Whether you hate running after dark, or you don’t like to try to get motivated to deal with the weather, one of the great benefits of running on a treadmills is the convenience and safety of being able to run in your own home. Running on a treadmill seems pretty simple, but if you want the best results while avoiding injury, you’ll want to avoid developing bad habits that could affect the progress of your workouts. Avoid mistakes with these treadmill tips, and learn how to correct them.
Mistake #1 – You Look Forward, Not Down
It’s important that you trust your foot placement – rather than looking down at your feet, look ahead. Looking down rather than forward makes it more difficult to keep your balance. And, looking down creates neck, spine, and hip strain. When you’re running, make sure you keep your posture upright, keep your shoulders and chest open, and look straight ahead. You’ll also find it’s easier to breathe this way as well!
Mistake #2 – Don’t Slap Your Feet
Slapping your feet down on your treadmill belt is not only loud, it’s both inefficient as well as may cause injury. It causes you to lean backward, which puts additional stress on your back and hip muscles. And, you may loose your balance! Run as vertical as possible, and let your feet strike in either the mid-foot area, or on the ball of your foot – avoid having your heels strike the belt first.
Mistake #3 – Don’t Hold The Bars!
If your treadmill has handrails, they are meant to help you find your balance. If you hold onto them while running, your engaging your upper body by supporting it while holding the rails, which may hurt your overall fitness goals. Just stay upright, with a slight forward lean, with your arms to your side. Your feet should land under your center of gravity. Just think about how you would walk up a hill if you were outside.
Mistake #4 – You Don’t Mix Up Your Routine
The human body has the amazing ability to adapt to stress. But when it comes to your workouts, if you don’t mix things up, your body will adapt to your workout, and you’ll find your progress plateaus. There are three components to a workout – intensity, duration, and frequency. Change any one of those three on every workout, and you’ll avoid your body adapting to your workouts!
Mistake #5 – You’re Wearing The Wrong Shoes
You’re at home. No one is going to see your shoes. So, this is the time to put function over style. It’s important to look for shoes that feature extra padding in the soles to protect your heels and foot bones from the high impact of each foot strike, especially if you don’t have a orthopedic belt (like the one found on the True Performance 300 Treadmill). If you prefer to do any hill work or fast / speed walking, the Nike Free Runner is a great example of a shoe that has a more moderate height in the outer sole.