TREADMILL TRAINING – DOING IT RIGHT
by John Harris Fitness
No matter the weather, you can run on the treadmill year-round under consistent conditions. Whether it's stormy, snowy, or scorching outside, the treadmill always offers the same comfort, making it easier to measure and balance your training performance and progress. You can choose and maintain your pace, unlike running outdoors where you rely more on instinct.
Another advantage is the cushioned surface of the treadmill, which reduces joint impact. Even strength athletes use the treadmill for a full-body warm-up. Regardless of the sport, running is always a great starting point for training. All in all, the treadmill is an excellent workout tool for every season. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
On the treadmill, you can adjust speed and incline individually for your entire running session. However, many make the mistake of thinking that burning more calories requires steep inclines or high speeds. This holds true only if you're already fit enough for it. If you have to stop or slow down significantly during steep inclines, you're not ready for them, and the intended effect of added difficulty is lost. If you're unsure about the correct pace and incline, simply ask a trainer.
Always Sticking to the Same Routine
Variety helps you improve performance and challenge your body in new ways. Following the same routine without progression leads to performance plateaus. Therefore, it's better to switch things up occasionally.
Neglecting Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Before every training session, you should warm up to properly prepare your body, and at the end, gradually cool down for about 5 minutes. This helps prevent injuries. Also, avoid jumping off the treadmill abruptly with full speed at the end of a workout, as this poses a high risk of joint injury.
Running Too Far Back
Make sure not to run too far back on the treadmill, as it increases the risk of falling.
Jumping is not part of treadmill training, as constant jumping places additional stress on your joints. Focus on running with a flatter footstrike instead of excessive jumping.
Treadmill Training Tips
Use a Heart Rate Monitor
Treadmill training can be demanding, and you may not naturally slow down during high-intensity efforts. Keep an eye on your heart rate using a heart rate monitor.
Pay Attention to Posture
Proper running form involves not only correct footstrikes but also maintaining good posture. Keep your head up while running! Slouching while running puts unnecessary strain on your spine and could lead to back pain. So, look ahead, relax your shoulders, and avoid twisting your body.
Comparison with Outdoor Running
If you want to directly compare indoor and outdoor performance, set the treadmill incline to 1.5%. This compensates for the lack of wind resistance on the treadmill compared to outdoor running.
On a treadmill, it's common to take shorter strides. Make a conscious effort to maintain a natural running style.
Following these guidelines will help you make the most of your treadmill workouts and achieve better results while minimizing the risk of injury.