Treadmill training for beginners

You never ran on the treadmill but you want to give it a try? You should note the following.

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Running on treadmill should be learned

When you run on a treadmill for the first time, you should do an easy run to get used to it. In particular, you should be aware how to stop the treadmill by hitting “emergency stop” and how to get off in case of an emergency without falling off. The staff in the gym is happy to help; go get their advice. You should also be careful about the following:

  • Shoes: you can use as the same running shoes you use outdoors as long as they are clean (especially when you run in the gym). For fast workouts, a light and direct shoe is recommended. For long runs, you should rather wear a more comfortable model.
  • Clothing: you only need a shirt and shorts; more would be too much. A towel  is a must when running on a treadmill to be able to always wipe off the sweat.
  • Running technique: what is true for running outdoors is also true for running on the treadmill: try to run at a high cadence and land directly below or slightly in front of the body. Since you do not have to pay attention to traffic and surface, the treadmill suits very well to work on your running technique.
  • Lower energy consumption: you need less energy when running in place compared to running forward outdoors at the same pace. This is because  the treadmill’s moving carpet pulls your leg back. Outdoors, however, you use muscle strength to pull the body over your leg.
  • Missing  air resistance: when running on  the treadmill, there is no air resistance. Therefore, again: you need less energy on the treadmill for the same speed than  outdoors. When running on the treadmill at 8 km/h, it is  about 5% less and  at 14 km/h as much as  10% less. Moreover, the higher the speed, the bigger the energy savings compared to the same pace outdoors.
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Your running speed determines your choice of shoes

  • Gradient: the treadmill’s incline is usually set at 1%, at speeds  from 15 km/h even at  2%. This way, the same amount of energy is needed as running outdoors. Instead, you can do it without incline and run a little faster.
  • Distraction: running on the treadmill  requires a certain degree of concentration, especially at higher speeds.  Focus on your stride  and don’t let a TV or other factors distract you. If you are unfocused or don’t keep up the pace, you fly off at worst.

What is your experience of running on the treadmill?

This blog is provided by Fit for Life.  Fit for Life is Switzerland’s magazine  for fitness, running and endurance sports. Would you like to read such articles on a regular basis? Then click here.

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