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How to Run on a Treadmill

The treadmill is popular because it boosts cardiorespiratory efficiency and muscle endurance. Although it appears easy to use, most first-time users often discover there is more to this running machine and using it can be an uphill task. Unknown to many people, there are different types of treadmills, and WeTreadmill Picks some of the best incline treadmills in the market. 

Your movements on the treadmill may appear similar to outdoor running, but they are not the same. For example, the treadmill has shock absorbers that protect your joints from the impact it would have received when running on asphalt or cement. This is why the treadmill is ideal for those who need to restart physical movement after a long time of dormancy. 

Start by getting the right footwear.

Whether you are new to using a treadmill or a seasoned runner, you need to make sure that the shoes you wear provide you with the right support. You can easily develop blisters if you run without shoes or if you wear the wrong shoes. Your running shoes should not only fit you comfortably, but they should also wick sweat away so that your feet remain dry as you work out. Additionally, you should get well-padded socks for additional protection against blistering. 

Gradually increase your workout intensity.

One of the common mistakes made by treadmill users is starting the machine at high speed. Doing this increases fatigue, and it will be difficult for you to work out for a long time. Instead, you should start by walking to prepare your body for intense training. For example, you can start by setting the speed within the 5km/hr margin for a slow walk or 6.5km/hr for a fast walk. Your choice will depend on how active you are and the type of warm-up necessary to prepare your body for the run. 

Gradually increase the gradient as you progress.

The slope you use when using the treadmill will determine the intensity of the workout. It would be best if you considered alternating the slope and plain every 3-4 minutes. This will ensure that your body will be accustomed to moving on different gradients and that your heart can handle the changes. You can start your work out with a slope of between 5-8% if you are walking, and a maximum of 4% if you are running. 

Come up with an interval running plan.

When running outdoors, how do you pace yourself? Do you run all the way, or do you sometimes slow down by walking to reduce fatigue? Although some people have the stamina to run long distances, others need a break to catch their breath. You need to evaluate your body's capabilities, whether you are running outdoors or when using a treadmill. You can do this by developing a workout plan to help you figure out what works for you. 

For example, you can start with a 5-10 minutes warm-up session, which can include stretching and walking on the treadmill. Spend 30-60 seconds on high intensity jogging then walk for another 90 seconds before returning to a high-intensity run. Keep alternating your work out this way for at least 20 minutes before taking a 5-minute cooldown walk. You can also add changes to your incline runs as well to see how far you can push your body. 

Safely manage the inclines.

The treadmill can be a safety hazard if not used properly. You should not only set up a speed that you can comfortably handle, but you should also regulate the inclines well to ensure you remain safe when using the treadmill. Incline running is awesome for burning calories and building muscle strength. However, if the climb is too steep, you risk injury. 

High inclines are great for burning calories, but they put a strain on your hips, back, knees and ankles. This is why it isn't easy to run for a long time on a steep incline. Since we all have different endurance levels, you need to make sure that the incline you choose is the right one for you. You can know if you have gone too far if you cannot complete a 30-minute workout at the incline level you have chosen. 

Treadmills have different functions, and you can maximize your workout by finding out the functions before you start running. If you are at the gym, ask your instructor to guide you on how to use the various functions. Most, if not all, treadmills have a heart rate monitor, calorie burn calculator, pre-set workout intervals, and speed display. Knowing these functions and how to correctly use them is just as critical in the proper use of a treadmill.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com