Treadmill Running Tips
Looking to brush up on your treadmill running and workout goals? No doubt the most famous piece of equipment in any gym has got to be the treadmill. For those of us of that feel lazy when at the gym, the treadmill never fails to do its magic, even on the days when there is a lack of motivation to workout. Not only are treadmills extraordinarily versatile and convenient, but they also help you attain all your fitness goals, no matter your fitness level. With the help of the below tips for treadmill running, your performance levels will surely be improved.
1. Engage in Warm-Up Exercises
When using the treadmill, it is vital to do a pre-workout session or use some pre-workout formulas, to sync your body into its optimal pace. This happens naturally when we run outdoors, but for indoor runs, we must fight the urge to jump on the treadmill and crank away at your preferred speed. Even if you are jogging or walking for about three minutes, there are some basic exercises you can undertake to ‘activate’ your body into the running state.
These exercises should be done at different speeds, starting with a relaxed pace before building up to a brisk pace in the last minute. Another one to try is the 3 x 20/40s, which pumps up your blood and gears you up for your workout. This exercise involves warming up at a fast pace for twenty seconds and recovering for forty seconds. Warming up helps make your workouts as effective and safe as possible, for you to receive optimum benefits.
2. Test Your Fitness Levels
Fitness levels vary when it comes to working indoors or outdoors. Being able to reconcile your open road level of fitness with your treadmill workouts can be a great challenge. For those who see themselves using a treadmill in the nearest future, there’s a treadmill test that’s simple to take, with little mathematical calculation.
The Marathon Nation Treadmill Test: this test suggests that you go for a 3-mile trial run on a treadmill right after you warm up. As soon as you begin, access how you’re feeling after every ½ mile and adjust your speed to suit your needs. The treadmill in use should be at a slope of 1.5%. After this testing session, you will have a fair knowledge about your new pace and heart rate, and this will help you plan and start your runs accordingly.
3. Always Be Prepared
Though there’s a vast difference between running indoors and outdoors, one thing remains the same; you need to gear up properly before you run. To have an excellent treadmill workout experience, you must be 100 percent ready by having all the equipment necessary to handle the indoor environment. This means having all your treadmill running gear in hand.
In terms of your treadmill preparation, one of the vital things to own when using a treadmill (or any exercise), is a hand towel, or even better- a cooling towel. This can be used when needed to do away with sweat on your hands, face or arms. Some people love to workout with music; thus, workout headphones are an excellent item to have with you. Before you begin your run, you only need to plug your headset to your treadmill or your device to listen to music, audiobook, podcasts and any other audio that’ll be a welcome distraction as you exercise. Another essential item is a water bottle. Ensure that your bottle keeps your water as cold as possible and that it can be operated with a single hand. Your treadmill gear is essential as it helps keep your body as hydrated and dry as possible to make your workout more comfortable.
4. Find the Best Treadmill Clothing
Invest in shorts of high quality, paired well with a well-fitting technical t-shirt to catch sweat on your body. You could throw in a sweatband and wristband for good measure, as they’re highly effective (though a little old school). You must also pay attention to the shoes you wear while you run. A walking shoe is very different from a running shoe, as they’re stiffer and don’t flex when they’re needed to. There is a wide range of running shoes for men that come in various styles to fulfill many needs. Don’t forget to pair them with a pair of good running socks.
A favorite brand among many runners are Nike sneakers, as they’re incredibly stable and reduce the occurrence of blisters with their seamless construction. Finding the best running shoes requires you to know which qualities to look out for. Another clothing item which isn’t a must, but can help in your workouts is a weighted vest.
A weighted vest is a vest that can either be filled with weighted objects or is made naturally from heavy material. Those that have pockets enable the user fill it up with little steel bars or tiny bags of sand. The job of a weighted vest is to help in your body-weight exercises by providing extra weight. The training could be as acute as quickness drills to simple workout drills such as walking or using the treadmill. Weighted vests work well with undulating slopes, and it improves one’s power, strength and acceleration during the running process.
5. Make Strong Use of Technology
Many health-related technologies help you track your workout progress and also offer a welcoming distraction. Fitness trackers such as the iFit Coach is great for all athletes. It provides the runner with virtual DVD courses that they can peruse as the work the treadmill. Other videos offer you different sceneries as you run, such that you don’t feel like you’re at the same place. The TV is another great technology that helps keep you distracted as you run. You could watch the news or binge watch your favorite series, anything to keep you pumped and your blood fired up.
6. Keep Off the Handrails
When walking on a steep incline, many runners fall victim to holding the top of the treadmill machine or the handrails for support. Consciously try not to commit such a mistake by keeping your arms free. Instead, make your workout more efficient by pumping your arms as and when you move. The end goal of a treadmill workout is, and the holding of the rails relates to an unnatural form. Keep off the rails to make sure you enjoy an exercise that is as effective as your typical outside run.
7. Split Your Runs
To benefit from treadmill workout doesn’t mean you have to run non-stop. A super-long run can be divided into two sessions within the day to make the distance more bearable. This also reduces the time spent on the treadmill without losing any miles. A double running session helps keep your metabolic rate higher, as opposed to covering all your miles in a single run.
8. Watch Your Running Form
Looking down constantly at their feet or the dashboard is another common mistake many people commit when using the treadmill to work out. Running in this manner is unnatural; thus, it may cause neck aches and back pains which can lead to bad posture. When running on the treadmill, bear in mind that you’re mimicking a road run; thus you should utilise your road form.
Keep your eyes looking ahead and keep your back straight as you run. Be conscious about your stride, making sure not to lengthen or shorten it as you move. Also, just as you would when you’re running outside, allow your feet to strike the belt. All these posture checks can be done quickly by watching yourself in the mirror as you run.
9. Keep Yourself Hydrated & Energised
Water must be your friend whenever you work out. Running on a treadmill can cause you to lose more water than if you were to run outdoors. This is just because there’s an overall reduction in air-resistance to help keep you fresh. Because of this, keeping water within easy reach is essential.
Be sure to maintain a well-hydrated body not only before, but during and after working out on the treadmill. Luckily for us, most treadmill machines come equipped with water bottle holders, helping us keep water handy at all times. Before you step onto the treadmill, make sure that you have placed your water bottle into the holder, and enjoy it every 10 to fifteen minutes as you work out. When training for longer, that is more than 60 minutes, you can drink an electrolyte sports drink to sustain your energy levels, or you can opt for protein shakes or drinks.
A healthy way to have your protein drinks on the go is to use an easy-to-clean protein shaker. The shake mixer is the most crucial part of the shaker. It could be found either in the lid or as a spoke that sits inside the shaker. This is responsible for breaking up all lumps of protein powder for easy mixing with liquid to provide you with a smooth drink. When choosing a shaker, look for one that is extremely easy to clean such that the risk of bacterial infections is significantly reduced.
10. Treadmill Choice
If you’re not the fan of the gym and you prefer working out from home, choosing an ideal treadmill for your workout may prove to be difficult. The repeated question is whether to go in for a folding or non-folding treadmill. Folding treadmills, also known as fold-away, fold-ups or foldable treadmills are often chosen over non-folding ones due to their portability. Apart from the folding treadmill enabling you to optimize and save space in your small home, they also make house cleaning more manageable, as they can be folded to help you vacuum or mop the floor area with ease. Even though many treadmill brands on the market offer affordable yet highly functional foldable treadmills, be wary of those that are excessively low-priced, as they might not have the quality you’re in need of.
11. Post Workout Exercises
Ending your workout on a good note is just as important as the start. After your treadmill run, perform some stretches to lengthen your muscles, preventing them from feeling tight or sore. When stretching, your glutes, hamstrings and calves must be given maximum attention.
You could try a little yoga to ensure that all your muscles are stretched. The downward facing dog poses in yoga is an ideal exercise to do as it pulls all these areas in one swift motion. To do this pose, keep your feet together behind you, placing your hands apart on the floor at shoulder width. With extended arms, raise your hips and keep your weight on your heels. Keep your body at an inverted angle for 45 to 60 seconds, making sure that your back, arms and legs are straight for the entire period.
12. Embrace the Treadmill
All the distractions that come with running outdoors, that can alter how you feel or move when on the run are eliminated when using a treadmill. All your excuses not to run are taken away when you learn to ‘be’ and get in tune with your body on the treadmill. You can lay focus on your breathing, stride and cadence, or even opt for making sure your running posture is right by running in front of a mirror. Consistent practice and use of the treadmill improves your overall running performance, especially if you want to be an economical runner.
Believe it or not, indoor running is exhilarating and fun to do. No matter where you stand on the treadmill love/hate scale, you will admit that treadmills are convenient especially when it comes to having access to nutrition as you exercise.
Treadmills are also safe to use with the absence of dark alleys, slippery roads and uneven terrain that can alter your running movement. So gear up and prepare to use your treadmill while listening to your favorite song or watching the news. It doesn’t matter if you can’t afford one right now; every gym on the planet has a treadmill or five! Experience a safer exercise routine complete with terrific temperature-controlled environments and terrains similar to that of the outdoors.
P.S – When your workout is over, don’t forget to drink some water and recover like a pro.