Treadmill Running can be Difficult! But it is definitely better than sitting on the couch! I just had to do my run on my treadmill, due to lack of childcare, but I feel much better, and happier now that I am done! It got me back to thinking about an article I read a while back and found some helpful hints for running on the treadmill. Hope you find them useful as well :)
Watch your step. While the cushioned surface helps prevent injuries, some people report aches and pains after putting extra time on the ’mill. Be sure to run at a pace you can comfortably sustain. As you tire, lower your speed or the incline.
Just let go. If you can’t keep up with the treadmill without grabbing the handrails, you’re going too fast. Holding onto the handrails can throw off your stride and create a twisting motion, which can lead to injuries.
Step outside…carefully. If you’ve done 100 percent of your workouts on a treadmill, gradually integrate outdoor running into your routine. Too quick a transition can lead to injury. Outside, your calf muscles have to work harder to propel you forward; so do the smaller stabilizer muscles in the joints and ankles. On your first outside run, start with 10 minutes, and add five minutes the next week. Continue to build gradually.
Know your numbers. The “calories burned” readouts on treadmills—and any other exercise machines—are rarely accurate. That’s because treadmills estimate total calories burned rather than the net number—i.e., calories burned solely through exercise, above and beyond what we would have used anyway. Plus, keep in mind that most machines don’t account for body-fat percentage, gender, age, resting heart rate, or whether you’re holding onto the rails. But you don’t have to totally ignore the machine’s stats. Use the calorie readout as a barometer of your progress. If the calorie readout goes up from one session to the next for the same workout, you know you’re getting fitter.
Decipher the pacing info. How fast or slow are you going? Many treadmills show pace as miles-per-hour (MPH). Here’s a cheat sheet so you can find your minutes-per-mile pace, more commonly used by runners.
- 4.0 mph = 15:00 minutes per mile
- 4.5 mph = 13:20 minutes per mile
- 5.0 mph = 12:00 minutes per mile
- 5.5 mph = 10:55 minutes per mile
- 6.0 mph = 10:00 minutes per mile
- 6.5 mph = 9:14 minutes per mile
- 7.0 mph = 8:34 minutes per mile
Mix it up. In order to build your overall fitness, it’s a good idea to do faster workouts with no incline as well as slower-paced workouts with an incline. The slower uphill workouts build strength, while the faster flat workouts help you develop stamina, endurance, and quick footwork. Adjust both speed and incline during your workout, and you can better simulate the changing terrain of a road run.