How to Begin to Run on a Treadmill – Beginner Guide

Running on a treadmill

What is your purpose of running? Are you running for weight loss, for fitness, or just an aerobic exercise?

Using a treadmill to run is the most accessible and convenient way to perform a simple workout. If you are just a beginner to use a running treadmill, you should know how to start using the equipment.

Here are some of the important pointers to consider:

1. Start Gradually

The good thing about running on a treadmill is that you can use it either outdoor or indoor. The first thing to keep in mind is to start gradually. This is important especially if it is your first time to step on the equipment. To begin, you should stand on the belt before pressing the “start workout”.

You should also think about the speed appropriate to your fitness level. As a beginner, you should start walking at a slow pace and increase the speed that is comfortable for you. You can start walking for 5 minutes to warm up and 15 minutes alternate walking and running. Complete the routine with 5 minutes walking.

Running on a treadmill for the first time is entirely different from running outdoors. It’s because the intensity and impact can cause soreness and discomfort at first. With this, it is important to avoid injuries such as shin splints while increasing the intensity and mileage too quickly. The treadmill may ask for some important details including your age, weight, and goal.

2. What To Wear

If you’re using a treadmill to run, it is important to dress up properly. You should wear the right shoes for running that supports the arch of your foot and offers additional stability.

Choose a pair of shoes in which you are comfortable with and provides a good level of cushioning. Women should wear a sports bra to support your breasts and for easy movement.

3. What is Tthe Right Incline?

Treadmill running is different from outdoor running. It’s because in treadmill there’s no wind resistance, thus you can set the incline to 1%. Many models of treadmills feature an incline and decline option.

These options will help a lot if you are practicing downhill running or Boston Marathon Training. However, when starting to run on a treadmill, it’s fine to use 0% incline until such time that you feel comfortable and develop your fitness level.

You should be careful in increasing the incline making it too steep when you’re not yet ready. Otherwise, it may cause calf injuries. Likewise, experts do not recommend 20% incline for the entire run. Instead, you should mix up flat running with steep inclines.

Running on a treadmill is also advantageous because there are preset programs in most treadmills in the market. However, before you experiment with the incline make sure to let your coach know about it.

4. Don’t Hold on the Console or the Handrail

When using the treadmill, either you run or walk, you should not hold on the console or handrails. You should only hold on to the handrails when getting on and off the equipment. Just like when running outside, you should maintain 90 degrees angle of your arms and ensure that your upper body is in proper form.

5. Never Lean Forward

As a beginner, it would be challenging to walk or run on a treadmill. As a precautionary measure, never lean forward, rather keep your body on an upright position. Keep in mind that the treadmill is pulling your feet backward. Leaning forward can cause you back and neck pain.

6. Cool Down

It’s not recommended to stop your workout abruptly. As much as possible, before hopping off the treadmill you should walk or slow jog for 5 minutes after the run.

This will keep the heart rate to reduce at 100 bpm or below prior to getting off the treadmill. Otherwise, if you get off the treadmill after running and without cooling down, you should expect to experience dizziness.

7. What is the Right Stride?

Focusing on your stride is important when using a treadmill. To ensure that the impact on your legs is minimized, you should perform a short and quick stride. Avoid heel striking to prevent knee shocks; instead, you should lift your heel so that your feet will move a circular path.

As much as possible, you should you should improve the count of your stride. You would only run efficiently if your steps will improve.

8. Do Not Look Down

As a beginner, you may be conscious about the distance and time you have covered and this would cause you to look down the monitor. As much as possible, you should refrain from looking down otherwise your running posture will be compromised.

You will end up running hunched over and make your back and neck to suffer. When you run on a treadmill make sure to look straight and this is also applicable if you’re running outside.

How to Avoid Boredom on the Treadmill?

Staring at the wall throughout the course of workout can be mentally challenging. This is the reason why most runners don’t want to use a treadmill. To prevent boredom, the best thing to do is to listen to music while running on a treadmill.

Many models of treadmill have a built-in port where you can plug in headphones. Listening to your favorite music can motivate you to run longer.

Some high-end treadmills feature a run simulation. The runner can choose a virtual venue that gives a real-life experience of running on the streets or trails.

Final Thought

Treadmill running slows you to control your workouts. You can choose to use either the pre-programmed workouts or set your own pace. It reduces the stress of the workout due to the cushioning on the treadmill deck.

Having your own treadmill at home is very convenient as you can work out anytime that you want. This means that you need not worry about your busy schedule.

Regardless of the reason why you’re using a treadmill, the important thing to note is that you can achieve your fitness goals as long as you will be committed to doing the workout.