The fitness treadmill (sometimes spelled as ‘tredmil’) is an extremely useful fitness tool. I have used treadmills extensively in my marathon training and for my cross training. Here are 5 tips I have put together through the highs and lows of my fitness regime.
1: Starting out: When you activate the treadmill ensure your legs are straddling the belt, that is, your legs should not be resting on the moving belt itself but rather, the non-moving part. It is also really important to start the treadmill at a slow, safe pace and then ratchet the speed up progressively.
2: Know how to stop: Make sure you are actually familiar with how to stop the treadmill before it is too late. Often treadmills will have two stop functions; one is the standard stop function and the other is a more sudden emergency stop function.
3: Concentrate: It may sound obvious, but if you’ve ever fallen off a treadmill you’ll know it only takes a momentary lapse of concentration and you can be hurled to the end of your treadmill. When you are on the treadmill manage the level of your music player and your runner’s tension to daydream and check out the scenery at your gym.
4: Push yourself smartly: One of the wonderful things about treadmills is that they push you beyond your comfort zone with consistency. When you are running on the street you tend to slow down to avoid obstacles or cross roads. Your body also has an innate tension not to push yourself as hard as you possibly could. The beauty (and agony) of a treadmill is that it will push you consistently and relentlessly. However be careful not to push yourself too hard; too high a setting on the treadmill can cause the belt to accelerate quickly, potentially throwing you asunder.
5: Run as straight as possible: If you like me, have a tendency to slightly weave while you are running to be careful when you jump on a treadmill for the first time. The momentum and pace of a treadmill is rapid and unforgiving, if your foot slips or you run strangely you may slip and lose balance.