foot on the rubber strips one at a time.

Increase Your Stride Count

The count of your stride determines if you’re running efficiently. Taking quicker, shorter strides can increase the stride count. You should also keep your feet close to the platform.

Treadmill Running Plan for Beginners

Beginner Users

  • 5 minutes of walking.
  • 5 minutes of jogging or running.
  • 5-minute cool down at a walking pace.
  • Maximum workout time: 15 minutes.

Advance Users

  • 5-10 minutes of walking.
  • 10-20 minutes of jogging or running.
  • 5 minute cool down at a walking pace.
  • Maximum workout time: 30 minutes

Things to Remember To Avoid Injury 

As you want to be physically fit, you should not forget your safety while running on a treadmill. Here are some things to remember to avoid injury.

  • Proper posture

If you want to condition your muscle, the first thing to do is to have a good posture. This way your joints would not be stressed and overextended. According to a bio-mechanics expert, keeping your knees straight throughout the run is harmful to your knees and feet.

  • Reduce the impact

Minimizing the impact transferred on your legs can reduce experiencing an injury. This can be possible by taking a quick and short stride. 

  • Wear appropriate shoes

When working out it is necessary to wear the appropriate shoes. It should be properly fitted to avoid injury and able to absorb shock. Buy and wear shoes designed for running.

Final Thought

If you plan to use a treadmill, the first thing to keep in mind is to burn more calories. This can be possible only if you will push yourself to go beyond your limit. As much as possible, you should not stick on the same speed throughout your workout. Try to integrate sprints in your workout. Read 20 Minute Treadmill Workout.

To get most of the benefits of running on a treadmill, you should not fear to increase the incline. It would be hard to run on hills, but it will do good to your body. Increasing the incline will help you to gain muscle mass in your thighs and booty as well as burning more calories. 

Every time you hop on the treadmill make sure to do a diverse workout. This will help you to avoid hitting the weight-loss plateau. You should adjust the incline, mix up the speed, and change the duration. 

When running on the treadmill you should relax your arms and shoulders. It is also essential to practice good breathing pattern appropriate to your running speed. Keep in mind that proper breathing, form, and posture is significant to your treadmill exercise. Otherwise, if you go rigid you will develop muscle pains.

Lastly, do a workout suitable for your body’s preference and needs. This is the key to avoid injury and repeating the same workout mistakes all over again.


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