5 Tips for taking up treadmill running

Running on a treadmill brings numerous advantages, including toning, endurance and weight loss.You love the idea of being able to go for a run no matter the weather. But you haven't a clue how treadmills work. Check out our tips for starting confidently.

Many runners and fitness fans, from beginners to experts, are drawn to the treadmill as a means of toning their muscles, building their endurance and losing weight, depending on their sporting or health goals. So how do you get started? We reveal all.


Slow and steady

When you run on a treadmill, always start at a slow, gentle speed (only slightly faster than a brisk walk).

Your body needs to get used to the machine and the feeling of the belt rolling under your feet. 

Once you're warmed up, you can increase the intensity to reach your target speed (6 km/h or more depending on your fitness).


Adjusting the incline

When you run on a treadmill, you're running on a flat surface with no wind resistance. This can make it feel easy. 

To compensate for this and replicate outdoor running conditions as best as possible, you'll need to set the incline to between 1% and 2%.


Adopting a relaxed posture

Your posture is very important if you're to run as naturally as you would outdoors.

Before starting your workout, remember to:

keep your back straight,

look in front of you, rather than at the screen,

not get too far forwards on the machine (you won't be able to lift your knees properly) or too far backwards (this leads to you taking smaller, faster strides),

not control your foot posture (as you would when running outdoors),

stay relaxed (let go of any tension).

The closer to the middle of the belt you run, the more natural your posture will be. You'll naturally pick up your knees and use all of your muscles (thighs, backs of the legs and buttocks).

It's all about posture! Good posture reduces the risk of neck, back and muscle pain.


Monitor your strides

When you run on a treadmill, your stride isn't as natural as when you run outdoors. This is because the treadmill dictates your stride: the cushioning is even, the pace is constant, and your foot's contact with the ground is slightly different. This leads to you taking smaller strides than you would when running outdoors.

Something else to watch out for is that the pace can seem faster on a treadmill than it really is. 

To find the right pace and position, spend 10 minutes warming up at the start of each workout (by setting the treadmill to about 2-3 km/h, for example) and at least 20 minutes running while gradually increasing the speed and incline. If you want to have the same level of intensity as an outdoor workout, try to take the same size strides and listen to your body to dictate your pace.

In terms of breathing, don't forget to breathe in and out properly. It's important to breathe comfortably throughout your workout. In other words, you shouldn't feel completely out of breath.

No running without drinking, cooling down and stretching

Running on a treadmill means you can train in any weather. You'll sweat more indoors than you would outdoors. This is because your body isn't ventilated by the wind and by you moving along.

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