Treadmill is the most popular and common equipment among the health conscious people. They use it because it is convenient, endlessly versatile, cater to people of all fitness levels, and keep them out of the blazing sun, humidity, rain, snow, sleet or any other de-motivating outdoor conditions. While everyone knows how to use a treadmill to some degree, many don’t realize how to get the most out of their treadmill workout or utilize it as an effective training tool. Check out these tips for running on a treadmill to make your workout more efficient and more enjoyable.
Know what kind of workout you want to do before you get started. If you are going to be doing interval training, make sure you are prepared physically and mentally before you step on the treadmill. That way you do not have to think about what you are doing when you are in the heat of your workout. Also remember to bring your supplies - one of the best things about treadmills is that they give you the luxury of easily being able to use things you would not normally be able to carry with you on a run, like a water bottle and a towel.
Warm up and cool down
Being able to have such easy control over your speed and time on a treadmill means there is no excuse for skipping the warm-up and cool-down process. Always warm up with walking or light jogging for at least 5 minutes and same goes for afterward. Warming up and cooling down are essential for avoiding injury and keeping you away from feeling stiff.
Choose interval training
The treadmill is not necessarily the place to do a long run at a fixed pace. It certainly can be done, but boredom is a big factor when it comes to treadmill running. Interval training is a great way to use the treadmill effectively. It keeps things interesting and helps you burn more calories. Rather than running at a comfortable speed for 45 minutes straight, go with an interval workout that makes sense for your training level or goals.
Mix it up
Doing the same workout on the treadmill over and over again will allow your muscles to adapt to the workout (which means that you will burn less calories) and could potentially lead to injury. Keep growing in strength and endurance by doing different treadmill routines. If you use the treadmill three times a week, try to do a different type of workout each day, and incorporate new routines over time.
Utilize its features
Many people use a treadmill often, but have never used some of its best features, like the incline, or the built-in interval plans like “Fat Burn” or “Hill Climber”. These features will help you burn more calories. If you are accustomed to always running flat on a treadmill, then a good way to get used to running on an incline is to pump it all the way up to 10 or 15 and do some speed walking, then lower it back down to 3 or 4, and start running.
Watch your form
A common mistake many treadmill runners make is constantly looking down at the “dashboard” or their feet. This is likely not your natural form, and it can lead to neck/back pain and bad form. Try to mimic your “road form” when using the treadmill --- concentrate on keeping your back straight. Allow your feet to strike the belt, and do not shorten or lengthen your stride.