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You may have the best treadmill but if you do not have the right approach, you end up doing more harm than good. Though there are numerous benefits of running on ae treadmill, as well as it is a good alternative for seasoned and professional runners, when the unfavorable weather conditions or the safety issues stop them from running outdoors.
Knowing how to run on the treadmill will save you from injuries and improve your health alongside your running performance. There are many aspects to running on a treadmill that can’t be ignored.
Vital Aspects Of Running On Treadmill
Once you know how to run on treadmill properly, you not only make the entire activity safe and enjoyable, but it becomes effective as well.
1. Warm Up Your Body
It will always be tempting to jump start your treadmill run, to commence with your workout though. However, it is recommended to do the warm up first and then get on with the strenuous exercise. Initially do some walking at a moderately slow pace for 5-8 minutes.
It will open up the still muscles and loosen up the joints, which are usually pretty stiff when you have been stationary on your work-chair for the entire day or just got out of your bed after a good sleep.
2. Use Less Incline
When you start using the treadmill, start with an inclination of 0% to 2% and not more than that. It is to be done because there is no real wind resistance in the indoor workout arena. Hence, keeping a gentle uphill simulation would help. This practice will help in increasing the comfortability with the treadmill and also safeguard you against any possible injuries.
3. No Steep Business
Unless you are a professional athlete and need extreme training on the treadmill, do not make the inclination steep to excess of 7%. It can cause calf injuries or Achilles tendon that will take time to heal, and till then there will be no workout or movement; if it is severe.
Furthermore, do never run continuously for the entire time on more than the 2% incline on the treadmill. It is bad for the legs, but you can always mix the steep incline with flat running, and that shall help you get better with your workouts.
4. Hold Yourself From Holding On
Many assume that it is necessary to hold onto a treadmill’s console or handrails when running or walking on its surface. Know that the handrails are meant to be a safety measure for getting on and off the treadmill. They are not meant to take support and held onto all the time. It can imbalance the body on the treadmill as well as manipulate the posture that will tend to remain the same even when you walk or run in real, on the trail or pavements.
Practicing right form of the upper body when running or walking on the treadmill is essential, by keeping the arms at precisely an angle of 90 degrees, the same way they would be held if one is running or walking outdoors.
5. Do Not Practice Forward Lean
When running or walking fast on a treadmill, do not lean ahead or forward, but keep the body in an upright position. It is necessary because the feet are pulled backwards by the treadmill and hence, leaning forward is not at all needed. The feet are supposed to be pulled from the treadmill belt before they both get driven away by treadmill belt.
Leaning forward for a longer duration or constantly practising leaning forward position when using the treadmill could cause severe back and neck pain issues. Thus, avoiding and not practising the forward leaning posture when using the treadmill is highly recommended.
6. Stride Is Vital
Your strides should be short and quick to lessen the impact that is transferred to both your legs when you are moving on the treadmill. Here maintaining a strike by your mid-foot so to ensure that you are not striking with your heel and ending with sending a shock to both the knees is advised.
Though, such a scenario will make you exaggerate your heel lift since lacking the forward momentum would make your feet not move in the usual circular path that happens when you walk or run on the train or track.
7. Improving Stride Count
After working on your stride, it is important to work on improving the stride count. In short, more steps each minute result in a more efficient run. Know that the elite runners usually run at 180 steps every minute. You can determine your stride count by taking a count of how many times your one foot exactly hits the belt every minute and then multiply that with 2.
Now try to improve the stride count when you run, by concentrating on taking quick, short strides as well as keeping the feet near to the treadmill belt. Such practice will aid in dealing with your speed and posture issues on the treadmill as well as improve your running outdoors.
8. No Looking Down
Indeed, it will be difficult not to be checking how well you are striding or stepping on the treadmill belt. However, if you are continually looking down to check your strides, then your form of running will get disturbed every time that you look down.
It will result in running in a hunched over form or position which will consequently lead to neck and back issues. Instead, looking ahead and running is the best way to keep going, whether you are running outside or on a treadmill.
9. Cooling Down
After a good session on the treadmill, it is necessary that your elevated heart rate come back to normal beats per minute. Hence, concluding your treadmill session with a slow walk or jog towards the end of your workout will let your heart rate to come down to the normal rate of beats per minute.
It will also prevent you from feeling dizziness or feeling that you are still actively moving even when you have come off the treadmill belt.
Knowing how to run on a treadmill in the above-mentioned manners will keep your fitness goals in check, as well as health benefits coming in without being injured. Do listen to some music while you run or walk on the treadmill, it helps in focussing on the strides.