The treadmill is an awesome tool for runners and triathletes to use, especially during the winter when running outside might not be the most enticing activity. If you’re new to treadmill running, there are some things you might want to consider before hopping on and going for a run. From pacing to racing (or specifically not racing) and much more, here are a few tips for new treadmill runners out there.
Warm up and cool down
We get it — warmups and cooldowns aren’t the most exciting parts of your workouts. We also know that treadmill running can be pretty boring sometimes, so adding 10 to 15 minutes of more slow running on either end of your workout might sound like torture. Regardless of how bored you might be during your warmup and cooldown, they’re both necessary, even when you’re on the treadmill. Turn on the TV, listen to some music or find some other distraction and get it done. It’s for the best.
Know your paces
A lot of treadmills only show you speed in miles or kilometres per hour rather than pace. To avoid needing to do calculations that will interrupt your run, figure out the speeds that align with the paces you’re aiming to hit during your workout before you start. For example, four minutes per kilometre works out to 15 kilometres per hour, five minutes per kilometre works out to 12 km per hour and six minute kilometres are 10 km per hour. Do the math ahead of time.
Don’t look down
It might be tempting to look down at your feet while you run on the treadmill, but try not to. You wouldn’t stare straight down if you were running outside, so you shouldn’t practice running like that when your indoors. If you do this, your form will suffer. It’s OK to check your feet every now and then if you think you’re getting too close to the edge of the treadmill, but for the most part, look forward.
Don’t stick to easy runs on the treadmill. Like we said, the treadmill can be boring, and if you only use it for long and easy runs, you’ll hate it in no time. We’re not saying that going fast on the treadmill will necessarily make it fun, but it will definitely be more enjoyable than easy sessions. Figure out your pacing, get a workout planned and fit some solid and fast running into your weekly schedule.
Don’t race other people
When the world gets back to normal and you can return to the gym, ignore everyone else beside you. It’s way too easy to focus on the people on the treadmills next to you, and even if you don’t mean to do it, soon enough, you could be in a race with that other person. You had a plan for your run, so stick to it. Maybe that person’s faster than you, maybe they aren’t, but it really doesn’t matter.
Don’t just stick to the treadmill. It’s a great tool and a great option, but if it’s a nice day, take advantage of the good weather and head outside. You’ll probably enjoy an outdoor run much more than a slog on the treadmill, and the fresh air will feel good.